Parasites and the havoc they can wreak don’t take a vacation, so your preventative shouldn’t either. In this month’s post I’ll go over the importance of year round parasite prevention and how once-monthly Virbac® Sentinel® Spectrum® can conveniently and affordably prevent against the six most common types of parasites.
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. More information about Sentinel Spectrum. Virbac is not responsible for the content of this article.
The Importance of Year Round Monthly Prevention
As I mentioned in my first Sentinel Spectrum post, I learned the hard way that fleas are no longer just a summer problem. I dealt with a flea infestation that just wouldn’t quit in the middle of January! I’ve since learned the reason why – the fleas you can see are only a small portion of the overall flea population.  The fleas you can’t see can live in your home for up to a year before they find a host (ie. your dog). Year round prevention is necessary to prevent a nasty surprise infestation.
The same goes for heartworms. Mosquitoes capable of transmitting heartworms can be found in most areas across the United States, and transmission can occur any time mosquitoes are active and feeding.  Sentinel Spectrum deworms your dog every 30 days to kill any parasites they may have come into contact with the previous month.
This parasite prevalence map from the Companion Animal Parasite Council allows you to see the infection risk for a variety of different parasites. You can drill down even further and look at the infection risk for your particular state or county.
As you can see, even though my state of Illinois has a moderate risk, my particular county is high-risk for heartworms, with 1 out of 52 dogs testing positive.
Compliance is Key
Why are heartworm cases so prevalent even though it’s preventable? One significant reason is compliance. Only a percentage of dog owners use a heartworm preventative and only a percentage of those will receive the full recommended dose. 
When I spoke to a spokesperson from Sentinel Spectrum she told me that their goal in creating Sentinel Spectrum was to increase compliance. They have achieved this in two ways: firstly, one monthly beef flavored chew prevents against the 6 most common types of parasites including fleas and heartworm. Secondly, it is cost effective.
Sentinel Spectrum made a conscious effort to make their product affordable so that more dogs go home with more doses. Having researched many heartworm and flea preventatives in the past, I was actually shocked that it beat the price of some other medications that prevented against fewer parasites! Plus, they have a standard rebate of $10 for 6 doses and $25 for 12 doses when you purchase through your participating veterinarian.
Compliance is also easier when your dog looks forward to their monthly “treat”. Sentinel Spectrum partnered with McCormick Spice Company and worked for 15 years to perfect their beef chew.
And if you need even more of a reminder (ah, yes please – scatterbrain here!) Sentinel offers a free email or text reminder every month.
Tell Us What You Know
Finally, I encourage everyone to take this quick reader survey about your intestinal parasite knowledge (hopefully this post has helped!). Sentinel Spectrum will be compiling the results into an infographic I’ll share next month, so the more responses the better.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Virbac® Sentinel® Spectrum®. The opinions and text are all mine.