Is Heartgard for Dogs Safe

Is Heartgard for Dogs Safe

Author WDF Staff


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There are different parasites that can infect our dogs, and one of the worst ones is the heartworm. It is our job, as dog owners, to keep our dogs safe from internal parasites, and that job might be easier than you might expect. There are different products, like Heartgard for dogs, that can help us do that successfully.

The bad news is that heartworms are not the only parasite that can infect our dog. It might be one of the worst ones, but it is not the only one. Luckily, Heartgard for dogs will help you keep your dog safe from two other parasites - hookworms and roundworms. If your vet prescribed Heartgard for your dog, it is entirely natural that you want to find a little bit more about it. Here is the most essential information on Heartgard.

What is Heartgard for dogs?

Heartgard can be defined as a heartworm preventative medication that prevents heartworm infestations and kills heartworms already infecting your dog. The name of the drug is actually Heartgard Plus. It combines two active ingredients for complete protection against heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms.

The first active ingredient is ivermectin. It is highly effective against heartworms in all life stages. The second active ingredient is pyrantel. This active ingredient will control roundworm and hookworm infestations and will successfully eliminate them.

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Heartworms are spread through mosquito bites, so heartworm prevention drugs are necessary if you live in areas where there are plenty of mosquitoes.

Is Heartgard safe for my dog?

One of the first questions dog owners want to know the answer to is, “Is Heartgard safe for my dog?” There is a lot of controversy in the dog owner community regarding these types of meds, so here is the truth about Heartgard.

In a study performed by the company that produces Heartgard, dogs were exposed to 10X larger doses than advised. The company even studied Collies since they seem to be very sensitive to the main active ingredient, ivermectin. The study showed dogs can handle the drug without much problem. Even those exposed to larger dosages were completely fine. At the end of the day, Heartgard is considered a very safe product.

Heartgard side effects

Whenever you give your dog any kind of medication, you should know that side effects can happen. This is not something new or unexpected. However, just because side effects are possible doesn’t mean your dog will actually develop them. Still, you should know what they are and how to spot them. The most common Heartgard side effects are;

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • mydriasis
  • Ataxia
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hypersalivation
  • Loss of balance
  • Convulsions

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Heartgard is a prescription medicine. You shouldn’t give it to your dog without consulting your vet first.

Is it effective?

The second crucial question dog owners want to know is, “Is Heartgard effective?” It makes no sense to give a medication that won’t do much for your dog. However, there is an excellent reason why Heartgard is one of the best-sellers - it is very effective. If you stick to the recommended schedule and give your dog this medication regularly, it will 100% prevent heartworm disease.

How is it given to dogs?

Heartgard comes as a chewable tablet. In fact, it contains real beef, so most dogs really enjoy eating it. However, a few dogs didn’t want to take it in clinical trials, so researchers mixed it with their kibble. This form makes Heartgard really easy to use and administer.

This medication provides 30-day protection, which means that you should give your dog a dose every 30 days, especially during the mosquito season. If owners fail to do so, they should know that the active ingredient ivermectin might have a lowered efficiency. It is crucial owners stick to the recommended schedule.

Where can I get it?

As we already said, Heartgard is a prescription medicine. It can only be prescribed by a licensed vet. You cannot go into a shop and get it without the prescription. If your vet prescribes it, you can simply go into your local pet pharmacy and get it there. If you prefer getting it online, you can also get it on Chewy’s online pharmacy.

World Dog Finder team

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