Worms are a pretty common affliction in dogs. However, that doesn’t make the presence of the critters any less nasty. The good news here is that there are plenty of options on the market to help you combat and eradicate these parasites from your pooch. Which ones work best?
OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE BEST DEWORMER FOR DOGS
What You Need to Know About Worms
Worms can be part of a dog’s life from day one – literally. A large percentage of pups get worms transferred directly into their bodies when they are in development, and the pests transfer themselves from the mother’s uterus via tissue migration.
There are five worms you need to worry about as a dog owner. Hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, and tapeworms effect the pooch’s digestive tract. Heartworms, as the name implies, can infiltrate a dog’s heart. While worms are most common in a dog’s puppy phase, they can also be found in an adult dog.
The type of damage that worms can do in a dog vary from worm to worm. Some worms like tapeworms pose a minimal threat, even though they should be treated. Other worms like hookworms and heartworms can cause some pretty awful things to happen, from anemia to fatal heart infections.
If your dog has a serious worm issue, you’ll see a few signs that potentially indicate the presence of the buggers. These signs could range from digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting to weight loss or shortness of breath.
In some cases, you may also notice your pooch exhibiting various physical clues that shouldn’t be ignored. Some are behavioral in nature, such as biting or chewing the area under his tail. Others are decidedly more physiological in nature, such as the development of a bloated appearance.
The Process Before the Deworming Process
If you suspect that your dog has worms, don’t sit on the information – act on it right away. Even though most worms aren’t anything to worry about, it would be foolhardy to stand idly by and assume they won’t do anything damaging to your pooch.
Your first course of action, in this case, is to schedule a trip to the veterinarian. This will not only help determine whether or not your dog has worms, but it will also help you figure out what type of worm you have.
It’s crucial that you pinpoint the worm type before treatment because dewormers are not universal. While there are products out there that can take care of multiple worms – you’ll usually see treatments that knock out roundworms can also handle hookworms – you won’t find a cure-all. Therefore, make sure you’re dealing with the right nemesis.
What Do Deworming Treatments Look Like?
Once you’ve pinpointed what worm you’re dealing with, you may get a bit overwhelmed by the choices in deworming treatments on the market. Indeed, there is a wide host of approaches to take. Oral medications, chewable treats, food additives, shots, and pastes are all different ways you can battle worms.
Again, your vet is your biggest ally when it comes to pinpointing precisely what treatment is best for your dog. There are plenty of variables that dictate which kind of dewormer you should be using, such as age, size and health. Your vet can boil these metrics down to create a plan of attack that’s as specific to your dog’s needs as possible.
Heed the Instructions Without Fail
When you do have a dewormer, it is crucial that you follow whatever instructions that come with the treatment to the letter. Deworming treatments – even those that are sold over the counter – have strict dosage requirements that should not be over-shot. If you don’t your dog could essentially overdose.
If you happen to miss a dose, don’t try to overcompensate by doubling up on the treatment. Simply provide the treatment on the next scheduled appointment. The worms may crop up again, but that’s a small trade-off for accidentally making your dog extremely ill with too much treatment.
What Should I Expect During the Treatment?
When you administer a dewormer to your dog, he may start exhibiting symptoms that seem to be consistent with various digestive issues. Some of these ailments include vomiting, lack of appetite, and diarrhea. This is perfectly okay – it just means the treatment is working.
You may particularly see a negative reaction if you’re administering the treatment to a puppy as opposed to an adult dog. The reason for this is because pups tend to have a more sensitive tummy than their grown-up counterparts. You may have a tendency to freak out because he’s a little puppy, but relax – again, it happens.
Exactly how it works depends on the actual treatment. Some medications will dissolve the worms, and others will paralyze them, which causes the worms to detach from your pooch’s insides. In the latter instance, you may see the worms within your dog’s vomit or stool.
When Should a Dog Be Dewormed?
Because worms can be present in dogs from the very beginning of their lives, it’s important that you work with your vet to be proactive in ridding your pooch of worms. Doing so will nip things in the bud before they develop into a bigger, more intensive problem.
If you pick up a puppy, it is wise to pick up your new pooch’s deworming history to see what has been done and what still needs to be done. Once obtained, you should schedule an appointment with your vet to figure out how much deworming is still needed, if any is still needed at all.
In you have an adult dog that is on some sort of deworming treatment, you should make sure your vet conducts a poop test 1 to 2 times each year. If he’s not on a treatment, this test should be done 2 to 4 times per year. This will help ensure the treatment is doing its job – or if a treatment is in fact needed.
OUR FINAL RECOMMENDATIONS
8 in 1 Safeguard Canine Dewormer
There are several ways to administer a deworming treatment to your pooch. Some of these treatments may feel as every bit as intrusive to your dog as the they are helpful. As such, you may find it a bit difficult to providing your pooch with the treatment he doesn’t know he needs.
If you feel that giving your little guy a pill or an injectable is going to be an ordeal, then the 8 and 1 Safeguard Canine Dewormer may be of interest to you. This particular product takes the form of granules that can simply be easily mixed in with your dog’s kibble.
The flavorless mixture won’t alter the texture of the food, so your dog won’t freak out because the mouthfeel of his kibble has changed. He’ll just keep mowing down on his food. While he’s doing that, he’ll be unwittingly fighting the battle against tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
The versatility of this particular product isn’t limited to the types of worms it kills. It can be used for young puppies over six weeks of age as well as adult dogs, pregnant dogs, and dogs infected with heartworm. If the latter metric describes your dog, make sure this treatment won’t run interference with the heartworm treatment.
Bayer Quad Chewable Dewormer
Ideally, you’ll want to look for a heavy-duty kind of a deworming treatment; one that will not only knock worms out but prevent them from returning. This is a big reason why Sergeant Vetsctription Worm-Away is worthy of consideration.
This chewable tablet will work in your dog to prevent tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms from coming back once he’s been purged from his system. This is more important than you may realize, because it could be easy for dogs to pick up the parasites.
Worms can be picked up through a wide range of actions, from a flea bite to scooping up a bit of dirt with his mouth. Because some of these issues may be difficult to control in terms of preventative measures, a treatment like this one provides a critical back-up plan of protection. Think of it as the last line of defense, if you will.
It should be noted that this act of prevention could create a few positive side effects for the long-term health of your pooch. For instance, if your dog is suffering weight loss due to a tapeworm issue, the fact that a medicine like this can eradicate the weird-looking parasite can be instrumental into helping him get back to a normal weight.
Before you do any deworming treatment, it is of the utmost of importance that you have a discussion with your vet regarding the treatment. Doing so will help you treat your pooch’s worm-based issue in a way that protects his overall health as it works to destroy the worms within your pooch. And who wouldn’t want that for their pooches?