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Protection Against Gastrointestinal Worms in Dogs

Internal parasites – worms – can cause poor growth, serious illness and suffering, even death, in puppies and kittens. Both suffer from the same gastrointestinal worms from birth (worm larvae travel across the placenta during pregnancy), and it is imperative a frequent worming program is followed in the first 6 months of life.

Roundworms and hookworms are the most serious worms in young pups and kittens. Their control is also important for human health – both can cause disease in humans, and roundworm larvae have caused brain damage, especially in children. In dogs, other important worms include whipworms and tapeworms.

Our recommended program for puppies:

  • Worm weekly from 2 weeks of age until 6 weeks with an appropriate puppy all wormer
  • Worm every 2 weeks from 6 weeks to 12 weeks of age
  • Worm monthly from 12 weeks of age to 6 months
  • From 6 months, worm every 3 months for the remainder of your dog’s life

Our recommended program for kittens:

  • Worm weekly from 2 weeks of age until 6 weeks, using an appropriate kitten all wormer
  • Worm every 2 weeks from 6 weeks to 12 weeks of age
  • Worm monthly from 12 weeks of age to 6 months
  • After 6 months, worm every 3 months for the remainder of your cat’s life

Adult dogs and cats

Most adult dogs and cats should be wormed every 3 months.

Farm dogs and those with access to offal need more frequent worming to protect against hydatid tapeworms. Human hydatidosis can be fatal and it’s essential dogs in these situations are wormed every 6 weeks for life, alternating between an allwormer and a praziquantel-based tapewormer such as Droncit.

One common tapeworm of dogs and cats - Dipylidium caninum – uses the flea as an intermediate host. A special program of worming and flea control may be required to break the life cycle of this tapeworm.

Worming products

There are a myriad of worming products on the market, including on the supermarket shelf. Please speak with our vets or nursing staff about the most effective worming treatments available – and the most convenient product for your pet and your situation. And make sure you cross-check with us about the flea and/or heartworm medication you’re using – some of these will also control intestinal worms.

Regardless of the product you use, always dose according to weight. This is most important in dogs, given the large weight variation between breeds.