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How to protect your dog against worms

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Prevention is better than cure, especially when it comes to worms. There are several different ways you can prevent your pup from getting worms, from keeping his area clean to regularly administering worming treatments.

At one stage or another, your dog is likely to have worms. It’s a normal part of having a pet and luckily, it’s fairly easy to treat. However, before you get to that stage, there are plenty of preventative measures you can take. Here are some of the most common worm prevention methods for dogs.

What are worms?
Worms are parasites that infect your pet and make it sick, tired and uncomfortable – as well as potentially transmitting serious diseases. There are several types of worm – tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm and lungworm. Once infected, your dog may experience anything from diarrhoea, vomiting, irritation, stunted growth and anaemia, with some of the symptoms becoming really serious if left untreated.

Luckily, there are several different methods you can use to help your pooch avoid getting worms:

All-wormer tablets
An excellent way to combat worms is with regular administration of a worming tablet such as Drontal. Drontal is available in a liquid for small puppies or the tasty tablets can be given to dogs from 2 weeks old, dealing with all intestinal worms (please speak to your vet for advice on a choosing a wormer to include lungworm protection). For intestinal worm protection it is often recommended that puppies are treated every fortnight until 12 weeks, then every month until 6 months, then once every three months for life.

Spot-on flea treatments
Easy to use, effective liquid treatments like Advantage can protect your dog against fleas that often transmit one type of intestinal worm, tapeworm, so are a good way to help prevent the problem in the first place. To apply, make sure your dog is standing, then part the fur and squeeze the solution between its shoulder blades, following the package instructions.

Look after your dog’s general wellbeing
As well as using a regular worming treatment, it’s also important to keep your pooch’s living and playing area clean. Most dogs will contract worms from eating eggs from contaminated soil or from other pets, so the less dirt they have on them, the less chance they’ll have of licking it up when they groom. Regularly picking up your dog’s poo will also help to minimise any risk of infection.

Did you know…
Four out of every five animals found on planet earth are types of roundworms. The largest known one is the Placentonema gigantissima, which can be up to 30-feet long and live in the placenta of sperm whales.

Find out more about worming tablets for dogs here.

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