Your cheat-sheet for the best dewormer for dogs!
In-depth dog deworming analysis, including how do dogs get worms, how to treat worms in dogs, are they contagious, and more.
Worms can sometimes be a serious problem for our fur babies, and the issue should definitely be taken seriously. There are several types of worms that can infect our dogs, and some of them can even infect humans as well.
Dealing with worms in dogs quickly, promptly and thoroughly is the best way to squash worms in dogs.
Heartworms are one of the more dangerous species that can infect our dogs.
It’s also one of the worms that can affect us, as humans, as well.
Since one means of transmitting the heartworm is through the bite of a mosquito, your dog doesn’t even have to spend a great deal of time outdoors to become infected.
Understanding Worms in Dogs: Symptoms of Infection, and More…
Almost every dog, at some point in their life, will have worms.
For them, it’s just a fact of life.
It’s much more so the case if your dog happens to spend a great deal of time outside, in which case they will pick them up with ease.
The first step is to understand that, of the five types of worms your dog could possibly have, four of them are intestinal worms.
The other is the heartworm.
Most intestinal worms are spread through dog feces, however some can be transmitted if the dog happens to eat a flea.
The next step is to watch for symptoms of the infection.
You can often see actual worms moving about in the feces your dog leaves behind.
There’s no doubting this one!
If you see this symptom, get your dog to the vet immediately for treatment.
Frequent vomiting can also occur and worms may or may not be present in the contents that come out.
Coughing, while also a symptom of other conditions your dog might have, can also be a sign of roundworms. If you notice your dog has a cough that isn’t going away, be sure to check with your vet.
Next, you will want to be aware of any physical changes that could point towards worms as the primary cause. For instance, if your dog’s stomach area becomes swollen, roundworms can be the underlying problem.
On the other hand, a quick weight loss can point towards tapeworms or possibly whipworms.
Behavioral changes can often mean that your dog has gotten worms as well. Some dogs become very still and sluggish, while others become nervous or uneasy because of pain and severe itching has taken its toll.
Some dogs drag their butt across the floor to relieve the itching, but this can cause bleeding if not treated.
How Do You Treat Worms In Dogs?
Treating worms actually starts with the vigilance spoken of in the preceding paragraphs.
Knowing the symptoms and understanding where your dog can pick up these parasites is actually half the battle. The other part of the battle is knowing what to do next.
*Obligatory “GO SEE YOUR VET!” alert!*
Visiting your veterinarian regularly is a great preventative for worms.
He or she can do testing and catch a worm problem before it gets out of hand. They are also likely to give a heartworm and intestinal worm preventative that can keep your dog from getting worms in the first place.
An added bonus is that they can also keep fleas and ticks at bay as well.
Other measures for prevention can also include over the counter medications that you can purchase from your vet and even homemade preventatives.
While the ones you can purchase from your vet are likely to help with heartworms that may not be the case with homemade cures. Since heartworm is so very serious, and can be potentially life threatening, please exercise caution in this instance!
How Does A Dog Get Worms?
Heartworms in Dogs
Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes and once exposed, there is nearly a 100% chance that they will become infected.
They can affect both the heart and lungs and these worms can live as long as seven years!Heartworms in dogs can affect both the heart & lungs (& can live as long as 7 years if not treated properly). Click To Tweet
There are no particular localities that are hit harder than others are, as heartworm infection is prevalent in the United States.
Roundworms in Dogs
The most common method of transmitting the roundworm is through dog feces.
Dogs may sniff or lick the infected poop and transfer the roundworm egg or larvae into their own system.
They can also be spread to their loving humans, so be careful!
Some other animals can be responsible to transporting roundworms, such as mice and rats, roaches, birds and even earthworms. While these animals do not get the roundworms themselves, once they are eaten, the roundworm is released and goes on to complete its life cycle within your dog.
Tapeworms in Dogs
The flea is the common carrier for the all-too-common tapeworm.
They carry the larvae or newly hatched worms, your dog swallows the flea – usually while cleaning himself – and before you know it, he has a full-blown tapeworm infestation.
Since tapeworms are one of those that can be passed on to humans, it’s important to be careful when dealing with a dog that has them.
Make sure to wash your hands after contact and don’t let your dog give you “kisses” until you’re sure the worms are gone.
Whipworms in Dogs
The eggs of whipworms are often found in dirt or other substances that are apt to contain traces of dog poop.
Once ingested, they can move into the intestinal tract, usually between the small and large intestines, and cause an infestation.
Whipworms are a bit trickier to diagnose, so your vet should check for them at least once a year. If found, they can quickly be treated with something your vet will give you once they are found.
Hookworms in Dogs
It’s a little bit easier for your dog to get hookworms, which makes them one of the more common worms found in dogs.
They can be passed around orally, when the dog eats something containing the eggs or larvae, through skin contact, as well as through a mother dog’s placenta and milk.
Female hookworms lay hundreds of eggs that are microscopic in size and can lie dormant in soil for months.
If your dog goes outside, then comes back in and takes the time to groom his feet, he can pick up the hookworm.
Can Worms Be Passed From Dog to Dog? And Can Humans Get Worms from Dogs?
Worms are contagious, and some of them can be caught from dogs that are already infested.
However, worms are not contagious in the same way that some other illnesses are. For instance, if your dog is on a preventative, it’s likely that they will never get worms, even if they do come in contact with a dog that has them. But if your dog has had no dewormer, it’s best to keep them away from dogs that have them.
Heartworms are not contagious between dogs.
This is great news, since it’s the most dangerous type of worm. Even poop eaters will not get heartworms from an infected dog!
Tapeworms are not contagious between dogs, since they exist solely in the bodies of fleas.
Roundworms can not only be spread from dog to dog, but humans can get them as well.Humans (& other dogs) can get roundworms from dogs, so don't delay in getting your dog diagnosed! Click To Tweet
Both vomit and feces can carry the parasite and they can live on in contaminated substances for years, long after the waste is has been removed.
Whipworms are also contagious and great care should be taken to avoid that, when possible. They are the hardest worm to remove from your dog’s system and can live for years in the intestines.
Best Over The Counter Dewormer For Dogs?
If your dog has worms, but the problem isn’t severe, it could be that an over the counter medication will do the trick. Don’t go this route is your dog experiences a swollen abdomen, bleeding rectum or has excessive diarrhea or vomiting.
1. 8in1 Canine Dewormer
8in1 Canine Dewormer, by Safe Guard, is an excellent choice for dogs six weeks or older. This medication is priced affordably and can be used to treat tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms and roundworms.
All you have to do is mix the granules into your dog’s favorite kibble or into a nice treat. If you give this treatment for three days in a row, your dog will be protected for up to six months.
If your dog weighs more than forty pounds, you’ll need to purchase more than one package of this dewormer.
One gram of this product treats up to ten pounds, for a total of forty pounds possibly treated with the entire contents.
2. Sentry WormX Plus Dog Dewormer
Sentry WormX Plus Dog Dewormer treats dogs from six to twenty-five pounds.
Tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms are all treated and controlled with this product, which is quite a bit more expensive than some others are. This is compounded when you consider that you have to retreat once every month.
This chewable tablet can be fed to your dog as a treat and works for thirty days.
The broad-spectrum medication covers seven strains of parasitic worms and contains ingredients found in brands that are offered by veterinarians.
3. Panacur C Canine Dewormer
Panacur C Canine Dewormer, made by Merck, treats hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, roundworms and other common parasites.
The powder packets can be mixed with moist food or treats and must be administered for a total of three days straight.
After just a few days, you should begin to see perfectly worm-free poops and a dog that feels a whole lot better!
All of these products work just as well for puppies as for older dogs.
Just make sure to follow the instructions and base the dosage on weight. If you have a super tiny dog breed, you might need to check with your vet for the best product to use.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog Dewormer To Work?
This is a bit of a loaded question and can depend on many different factors.
The age and size of the dog need to be considered, as does the dosage of medication given. The severity of the worm infestation will have a lot to do with how quickly the medication works as well.
Some medications work in as little as three days, after which you will be able to see the worms actually being expelled in your dog’s poop.
Other meds can take as long as two weeks before signs are seen.
If you have given the medication as directed, and see no signs of relief in your dog or puppy, contact your vet or the medication manufacturer. In such a case, the medication itself could be tainted, out of date or just not potent enough to accomplish the job.
It’s possible you might be entitled to a refund.
Dog Dewormer Home Remedy
Unless you’re a chemist, it’s likely you won’t be able to recreate the medicinal properties of most dewormers. However, there are several home remedies that have been shown to help in cases of intestinal worms in dogs. Here are a few you can try:
- Pumpkin seeds have a natural ingredient known as cucurbitacin. It paralyzes worms and keeps them from getting a good grip on the walls of the intestines, so they can be expelled much quicker.
- Wormwood works to completely destroy intestinal worms as well as improving digestion. Just add about ¼ teaspoon of dried wormwood to the food of most large dogs, or cuts it in half for pups and smaller dogs. This remedy is not suitable for dogs that suffer from seizures, kidney disease, liver disease, female dogs that are pregnant, or nursing puppies.
- In addition to ridding your dog of worms, cloves can strengthen his immune system too. Cloves are a potent anti-parasitic and can be given to small dogs at a rate of ¼ of a whole clove, dried. Crush it and mix it with food every day for one whole week. Do not administer to pregnant dogs, as cloves are also a uterine stimulant.
- The seeds of a papaya have properties that will quickly kill worms as well as other organisms that live in the digestive system of your dog. The powder of two tablespoons of papaya seeds will treat dogs up to twenty pounds. You can also give chunks of ripened papaya to your dog, cut up into bite-sized pieces. They usually enjoy the flavor. Give the remedy for seven days straight for the best results.
We hope these tips and tricks have helped you in your quest to rid your dog of worms. Remember that some forms can be extremely dangerous, even lethal in some cases, so please don’t take chances with your dog.
Do have any awesome tips for dealing with intestinal or heartworms in dogs? If so, don’t be shy! Share them with us! Or, feel free to ask us questions relating to the same.