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Dog Heartworm Buyer's Guide

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Heartworms kill dogs. These spaghetti-like parasites live in the heart and lungs and disrupt the flow of blood around the entire body. Heartworms are transmitted through mosquito bites, and since no form of mosquito prevention is 100% effective, all dogs should be on heartworm prevention. Thankfully, many safe and effective products are now available, but determining which one is right for your dog does take a little research. Dogs over 7 months of age should be tested for heartworm disease before starting any form of heartworm prevention. All of the following pet medications in the table below need to be given monthly to provide the best protection against heartworm disease.

Topical Heartworm Preventatives

Topical, or Spot On, heartworm preventatives use a small amount of liquid that you place directly on your dog's skin. These are similar to topical flea treatments except they are formulated to kill immature heartworms. Some of these products, like Advantage Multi or Revolution, are also effective against fleas.

Oral Heartworm Medications

Oral heartworm medications are usually available as flavored chewable tablets so they're easy to give to dogs. Many of these products also treat intestinal worms like hookworms and roundworms.

Table 1 - Heartworm Preventatives for Dogs

  Advantage Multi Revolution Heartgard Heartgard Plus Iverhart Max Sentinel Trifexis
  Advantage Multi Revolution Heartgard Heartgard Plus Iverhart Max Sentinel Trifexis
Adult Fleas Check Check         Check
Flea Eggs/Larvae   Check
Ticks   Check          
Heartworms Check Check Check Check Check Check Check
Hookworms Check     Check Check Check Check
Roundworms Check     Check Check Check Check
Whipworms Check         Check Check
Tapeworms         Check    
Mange   Check          
Mites   Check          
Topical Check Check          
Oral     Check Check Check Check Check
Lufenuron           Check  
Milbemycin onxime           Check Check
Piperonyl butoxide              
Ivermectin     Check Check Check    
Pyrantel       Check Check    
Praziquantel         Check    
Imidacloprid Check            
Moxidectin Check            
Selamectin   Check          
Spinosad             Check
Age Restrictions
4 weeks or older           Check  
6 weeks or older   Check Check Check      
7 weeks or older Check            
8 weeks or older         Check   Check
Bayer Animal Health Check            
Merial     Check Check      
Novartis Animal Health           Check  
Pfizer Animal Health   Check          
Virbac Animal Health         Check    
Elanco             Check