Heartworm medication commonly referred to as heartworm prevention or abbreviated “HWP”, are medications used to prevent heartworm disease. These should not be confused with medications used to treat heartworm disease which are entirely different.
Heartworm disease is a preventable disease spread by mosquitoes and common in many parts of the country. The best way to choose the correct heartworm prevention product for your pet is to get the advice of your veterinarian. Your pet's risk of disease based on your pets lifestyle and region in which you live and your pets' overall health will influence your veterinarian's product selection.
The very best and safest products on the market are prescription products that are only available from your veterinarian or by prescription from your veterinarian. Below we will discuss some features to consider in the different products as well as some ideal features. Features to Consider in Dog Heartworm Medications DVM approved or recommended
Effect (do you want more than one affect e.g. fleas/ticks/heartworms)
Presentation: spot-on and tablets
Frequency of administration
Desirable Features of Dog Heartworm Medications
The ideal dog heartworm medication is easy to give or apply, safe, effective, and available at a reasonable cost. The product should be the proper size/dosage for your dog and should cover the problem you are trying to prevent. You may choose a product that does more than one thing e.g. one that prevents both fleas and heartworms. You may also want to consider what type of product is easiest to give e.g. is a pill or topical application easier for you and your dog? Indicate your preference to your veterinarian and they will help you select the best, safest, and most effective product in the presentation style you prefer. It should also come with a guarantee providing the product is given based on veterinarian or manufacturer recommendations. Monthly dosing is the common frequency of most products.
Ideal Choice for Dog Heartworm Medications
Choose a product specifically recommended for your dog. Make sure the product is the correct size for the weight of your dog. Some of the top products on the market include:
Heartworm Prevention for Dogs
Interceptor® - Prevents dog heartworm disease and protects against roundworms, hookworms in dogs and cats and certain whipworms in dogs. It is a tablet formulation to be given at a monthly frequency.
Heartgard® - Prevents dog heartworm disease. It is a tablet formulation to be given at a monthly frequency.
Heartgard Plus® - Prevents dog heartworm disease and protects against roundworms and hookworms. It is a tablet formulation to be given at a monthly frequency.
Pro Heart®6 - Prevents dog heartworm diseases and treats hookworm infections. However, this drug was taken off the market and is no longer available. It was available as an injection with an effect that lasted 6 months.
Pro Heart® – Prevents dog heartworm disease and hookworms. It is a tablet formulation to be given at a monthly frequency.
Filarabits® - This drug was used to prevent dog heartworm disease and protect against hookworm infections in dogs. Please note: this is off the market but mentioned as many owners know about it. It was available in a tablet formulation to be given daily.
Controls Dog Flea and Heartworms
Sentinel® - Prevents dog heartworm disease, protects against hookworms, roundworms and whipworms and prevents flea infestation. It is a tablet formulation to be given at a monthly frequency.
Controls Dog Fleas, Ticks and Heartworms
Revolution® - Prevents dog heartworm disease, kills fleas, controls and treats ear mites and the deer tick infestations. It is a liquid application to be given at a monthly frequency.
Safety Tips for Dog Heartworm Medications
Always read label instructions before administering to your pet.
Review age and weight of your pet before application or dosage.
Give all medications as directed, for example if your veterinarian recommends year round treatment, follow their instructions.
Products labeled for another animal types should not be given to another pet (NEVER give your cat products labeled for your dog).