Puppy parents may stress about deworming treatments, dosage, and schedules. This helpful guide addresses all concerns you may have about safely eliminating intestinal parasites from your puppy’s system.
Raising a puppy is a rewarding experience as you get to foster a young pet and see it grow over the years. Puppy parents often compare the journey with caring for a baby over the years. You may feel as attached as a parent to their child. Surprisingly, statistics show that there are more US homes with pets than with kids. The number of households with dogs (and puppies) is the maximum.
The joy of having a small dog wagging its tail and looking at you with innocent eyes is unmatched. However, you cannot overlook the challenges of being a dog parent. There’s a lot to do when bringing up a young one, from timely feeding to regular vet visits and consistent training sessions. When it comes to health issues, worms are a major concern.
Fortunately, you can rely on several worm deworming products to eliminate intestinal parasites in your pup. But you may want to know more about an optimal deworming schedule. We will answer your questions in this article.
How Do Puppies Get Worms?
According to the CDC, dogs may get hookworms and roundworms at any age, but young ones are the most vulnerable. Tapeworms, whipworms, and heartworms may also infect young dogs. Even 2-3-week-old puppies may have many worms because pregnant dogs may pass them on transplacentally to their offspring even before birth.
Additionally, puppies may get them from sources such as:
Preying on infected animals or eating dead carcasses
Ingesting worm larvae from the mother’s milk
Consuming worms through contaminated feces outdoors
Carrying fleas infested with worm larvae
Swallowing or contacting snails or slug (lungworm)
Worms can affect the well-being of dogs, regardless of age and parasite types. They can cause diarrhea, anemia, poor appetite, weight loss, and bowel inflammation. They are even more harmful to young dogs.
How to Deworm a Puppy?
As a pet parent, you may want only the best worm medicine for puppies to address your pet’s deworming needs. You may feel apprehensive in this context because of the dosage differences and potential side effects of these treatments. Seeking a vet’s advice can help you overcome your apprehensions and start with an effective treatment on time.
The good thing is that deworming treatments for puppies are easy, safe, and effective. According to the typical treatment protocol, the puppy dewormer is administered for 1-3 days and then repeated in 2-3 weeks. The objective of the repeated dosing is to kill the worms that were still eggs or larvae during the first cycle.
Soft chew tablets are ideal for puppies because they can easily consume them. You can discuss the dosage and active ingredients in the product with your vet. Also, ask them about an optimal schedule to match your pet’s needs and condition. They will examine your puppy's poop to determine the ideal dosage and schedule.
Establishing a Puppy Deworming Schedule
Dog deworming is not a one-time task because worms can return after a few days or weeks. Many of them lie dormant in the pet’s intestine in the form of eggs or larvae. They are back in full force once they mature. Whether you choose chew tablets or granules for deworming, you must follow a regular schedule for lasting results.
According to Karen Purcell, general practice veterinarian and ferret lecturer, deworming in puppies should start at 4 weeks and be repeated every 2 weeks.
Here are the typical stages and timelines:
Stage 1: Initial Deworming
Your vet will suggest deworming your puppy for the first time when it is four weeks old. While you may think it is too young, early treatment can eliminate parasites contracted by the mother during birth.
Stage 2: Follow-Up Deworming
Follow-up deworming sessions are recommended every two weeks until the dog is eight weeks old. This frequent schedule targets different life stages of worms.
Stage 3: Monthly Deworming
You should deworm your pet monthly until it reaches the age of six months. The purpose is to prevent reinfestation and protect your small dog during its growth period.
Once a puppy crosses six months of age, you can start with an adult schedule, deworming it every three months. At this stage, you can consider specific products such as a tapeworm dewormer if your dog is exposed to this particular parasite.
In conclusion, ongoing worm prevention is essential to raising a healthy puppy and preventing intestinal parasites at all stages of growth. You may have concerns regarding the right treatment option, dosage, and scheduling, but consulting a vet can get you on the right track. Also, stick with the recommendations to get safe and sustainable results.