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Dogs can get infested with worms at any age, even before they are born. The most common ways an adult dog may become infested with worms are:
All puppies are likely to become infested with worms in the womb or via their mother’s milk.Healthy adult dogs have a strong
immune response, and so worms are often diverted to the muscles where they form dormant, harmless cysts. Pregnancy reduces
the effectiveness of the mother’s immune system, which allows the worm larvae to be released from the cysts. They are
then passed to the puppies, either by travelling across the placenta or during nursing.
Stopping your dog from getting worms is near impossible. But, it is easy to help reduce the risk and spread of worms:
Pick up after your dog
Worm eggs need to ‘mature’ for up to two weeks before they become infective, so ‘scooping the poop’ should be carried out immediately. This reduces the amount of worm eggs in the environment, thus reducing the risk to pets and people.
Wash your hands after handling faeces or soil
Following good hygiene practices minimises the spread of bacteria. It also reduces the chance of you and others from picking
up worms from your dog or other pets.
Adopt a regular worming routine
The easiest way to stop your dog developing a worm infestation is through regular worming. Missing a worming treatment or failing to worm puts your dog at risk of worms and other related health problems. It also increases the risk of infestation to other people and their pets.
Adult dogs should be wormed at least once every three months. Fortunately, protecting your dog and your family from worms can be as easy as 1, 2, 3. Effective and affordable wormers, such as Beaphar WORMclear®, are available without prescription from your local pet shop and online.
Nursing bitches and puppies should be wormed mored more frequently than adult dogs. It is recommended that worming takes place every two weeks until the puppies are 12 weeks old. Once the puppies are 12 weeks old and the bitch is no longer nursing, they can all be wormed once every three months. As young dogs are still growing and developing, some vets recommend you worm once a month until they are 6 months old. Thereafter, you can worm your dog once every three months.
Before beginning the treatment you must check your worming product is suitable for nursing bitches and puppies. For additional advice about worming pregnant or nursing bitches, or puppies, speak to your pet retailer or vet.
Check out our blog – Choosing the right wormer for your cat or dog – to help you pick the right wormer for your dog.
The signs and symptoms of worms in dogs are hard to spot. Often there very few or no outward symptoms of worms in dogs, so
an infestation can occur without you realising.
One of the most common symptoms of worms you may notice is what appears to be grains of rice in your dog’s faeces or stuck to the fur around their bottom. These ‘grains of rice’ are segments of tapeworm, and signify the presence of a worm infestation. The most common type of tapeworm is transmitted by fleas, so worming alone will not solve the problem. You need to treat your dog regularly with an effective flea treatment as well.
Check out our blog – Symptoms of worms in cats and dogs – to find out what other symptoms of worms you should be looking out for.
Humans can also become infected with worms. This has been linked to blindness and even asthma, especially in children. This
is why worming your dog regularly and picking up their faeces is so important.