How often should you deworm your dog?
We are often asked how many times you should worm your dog. To answer this you must know why you should worm your dog and also against which worms. In this article, we answer the most frequently asked questions when it comes to worming a dog.
Why should you deworm a dog?
This is perhaps the most important question to ask first. Of course, you worm your dog because you want your dog to have no worms as they can cause health issues. For example, an animal can get diarrhoea, cough problems and lose weight due to a worm infestation. Another important reason to deworm your dog is the fact that worms that occur in your dog can also be transmitted to humans. So you also worm your dog for yourself, your family and your living environment, to reduce the chance of worm infection in humans.
Worms that can occur in your dog are roundworms, tapeworms, and lungworms.
For humans, roundworms are especially dangerous because the larvae of these worms migrate through the body and end up in the eyes, brain and spinal cord. If the larvae pass through the lungs, bronchitis symptoms can arise. The fox tapeworm is also harmful to humans, because of the cysts that can form in the liver and lungs.
How many times a year should you deworm a dog?
How often you should deworm a dog will depend on some factors. This can therefore differ per animal. In any case, you should think about the dog's living environment, food and behaviour. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your dog come into contact with other dogs or potentially contaminated environments, such as parks, playgrounds and sandpits?
- Is your dog eating raw meat?
- Does your dog eat snails?
- Does your dog hunt or eat birds or other small animals?
- Do you live in an area where the fox tapeworm occurs?
Depending on the above questions, your dog can be classified into a risk group. The worming frequency can therefore vary from 1-2 x per year against roundworms for when your dog does not go out much and has no contact with other animals, to 12 x a year against both roundworms and tapeworms in high-risk dogs. Looking for a convenient way to find out how often to deworm a dog? Then use our worming guide.
If you are looking for more general advice, it is wise to worm all dogs 4 times a year. This can make a difference to the level of contamination of the environment with worm eggs. This means that the chance that other animals and people will become infected with worms is much smaller. It is important to treat all animals in a household at the same time.
How can I tell if my dog has worms?
You certainly can't always tell that your dog has worms. With a severe tapeworm infection, you can sometimes see tapeworm pieces around the anus. These then look like grains of rice. It is then important to check your dog for fleas because this is an important carrier of tapeworm. You often do not see another worm infection on the outside. The symptoms that your dog may show (for example, diarrhoea or coughing) are often not very specific. A stool examination can confirm a worm infestation. You can have this done by your vet.
How often and with what should puppies be dewormed?
Up to the age of 6 months you should worm puppies more often than adult dogs. The advice is to worm both mother dogs and puppies every 2 weeks from 2 weeks of age until 2 weeks after weaning. From then on monthly until they are 6 months old. From that moment on, the worming guide can be used to determine the worming frequency.[ /p] [p]Pups fall into a different category than adult dogs when it comes to worming. Puppies can get more complaints from a worm infestation and also become infected more easily. They can be infected in the womb if the mother dog has worms. Also by suckling. Make sure you use products that are suitable for puppies.
How fast does a worm treatment for dogs work?
A worm treatment works as long as it is in the intestines. There it kills the adult worms and often also some preliminary stages (larvae). Because very young larvae are often not killed, it may be necessary to repeat the treatment after 2-3 weeks. It is useful if you know in advance whether your dog really has worms. Once the worming agent is excreted, the effect is also gone. You should therefore also take into account that a dog can easily re-infect itself. Dogs that therefore have a high risk of being infected by eating raw meat, hunting, having a lot of contact with other dogs, etc. must therefore be dewormed very regularly. The worming guide can help you with this.
Sometimes you can find worms in your dog's faeces after deworming, but you don't always see this.
Can my dog get sick from the deworming?
Always keep in mind that a dog can react to the dewormer. Usually, we see issues such as vomiting or diarrhoea. If your dog vomits after giving the tablet or paste, contact your vet to discuss whether it is necessary to repeat the treatment, with or without a different product.
Some dog breeds are less resistant to certain active substances in dewormers. These dogs can even show brain symptoms. This concerns dog breeds that have a risk of a certain gene defect, called the MDR1 gene defect. Dogs prone to this defect include Collies, Australian Shepherds, Australian Cattle Dogs, German Shepherds, Bobtails, White Swiss Shepherds, and certain Greyhound breeds.
How do I give worming products to my dog?
The worming products for dogs are often tablets or a paste that you have to give in 1 go, or sometimes for 2-3 days. You give these drugs in the mouth. It often doesn't matter whether you give it with or without food. This usually depends on the ease with which you can give medication to your dog. Always read the package leaflet carefully.
What can I do myself to prevent worm infection?
There are a number of measures that you can take yourself, in addition to regularly worming your dog, to reduce or even prevent the risk of worm infection in your animal, but also in yourself, your family and your environment:
- Clean up your dog's poop as much as possible. Dispose of it with the residual waste or in the special garbage cans for dog waste. DO NOT put it in the vegetable waste or on the compost heap and do not flush it down the sewer. Any worm eggs could eventually return to the environment.
- Cover a sandbox when not in use and do not let your dog defecate in a children's playground. Replace the sand in the sandbox 1-2 times a year.
- Wash your hands regularly and teach your children this too. Be sure to wash your hands before eating.
- Wear gloves if you work in the garden.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.
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