You may have been told at one point or another that all puppies are born with worms – however, those worms (roundworm, whipworm, hookworms) are not the ones you need to be the most worried about.
The worst of all the infectious parasites that could prey on your pup is heartworms. These worms will infect your dog’s heart, traveling through their bloodstream to wreak as much havoc as possible.
Prevention is the best thing you can do when it comes to heartworm. The disease is transferred through mosquito bites so external prevention does not work well. Your vet is likely to prescribe you a heartworm preventative such as Interceptor to keep your friend healthy!
What is Interceptor?
Interceptor is a heartworm preventative in chew tablet form. These tablets will fight against all types of worms though the main focus is heartworm of course.
This medication will not only rid your puppy of worms but it will also help to keep him healthy over his whole life.
This tablet is made to be beef flavored to entice your dog to eat it – however, some picky dogs don’t fall for it.
If your dog is one of those picky eaters you can try hiding the medication in a piece of cheese, a pill pocket or any other food as long as you are sure they eat it.
This is one of the easiest medications to figure out correct dosage for your dog. They make a different size and strength chew for different sized dogs (and cats as well).
You should only give Interceptor to dogs who are 4 weeks of age or older (and 2lbs and larger).
Here’s a look at how their dosage works:
2-10lbs: 1 tablet every month (Brown Box)
11-25lbs: 1 tablet every month (Green Box)
26-50lbs: 1 tablet every month (Yellow Box)
51-100lbs: 1 tablet every month (White Box)
For dogs over 100lbs give the appropriate combination of tablets based on weight. (Example: Dog weighs 150lbs, give 1 tablet from White Box and 1 tablet from the Yellow Box each month)
What does it do?
Interceptor will attack heartworm tissues before they can become harmful and infect your dog’s heart and other major organs. It will also kill and prevent many other types of common worms. This is one of the best heartworm preventatives on the market right now.
As long as you give your dog their Interceptor chewable tablet once a month he will be protected against heartworm. If you miss a dose, give the missed dose as soon as possible – however, you should never double dose your dog.
If your dog does not eat the entire tablet (or vomits shortly after eating the tablet) then wait about 24 hours and give them another tablet. This will ensure that the medication is in your dog’s system and working as it should.
Interceptor VS Heartgard
Both of these are extremely well known, vet trusted and effective heartworm preventatives. They both come in the form of a chewable tablet that most dogs will eat like any other treatments available to them.
The biggest differences between Heartgard and Interceptor is the fact that Heartgard does not fight against tapeworms or whipworms. This puts Interceptor a little further ahead and Heartgard in the realm of which product is better.
As with most medications for dogs each dose lasts for 30 days. Giving them the medication once a month will continue to fight off heartworm and other infectious worms your dog may end up with.
The price for the two different medications is almost the exact same – and likely will be for some time to come. So if you like to get more bang for your buck then Interceptor is most definitely the way you want to go!
Interceptor VS Sentinel
These two products are actually manufactured by the same company and the products are very similar. Both fight off all common types of worm and are mainly for heartworm prevention. The big difference? Sentinel can kill adult fleas and adult flea larva as well.
If you are already using a flea control product (such as Frontline Plus or Advantage II) then you probably only need Interceptor. On the other hand, if you are still having flea troubles or just want the extra protection, Sentinel can be used alongside any other flea medication.
Both of these medications are made in oral chew tablet form – and both are beef flavored to encourage your dog to eat it. These medications are both effective up to 30 days after the medication is taken.
You should be aware that Sentinel does not kill flea eggs or adult fleas – it does kill adult flea larva and treat flea allergy dermatitis.
When it comes down to it Sentinel is obviously the better choice if you are looking for flea protection as well. The cost for Sentinel is definitely going to be slightly more expensive, but what do you expect for extra protection in one medication?
The Pros and Cons
If you are looking for a heartworm preventative to give your dog you should always talk to your vet first. They will be able to tell you which product they personally would trust with their own dog.
You should always get your dog tested for heartworm prior to starting them on a heartworm medication as taking a preventative if they are already infected could cause more harmful symptoms than heartworm alone.
When it comes to Interceptor you cannot find a more effective worm preventative. It has been tested and proven to work for up to 30 days against roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms while also preventing heartworm.
- Prevents and treats all common worms
- Prevents heartworm disease
- Works for up to 30 days
- Your dog is no longer protected after a missed dose
- Does not fight against fleas or other pests
The only downside I can really see to this product is that if you are in need of extra flea protection you might want to go with Sentinel instead. Overall though, many pet parents and vets alike swear by using Interceptor on a monthly basis!