Deworming is the practice of getting rid of parasites that may be living in one’s body. While a human can go without getting dewormed, it’s an essential regimen for animals. For one, they often go to places where parasites like ticks and intestinal worms thrive. Consequently, it’s fairly common for animals, particularly dogs, to become infected with a parasite at some point in their lives.
So, how should you go about deworming your dog? How do you know the best time to deworm them? Are there cases when your pets should not go through deworming?
These are some of the questions that you may ask regarding this topic. If you want to learn more about dog deworming, here is some basic information that might help:
1. You Can Overdose Or Underdose Your Dog With Dewormers
Pet owners tend to forget that dewormers like albendazole and benzimidazoles are medications, and just like any medication, the dosage is crucial. You can potentially overdose on your dog if you exceed their limits. On the contrary, it’s also possible to underdose dewormers, making the procedure completely ineffective. For that reason, it’s advisable to consider the best dosage for your dog initially before administering one.
Unfortunately, that might prove to be too difficult for anyone other than animal doctors. After all, you have to consider not only their tolerance but their weight and the type of diet they have.
On that account, if you plan on deworming your dog, the best option would be to simply take your dog to a veterinarian and let them do the work. You can search online for the nearest veterinarian clinic in your area, such as Bond Vet Garden City, NY for the deworming procedure.
2. A Second Dose Is Necessary For Deworming To Be Effective
Yet another practice that’s not known to many pet owners is the fact that it takes more than one dose to completely eliminate all the worms in your dog’s body. Why? you may ask.
Experts explain that the first dose would kill the worms that are already mature. Meanwhile, the second dose will kill those that would hatch a few weeks later that would otherwise survive since most dewormers aren’t capable of killing eggs. Again, veterinarians know this very well, so there’s really no reason not to take your dog to a vet for deworming.
3. Different Parasites Require Different Deworming Medications
Do deworming medications eliminate all kinds of worms and parasites?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions by pet owners, unfortunately, it isn’t. Different worms require different medications.
Some eliminate flatworms, while others specialize in getting rid of roundworms.
And as always, vets would know how to choose the suitable medication for their dog. But if you intend on buying one yourself, you should at least know the different types of worms.
There are generally five types of worms that you can find in dogs. These include the following:
- Hookworms: As the name implies, these are worms with hook-like teeth. They attach themselves to the intestinal linings and can breed thousands of eggs within the span of a few days. They’re usually found in contaminated soil and wet grass.
- Roundworms: Roundworms are commonly found in feces and contaminated food, which, as you may already know, are two things dogs tend to eat. These parasites can be passed on via breastmilk, which would explain why newborn puppies tend to have roundworms.
- Tapeworm: Tapeworms are extremely long parasites that live in infected soil. Fleas tend to swallow their larvae, which is why a dog that ingests them during self-grooming gets infected by the worm. Dogs can also get infected by tapeworms by licking their paws after a walk outside.
- Whipworms: Tapeworms and whipworms are similar because they both live in infected soil, so the means of transmission are the same.
- Heartworms: Heartworms are arguably the most harmful parasite that can live inside your dog’s body. Specifically, they live in the lungs or heart area and may cause complications in these specific organs. Unlike the other worms, heartworms can be detected using a blood test, which is why vets often conduct this test when you take your dog for deworming.
4. The Frequency Of Deworming Depends On Your Dog’s
It’s common knowledge that deworming is not a one-time procedure. After all, deworming medications do not make your dog immune to parasites. It simply gets rid of the existing ones.
But if you ask how often dogs should be dewormed, you’ll receive different answers.
Some may say every two weeks, while others would argue that it must be monthly. This contrast in answers is mainly because the frequency of deworming depends largely on the dog’s age.
For your reference, veterinarians suggest deworming every two weeks until your dog turns twelve weeks old. You then transition monthly until they’re six months old. From that point, deworming once every three months should be sufficient. But remember, your dog may get infected with different kinds of worm days or even weeks before the next scheduled deworming session. In such cases, it would help to know how to identify the symptoms of worm infection.
5. You Can Identify A Dog With Worms By Their Symptoms
Although each worm has different adverse effects on a dog, there are general symptoms indicating that your dog is infected. Here’s a list of these symptoms you need to watch out for:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Blood in stool
These symptoms can be harmful and even fatal, especially to elderly dogs. Therefore, it’s advisable to deworm your pet as soon as these symptoms show up.
6. Your Dog May Spit Out The Deworming Medication
While administering the deworming medication, keep in mind that dogs tend to be stubborn and your dog may spit out the medication when you’re not looking.
For that reason, experts advise pet owners to pay close attention to their dogs during the entire procedure. But in cases that your dog vomits shortly after ingesting the dose, you may need to consult your vet and ask for advice as to why this happens and what needs to be done.
7. You Must Deworm All Your Pets At The Same Time
If you have multiple dogs, you might’ve thought of deworming your pets one at a time. However, that’s not a good idea. Suppose you have two dogs, and both are infected. If you deworm only one, the other can potentially infect the dewormed dog shortly after the procedure.
This essentially makes the deworming procedure pointless, as there will always be a source of contagion. For that reason, experts advise pet owners to deworm all pets at the same time.
Deworming has always been an essential part of being a pet owner. It protects your dog from avoidable health issues while eliminating a source of infection that can potentially affect you or your family. However, not many people know how the procedure works, so it’s understandable why pet owners tend to make mistakes during deworming. Hopefully with this guide, deworming should no longer be much of an issue for all pet owners out there.