Can you give heartworm preventative early?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

As a dog owner myself, I understand the importance of starting heartworm prevention early. Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that can affect dogs of all ages, including puppies. That’s why it’s crucial to begin preventative measures as soon as your puppy reaches 6 weeks of age.

The primary cause of heartworm disease is the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes have the ability to transmit heartworm larvae, called microfilariae, into the bloodstream of a susceptible dog. These larvae then mature into adult heartworms, which can reside in the heart and lungs, causing damage and potentially leading to life-threatening complications.

Fortunately, there are various heartworm preventatives available on the market. Your veterinarian will be the best person to guide you in selecting the most suitable one for your puppy. Some common options include monthly oral medications, topical treatments, or injectable preventatives.

It’s important to note that heartworm preventatives work by killing the microfilariae present in the dog’s bloodstream before they have a chance to develop into adult worms. Therefore, starting prevention early is crucial to prevent any potential infection from progressing.

I remember when I got my own puppy, I made sure to consult with my veterinarian about the best heartworm preventative for her. We discussed her age, breed, and lifestyle to determine the most appropriate option. The veterinarian recommended a monthly oral medication, which was easy to administer and highly effective in preventing heartworm disease.

It’s worth mentioning that heartworm preventatives should be administered year-round, even in regions where mosquito activity may decrease during certain seasons. This is because mosquitoes can still be active indoors or in protected environments, putting your puppy at risk.

It is absolutely possible and highly recommended to give heartworm preventative to your puppy as early as 6 weeks of age. Start the conversation with your veterinarian, who will provide you with the necessary guidance to choose the most suitable preventative for your furry friend. Remember, early prevention is key in protecting your puppy from the potentially devastating effects of heartworm disease.