How often you should worm your dog is a very common question. However, not everyone will give you the same answer. One thing is for sure though, regular worming of your dog is necessary to keep your dog and the rest of your family healthy. Now, how you should interpret ‘regular’ might depend on the age of your dog and the environment you live in. Below an outline of what you need to know about how often you should worm your dog.
Why You Should Worm Your Dog
Worming should be a regular part of your dog’s health routine. Dogs that are infected with worms can become seriously ill and in some extreme cases even cause death.
The reason why vets recommend that your pooch is wormed regularly is that dogs don’t always show signs of being infected with worms. Often, you will only notice the signs when the infestation has already spread. Scroll down to read the signs of a dog suffering from worms.
Also, worms are very resilient parasites. It is possible for a dog who has just had a round of worming to become infected again. Dogs can be infected through their environment and through contact with other dogs. Through regular worming, you will keep the infestation from spreading.
Signs of Worm Infection
Although it can sometimes be hard to tell whether your dog has worms, there are a few very telling signs. If you notice these signs, visit your vet so she can prescribe you the appropriate medication.
- Worms inside their stool
- Weight loss, usually combined with extreme appetite
- Distended stomach or potbelly
- Dry skin and coat
Worms can also cause internal damage. Lungworms, for example, will infect the lungs which cause difficulty breathing or even blood clots. Fortunately, lungworms are a less common occurrence in the UK.
It is interesting to know that your dog can have worms without showing any symptoms. This simply means that the worms have not bred and spread yet. By regular worming, you will stop the worms in their tracks and save your furry buddy from these symptoms. Wouldn’t you much rather be safe than sorry?
The Common Culprits
There are two types of worms that are the most common culprits in doggie worm infections. These are tapeworms (Dipylidium species) and roundworms (Toxocara canis).
Tapeworms are generally only found in adult dogs and only rarely in puppies. These are the kind that looks like tiny pieces of rice joined together.
Tapeworms come from fleas so if your dog is prone to fleas then there is a greater risk of tapeworms too. Take care to prevent fleas during the warmer months with a flea collar or other preventative measures. During flea season, check your dog for fleas daily and be sure to do a worming as well.
Roundworms mostly infect puppies. This parasite will come into contact with your pups through their environment. This can be from infected food waste, old poop or other infected animals.
This is the kind of worm that can be passed on from your dog to you. Especially young children are susceptible to this worm. This makes it extra important to worm your puppies and to practice good hygiene.
Aside from these two worms, there are worms that are found less often. These are heartworms, lungworms, whipworms and hookworms. If you think that your dog has a case of worms then you should let your vet confirm which worm it is before giving Bello medicine.
How Often Should You Worm Puppies?
Puppies are more susceptible to worms because of two reasons. The first one is that their immune systems are not as developed yet. Thus, catching worms from their environment or from eating things they shouldn’t pose a greater risk for little pups.
The second reason is that puppies can be infected by worms through their mother. An infected mother can pass on worms while she is still pregnant. The worms will reach the unborn pups through their mother’s bloodstream. Once they are born, puppies can also catch worms from their mother while nursing. The parasites can be passed on through milk. Ask your vet for suitable worm medicine when you have a pregnant bitch to prevent contaminating the puppies.
Puppies need worming every two weeks between the ages of three weeks and 12 weeks. Then, worm your young one month until the pooch is about six months old.
How Often Should You Worm Adult Dogs?
For adult dogs, a worming every three to six months is recommended. This interval might differ depending on how likely the dog is to get infected.
For routine worming, you can choose to use broad-spectrum worming medicine. These are readily available at pet shops. However, if your dog is already showing symptoms of worms, it is best to take your rascal to the vet. Worms are quite resilient so if the infection already spread then broad spectrum medicine might not be enough. The vet will prescribe worming medicine that specifically targets the worm.
There is no reason for senior dogs to be wormed less often. In fact, like with puppies, senior dogs might no longer have the strongest immune system. Continue worming your old timer a few times a year. If you’re concerned about how the medicine will affect his other health conditions then you can ask your vet to prescribe one.
When it comes to your dog’s health, the vet knows best. If you are concerned that your dog may have contracted worms, let the vet do a check-up. However, a visit to the vet can be pricey so preventative measures are important too. Give your adult dog worming medicine every three to six months but more frequently for your pups. Don’t let your dog eat any food waste and be extra careful during flea season. These tips on worming should help you keep your dog happy and healthy, without little critters creating havoc inside his body.