When it comes to puppies, worms are impossible to escape. Puppies love exploring every inch of their new backyard—and if they want to roll around in the dirt, they will!
Unfortunately, there’s one problem that roams your yard: parasitic worms. It doesn’t matter which of the 5 types of parasitic worms they are. Each of these little pests causes various illnesses in dogs and if your furry friend gets infected, they will get very sick.
Worms are a common ailment that affects puppies. In fact, they’re so common that most vets assume puppies have worms unless tests prove otherwise. While it can be a hassle to have your puppy dewormed at the vet, we highly recommend doing so.
Deworming and vaccinations are the first pillars of puppy care. With a deworming treatment, you put your puppy at risk of serious illnesses that can affect their health for life.
Read to learn more about deworming, what symptoms to look for, and when to take your fur-baby for their deworming!
When do puppies need to be dewormed?
Many puppies are born with parasitic worms, such as roundworms or hookworms. These pests are passed through their mother before birth or their mother’s milk. Because puppies have a weak immune system, they’re not able to fight off parasites.
Of course, not all puppies have worms. If your puppy’s mother received sufficient vet care before and during her pregnancy, her litter may not have worms at all.
Most vets recommend deworming your puppy at around 2 weeks of age. This process continues every 2 weeks until your fur-baby is 12 weeks old. Your vet will then develop a deworming schedule that best suits your puppy.
What are the symptoms of worms?
Parasitic worms cause a variety of symptoms in dogs. If your puppy shows any of the following warning signs, it may mean they’re infected with worms:
- Rapid weight loss
- Swollen tummy
Collect your puppy’s stool and take them to the vet as soon as you notice these symptoms. Bringing stool samples to your vet will help them diagnose and treat your puppy quickly.
How are dewormings performed on a puppy?
With all the talk of how worms make puppies sick, you may think they’re a tricky pest to get rid of. Well, they’re not—worms are really easy to eliminate! Once you meet with your veterinarian, they’ll discuss different options for deworming treatments.
These treatments are considered safe for puppies and come in tablet, chewable, and even topical (on the skin) forms. Before ordering a prescription, your vet will perform a physical exam, assessing your fur-baby’s weight, height, size, and breed.
There are numerous over-the-counter deworming medications available online and in stores. However, we highly recommend visiting your veterinarian so that your puppy receives only the best deworming treatment. By consulting with your vet, you establish an effective deworming schedule for your furry friend and ensure that any complications are considered.
What is the recovery period after deworming?
Some puppies are able to play and roam around right after their deworming. Other puppies need more time to recover. Depending on their medication and dosage, your puppy may experience mild diarrhea, vomiting, and an upset tummy.
Your fur-baby may even vomit or poop out dead worms. If they do, don’t panic. It’s part of the normal process of deworming, in which the treatment kills the parasites in your puppy’s body.
Of course, some medications also dissolve worms so it’s also normal if there aren’t worms in your furry friend’s stool.
How do you prevent reinfection?
Getting your puppy dewormed prevents a variety of illnesses in your puppy. Like vaccines, they’re an important part of your puppy’s health. That’s why we encourage new and experienced puppy parents to take their fur-babies to the vet for a routine checkup.
Note: deworming treatments only kill and eliminate worms from your puppy’s body. These medications DO NOT work against prevention unless proven otherwise. As such, here comes the trickiest part of your job as a puppy owner: prevention. It’s your responsibility to do what you can to prevent your little fur-baby from getting reinfected.
Along with going to the vet, try the following tips:
- Pick up after your puppy after they’ve finished their business
- Wash your hands after you’ve handled your puppy’s waste
- Use flea and tick prevention shampoo to prevent fleas and ticks
The earlier you introduce these treatments, the better. As your puppy matures, add other prevention methods that best suit them. Of course, you can always ask your veterinarian for their advice.
Your furry friends deworming is important for their health. Worms make your puppy very sick, and sometimes, these symptoms can be fatal. Fortunately, they’re easy to prevent as long as you are consistent and on top of their treatments.
Make sure to reserve your appointment with a licensed veterinarian so that you can get started with your puppy’s deworming schedule. Many parasitic worms can infect humans so it’s important to keep this in mind when you reserve an appointment.
By keeping up with your puppy’s deworming schedule, you minimize the risks of potential infection to you and your family members.