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Puppy’s first worming treatment

One of the most important first steps in a puppy’s life is worming. There are a variety of different treatments you can use, depending on your pooch’s age and the type of worm. Here’s everything you need to know about worming puppies.

Worms are one of the most common causes of sickness in puppies and it’s important to treat your puppy for worms as soon as he arrives in your home – but it’s essential you have all the facts before you get started.

Why is worming important?
Intestinal worms can make your pet sick, tired and reduce the absorption of much-needed nutrients and vitamins. This can lead to blood loss and anaemia, which can be very serious in the early stages of your puppy’s young life. That’s why it’s important to worm your puppy as soon as you can.

The most common types of worms in dogs are hookworms, tapeworms and roundworms, which can cause unpleasant and uncomfortable symptoms, and, in extreme cases, even death. These parasites can also be contracted by humans in rare cases, leading to intestinal pain, itchiness, diarrhoea and more serious health problems. In short, you don’t want worms – and neither does your puppy.

What are the signs of worms in puppies?
Not all infected puppies will show any obvious signs of having worms, which is why regular treatment is especially important. In some cases, worms can cause weakness and listlessness, diarrhoea or vomiting, weight loss (despite an increased appetite), and an abnormally swollen belly. You may also find signs of infection in your puppy’s faeces – for example, stool that contains spaghetti-like worms, small rice-like grains, mucus or blood.

How do I get rid of worms in puppies?
Although worms are a nasty business, they’re fairly easy to treat. You can give your puppy a worming treatment like Drontal, which comes in the form of a liquid oral solution. Suitable for puppies aged 2 weeks or older, Drontal is also available as a tasty flavoured tablet, which can also be used for older dogs – making sure they get effective worm treatment throughout their life.

When should I worm my puppy?
Most puppies are born with worms and they acquire more from their mother’s milk, which is why it’s important that they’re treated every two weeks from 2 to 12 weeks old. Dogs aged 3-6 months should be treated for worms once a month, then at least once every three months for life.

What to do about lungworm?
Perhaps the nastiest of all the worms your puppy could catch is lungworm, which can cause serious health problems and even death. Lungworm is spreading in the UK, and dogs catch it from licking or eating slugs and snails, which means your puppy´s risk is reduced until they venture outside.
The best way to protect your dog from lungworm is through a regular prevention programme. This is particularly important if lungworm has been reported in your area (you can check using this online lungworm locator). Make sure you speak to your vet because not all worming products are effective against lungworm. Unlike many other worming products that only need to be given once every three months, it’s important to treat your dog for lungworm every month – as not doing so leaves them unprotected for too long between doses.

Did you know…
Chimpanzees are thought to swallow rough and spiky leaves in order to remove worms from their intestines. Luckily, there are easier ways to control them in your dog.

Find out more about suitable worming treatments for your puppy here.