There are only a few areas in the U.S. where giving a nine month to year-round heartworm preventive might be advisable – those areas are in south Texas, south Florida, and a few other locations along the Gulf coast. The rest of the U.S. ranges from three to seven months of high exposure risk. The majority of states are at six months or less.
I recommend you talk to a holistic vet in your area to understand your dog's actual risk of exposure to infected mosquitoes. A local holistic practitioner will be able to guide you in determining:
- The risk of heartworm disease in your area
- Potential side effects of chemical preventive drugs
- Alternatives to these products that can be used alone or in conjunction with them
- Detox agents to help your dog's body recover, if necessary
Keeping your pet's immune system in excellent shape provides a foundation of good health, including the ability to avoid or successfully fight off parasitic invaders.
Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet. The healthier your dog is, the less attractive he'll be to all types of pests and parasites, and the better able his immune system will be to fight off invaders. Parasites are more attracted to weak animals.
And speaking of keeping immune system healthy, take care not to allow your pet to be overloaded with toxins through unnecessary vaccinations and repeated courses of antibiotic or steroid therapy – two of the most overprescribed drugs in veterinary medicine