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Worming your pet is an incredibly important part of being a responsible pet owner. By worming regularly and picking up after your cat or dog, you can help decrease the spread of worm eggs, and the risk of infection to other pets and people.
While is it true that some pets, particularly adult cats and dogs, will show very few if any signs or symptoms of a worm infestation, it doesn’t mean they don’t have worms. And it certainly doesn’t mean you should give up worming all together.
There are three key reasons why you should worm your pet regularly:
1. To protect your pet
Sticking to a regular worming routine helps keep your pet healthy, and prevents a serious worm infestation from taking hold. Adult cats and dogs should be dewormed at least once every three months to keep them worm-free. If you struggle to keep track of when you last wormed your pet, you can sign up to Beaphar’s Worming Reminder Service, which will send you an email when your pet’s worming treatment is due.
In kittens and puppies, roundworms in particular are especially dangerous, with infestations potentially leading to serious illness or even death. This is why it is essential to worm new-borns and their mothers every two weeks – you can speak to your vet or pet retailer for further information on worming pregnant or nursing mothers and their young.
2. To protect your family
Certain worms are classed as ‘zoonotic’, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans. The dog roundworm, Toxocara canis, and the cat roundworm, Toxocara cati, are probably the best known of these. Human infection may occur if a person swallows the microscopic worm eggs, having picked them up from the environment. Roundworm infestations in people can cause blindness. They’ve also been linked to asthma and other conditions in children.
Making sure you empty your cat’s litter tray, clean up after your dog and wash your hands after doing so will help protect your family from worms and other diseases. Worm eggs in fresh faeces are not infective to either pets or people, so there is no need to worry about or avoid picking it up.
Doing this alongside maintaining a regular worming routine will help reduce the risk of human contamination and infestation.
3. To protect the environment
Most worm eggs are released back into the environment via pet faeces. Sticking to a regular worming routine and picking up after your pet soon after they’ve toileted will mean less worm eggs are released into the environment.
This means that other people and their pets are less likely to pick up worm eggs, helping reduce the spread of worms.
The two most common worms that affect cats and dogs in the UK are roundworm and tapeworm. So, these are the two you definitely want to deal with.
Beaphar WORMclear® kills both these worms and is effective in one simple dose. It is a vet-strength wormer that is available from your pet shop and online, meaning it is both effective and easy to get, no appointment or prescription is necessary.
If you are travelling abroad with your pet, they may be at risk from other types of worms, so you should make sure you choose a suitable product. Speak to your vet if you are unsure.
For more advice on choosing the right wormer, click here.