Most wild animals just have to deal with worms. A worm attack can be uncomfortable but it isn’t usually fatal (although it can be). There are, however, two good reasons for deworming pets. Firstly, it keeps your pets healthier and happier. Secondly, it reduces the risk of worms being transmitted to humans or other animals.
Pet dogs are going to pick up worms from time to time. That’s just a fact of life. In fact, it’s often a sign of a good quality of life. Dogs are most susceptible to worms when they are doing the sorts of things they love the most, like socializing with other dogs.
The risk of your dog catching worms is highest when they spend a lot of time in the company of other dogs. Your dog can also be at risk if they scavenge for food. Both dung and rotting meat are likely to contain worms.
These worms may have a preference for other species. They may, however, still be able to survive inside your dog for quite some time. The longer they stay inside your dog, the more damage they can cause.
Some worms can live in multiple species. Ringworm and roundworm are probably the two most common examples. These worms are a serious risk to humans. This means that protecting your dog against worms also helps to protect your family (and other people).
It’s really important to understand that dogs can have worms without showing any symptoms. In fact, by the time you notice the symptoms, the attack is likely to be well underway. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important to have a regular worming program.
Worms stop your dog from getting the full benefit of their food. This means that common early-warning signs of worms often relate to food and eating. For example, your dog may have an increased appetite, lose weight or have an enlarged belly.
As the attack progresses, you may see them dragging their rear. This will generally be on harder surfaces like flooring and grass. You may even see visible worms in their stool. If you do, try to photograph them as close up as you can. This may help your veterinarian.
If you have any suspicion that your dog has worms, it’s important to speak to a veterinarian as soon as possible. It’s rare for worms to kill adult dogs, but it is possible, especially if the infestation gets out of hand. Young dogs, older dogs, and pregnant/nursing dogs can all be very vulnerable.
Protecting your dog against fleas can also help to protect them against worms. This is because tapeworm eggs are often carried by fleas.
Be careful what your dog eats, even if they are wormed. The fact of the matter is that any food with worms is probably food they shouldn’t be eating anyway.
Exercise good hygiene in everything to do with your dog. In particular, keep their food and water bowls hygienically clean. Try to avoid leaving food in them especially when the weather is hot.