The What, Who, When, Why, and How’s of Deworming Dogs
As the name suggests, deworming is a procedure done to eradicate parasitic worms that have made their way inside the body. Most of these pests not only pose a threat to the lives of pets but their owners as well. For that reason, deworming is definitely not something you should skip when you bring home a new furry family member.
Since parasitic worms can be passed from an infected mother dog to her puppies through the placenta and breast milk, it’s highly recommended that young dogs undergo routine deworming. However, it’s common for adult and senior dogs to become infected, too. Owners simply have to be observant and report signs of a worm infestation, such as vomiting, coughing, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and licking under the tail, to their vet right away. Like any form of treatment, deworming is most effective when done early.
Who Can Deworm Dogs?
Most dog owners take their dogs to the vet for deworming, but you may also deworm your dog at home. However, for your dog’s safety, talk to your veterinarian before buying any kind of dewormer and giving it to your dog.
Your veterinarian can help you assess your dog’s condition and figure out which type of deworming medication will work best. In addition, they can give you instructions on proper administration and dosing frequency to ensure the effectiveness of the treatment.
When Should Dogs Be Dewormed?
For puppies, deworming should start when they reach the age of 2 to 3 weeks. It’s normally done every two weeks until they reach the age of 12 weeks. After that, puppies are usually put on a monthly worm preventative medication until they’re 6 months old. Beyond that, they’ll only need to be dewormed every 6 months.
For adult dogs, deworming should be done every 6 months. However, if dog owners suspect that their dog has worms, they shouldn’t hesitate to contact their veterinarian right away. If you want to make sure your dog stays protected at all times, you can also ask your veterinarian about monthly worm preventatives that you can administer at home.
Why Should Dogs Be Dewormed?
One of the main reasons why it’s so important for dogs to be dewormed is because worm infestations can lead to serious complications, such as intestinal blockage, anemia, and blindness. In some cases, it can even cause death.
As if that’s not horrible enough, some parasitic worms, including roundworms and hookworms, can also be passed from dogs to humans and cause a number of health concerns. So by deworming your canine companion, you’re not only protecting them but also yourself and your family.
How Are Dogs Dewormed?
Deworming medications come in different forms, strengths, and doses. To know which one to use, your veterinarian will need to consider your dog’s age, size, and health status, as well as the species of the worm they contracted. To confirm the type of worm present in your dog’s body, you may be asked to bring a sample of their feces or vomit. Your veterinarian may also take a sample of your dog’s blood.
After the evaluation process, your dog will receive their deworming medication either through a pill or a shot. After a few weeks, your veterinarian may have you bring your dog in for a checkup to see if your pup is officially worm-free or in need of another round of deworming. Since deworming medications only work against adult worms, re-dosing is often done to eliminate newly hatched worm eggs and larvae.