Worms are common in dogs. Almost all dogs pick up parasites at some point in their lives. When a dog becomes infected with worms, they rarely exhibit symptoms. However, these worms feast off of the dog’s blood and can cause damage if left untreated. Deworming helps rid dogs of parasites. Deworming can and should be done to puppies at least two weeks old, since most puppies are born with worms.
Worms are common in unsanitary conditions; therefore, frequent cleaning of your dog’s area if crucial to prevent worms from infecting your dog. Dirt is a breeding ground for eggs and larvae, which is why your dog should be kept in an area with cement or gravel.
Types of dewormers
There are many types of dewormer products on the market. These products can protect against round worms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms and heartworms. There is not one single product that prevents all types of worms, but some protect dogs from multiple types of worms. Most dewormers require a prescription. Many are safe to use during pregnancy.
Drs. Foster and Smith has a handy chart you can use to see which brand of dewormer is best for your dog based on age, weight and type of worm it protects against.
Dewormers can be found at your vet, but they may be expensive. Look online or at your local pet store for dewormers at a reasonable price. Some even offer them without a prescription.
When to deworm your dog
Some people start deworming their puppy at 2 weeks of age. Dog owners should start by 6 weeks of age and repeat the process at 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age. Dogs that are being bred should be dewormed before mating and then dewormed again before giving birth to the puppies. She should be dewormed again at 2, 4 and 6 weeks after the birth to prevent the spread of worms to the puppies.
If a dog is new to the household, he should be dewormed immediately, with the process repeated in two weeks. Adult dogs should be dewormed at least twice a year. Many dog owners give their dogs a monthly preventative for heartworms.