Regular worming is an important part of looking after your dog’s health and well-being, whether you are a seasoned pet parent or you’re just considering welcoming a new furry friend into your family.

Worms are a common problem for dogs, which most will catch at some point throughout their life. Worms can cause your dog suffering, illness and in some severe cases even death. Even healthy-looking dogs are susceptible to worms, so it's important to be vigilant.

How do Dogs get Worms?

Depending on the type of worm, dogs can contract worms by eating worm eggs from contaminated soil or stools, or by eating infected rodents or fleas. Hookworms are often contracted when a dog is grooming its feet and eat the microscopic larvae.

What Types of Worms are There?

There are six types of worms that generally affect dogs:

  • Heartworm
  • Roundworm
  • Hookworm
  • Tapeworm
  • Whipworm
  • Lungworm

The most common worm type is the Roundworm, these live and grow inside the dog’s intestines. In a dog’s adulthood a roundworm can grow reach 3-5” long. They resemble round strings, which you may be able to notice in your dog's faeces or vomit.

Heartworms are the most dangerous type of worm for a dog and are transmitted through mosquito bites. The worms enter the bloodstream of the dog and reach the heart where they develop in size. This can produce severe damage over time in your dog’s heart and lungs.

How Do I know if my Dog has Worms?

Some of the tell-tale signs of worms to look out for in your dog are:

  • Vomiting and diarrhoea.
  • Rapid weight loss or sudden bloating.
  • Scooting along the floor and itching.
  • Change in your dog’s usual behaviour.
  • Poor coat appearance.
  • Lethargy.
  • Dehydration.
  • Stunted growth and development in young puppies.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Noticeable tapeworm segments can appear around your dog’s anus (the appearance of a long and flat grain).

How Can I Treat my Dog for Worms?

There are various types of wormers available, such as tablets, spot-on treatments, pastes and granules. It is always recommended to seek advice from your vet who can select a wormer suitable for your dog that kills multiple species of worms and can also give you advice on how to treat your dog for worms if your dog is currently taking other various medications.

How Often Should I Worm my Dog?

You should worm your dog at least every three months. However, depending on your dog’s lifestyle you may need to treat your dog more regularly than this. Seek advice from your vet as more regular worming may need to be considered.

How Can I Avoid my Dog Getting Worms?

It’s inevitable that all dogs will come into contact with worms during their lifetime. Although regular worming does not guarantee to eradicate all worms it will most definitely help reduce the worm burden. Worming is an is essential maintenance for your dog’s overall health.

Puppies are more susceptible to worms and should be wormed from two weeks of age, alongside their mother to limit the spread of these parasites during nursing. If you’re unsure about de-worming products for pregnant or lactating dogs speak to your vet.

Another approach is to carry out regular testing of Faecal Egg Counts (FEC). These tests can determine whether your dog has worms and if so, how many. Alongside a healthy diet to help ward off worms and parasites, this can be a successful way of managing your dog’s intestinal health if done correctly.

Is my Dog’s Diet Important for Worming?

A well-balanced diet plays a vital role in maintaining a strong immune system in dogs. Around 70% of the immune system is also situated in the gut. Ensuring your dog’s digestive system is in tip top condition is a good way to help deal with worms and other parasites.

There are certain foods that can help to protect your dog against worms. For example, fruits and vegetables like cucumber, carrot, beetroot and fennel will help to make the digestive tract less inviting for worms.

Pumpkin seeds are another useful ingredient and contain a deworming compound called cucurbitacin.

Dietary supplements like Digestive Aid for Dogs help to maintain gut hygiene and support your dog’s natural defences. Digestive Aid for Dogs in particular also contains Verm-X, an award-winning vet approved herbal formulation designed to restore and maintain gut vitality.

The Verm-X formulation used in Digestive Aid for Dogs includes garlic, often considered to be a “natural dewormer” and thyme, which is especially useful when it comes to hookworms. Verm-X also contains cinnamon, peppermint, fennel, cleavers, nettles, slippery elm, quassia & cayenne.

Always Speak to your Vet

Keeping on top of intestinal worms is vitally important for your dog’s general health and wellbeing and should form part of regular care and health checks for your dog.

If you suspect your dog may have worms or you are unsure about which remedies to use, always speak to your vet for advice. If your dog is pregnant or lactating, always seek medical advice before giving supplements or changing your dog’s diet. 

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April 03, 2023
Tags: Dogs