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Deworm Dogs and Cats Properly

There is no question that dogs and cats should be regularly checked for worms. The challenge is more in giving the pet owner competent advice on how and how often this should take place.

Regular worm control is so important because the danger of becoming infected with worm eggs or worms lurks almost everywhere and the animals can therefore become infected anywhere at practically any time. There is no prophylactic protection. Even treated animals can theoretically become infected again with worms the very next day. With regular deworming, however, we ensure that the so-called “worm load” of the animals is kept as low as possible. In this way, we regularly “clean up”.

Individual risk of infection

But not all dogs and cats can be lumped together. The intervals at which it should be dewormed depend entirely on the individual living conditions: the animal’s age, diet, and husbandry form play just as important a role as the question of whether the animal has a lot of contact with children or older people.

If the risk of infection is high, the recommendation is usually to deworm monthly. In other cases, however, less frequent treatments are sufficient. If the risk is not known, deworming should be carried out at least four times a year.

What else needs to be considered?

Animals that live in the same household must always be dewormed at the same time. Otherwise, the untreated animals would continue to excrete worm eggs or larval stages and thus immediately infect the treated ones again.

Being free of worms is also important for vaccination. If a worm infestation is found at a vaccination appointment, the vaccination should be postponed and the animal should first be dewormed. Why? The body’s defenses are strained by the worm infestation and the immune response may not be optimal.

Are there alternatives?

Not every pet owner is enthusiastic about giving their pet medication against worms regularly. And so it is not uncommon for alternatives to be considered. BUT: Carrots, herbs, garlic, or even homeopathic remedies, etc. are NOT effective against worms. If you want to rid your animal of parasites, you have to use adequate medication.

If you still don’t want to deworm as often, you can also have the feces checked regularly. But be careful: Worm eggs or larvae are not constantly being excreted. If
they are missing in the stool, but it does not mean that the dog or cat does not have worms!

Frequently Asked Question

How does a dog behave when it has worms?

If a dog has worms, these symptoms may appear:

Vomit. Constipation. Lack of appetite and weight loss. Deficiency symptoms due to nutrient deprivation when the stomach and intestines are infested with worms.

How often should cats be wormed?

If there is no increased risk of infection, deworming is recommended at regular intervals of 3 months. A worm treatment 1-2 weeks before vaccination is advisable for all cats since worm infestation can affect the development of vaccination protection.

How often should dogs and cats be dewormed?

To avoid this double risk, dog owners should have their pets regularly checked for worm infestation or deworming. But how often is that necessary? If the risk of infection is normal, at least 4 dewormings/examinations per year are recommended.

How harmful are deworming tablets?

If your fur nose is under permanent medication from regular worming, the parasites may adapt to the chemical club over time and develop resistance. Something similar is already known from bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotics.

How to apply wormer?

For dogs that are used for hunting or that eat prey (e.g. mice), it is recommended to deworm four times a year and additionally monthly against tapeworms. If the dog is born, it should be treated for tapeworms every six weeks in addition to quarterly deworming.

Why does a dog vomit after deworming?

After the administration, the dog may react briefly with diarrhea or vomiting. Such a reaction is often due to a heavy worm infestation. If the dog vomits within an hour of the worm being given, it should be given again.

How do I give my cat the deworming tablet?

In principle, you have three options for giving your cat pills: crush the pills and mix them with paste, food, or water to disguise them. Hide the whole pill in a treat and give your cat the cheer. Put pills directly in the mouth.

What happens if you don’t deworm the cat?

Many cats live comfortably with a certain number of worms and show no symptoms. On the other hand, if they multiply too much, they can put a heavy strain on the body: they deprive the cat of nutrients, destroy tissue, damage organs, and can lead to internal bleeding.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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