Why Year Round Parasite Prevention Is Important #SentinelSpectrum

Posted on May 19 2016 - 11:24pm by Susan Bewley

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Virbac® Sentinel® Spectrum® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help create awareness about protection against common parasites found in dogs, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. You can find more information about Sentinel Spectrum here. Virbac is not responsible for the content of this article.

Do you use a year round parasite prevention with your dogs? see how Sentinel Spectrum protected Ivi from Rylie's puppy roundworms here! #SentinelSpectrum

How many of you use year-round prevention with a paraciticide to protect your dogs from parasites like fleas, heartworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms? In our household, we have always used some form of prevention with our girls, mostly because I’m very paranoid about parasites, especially fleas. Once your house is infested with them, it is extremely difficult to get rid of them, and when you have double coated dogs, it is very difficult to get them out of fur, never mind carpet. What I hadn’t actually thought much about, however, were worms. They became a lot more of a concern in our household, however, when Rylie entered our home. While our new addition was truly adorable, what wasn’t cute were the spaghetti-like worms (adult roundworms) that came out in her poop. Even though Rylie was very contagious to other dogs, Ivi had nothing to fear-because our normal year round prevention medicine had her covered – Virbac® Sentinel® Spectrum®.

After dealing with Rylie’s roundworms (which are quite gross by the way), I was never so thankful to have my big girl on year round prevention. I was even more shocked when I learned that normal deworming only targets worms that had already hatched, not the eggs, making preventative medicine even more important. This floored us since we thought once a puppy was dewormed, they wouldn’t have to worry about worms! Scary or what!?

Do you use a year round parasite prevention with your dogs? see how Sentinel Spectrum protected Ivi from Rylie's puppy roundworms here! #SentinelSpectrum

While I had heard for years it was important to use a preventative throughout the year against heartworms, even for indoor dogs, I had never considered other dogs exposing her to parasites. Even just a visiting dog could have given her worms, or a stray flea or mosquito that found its way in the house. With how dangerous all of them can be for dogs, it is quite understandable why year round prevention is so important.

As if that wasn’t enough, being the worried dog mom I am, I started doing more research online. On the Companion Animal Parasite Council™ (CAPC) website, I learned that they are predicting that 2016 is going to be a big year for ticks and mosquitoes, and not in a good way for our pets. Not only do we have to worry about Lyme disease and other scary illnesses, but heartworms as well. While I knew that that our vet always did an annual blood test to screen for heartworms, I never realized just how important this test was for dogs -this test makes sure that there aren’t heartworms, or that they catch them fast to make sure they don’t harm our dogs.

Do you use a year round parasite prevention with your dogs? see how Sentinel Spectrum protected Ivi from Rylie's puppy roundworms here! #SentinelSpectrum

What I didn’t know was that typical medications for heartworms target heartworms in their developing stages for the first three to four months after a bite. Dogs don’t even show signs of adult heartworms until they are infected for 6 or 7 months after infection, which can be especially dangerous for developing puppies or younger dogs. As well, by the time heartworm larva are visible in feces, the adult worms are already reproducing, causing a huge problem for dogs if they aren’t on some form of prevention.

If dogs aren’t on their regular medication and the heartworms develop past this stage, there is actually a gap where no drug can do anything to stop the heartworm from becoming an adult, beginning about 6 months after the first bite. To protect our dogs from heartworms or ever having to worry about our dogs having a positive test, it is crucially important that our dogs never miss a dose of preventative heartworm medication to make sure they have a proper barrier against infection ever occurring.

Oh, and the CAPC website also had quite a bit to say about fleas as well. I can easily consider them one of my worst fears with dogs and cats, especially since I have had my house infested in the past. We learned that unless you see a flea early, by the time you find them in your home, it is too late. What you see on your dog is only a small portion of the flea population in your home, especially since they can live in carpet or bedding – without a host! – in your home for up to a year. Once the female has their first blood, they start producing eggs within 20-24 hours. From there, they produce 40 to 50 eggs a day for about 2-3 months. In other words, you house will be infested, especially if they burrowed in a nice comfy spot during the winter. To make sure it doesn’t happen, you need to make sure you dog isn’t a suitable host. In our house, Sentinel Spectrum protects our girls from fleas by preventing flea larvae from developing.

Do you use a year round parasite prevention with your dogs? see how Sentinel Spectrum protected Ivi from Rylie's puppy roundworms here! #SentinelSpectrum

As you can see, I consider Sentinel Spectrum an absolute lifesaver in my home. Not only does it protect my sweet Ivi from parasites, it protects little Rylie as well. Once her worms were gone, she was given her first dose and is protected. Want to learn more about the year round protection we use on our dogs? Virbac Sentinel Spectrum is a tasty chew that protects your dog against all 3 parasite groups – heartworms, fleas, and intestinal parasites (roundwomrs, whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms). Currently, it is available in 4 different sizes depending on your dog’s weight and can be given to any dog older than six weeks. Just remember, you will need to visit your vet since Sentinel Spectrum is only available with a prescription. Virbac even makes life easier for dog owners with a rebate for Sentinel Spectrum and a monthly email or text reminder to help your remember your monthly prevention.

So, what do you do to protect your dog(s) against intestinal parasites? Budget Earth, Virbac, and BlogPaws are working together on a Reader Survey to learn more about parasites and we will be sharing this information with all of you next month as a fun infographic. To help us out, please take this short survey and tell us what you think in the comments below!

Sentinel Spectrum

Disclosure: Budget Earth received monetary compensation for this post. All opinions on this product are my own and may differ from our readers’ opinions.

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Susan Bewley is a professional writer who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not working as an online business consultant or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth, on her own novel, or working with various entities in the pet industry.

96 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Nikolina May 20, 2016 at 2:30 am - Reply

    I really enjoyed reading the entire post, thank you!

  2. Lois M. May 20, 2016 at 6:59 am - Reply

    It’s a good reminder for people – doesn’t matter what time of year it is, there will be pests; and if you have a pet like a dog that goes outside every day, still have to watch out for them.

  3. Natalie May 20, 2016 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Most pet owners I find neglect parasite protection in the winter months.

    • Susan Bewley May 23, 2016 at 11:11 am - Reply

      Yes, most people don’t even consider it. I have even heard some vets say it isn’t necessary. All it takes is one neighborhood dog having a flea without treatment and you can have issues. That is how Reya got fleas years ago.

  4. Juliet Wilson May 20, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

    I use flea treatment I put on my dogs back but I really need to start being on top of parasite prevention more.

  5. laurie damrose May 20, 2016 at 11:35 am - Reply

    We always check our dog after her walks.

  6. clojo9372 May 20, 2016 at 1:39 pm - Reply

    In the past we mainly concentrated on deworming our sheep and goats, until our litter of 5 puppies had ringworm and that woke us up to the importance of parasite prevention in our dogs as well. Thank you for this helpful and informative post, and your puppy is ADORABLE! 🙂

    • Susan Bewley May 20, 2016 at 1:44 pm - Reply

      Thank you! Yes, nothing can make you up to parasites like puppies with ringworms. I can’t stand the things!

  7. Stacy Tessier May 20, 2016 at 3:47 pm - Reply

    I live in Florida, so I do use both flea & tick medicine and heartworm medicine year-round. I don’t want to take any chances, and even though he doesn’t have much interaction with other dogs, he is outside in the yard a lot.

    • Susan Bewley May 23, 2016 at 11:10 am - Reply

      This may sound silly but the only time Reya ever got fleas and a tick was in our subdivision in our neighbors yard. They had their dogs out at the dog park and their yard got infested. You would think with how much we play in the woods and travel it would have been from there – nope!

  8. Sue Mullaney May 20, 2016 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I don’t have any dogs myself, but some of my friends do. This is very helpful information, I’ll definitely share this with my dog owner friends. Thanks for posting!

  9. Gabrielly May 20, 2016 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    It’s a good reminder for people, doesn’t matter what time of year it is.

  10. Raven P. May 20, 2016 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Great article! I will have to share it with my mom, her dog always gets ticks and fleas in the summer it seems

  11. Nicole M. May 20, 2016 at 9:08 pm - Reply

    If I had a dog I would keep it protected all year round. It only makes sense. Why wouldn’t you ALWAYS want them to be safe?

  12. Jeanna Massman May 20, 2016 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Dogs are so much part of the family that their health is important to family well-being.

  13. Sohair May 20, 2016 at 10:53 pm - Reply

    I think it’s very important for everyone to know this,people don’t think it’s necessary but it is

  14. Nena Sinclair May 21, 2016 at 5:35 am - Reply

    This is a post that every pet parent should read! It’s so important to take precautions!

  15. Sonya Cocherell May 21, 2016 at 6:56 am - Reply

    We have ALWAYS used year round preventative. It is not worth the cost of losing my dogs by saving a little bit of money. I love them too much. I could preach and preach on this. We also use year round tick and flea. We have our yard sprayed. If anything, you can say we are OVERLY protective

    • Susan Bewley May 23, 2016 at 11:07 am - Reply

      Exactly. When I volunteered at the animal shelter as a teenager and college student, I helped with animals with heartworms. Once you see a dog suffer going through the treatment, you never want to go through that again. Even then, once they are there, it is extremely difficult to get rid of heartworms and a high chance you will lose your dog or cat. I would rather pay for prevention.

  16. Cynthia C May 21, 2016 at 6:57 am - Reply

    The dog owners I know always protect their pets.

  17. Chelsey DeWitt May 21, 2016 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Because parasites kill pets and humans alike and I hey transfer from one to the other so easily

  18. el farouah May 21, 2016 at 8:54 am - Reply

    It’s a good reminder for som people

  19. Richard Saechao May 21, 2016 at 10:55 am - Reply

    Yes, I agree. Those things can be extremely irritating.

  20. margaret peg m. May 21, 2016 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    So important, especially if you also have children. You want happy, healthy children AND animals!

  21. edye May 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Such a great reminder! Thanks for sharing :]

  22. Jeena Bittenbender May 21, 2016 at 3:23 pm - Reply

    I agree. I live in Florida where there is no hard freeze so fleas are year round. I just switched to this kind of flea medication. The only thing I don’t like, is the fact that it doesn’t repel fleas. It kills them only after a bite.

    • Susan Bewley May 23, 2016 at 11:05 am - Reply

      Yeah, that is a bit of a downside. What I love about Sentinel Spectrum is that it guarantees you aren’t going to have baby fleas that turn into adults. That is how your house gets infested and you have to start considering flea bombing. That honestly isn’t even something I want to consider!

      I keep my girls on two medications for fleas, but I’m also 100% against topical flea products. They cause more harm than good and our vet scared us pretty well against them.

  23. Maryann Royster May 21, 2016 at 8:30 pm - Reply

    I allways use heartworm medicine year round. I know how important it is to protect them.

  24. Cynthia W May 22, 2016 at 5:17 am - Reply

    Thanks for this. My pets get a shot that lasts for 6 months at a time.

  25. Sandra Watts May 22, 2016 at 10:05 am - Reply

    I always worried about this with my dogs. I would hate to have him go through that. Better just to keep him on medicine for it.

  26. Nancy Burgess May 22, 2016 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Thanks for the informative article we all have to remember year round protection.

  27. Renee Rousseau May 22, 2016 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    Heartworm is a dread disease for dogs! Prevention is best!! Treatment is harsh if your pets get infected.

  28. Sarah L May 22, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    Pretty scary stuff out there for pets. I don’t have any pets right now.

  29. Joanne Frank May 22, 2016 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    thanks for sharing amazing

  30. RT May 22, 2016 at 9:23 pm - Reply

    Sentinel was on some sort of back order for MONTHS at both of our vets. It was State wide – not sure what the issue was. Tried another prescription and it made both dogs vomit, so I only use flea/tick stuff. I worry about parasites and will talk to our vet again.

    • Susan Bewley May 23, 2016 at 11:02 am - Reply

      Try getting a prescription from your vet. Our vet actually doesn’t keep Sentinel Spectrum in stock and I have to get it through Kroger’s pharmacy. They work with a pet drug company that gets it in for us. I hope that helps since I know it is something most us don’t think about. 🙂

      As well, Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart keep normal Sentinel in stock. It is something I didn’t learn until recently and I thought was pretty exciting since our preferred vet is 40 minutes away.

  31. Heather Ramos May 22, 2016 at 11:16 pm - Reply

    Our home is surrounded by woods on two sides, so it is definitely important to conduct parasite prevention year round.. especially with three pups and 3 kids!! It also helps our garden as we don’t like the pesky parasites in our garden either – safer all around. Don’t neglect the winter months as parasites don’t die when the warm weather goes away!

  32. Alicia Hewitt May 23, 2016 at 9:09 am - Reply

    I give my animals protection year round religiously! The treatment for parasites is horrible!!

  33. melissa cushing May 23, 2016 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Thank you for this fabulous and educational post! It is so important to protect our furry family members and your are so lovely! My daughter wants a husky so badly…. they are beautiful dogs! I will be looking into the product you discussed because after the crazy weather we have been having…. I truly believe that this will be the worst year ever for bugs and parasites! Thanks for sharing and spreading the word 🙂

  34. Athena Emmanouilidis May 23, 2016 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Great post! It’s important to keep our furbabies happy and healthy!

  35. Michelle Elizondo May 23, 2016 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I make sure I check my dog after walks!

  36. Cheryl Chervitz May 23, 2016 at 9:03 pm - Reply

    We have always treated ours year round. Better safe than sorry.

  37. Linda Szymoniak May 24, 2016 at 1:04 am - Reply

    I’m involved in rescue and I’ve seen some serious cases of parasites in dogs – to the point where the dogs died (the intestinal worms and fleas drained one puppy so badly that his gums were pale white when I picked him up from the shelter he had been dumped at and drove him to the vet. He didn’t even make it to the vet. I’ve seen others really struggle to survive from the same condition., Some people just don’t understand how serious parasites can be. Furbaby parents need to keep a close eye on their pets for symptoms of parasites and do what they can to prevent them.

    • Susan Bewley May 24, 2016 at 1:07 pm - Reply

      Exactly! I have stayed up and nursed animals that we have rescued, both ourselves and with rescues/shelters I’ve worked with over the years. It is heartbreaking.

  38. sherry butcher May 24, 2016 at 8:40 am - Reply

    This is very good information esp. for new pet owners who have not had the experiences of a long time owner. Thanks for sharing.

  39. Maria Appleby May 24, 2016 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Thanks for a great article! I will share this on my dog’s FB page!

  40. Gloria Walshver May 25, 2016 at 5:54 am - Reply

    This is a very serious thing we have to prevent from happening in dogs.

  41. Pat Schwab May 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the reminder. We found out the hard way that our dog is allergic to flea saliva.

  42. Barrie May 25, 2016 at 5:05 pm - Reply

    We’re boarding our dog next month and the woman says her property has ticks so to make sure our tick product kills them, not just eggs. Never thought to look for that!

  43. Wanda Tracey May 25, 2016 at 5:52 pm - Reply

    If I had a dog I would make sure it was protected.I think this will be a very bad year for parasites and bugs because we had such a long cold sring.Thanks so much for all the valuable information that I can pass on to my friends and family.

  44. Ken May 25, 2016 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    As an accidental cat owner, the news on parasites is timely, indeed! Thanks

  45. Jeevon Kay May 25, 2016 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    thanks for sharing. such an informative post. I have two dogs and these are really helpful.

  46. Kimberly Flickinger May 25, 2016 at 11:54 pm - Reply

    I totally agree with your post. I actually have a reminder in my phone every month to make sure my doxies get their flea stuff and Heartguard.

  47. Mark Chamberlin May 26, 2016 at 3:05 am - Reply

    I find avoiding long grass is the best method!

    • Susan Bewley May 26, 2016 at 8:15 am - Reply

      While I would love to say this would work, it usually doesn’t. Fleas especially love carpet and many parasites live in dirt.

  48. Kara Marks May 26, 2016 at 3:27 am - Reply

    Great info–and great pet pics!

  49. Margot C May 26, 2016 at 4:09 am - Reply

    Good post because this is a big deal. Let me tell ya, you do not want those invaders inside your dog. Here in SoCal where it is warm we cover the pets year-round.

  50. Gina T. May 26, 2016 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Thx for the post and great info. The CAPC website is a great resource. Love your puppies…beautiful 🙂

  51. Gabrielle May 26, 2016 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    I protect my dog all year long. I love him and want him to have a healthy, happy life.

  52. Terry Poage May 26, 2016 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    Heartworm prevention is so important for dogs and even though it’s expensive it’s cheaper then the treatments once they get them if they live through it.

  53. Jodi Hunter May 26, 2016 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this incredible post, we have 5 dogs and I worry about them as much as I do my children.

  54. Laura May 26, 2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Year round heartworm prevention is SO important. Especially in the Southern states. Around here, we say if your dog isn’t on heartworm prevention it’s not a matter of IF your dog will get heartworms, it’s a matter of WHEN. Thank you so much for sharing! 🙂

  55. LeAnn Harbert May 27, 2016 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    I didn’t know it was necessary in winter. I will be using it year round now.

  56. The Char May 27, 2016 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    They are cute. I am going to take them from you.

  57. seem b May 27, 2016 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    very helpful..

  58. Kim Thorne May 27, 2016 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Thank Colchester is something to protect our pets. It’s so frustrating trying to protect our pets from pests.

  59. Hayley May 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    My daughter and myself are allergic to fleas. What that means is when they bite us, the bites swell up to the size of quarters and itch SO BAD. So if we find even one flea in our home we are in trouble. I’ve been through a handful of infestations because flea medication is just so expensive! I think the medications need to be more affordable, fleas are no joke. There was also a time when my felines even contracted hook worms from a flea infestation, it is so important to protect our animals against parasites. I don’t have dogs so I don’t use this particular brand, but I do use Comfortis every few months or so because it’s just so effective that we don’t really need it in between.

  60. Clara Hernandez May 29, 2016 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    New homeowners don’t think about this kind of thing. Thank you!

  61. KateV May 29, 2016 at 8:41 pm - Reply

    While intestinal parasites and fleas are concerning, too, ticks are a much larger concern in my area. My dogs are on both heartworm/internal parasite and flea/tick prevention year round. Most vets also request a stool sample at the annual physical to check for internal parasites. Many types of worms are hard to see in stool, but can still be present in your pet and can be spread to others- even to owners. So it’s a good idea to test at least yearly, and use preventatives year round.

  62. Nancy Hilderbrand May 31, 2016 at 6:02 am - Reply

    I remember when we rinsed our animals in kerosene for ticks and such. I am so glad times have changed.

  63. Christina Moore May 31, 2016 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Thank you for the post and tips

  64. Natalie May 31, 2016 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    I learned a lot from this post! I protect my dog from heartworms but need to protect him from other parasites too!

  65. Lisa F. June 1, 2016 at 2:27 pm - Reply

    I typically stop the flea prevention for my dogs once it hits hard winter. However, I keep them on heartworm prevention all year. I’m not willing to risk such a health issues as heartworms.

  66. Lauryn R June 1, 2016 at 5:13 pm - Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this very helpful information! I definitely think it’s very important for everyone to be aware that pets need parasite prevention even in the Winter.

  67. Margaret Vasut June 1, 2016 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    My pets are always protected, but thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  68. Deb P June 1, 2016 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    We use these products to help our pets stay healthy.

  69. nickie June 2, 2016 at 8:10 am - Reply

    Thanks for sharing important information! Thanks for the reminder

  70. Katherine Riley June 2, 2016 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    So very important to keep the dogs on preventative treatment all year long. Virbac Sentinel Spectrum sounds like a great way to care for your dog.

  71. Nancy June 3, 2016 at 7:37 am - Reply

    Year round parasite prevention is important because we love our pets. It is easier to prevent a problem that try to repair it after it happens. Better safe than sorry!

  72. Robin Abrams June 3, 2016 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I love my pets so we get year round treatments to keep them healthy. I love the Sintinel

  73. jules m. June 3, 2016 at 10:33 am - Reply

    great post, its so important to get dogs on treatments all year round. i live in a marshy area on the coast so we have pests year round.

  74. Cathleen @ A Taste Of Madness June 3, 2016 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    I don’t personally have dogs, but I know so many people who do! This is great info!

  75. Marcos Batac June 3, 2016 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Thanks for info love pets

  76. Marcos Batac June 3, 2016 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Thanks for info, love pets

  77. Jaime Cummings June 3, 2016 at 8:36 pm - Reply

    I’m so glad I read this article. I need year round protection for my three dogs and I have tried all the over-the-counter products. They don’t work, not here in FL. I’m going to ask my vet for this product on Monday when I take my puppy in for shots. Thank you!!

  78. Emily Endrizzi June 4, 2016 at 1:02 am - Reply

    We use Sentinel Flavor Tabs for both of our dogs. It works very well for us and bee have not had any problems. I love that they come in pill form so I don’t have to squirt anything on their fur.

  79. Carolsue Anderson June 4, 2016 at 3:16 am - Reply

    I know how important this is. My daughter is a Vet Tech and she has told me of some of the horrors she sees on pets who suffer from these parasites. Take good care of your pet!
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  80. joe gersch June 4, 2016 at 4:41 am - Reply

    I did not know that fleas in your home for up to a year. I guess treatment and prevention are really important

  81. michele soyer June 4, 2016 at 9:38 am - Reply

    If you have dogs or cats the most important thing you can do for their health after nutrition is the worming you must do on schedule. Worms and other parasites are such a blight on your pets and they can suffer greatly and often pass away.. Great post..≥thank you….

  82. desiree June 4, 2016 at 1:59 pm - Reply

    your dogs are great models my dogs use flea tick nd parasites

  83. Rebecca Deselle June 4, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

    I am so thankful to have come across this post. I was not aware of many different parasites, and have had my own dilemma with the roundworms with my dog, but didn’t realize how much more that I need to be aware and up to par with. Thank you for sharing!

  84. Laurie Nykaza June 5, 2016 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    Its so important to not get fleas I now have Bartonella from my pets from them getting fleas . You have to keep them treated so they dont get fleas then you wont catch it.

  85. Pam H. June 6, 2016 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    I agree that year-round parasite prevention is a must! P.S., I love the dogs used in this post.

  86. Judy Thomas June 7, 2016 at 5:27 am - Reply

    It must be awful for them to suffer from parasites.

  87. Britt Cagle June 7, 2016 at 4:01 pm - Reply

    I need to be more aware of my pets and what they can get besides fleas and ticks.

  88. ellen beck June 25, 2016 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    I have 5 cats and one dog along with socializing ferals. I use protection all year round and isolate those who are new. It only takes one time and you learn quickly!

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