5 Simple Heartworm Prevention Tips for Heartworm Awareness Month

This post is sponsored by Vectra® 3D, but all thoughts, opinions, and cute pet photos are 100% my own.

Now that it's Heartworm Awareness Month, make it also Heartworm Prevention Month and put these 5 simple tips to use for your furry friends! #ad #Vectra3DDog

Right now, I’m really loving the warm weather, perhaps more than most!

I live for reading in the sun, with sunscreen of course, going for bike rides and ice cream – and sometimes bike rides TO ice cream, and being outdoors. Think of the ways we protect ourselves during the warmer months. We wear sunscreen on any exposed skin. There’s bug spray and tick repellant and sunglasses and visors. My kids have rashguard clothing, itch cream, and bandages. We are always thinking of warm weather safety, as much as we are thinking of warm weather. It’s just one of the ways that we live and love and play all spring and summer long. That’s why it’s important to do the same for pets.

Athena likes to be outdoors as much as we do. If Cassidy is gardening, she’s trotting alongside him, and quite often taking off into the woods. If I’m outside reading in the sun or shade, she’s exactly where I am too – the shade to my sun, or the warmth to my shade. New England is chock full of unwanted bugs and that’s why I’m choosing to honor Heartworm Awareness Month right now, and making it also – Heartworm Prevention Month. And this is something that should go on all year long. That’s why I compiled a list of 5 simple and important heartworm prevention for you to use for spring/summer.

1 – Good food. I think happiness and good health begins with diet for pets as much as humans. If your dog is consistently getting good food, that’s one big thing keeping your dog healthy, and not a breeding ground for heartworm.

2 – Schedule your annual checkup. We go once every 12 months, but if I have concerns, I make more appointments.

3 – Make sure your dog is well hydrated, even more so in the warmer months.

4 – Take your dog for regular walks. This promotes longer and healthier lives. Dawn and dusk are active times of day for many biting animals. Once they start buzzing around, we generally go inside and take Athena inside too.

5 – Use a monthly preventative. Vectra® 3D for Dogs is a fast and effective monthly topical. It kills and repels mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, lice, biting flies and mites* before they bite your dog. I love that it’s fast, effective, and easy to apply too!

Vectra® 3D kills fleas in four hours, and repels ticks before they can attach to dogs and take a blood meal. It repels and kills biting flies, sand flies and mites*. I haven’t seen a single insect on Athena since we started using it. It’s so easy. You use the applicator to part your dog’s fur at the base of her tail and you apply the product in a continuous line from the base of the tail along the center of her back, and up to her shoulder blades. You squeeze the applicator tube until it’s empty, but make sure you avoid superficial application to her fur. Make sure you don’t use it on cats!

Then, re-apply in one month! I keep it on my Google calendar what day of the month to use Vectra® 3D. What I love is that I’m using Vectra® 3D and also Athena’s monthly heartworm preventative so that I’m giving her a Double Defense against heartworm disease. This is the Double Defense Heartworm Protocol: Use Vectra® 3D to kill and repel mosquitoes on the outside. Then use a heartworm preventative to kill heartworm larvae on the inside. You can rest assured your dog is doubly protected.

Just a reminder that you never use Vectra® 3D on cats. Vectra® 3D is available through your veterinarian. To find it near you, visit https://www.vectrapet.com/us/Home/Tools/Find-a-Vectra-vet. Visit https://fightheartwormnow.com/double-defense-heartworm-protection/ for more heartworm info.

Do you have any heartworm prevention tips?

*excluding manage mite

7 Tips to Support Your Child’s Mental Health

The list of mental health issues that can affect your child is a long one and each person is unique in the way that these pressure affect them and how they cope or fail to contend with these traumatic circumstances and pressures.

Mental health is an important topic to me.

I can honestly say that I think my childhood mental health was supported, as much as possible, after I suffered a terrible tragedy. After my father passed away suddenly, my mom took me to a therapist so that I could talk about my feelings. It was different for my older sister, who acted out in anger and understood the tragedy more than I did. I think I had more of a sense of denial or just misunderstanding. I used to tell my mom that I was tired of my father’s “trip” and that I wanted him home NOW. I still do. I always will, but I’ve grown to understand the trauma better, and to feel thankful for what my mom and then dad (she later remarried) gave to my senses of self, love and belonging. It couldn’t have been an easy feat.

The list of mental health issues that can affect your child is a long one and each person is unique in the way that these pressure affect them and how they cope or fail to contend with these traumatic circumstances and pressures.

I think a lot about Scarlet and Des now. Cassidy’s parents were divorced and my father had passed by the time we were five, which Des is now. Just because we’re a close and relatively happy family unit, does not mean I don’t think about ways I can help support their mental health. There are so many ages and stages and phases and obstacles in life, and kids today have vastly different lives than we had back in the 80’s and 90’s. We didn’t have smartphones and social media and the political climate we have now. Granted, there have always been historical challenges, but there were certain parts of my childhood that were like living in a bubble. We played outside and didn’t know much about the outside world until we were older.

The list of mental health issues that can affect your child is a long one and each person is unique in the way that these pressure affect them and how they cope or fail to contend with these traumatic circumstances and pressures.

In this changing world, there are some things that stay the same. Love. Closeness. Communication. Support. Encouragement. That’s why I made this list of 7 tips to support your child’s mental health. I have to make sure to keep myself in check too:

1 – Give your kids a sense of belonging. It’s essential to their well-being to feel connected to you, and to feel like an important part of a family unit. This promotes trust in others and in themselves. Strong relationships count from the start.

2 – Teach resilience. Adversity is a natural part of life and learning. Life isn’t always easy, so when your children learn that challenges DO happen, and then learn how to overcome them, this promotes good mental health and connectedness.

3 – Give your children a safe school environment with positive learning. Feeling safe is crucial to well-being, as well as learning outside of the home. Teach your kids to respect their teachers and administration, to be responsible and to be KIND. They will learn a lot in school, but so much learning comes from you. Teach them to stand up for friends, look for and perpetuate fairness, and to work with others against bullying. Teach them to reach out to others who seem to need it, and to seek help and guidance from teachers when needed. These are some of the most important education building blocks!

4 – Encourage kindness and helping others. I think that children need to learn about acts of kindness, no matter how small or large, and to know they can make a difference in this world. It helps with connection, positivity, and good mental health.

5 – Teach your kids about physical health. Good physical health can help support good mental health. Teach your children about healthy eating habits, healthy exercise, healthy sleep habits, as well as healthy hygiene habits.

6 – Talk to your children about their emotions. Make sure you have ongoing conversations with them and learn how to be and stay in tune with them, as life happens, and new experiences and obstacles present themselves. YOU are first defense.

7 – Spot the warning signs and know when something is off! This is a few years down the line for us, but this article is a powerful read for me. Mental health issues are a clear and present danger to your child. Know the signs. Be ready. Be there.

The list of mental health issues that can affect your child is a long one and each person is unique in the way that these pressure affect them and how they cope or fail to contend with these traumatic circumstances and pressures.

What’s your favorite tip for supporting your children’s mental health?