I heard that heartworms are a mild problem in S. California, and some people give their dog Heartguard, some don't. What do you guys think? Is it neccassry? This will help me determine if I want to start my puppy on a monthly preventative.

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Yes, it's cheap and necessary. You can also looking into other alternatives like sentinal, revolution...etc.
yes!! it is very important. your pup can get heart worm even from fleas(that have bitten other dogs with HW and jumped off) even in the winter i am still going to give teddy his heart worm medicine. if your pup does get HW it will be very hard/risky to get rid off and not to mention is very expensive. there is a wide variety of prevenatives to choose from. i give teddy ive heart as it along with the HW prevention it also deworms him form the nasty parasites plus its cheap! on $45 for a year supply. just google some brands and there will be a lot to choose form:) but please be warned do not get the HW shot. it has been recalled a ton of times and dosnt last the full 6months. its even more expensive than the once a month. i wish u luck with you puppy:) and i must say, very cute!!
I would still suggest a heartworm preventative even if you're in a low risk area. It's just not worth the risk over $50/year worth of meds IMO. Treatment for heartworm can be extremely expensive and very miserable for the dog.

I use Heartgard plus and have been happy with it so far.
YES! Prevention is much cheaper than treatment. Also, if you don't catch heartworm in time your dog will die from either the disease or the treatment so it is well worth it to give the once a month tablet even if you aren't in an area of high concern. It only takes one bite from an infected mosquito so why risk it? Your dog is probably more likely to get heartworm than rabies but you would never risk skipping a rabies vaccine would you?
Just google heartworm and that will show you what a little preventive medicine can stop. Sami thinks she gets a treat and now so does Bomber....wish all medicine was that easy to give! It is excellent that you are checking things out your a good fur baby parent. Your pup is adorable.
Thank you everyone for your responses! I want to make sure our puppy has the best care possible. When I called the vet to make an appointment for a general check up the day I pick up my puppy (which will be tomorrow, yay!), I asked about blood tests, and the receptionist said it wasn't necessary, but he can get started on Heartgard, and she gave me some information about it. I came here to make sure that she just wasn't trying to sell me a product. I will definitely get my puppy started on a preventative. You guys have all been so helpful! I really appreciate the community, and I'm sure my puppy will too!
although there is low instance of it in SoCal, at the vet I work for we recommend it to all our clients because a lot of the hurricane katrina dogs that came here were heartworm positive, and had fleas which can carry the virus. It never hurts to be OVERPROTECTIVE with animals' health, we have to feed and care for them properly if we want to see them live their lives to the fullest! It's inexpensive and puts your mind at ease, you know? I prefer revolution, personally, because it's an all in one solution to pet pests...

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