Hello there, worm warriors! Think of puppy parenthood and you probably think of endless cuddles, face licks and cuteness. But what about ... worms? Whilst not entirely pleasant for your or your pooch, fear not, for this paw-some edition is all about demystifying the worming wonders and guiding you through the puppy parasite perils. So, fetch your reading glasses and let's dive into the wormy world of "When to Worm Puppies!"
What is a worm?
Let's kick things off with the basics. WTF even is a worm? What springs to mind is probably those friendly folks tunnelling through your soil, but worms when it comes to dogs aren't so helpful. They're a type of parasite, and there are five main types that effect dogs; roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms and heartworms. Worms can affect dogs of all ages and breeds, but they tend to be most common in pups under the age of 2. Mainly because at this age they're immune system isn't fully developed and they have a greater tendancy to lick and nibble things they shouldn't, which is why we're mainly focusing on puppies.
How Do Puppies Get Worms
Picture this: your adorable furball frolicking in the yard, sniffing every leaf and blade of grass. Unfortunately, those innocent explorations can lead to wormy encounters. Puppies can also get worms from their mother during nursing or through ingestion of contaminated soil, fleas, or other infected animals.
If your puppy has a penchant for eating poop, the dog kind or other, then that's also a sure fine why to infect themselves. This habit is also a bit of a double edged sword, as if they already have worms, they'll continually re-infect themselves. Noiceee right!
Finally, whilst rare, serving raw or home-cooked dog food can make your puppy more susceptible to worms as it's much more likely to become contaminated than traditional forms of puppy food.
Why To Worm Puppies
If worms sound like a fun thing for your puppy to have, we haven't done a very good job writing this blog. If left untreated worms can cause a whole host of unpleasant symptoms for your puppy, like these:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss - as the worms digest the food your puppy should be
- "Scooting" on their bums
Perhaps the most gross of all, for you at least, is when they start exhibiting some uninvited guests in the form of round, flat, or spaghetti-like creatures in their poop.
How Often To Worm A Puppy
Generally, you'll want to start worming your pup at around 3 weeks old, repeating every 2 weeks until they're 16 weeks old. After that, you can switch to a treatment every 1-3 months, your vet may help suggest the best frequency.
How Often Should You Worm a Dog
As your pup transforms into a full-fledged doggo, their worming schedule will evolve too. From 16 weeks onward, you can relax a bit and worm your dog every 1-3 months. But remember, staying vigilant is key – those pesky parasites won't give up easily!
How to Tell If Your Puppy Has Worms
If your puppy exhibits any of the symptoms above, like worms in their poop, or if they seem bloated, have a potbelly, or are experiencing vomiting and diarrhea – it's time for a worm checkup.
Where Can You Get Worming Tablets
Great news! The world of worming tablets is as accessible as a tennis ball to a pup. You can find them at your local vet clinic, pet supply stores, or even order them online. Remember, always consult your vet to choose the right wormer for your pup's age, size, and needs.
How Do I Give My Puppy a Wormer
Time to put on your superhero cape, because you're about to conquer the art of puppy worming. Worming tablets usually come in delectable flavours, turning what might seem like a task into a treat! Simply follow the dosage instructions on the package or as advised by your vet, and slip the tablet into a treat, a dollop of xylitol-free peanut butter, or wrap it in your pup's favourite dog treat. Voilà! Worming complete.
We've tried all sorts of tactical tricks in the past and the two that have worked best are pushing the pills into one of our Softies Salmon Training Treats, or for extra stubborn occasions, into a spoon of our Duck Wet Dog Food.
What to do when your puppy's had worms?
It typically takes around 2-14 days for the wormers to start working, and you should start seeing the result in their poop RIP. As worms can play havock with your pups tummy and can damage their gut lining, following from a bout of worms it's important to rebuild their gut health. Serving probiotics, either in a probiotic puppy food or supplement, can be a great way to give their gut a boost, and adding prebiotics into the mix too will only help speed up recovery. If you do transition to a new pet food, especially for puppies, it's important to take things slow and mix in the new food with old over a period of about two weeks.
And there you have it, pup-venturers! The scoop on when to worm puppies has been unleashed, and you're now armed with the knowledge to keep your fluffy sidekick feeling their best. From worming schedules that rival the most exciting puppy playdates to deciphering the mysterious world of doggie digestion, you're well on your way to becoming a pro at puppy parasite prevention. So, wag those tails and let the adventures – worm-free – continue! 🐶🐾