Let’s face it, worms love dogs, and if you’re a pet owner, chances are your dog has had intestinal worms. But these worms can be dangerous, especially to new pups. And they can transfer from the pet to the family pretty easily.
Dogs get worms from drinking contaminated water or coming into contact with other infected animals. Nursing pups can get worms from their infected mothers. But unless you’re happy to look through your dog’s faeces, it can be hard to tell if they have worms. And then, even if you have a good look, some worms are so small they can be hard to see.
There are a few types of worms that affect dogs. Tapeworms can come from fleas or from uncooked game meat and offal. If you see your dog dragging his bottom along the ground that can be a sign he has tapeworm, which irritate the dog’s anal area. Roundworms are common in pups and they are easily passed on to humans, so it’s worth keeping an eye on your new pup – signs of roundworm include a pot belly on your pup, vomiting and diarrhoea. Whipworm can affect pups and adults and also cause diarrhoea. Hookworms are nasty and can cause bloody diarrhoea, anaemia and death.
A new pup should be wormed every two weeks up to about 12 weeks and then every month until the age of six months. Adult dogs should be wormed every six months. It’s important to stay on top of worming treatments as these treatments don’t prevent worms, they just kill them. Talk to your vet about which worming products are appropriate for your pet.