Having a dog is one of the best experiences of your life, and your little pooch will bring you years of joy and companionship. However, owning a dog also brings with it a long list of boxes that need to be ticked and jobs that need to be done. Worming is one of them. Getting wormed is part of being a dog. And dog-owners should also be mindful of the need for intermittent worming. While it’s not always possible to completely guard your canine companion from the threat of worms, there are things you can do to prevent and treat worms.
What Are Worms?
Worms found in dogs are quite different from the ones found in your garden. They are parasites that infect dogs and can make them quite sick. The main types of worms dogs get are tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms. Because there are a number of different types of worms, it’s a good idea to get a general wormer that combats all of the worm varieties.
Prevention is the Best Cure
At some point in your dog’s life he/she is bound to get worms. It’s a fairly normal part of being a dog. However, doing your best to prevent your pup from getting worms in the first place is definitely better than only worrying about the cure. To help prevent your dog from getting worms in the first place, start them on preventative tablets from a young age, as young as three weeks, and be sure to treat mum if she last a litter. After that, give your dog monthly dog worming tablets to keep them protected.
Keep a Clean Canine
Clean up the backyard treasures that your dog has left for you regularly and as you take your dog on walks and to the doggy park, clean up their mess and dispose of it thoughtfully. Worms spread through dogs eating worm eggs which are often hidden in feces, so keep your dog away from doggy doo doo as much as possible and clean up after your own. Worms are often contracted from dogs sniffing, rolling in, or even eating contaminated soil and feces, so try your best to teach your dog that it’s not okay to do that. Especially if they then want to jump up onto the couch.
Avoid Hunting Activities
Another way that dogs end up with worms is by attacking or eating contaminated animals such as rodents, birds, and reptiles. While it’s hard, and not recommended, to keep your dog from being a dog, do your best to prevent your pet from hunting, attacking, or eating other small animals around your yard or while you are out and about.
If you are a keen hiker, runner, or walker, and your dog tags along with you, then you will have to be extra careful to keep your pet away from wild animals that they might want to chase down. Bird that have already been attacked by a cat or other animal, or have simply died and end up on the side of the footpath pose a threat, so stay alert and keep your pet safe.
Signs and Symptoms
Look out for changes in your dog’s behavior and appearance. If your dog gets diarrhea or begins vomiting, it may be a sign of worms. At the same time, a dull coat, loss in appetite and lack of energy can also be signs. Basically, if your dog is not being themselves, have them looked at and treat them for worms.
If you keep up regular worming tablets, keep your dog and home environment clean, and take notice of any irregular behavior from your pup, then preventing and treating worms will be easy.