Your puppy’s first worming treatment
Worms are one of the most common causes of serious illness in puppies, so it’s important to treat your puppy for worms as soon as they arrive home. Make sure you have all the facts before you get started.
Why is worming important?
A puppy should be wormed as early as two weeks of age. By the time a puppy is old enough to go to a new, forever home (ideally 8 weeks of age, after weaning) it’s vital to maintain a deworming program to ensure your pet stays healthy and comfortable. Intestinal worms such as hookworms, tapeworms and roundworms can make your puppy sick and unable to effectively absorb much-needed nutrients and vitamins. They can also cause blood loss and anaemia, which can be serious in the early stages of your puppy’s life. Humans can also contract these parasites, which can lead to intestinal pain, diarrhoea and more serious health problems, such as blindness and respiratory issues. In short, you don’t want worms – and neither does your puppy.
Another reason why worming is so important? Puppies can easily get worms from their mother in utero or via their mother’s milk. This is why puppies as young as two weeks old should receive a worming treatment.
What are the signs of worms in puppies?
Not all infected puppies will show obvious signs of having worms, which is why regular treatment is especially important – regardless of whether or not they have any symptoms of worms.
Common signs of worms in puppies include:
- Weakness and listlessness
- Failure to thrive/grow
- Weight loss (despite an increased appetite)
- Abnormally swollen pot-belly
- Stool that contains spaghetti-like worms, mucus or blood
Keep in mind that, with the exception of worms in stool, these symptoms can indicate other health problems – so, check with your vet to be sure.
How do I get rid of worms in puppies?
Although worms are a nasty business, they’re fairly easy to treat. You can give your puppy a worming treatment like Drontal, which comes in the form of a liquid oral solution suitable for puppies aged two weeks and older. Drontal is also available as a tablet or chew, which can continue to be used as your puppy grows.
Your puppy’s worming schedule
Many puppies are born with worms and acquire more from their mother’s milk, which is why it’s so important to stick to a treatment schedule.
Treat your puppy for worms at:
- 2 weeks old
- 4 weeks (1 month) old
- 6 weeks old
- 8 weeks (2 months) old
- 10 weeks old
- 12 weeks (3 months) old
- 4 months old
- 5 months old
- 6 months old
After your puppy is six months old they should be treated for worms at least once every three months for life. Alternatively, you can apply Advocate every month from 7 weeks of age for protection against most gastrointestinal worms.
Learn more about suitable worming treatments and how to protect your puppy from worms.