A dog getting a syringe in its mouth from a vet.

What Is Deworming?

As a dog owner, new or old, you may have heard of deworming. You may have even had deworming done for your dog, but you might not be sure what it is. So, as an awesome dog owner who is trying to learn as much as possible for your pup, it’s time to learn what deworming is.

The word “deworming” is used to describe the application of a pill or a drug in order to remove intestinal parasites from a dog. 

How Do Dogs Get Parasites?

We all know puppies and dogs want to put their noses and tongues into anything. Well, sometimes they can ingest very unpleasant and unwanted visitors, the kind that love to stick around in your dog’s intestines and just enjoy the all-you-can-eat buffet down there.

Puppies can also get intestinal parasites from their mom. This can come from nursing or even while the pups are still developing in the womb.

So, this basically means that it’s not a question of IF your dog will get the worms, but WHEN. Don’t worry though, if caught in time, this issue is easily treatable. 

What Are The Different Types?

There are different types of parasites that want to throw a party in your dog’s intestines. The most common are tapeworms, hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. They sound harmless, but if left unattended they could cause serious problems, such as anemia.

What these parasites do is they use up the nutrients that are intended for your growing puppy. They continue to grow and reproduce too, laying eggs that usually hatch in a period of 2 weeks. In severe cases, they may even cause blockage in the gut, which could potentially be life-threatening for the dog.

What Is A Good Deworming Procedure For Dogs?

A dog on a vet table with two vets with some food while they set up.
Good boy!

The first time a pup should get dewormed is at the age of 2 to 3 weeks. Since they are still with their mom at that time, the vet will need the deworm the mom as well. The reason for this is that some types of worms can pass through milk. 

As a vet, I always recommend to owners that the second deworming should be done around a week and a half later and before the first vaccine shot. Anthelmintic drugs are only able to remove adult worms, and it usually takes around a week for the leftover eggs to be developed before they can be removed, hence why the second deworming after a week and a half. As for the vaccine, no vet would recommend vaccination of a puppy that has worms or is not healthy enough. 

After the first vaccine, I always recommend the next deworming be done again a week and a half before the second vaccine and the same process for the third vaccine too. When your puppy has finished with its vaccination protocol, I usually recommend deworming it once a month until it is a year old, after which you can do it 3 or 4 times per year.

Other Things To Know

Now, when you read this you may think oh this is not what my vet has told me or done. And it is okay. Every vet works differently, but the idea is pretty much the same. The only difference would be in the weeks when they recommend deworming and vaccination. 

Another reason for deworming is that humans can get these worms from their dogs as well. Before you panic, let me just tell you that it is not that simple to get worms. If it were, there wouldn’t be a lot of vets around. However, worms can potentially harm humans too, so do try to be on top of this when it comes to deworming. 

Are Deworming Tablets Safe For A Puppy?

Yes! They most certainly are. Nowadays, the market offers many different products with different combinations of active components that do the same thing. And they get rid of those nasty worms! All of them are pretty safe and effective too, although we recommend checking with your vet before deciding on any one of them. 

Of course, sometimes your puppy may experience something like nausea, may throw up, or have a loose stool, but usually, this is not something you need to worry about. Usually, this resolves the same or the next day. However, if these symptoms are persistent, you should consult your vet for further instructions.

I usually recommend to my clients that they always make themselves a  calendar to know when they should give the next dewormer tablet to their dog. It is okay if you skip a day or two, but do always try to be on time. This will keep your dog safe from those nasty critters, as well as keep humans safe too.

Let’s Conclude: What Is Deworming?

Is deworming safe? Yes. Should you deworm your dog regularly? Double yes. It’s a simple process of keeping your dog safe and removing parasites. Talk to your vet about it today!

So, is this what you expected deworming to be about? Let us know your thoughts and why in the comments below! 

Dr. Nade Georgieva
Dr. Nade Georgieva
Dr. Nade Georgieva, DVM, PG Dipp (Anesthesia and Analgesia) Nade is a young veterinarian from North Macedonia, with five years of experience in small animal clinical practice. She graduated from the Veterinary Faculty in Skopje, after which she got employed in her hometown. She has shown great interest in the field of pain management and anesthesia, and was the first vet in the country to continue education in the field. In 2021 she graduated with Distinction at the Royal Dick School of Veterinary Studies at the University of Edinburgh, obtaining the title Postgraduate Diploma-Anesthesia and Analgesia. Nade is owned by a year old black Labrador retriever named Fred and she loves spending her time outdoors with her dog and friends. In her spare time, she also loves to learn to play the guitar and take photos of nature and animals.