Heartgard and Working Dogs: Protecting Canine Heroes from Heartworms

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Written By Berry Mathew

Working dogs play an invaluable role in a variety of essential operations, from detecting explosives and drugs to locating missing individuals and protecting communities. However, these dedicated canine heroes are at a high risk of contracting heartworm disease, which can be potentially fatal if left untreated.

While cats can also be affected by heartworm disease, the condition appears to be more prevalent and severe in dogs. According to public health records from Los Angeles County, veterinarians reported 604 cases of heartworm disease between 2012 and 2021, with only 24 cases affecting cats and a staggering 580 cases affecting dogs. 

In this article, we will talk about working dogs and their susceptibility to heartworm disease. We also will explore the use of Heartgard, a medication that helps prevent heartworms in dogs.

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What is Heartgard?

Heartgard is a medication that is used to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. The medication contains ivermectin, which is an antiparasitic medication that kills heartworm larvae before they can mature into adult worms. Heartgard is available in chewable tablets that are given to dogs once a month. 

As per veterinary experts, Heartgard Plus is a reliable and efficient medication for heartworm prevention in dogs, and its usage is deemed safe when followed as instructed. Many veterinarians recommend including Heartgard Plus in a comprehensive heartworm prevention plan.

In a blog post published in 2022, PetMD, a highly trusted source for pet health information, also acknowledged the remarkable benefits of Heartgard Plus. The medication was ranked among the top-rated heartworm prevention drugs for dogs. 

According to their review, most dogs tolerate the medicine exceptionally well, and any side effects experienced are usually mild and only last for a maximum of 24 hours.

Heartgard Providers for Working Dogs

Heartgard is readily accessible for working dogs, and there are various suppliers that concentrate on providing the medication to handlers of working dogs. These suppliers offer exclusive pricing and other benefits to guarantee that working dogs can obtain the medication they need to remain healthy and protected against heartworms.

One of these suppliers of Heartgard for dogs is PetRx, which provides online ordering and delivery services, streamlining the process of obtaining the necessary medication for working dog handlers. 

However, it is important to note that while PetRx offers online services that may be convenient for some handlers, it is essential to conduct thorough research and compare all available options to determine the provider that best caters to their requirements.

Ultimately, the most crucial aspect when choosing a provider is ensuring that they have a good reputation, are dependable, and prioritize the health and well-being of working dogs, regardless of the chosen supplier.

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Why are Working Dogs at Risk?

Working dogs are typically employed in various fields, such as search and rescue, law enforcement, and agriculture. As a result, they are often exposed to environments that are conducive to the spread of heartworms. These dogs are frequently required to spend extended periods of time outdoors, where they are exposed to mosquitoes, which are the primary carriers of heartworm larvae.

Furthermore, working dogs may be required to travel to different regions to fulfill their duties, exposing them to different environmental conditions and disease patterns. This travel can significantly increase their risk of heartworm infection, as they may encounter mosquito populations that are more prevalent in certain regions.

For example, working dogs that are deployed to coastal areas or regions with a humid climate are at an increased risk of heartworm infection, as these areas provide ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Additionally, working dogs that are employed in agricultural settings, such as herding or livestock protection, are also at risk of heartworm infection due to their prolonged exposure to mosquito-infested environments.

Heartworm Prevention

Preventing heartworm disease in working dogs is critical to ensure that they remain healthy and able to perform their duties. Heartworm prevention involves several different steps, including the use of medication, regular veterinary checkups, and environmental management. 

By using Heartgard and working closely with a veterinarian, working dog handlers can take proactive steps to protect their canine partners from heartworms and other parasitic infections.

The Importance of Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially deadly condition that can greatly affect a dog’s ability to perform its duties, especially in the case of working dogs. 

According to the FDA, as the disease progresses, dogs may exhibit symptoms such as a persistent cough, lethargy after mild to moderate activity, difficulty breathing, and decreased appetite. The disease can cause irreversible damage to the dog’s heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys, ultimately leading to death if left untreated.

Heartworm prevention is critical for working dogs because it helps to ensure that they remain healthy and able to perform their vital functions. 


Working dogs are an essential part of many vital operations, and it is crucial to protect them from heartworm disease. Heartgard is a safe and effective medication that can help prevent heartworms in working dogs. 

By using Heartgard as part of a comprehensive heartworm prevention program and working with a veterinarian, handlers can help ensure that their canine partners remain healthy and able to perform their duties. 

By taking proactive steps to protect working dogs from heartworms, we can honor their service and sacrifice while ensuring that they can continue to serve their communities with distinction.