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Best way of Preventing Heart Worms in Dogs

When a dog joins a household, it is more than just a pet. It becomes a part of the family. Like every member of a family, it is important for us to keep our dogs as healthy as possible, and to be on the lookout for common diseases that can affect dogs. Not only is it important to keep dogs healthy for their benefit, but also, for the benefit of society as a whole.

Preventing Heart Worms in Dogs

Preventing heart worms in dogs is a crucial step to keeping a dog healthy. A heart worm is a parasite known as dirofilaria immitis. Although the parasite can be found in cats and in other animals, it is most commonly found in dogs. Heart worms live in a dog’s heart and can do extensive damage. Although cases of heart worms are found in every state in America, the disease is most prevalent where mosquitoes are prevalent, such as in the southeastern states.

How do dogs get heart worms?

The disease is spread by mosquitoes, and it can be spread with just one bite. When a mosquito bites a dog, it deposits larvae into the dog. Once the larvae is inside the dog, it travels through the bloodstream. Eventually, it makes a home in the right side of the heart and in the arteries of the lungs. These worms can grow 10 to 12 inches.

The worms can live in a dog for years, causing a dog to get critically ill with problems in the lungs and with blood circulation. In worst cases, a dog can die from the disease due to heart failure. Preventing heart worms in dogs in important to save a dog’s life.

How do you know if your dog is infected with heart worms? 

Symptoms of infection include:

  1. Loss of weight
  2. Fainting
  3. Frequent bowel movements
  4. Nervousness
  5. Heavy breathing
  6. Coughing
  7. Loss of energy

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, it should be taken to the vet promptly.

Preventing heart worms in dogs means that every dog should get a yearly heart worm screening, because a dog could be infected with the disease without exhibiting signs. Some dogs show signs of the disease in as little as 6 months. Other dogs take years to show signs. Screening for heart worms includes an annual blood test. However, a great way to prevent heart worms is to give your dog monthly pills such as Heartgard for dogs designed to prevent the disease. Recommendations should come from your veterinarian.

When a dog is infected with heart worms, a veterinarian must administer the appropriate treatment for the dog. This is the final step, because it is important for dog owners to realize that preventing heart worms in dogs is the goal. Once a dog is infected, the treatment can be painful, costly, and sometimes, ineffective.

If your dog is infected with heart worms, it will be evaluated to see if it can be treated in a safe manner. If the disease is caught early enough, just like many diseases, it can be treated successfully. Your dog will receive a physical exam, x-rays and blood work. If your dog is considered healthy enough to receive treatment, typically medication is by way of injections. During the treatment period, which can take several months to complete, it is important for the owner to keep the dog restful and calm.

Properly Caring for Your Dog

You decided to be a proud owner of a dog. If you have never owned one of those lovable canines before, you’re probably wondering what is the proper care for your pet. With these tips on proper dog care, you will become more knowledgeable on how to keep your dog as healthy as possible for long, happy life.

Once obtaining ownership of your dog, make sure that you make an appointment with a veterinarian to make sure that all the dog’s shots are up to date. It is also a good idea to make a yearly appointment to the vet for your dog’s physical check up. If you don’t plan on breeding your dog, whether if it’s male or female, it is recommended that your pet be spayed or neutered to help prolong their health and temper. Also talk to the veterinarian about what kind dog food you should feed your pet to maintain a well-balanced diet.

home needs to be comfortable

Be sure that your home is also comfortable for your dog to live in as well. Your pet should have his own space or bed to sleep on a regular basis. Your dog should be supervised on a constant basis when you first bring him home. Your dog is going to be very curious about the new surroundings; as the owner, you might want to be sure that nothing breakable or valuable will be within the dog’s reach or he might be tempted to chew on something he’s not supposed to have. Also be sure to have both a proper food and water bowl that should be easy to clean.

Another thing that leads to proper dog care is training your pet. It is good to have your dog on a steady walking schedule to prevent accidents at your home. Be sure to have a well-fitted collar and a leash that is sturdy enough that you feel confident to walk your dog with. It is also recommended to have a dog ID made for your dog. Some owners like to have dog tags created or have a special ID inserted to the dog, such as tattoos and microchips. These options are made available through veterinarian offices or animal shelters.

Dogs love to play and unleash their energy onto their pet owners. Make sure to spend some quality time by playing with your pooch, for keeping them active means maintaining a healthy weight for their body type. Do a research for a list of dog-friendly parks so that both of you can enjoy a hike. Or if you have a yard to play in, invest in a Frisbee or balls so you can play fetch. Also keep some chew toys around the house to prevent your dog from trying to chew on your purse or shoes.

Another good proper dog care tip is to maintain your dog’s grooming. Depending on the type of hair of your dog, make sure to brush their fur to keep a shiny coat and prevent matted hair. Be sure to bathe your dog at least once a month but be sure to not give your dog a bath too much or else their skin will become too dry and create problems. It is also a good idea to brush your dog’s teeth with a soft brush to prevent tartar buildup and save a trip to the vet. Be sure to check their paws for cuts and keep their nails short. If you’re not comfortable with cutting their nails, a grooming parlor or your veterinarian will be glad to do it for you.

But most of all, don’t forget to have fun with your beloved pooch. Buy dog treats to reward their good behavior or just spend some quiet time snuggling with each other and watch how content they are when they’re with their master. In the end, you will have a pet that will bring you unconditional love.

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