Which worms do worming treatments prevent?
There are six types of worms which pose a threat to dogs:
But not every type is highly prevalent in the UK. Hookworms, heartworms and whipworms are usually just found abroad, but this could still be important for you to know if you are going travelling with your canine.
Worming treatments may only tackle one worm (usually the most common roundworm). Some may prevent two or more, but they rarely cover all (although this is possible).
If you do want full coverage, you can usually use various worming products to ensure your dog is protected from all forms, but talk to your vet before starting to mix the medication.
You can read our guide to worms in dogs and how to prevent them here.
How often does my dog need to be wormed?
Most at-home treatments are tri-monthly. They are strong enough to stay in their system for this time, so you don’t need to worry if these are the guidelines on your chosen option.
There are a few exceptions:
- Dogs living with children, pregnant women and older people: Monthly
- Weaned puppies under 6 months: Monthly
- A dog that has had a flea infestation: Treat for tapeworms according to instructions
It can also depend on the form in which it is administered (some liquids may be monthly for instance), and it can also vary if your dog is pregnant or under a year old. Dogs in multi-pet households and in kennels may need something more frequent too but check with a vet first.
Exact timings will also depend on the brand and your dog breed and size, so always read the information before you use it.
Any missed treatments mean your pup goes unprotected which could be hard to treat, so also try to find a wormer which fits in with your lifestyle. If your dog has recently had fleas, you must usually treat them for worms even if there are no signs.
Are there any side effects of worming treatments?
Not usually. It is a common worry, as it is an internal chemical treatment. But most dogs won’t even have any reaction.
There may be the odd case of sickness and diarrhoea, but this is often because the dosage may have been too strong or it isn’t a format which the dog’s stomach agrees with. This is why it is important to talk to your vet first and get a recommendation based on your dog. Always follow dosage instructions, too.
Does worming treatment completely prevent worms?
Most dogs will get worms at some stage in their life, but dog wormer stops the worms developing, growing and therefore becoming dangerous.
It is when the worms grow and stay in your dog for a prolonged time that they become a problem and can be passed on, so while they can’t stop the worms entering the internal system of your dog, they stop them growing and they will eventually disappear.
This is just like fleas – the critters can still land on your dog, but the protection will ensure no further damage is done.
Can wormers and tablets completely cure worms?
If your dog is infected (or you suspect they are), always see your vet before starting any treatment.
The majority of the tri-monthly tablets and wormers above can cure as well as prevent worms. You may just need to up the frequency of the administration, and keep an eye as the issue progresses.
If the vets do recommend a particular tablet, paste or food supplement, however, buying online is often cheaper!