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How do dogs get worms?
Dogs can pick up worms by eating worm eggs or larvae in contaminated soil, faeces or infected small animals. Puppies can also contract certain kinds of worms through their mother's milk or across the placenta.
How do I know if my dog has worms?
In most cases, you probably won't be able to tell if your dog has worms. Adult dogs don't tend to become unwell from small numbers of worms, it' more common for puppies to experience problems such as diarrhoea, anaemia and intestinal blockage. If your dog has worms they can pass them onto humans as well as other dogs, so it is important to worm your dog regularly even if they don't have symptoms.
How often should dogs be wormed?
As a general rule, dogs aged 6 months or over need to be treated with an allwormer which covers hookworm, roundworm, whipworm and tapeworm at least every 3 months. Puppies need to be treated every fortnight from 2 weeks to 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months. Dogs living in households with small children, the elderly or immunosuppressed and dogs in rural areas (where hydatid tapeworm is more common) should be wormed monthly to reduce the risk of transmission to humans.
Read more in our article How often should I worm my dog?.
What is the best worm treatment for my dog?
Depending on your needs, you may wish to incorporate your dog's intestinal worming treatments with their flea, tick and heartworm treatment for convenience. The table below details which worms and other parasites are covered by a range of popular worming treatments, for more info take a look at Which flea and worming product do I need for my dog?
|The Big 5||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
*Including hydatid tapeworm
Author info: Dr Teagan Lever BVSc (Hons) - Pet Circle In House Veterinarian
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