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Health & Wellness

Interceptor Plus: Can it benefit your dog?

Learn the potential side effects of Interceptor Plus.

Worms, in all their varieties, including hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, roundworms and heartworms, are unpleasant to think about but can also harm a dog’s health. And if you’ve spotted them in your dog’s stool or if you want to be prepared when it comes to prevention — we have a tip for you. There’s a simple, vet-recommended way to protect your pup against worms while giving them a monthly, delicious treat.

Keep reading to learn about preventing parasitic worms from affecting your pup (while rewarding your dog with a monthly treat). It’s the best of both worlds for them. 

What is Interceptor Plus for dogs?

Interceptor Plus is a preventive medication veterinarians typically prescribe to stop parasitic worms from affecting your pup. According to Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch's on-staff veterinarian, pet parents should give this heartworm preventive and deworming medication once a month, year-round. And these treats are flavored, so your pup probably won't shy away from eating them.

Interceptor Plus side effects

Veterinarians recommend that dogs take heartworm preventatives, regardless of what brand, their entire life, so it's essential to find a brand that doesn't cause your pup to experience negative side effects. 

“Side effects of Interceptor Plus are rare but include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, ataxia, which is incoordination, weakness, drooling and seizure-like activity,” Dr. McCullough explains. 

If your pup is negatively reacting to Interceptor Plus, Dr. McCullough recommends contacting your veterinarian or bringing your dog to an emergency veterinary hospital as soon as possible. Unfortunately, however, there's always a chance your dog will experience an adverse reaction to medications. 

It's smart to have a pet emergency preparedness plan in place to help serve as a guidebook during emergencies just in case of a poor reaction. Here are some ways to be prepared:

  • Write down the phone numbers for poison control, local 24-hour emergency pet hospitals and animal ambulances in your area.
  • Put together a pet emergency kit including latex gloves, an information card with your vet’s address and phone number and towels.
  • Practice for emergencies by familiarizing your pet with riding in the car.
  • Enroll in dog insurance early on so you'll be prepared for an unexpected emergency (and an expensive vet bill).

RELATED: Can I give my dog Advil?

How much Interceptor Plus should dogs take?

Every dog is different, and your vet will therefore suggest varying Interceptor Plus serving-size recommendations, Dr. McCullough says. However, veterinarians usually determine the proper medication dosage based on a dog's weight. 

If Interceptor Plus isn't a great match for your pup (especially if they experience a negative reaction), talk to your veterinarian about alternatives. There are many heartworm prevention and deworming options, like Sentinel, another brand that prevents parasitic worms from harming dogs. 

The Dig, Fetch Pet Insurance's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

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