Does my dog have worms?

All dogs, from the time they are born to walking in the park, are susceptible to worms.

Does my dog have worms?

Protecting your dog and your family from worms is essential. 1,495,000 people in the UK are estimated to be living in households where their pet dog is infected with a worm that presents a risk to human health* (ESCCAP). Worm infestations in people are known to sometimes cause blindness. They’ve also been linked to asthma and other serious issues, especially in children.

Fortunately, keeping your dog and your family worm-free is easy:

  • Learn how worms are spread and how to reduce this
  • Know the signs and symptoms of a worm infestation
  • Follow a regular worming routine

How do dogs get infested with worms?

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:

  • Picking up worm eggs from the grass or soil, and ingesting them while grooming
  • Ingesting infected fleas (and occasionally lice)
  • Eating bits of infected dead carcasses, like sheep or rabbits
  • Eating undercooked meat

All puppies are likely to become infested with worms in the womb or via their mother’s milk. Pregnancy reduces the effectiveness of the mother’s immune system, allowing worms to develop and pass to her young.  

How do I stop my dog from getting worms?

Stopping your dog from getting worms is near impossible, but it is easy to help reduce the risk and spread:

  • 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 poo

This good hygiene practice minimises the spread of bacteria, and reduces the chance of you and others from picking up worms.  

  • Adopt a regular worming routine

This is the easiest way to stop a dog worm infestation from taking hold. Missing a worming treatment or failing to deworm at all can result in health problems for your dog. It also increases the risk of infestation to other people and their pets.

How often should I deworm my dog?

Adult dogs should be dewormed at least once every three months. Fortunately, protecting your dog and your family 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 more often 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. You must check a product is suitable for nursing bitches and puppies before commencing treatment. For additional advice about worming pregnant or nursing bitches, contact your vet.

Check out our blog – Choosing the right wormer for your cat or dog – to help you pick the right wormer for your dog.

What are the signs and symptoms of dog worms?

Signs and symptoms of worms are hard to spot. A dog can be home to a worm infestation without their owners knowing because often there very few or no outward symptoms.

One of the most common signs an owner may notice is what appears to be grains of rice in their 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. Tapeworms are transmitted by fleas, so worming alone will not solve the problem. You need to treat your pet with an effective flea treatment as well.

Check out our blog – Worms in cats and dogs: signs and symptoms – to find out what other signs you should be looking out for.

Humans can become infected by worms – this has been linked to blindness and even asthma, especially in children.

You can find out more about our WORMclear® range for your dog or cat by clicking the buttons below.

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