Cart --
0 Items in Cart
Your Shopping Cart is Empty
TOGGLE

Using Tri-Heart vs. Heartgard for Dogs

Which Preventative Is Right for You and Your Dog?

By Lauren Leonardi. September 13, 2013 | See Comments

  • expert or vet photo
    vet verified

    PetCareRx Staff Veterinarian

    DVM

Using Tri-Heart vs. Heartgard for Dogs

Let's face it, worms are icky whether they are outside or inside your pet. However, if these parasites get inside, they can cause great harm to both your pet's heart and gastrointestinal tract. Learn more here are about these two preventatives, so you can protect your dog from intestinal parasites.

Most dog owners know: worms can be a serious threat to the health and well being of our beloved pets. To get ahead of these nasty pests, dog owners should use a bit of preventative medicine. Below are descriptions and comparisons of two effective heartworm and internal parasite medications: Tri-Heart vs Heartgard.

WHAT TYPES OF PESTS DO TRI-HEART AND HEARTGARD KILL?

Tri-Heart and Heartgard are both oral medications that are effective at preventing heartworms in dogs.

  • Heartgard protects against heartworms alone.
  • Tri-Heart, as its name implies, protects against three types of parasite: heartworm, roundworm, and hookworm.
  • Both of these medications are effective for parasite prevention and should not be given to your pet if worms are already present.
  • These medications target internal parasites, but do not guard against other pests like fleas or mites.

HOW LONG DOES A DOSE LAST?

Both Tri-Heart and Heartgard are formulated to last for 30 days. They’re both tasty enough that your dogs should eat them readily each month.

SHOULD MY PET BE KEPT INSIDE OR ALONE AFTER THE DOSE?

Tri-Heart and Heartgard are oral medications so you will not need to quarantine your dog or keep your dog inside after administration, as you might have to with spot-on parasite preventatives.

ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?

Both Tri-Heart and Heartgard contain ivermectin. Tri-Heart contains pyrantel as well. These drugs are toxic, and although their intended target is parasites, they can have an effect on your pet’s well being as well.

Common side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, anorexia, depression or lethargy, mydriasis, ataxia, staggering, excess salivation, and convulsions. If any of these side effects present themselves while your dog is taking these medications, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Be sure your dog does not already have a full-stage worm infestation before beginning preventative treatment with these chewable medications. These drugs are for prevention of parasites, not treatment of an existing infestation.

Collies and other herding dogs are especially sensitive to ivermectin. You should discuss alternative options with your veterinarian.

MY PET IS ONLY A FEW WEEKS OLD. CAN I USE TRI-HEART OR HEARTGARD SAFELY?

Tri-Heart and Heartgard are both intended for use with puppies that are at least 6 weeks of age.

MY PET IS PREGNANT OR NURSING. CAN I STILL USE ONE OF THESE MEDICATIONS?

Both Heartgard and Tri-Heart are safe for pregnant female dogs, as well as for both male and female dogs that are to be used for breeding.

Both of these medications are available from your veterinarian by prescription only, so talk to them about using these drugs with your pregnant or breeding dogs.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Ivermectin and pyrantel, the active ingredients in the Heartgard and Tri-Heart medications, work in similar ways.

Ivermectin targets heartworms, and causes paralysis to heartworms in the larval stage. Affected worms are unable to travel toward the dog’s heart, and so they die, unable to reach adulthood.

Pyrantel is a neuromuscular blocker. It, too, causes paralysis -- in roundworms and hookworms. When they become paralyzed, they lose their grip on the dog’s intestines, and are passed in the dog’s stool.

Heartgard and Tri-Heart come in four dosage sizes that are administered to your dog based on their weight.

 

 Application

Pests controlled

 Recommended age of application

 Heartgard

 Oral; 1 month dose by chewable tablet

 Larval heartworms

 6 weeks and older

 Tri-Heart

 Oral; 1 month dose by chewable tablet

 Larval heartworms, intestinal round and hookworms

 6 weeks and older

More on Worms In Dogs

How Testing for Heartworm Changes with Lifecycle
Is Your Dog Eating Poop?
Can People Get Heartworms?

This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian with respect to your pet. It has, however, been verified by a licensed veterinarian for accuracy.

Was this article helpful?