GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. A word of caution to dog owners - just because colder weather is here, doesn't mean you can let you guard down when it comes to keeping your pet safe.
Between testing and preventative treatment, for a small dog it costs less than$200 a year to keep your dog heartworm free.
But for that same size dog, the price can jump up quickly.
"Once it gets heartworm, its going to cost you at least a minimum of $900 dollars up," says Roice Hurst Animal Care Manager, Lea Owens. "It's much easier to keep your dog tested and on a preventative, than it is to treat it."
Heartworm is transmitted by mosquitoes, and although the pests are hiding from the cold, without preventative treatment your dog could be suffering.
Experts say it take six months for a worm to enter the dog's bloodstream and make it's way to the heart.