Let’s face it, the thought of our dogs having worms is gross! Yet, they are surprisingly common and easy for your dog to pick up in their everyday lives. Check out ‘Parasites and your Pooch’ for more information about the different types of worms which can affect your four-legged friend. Our main focus in this blog is to provide more details on the evidence and recommendations for worming frequency.
This blog will outline
The simple answer to this is YES. Some dogs may develop symptoms of worms, such as diarrhoea or other tummy upsets and itchy bums (think scooting across your carpets). Or you may even see worm segments that look like grains of rice crawling around your dog’s back end (yep, the thought of this makes our skin crawl too!). More likely than not though, you won’t even know if your dog has worms.
Therefore, all dogs should receive regular deworming treatments – they help to protect your whole family, of the canine and human variety. That’s because some worms don’t just threaten your dog’s health, they can pass to humans too. You can read more about this in ‘Can I Catch Worms from my Pets?’.
Now we’ve established that your dog does need deworming – how do we go about it? Well, there are a few things you need to consider – what worms do you need to treat your dog for? How often should you treat them? And, what should you use?
Luckily, we cover most of that in this blog, and you can find out which worms you need to treat for HERE.
It’s worth mentioning, if you don’t find the information you need here, or have any further questions about how to deworm your dog, your vet should always be your first port of call.
Now, this is a question that is a bit trickier to answer, as it varies depending on your dog’s lifestyle. All our recommendations are based on ESCCAP (European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites) guidelines. These guidelines are made using the latest scientific research by parasitology experts from across Europe and are reviewed regularly – in other words, they are based on science and written by people who really know what they are talking about. Most vets and vet practices also follow these guidelines, so yes, they are seen as being pretty darn good!
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The European Scientific Counsel Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, made up of parasitology and public health experts from across Europe. ESCCAP provides free, independent and scientifically-robust advice on the control of parasites in pets to veterinary professionals. You can find out more about ESCCAP on their website.
So, let’s get to these guidelines…ESCCAP recommends that dogs (and cats, but that is covered in ‘Do I Really Need to Worm My Cat’ should be dewormed according to their lifestyle and individual risk. This means you need to answer a few questions to work out how often your dog needs treatment for worms.
In summary, if your dog does any of the following, they should be wormed MONTHLY:
This is to protect your dog and family from the potentially nasty effects of worms.
These behaviours pose a risk of infection due to a higher risk of exposure. Worms exist in the environment and survive through animals living in the wild. Dogs investigating the area or eating these wild animals can be infected which is why worming monthly is recommended.
Raw food manufacturers are aware of the dangers of worming infections and have put measures in place to try to combat this. However, there is still no guarantee that all worms have been eliminated through the preparation process (the heating and chilling of meat). Therefore, it’s still recommended to worm monthly.
Most other dogs will need worming quarterly.
Now we’ve established that your dog does need deworming and how often – what should you use? We’d always recommend choosing an authorised veterinary medicinal product It’s also important to check which worms are covered to ensure you’re getting complete cover for your pet. Some products, such as Ridaworm Plus, kill all types of intestinal worm that affect UK dogs.
If you or your dog isn’t a fan of tablet, spot-ons products are also available, although some are only available from your vet.
Most dewormers get to work pretty quickly (hurrah!). You may occasionally see worms in your dog’s poop – don’t worry, this is normal and may mean your dog had lots of worms but rest assured that the treatment is working and clearing those blighters out! Sometimes they may come out twitching – again don’t worry, this is them just waving their final goodbyes. Equally, if you don’t see worms in your dog’s poop after treatment, it doesn’t mean they didn’t have any worms, it just means they’ve been digested (yum!).
It’s important to remember that no dewormer prevents intestinal worms, it just treats the worms that are already there. This means reinfection is possible and why regular deworming is so important for your dog.