Dewormers for Dogs: Frequently Asked Questions

Having your dog dewormed is essential to ensure your pet’s continued good health. Would you like to know more about protecting your dog against worms? Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions, and our veterinarian’s answers.

Where are these worms found once my pet has become infected?

These worms are most commonly found within the intestines, but they can also be found in the lungs and within muscular tissue, like the heart.

How do worms affect my pet?

If your pet is not treated against worms, you may notice that your dog develops digestive upset (vomiting, diarrhea), respiratory difficulty (cough), or a delay in growth (especially in puppies).

Can worms be transmitted to people?

Unfortunately yes. Senior citizens, people with weakened immune systems, and children are most likely to be affected by being in contact with a dog infested with worms, or by a contaminated environment (ex. yard where the dog defecates). Any dog that comes into contact with these sensitive people should receive a deworming treatment on a regular basis.

How do I give my dog a dewormer?

Dewormers can be prescribed by the veterinarian as tablets or liquid to be given orally, as an oral paste, a topical liquid applied directly to the skin, or as an injection given by the veterinarian. Drug manufacturers have found great ways to make these medications taste good to pets, making them generally easy to use (especially when the medication is mixed with your pet’s favourite food).

How often should I give my dog a dewormer?

This depends on your pet’s habits. An adult dog that goes out often, hiking, or hunting with its owner should be treated every month. A small dog that spends most of its time in a more urban setting, or that doesn’t meet very many other animals, should still be dewormed regularly, especially during the warmer times of the year.

Puppies should be treated every two weeks until they are at least 12 weeks old. Afterwards, they should be dewormed every month until they are six months of age. Pregnant dogs should also be dewormed on a regular basis.

If you have any questions about your pet’s particular situation, your veterinarian can guide you based on your dog’s lifestyle, age and weight, as well as the family members it has contact with.

Can a dewormer make my dog sick?

Generally speaking, a dewormer will not make your dog sick. However, it should be noted that the worms themselves release toxins when they come into contact with the medication. These toxins may make your pet feel a little queasy, but their effect is short-lived. Some breeds of dogs, like collies, may sometimes have sensitivities to certain deworming medications; always check with your veterinarian first if you have any concerns.

When is the best time to give my dog a dewormer?

We recommend starting your dog’s deworming treatments in the springtime, once the snow has melted and the ground is no longer frozen, and to continue every month until winter. Some dewormers are best administered on an empty stomach, and always read the label carefully.