Pet owners should give their animals worming tablets on a monthly basis, it has been claimed.
Kristin Levine, special correspondent, expressed her belief that worming treatments can help prevent worms and avoid trips to the vet.
She told Tamba Bay Online: "Using a monthly heartworm preventative that also protects against other worms is a good way to avoid a problem.
"Prompt treatment of internal parasites means less discomfort for your pet and less chance of intestinal damage. It also decreases the chance your pet will infect humans or other animals."
Ms Levine added that animal owners should, however, visit their vet if they notice a change in their pet's appetite and coat or if their pet develops diarrhoea.
Vets can then test for the presence of intestinal worms, while they can also look for heartworms with a simple blood test.
Heartworm can also be treated with a monthly dose of worming tablets, she added.