These are some of the excuses we hear from people when they say their dog isn't on heartworm prevention:

1) He/she's not around other dogs so he/she isn't going to get worms and I haven't seen worms in the feces. 

Our answer - It's intestinal worms he can get from other dogs, not heartworms and no you aren't going to see heartworms in his poop because they live in the heart!

2) The vet didn't tell me anything about this.

Our answer - I really find this hard to believe.  99.9% of Veterinarians and Vet Techs alike give the heartworm speech and when you decline it they annotate that in your record.  Oh, and by the way, apparently you need a new vet. 

3) I can't afford it.

Our answer -  If you can't afford heartworm prevention then you have no business having a dog. Heartworm prevention runs anywhere from $4.27-17.33 a month. The higher priced ones also prevent other things such as fleas, ticks, intestinal worms, sarcoptic mange, etc.   If you can't properly take care of a dog you should not have one. Giving it food and water does not constitute proper care of a dog. 

4) We don't have heartworms here.

Our answer - We hear this comment from people who live in the upper states of the west coast. If you look at a map showing heartworm incidence per reporting clinic is does appear to be lower than the Midwest.  However, because it is so low, how many clinics are actually testing for heartworms? And if they don't test, they won't be reporting anything, will they? Additionally, so many people travel with their pets that if heartworm positive dogs are traveling to that part of the country and bitten by mosquitoes, the mosquitoes could then infect the local dogs.

5)  He/she never goes out of the house.

Our answer - Glad we don't live in your house it must smell pretty bad.

6) He/she doesn't go outside except to go potty. 

Our answer - so while he's out going potty he won't get bit by a mosquito because he isn't out long enough? If you are outside at all you are out long enough. And mosquitoes do get into my house, maybe I am the only one that happens to?

BOTTOM LINE - If you own dogs, PLEASE keep them on heartworm prevention year round. Heartworm is a serious disease and left untreated WILL kill your dog.