How Often Do Dogs Need Worming?

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Disclaimer: I am not a vet, but an enthusiastic pet owner with a diverse knowledge of dogs, cats and other pets. Writing well researched articles recommending dog friendly products to in-depth guides. Please seek a certified vet for a professional opinion on your dog, these articles are written from my own research and opinions. Please read our Terms and Conditions for more! As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

As responsible pet owners, ensuring the health and well-being of our dogs is very important to us. If you’re a new pet owner or have owned a dog for a long time you will know one crucial aspect of their care is protecting them from parasite infections, or more commonly known as worms.

Worms are a common concern for dogs, as these internal parasites can affect their digestive system, overall health, and even pose risks to human family members. To keep our dogs in optimal health, it’s essential to understand these risks and medications which can help with worms and other diseases.

In this article, we will delve into what worms are, how dogs get worms and how to adequately treat worms. By gaining a better understanding of this topic, you’ll be better equipped to protect your your dog and keep them fit and healthy. But remember to always consult your vet before trying new medication for your furry friend.

How do dogs get worms?

Dogs can unfortunately get worms through various ways, and it’s important for dog owners to be aware of this. One common way dogs can become infected is by ingesting contaminated feces. Dogs are natural explorers, they may come into contact with feces from infected animals, if they sniff or consume the feces, they can ingest the worm eggs or larvae present in them. This can lead to worm infestations in dogs.

Another way dogs can get worms is by eating infected prey. Dogs that roam in gardens or have access to outdoor areas unattended may eat or sniff dead animals like birds and rodents. That’s why it’s essential to note that certain types of worms can complete their life cycle within the animal, making them easily transmissible to dogs that prey upon them. Humans can also become infected in the same way, especially kids who come into close contact with dogs or play in sand or soils.

What different types of worms are there?

So there are 4 common types of worms which may effect dogs. Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms. Each worm may cause different problems for your dog and can be ingested in different ways.

Roundworms: (known as nematodes or ascarids) are worms which live in a dogs intestine. They usually eat food which your dog has digested and are the most common worm your dog can be infected with. Roundworms can also be passed on to humans. These worms are usually found in rodent feces, soil or dead animal remains.

Hookworms: Like roundworms, hookworms are intestinal parasites which hook themselves to the lining of your dogs intestine. Dogs can get hookworms by ingesting larvae by eating soil or feces. Unfortunately, hookworms can also be contracted through the mothers milk.

Tapeworms: Transmitted through fleas, can reach a length of 30cm long and use their mouths to cling onto parts of your dogs intestine to feast on food and feces. Tapeworms however, usually don’t cause serious health problems for dogs, but your dog may often drag their bottoms across the ground. Tapeworms can be treated by a vet or at home with tablets or injections.

Whipworms: Growing to 6mm long, whipworms can cause the most disease in dogs. Also living in the dogs intestine, whipworms can cause bloody diarrhea, weight loss and fatigue in dogs. Whipworms eggs can be ingested by the dogs through feces of other animals and can remain alive in the environment for many years thanks to their resistance to heat.

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How do I know if my dog has worms?

Identifying whether your dog has worms can be hard since the symptoms may vary depending on the type of worms. However, there are some common signs that may indicate your dog may have worms. Here’s what I always look out for:

  • Visible worms or eggs in the feces
  • Pale gums/anaemia
  • Changes in appetite and weight loss
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Scooting or rubbing
  • Dull Coat
  • Poor growth or tiredness

But remember, I am not a vet or animal doctor, if you have any concerns with your pet please consult your vet.

What are the benefits of worming?

Deworming plays a crucial role in preventing health issues in dogs. dogs are susceptible to various types of internal parasites, such as (the worms we talked about before) roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. These parasites can cause significant health problems, ranging from itching and discomfort to severe complications.

For example, roundworms can lead to digestive issues, including diarrhea and vomiting, while hookworms can cause anemia, fatigue and weakness. Through help from your vet and by regularly deworming your dog, you can eliminate these parasites and prevent the potential health risks they pose.

One of the primary benefits of deworming is the prevention of stomach and digestive system problems. Internal parasites in a dog’s digestive system can cause discomfort and irritation. Symptoms caused by worms can lead to weight loss and overall poor health. Deworming helps to remove these parasites and allows the dog’s digestive system to function properly.

How often should I worm my dog?

As I said before, I am not a vet. But here is what some vets say online about worming dogs. How often you need to worm also depends on several factors including the age of the dog, where you live and which parasites/worms you want to prevent.

According to PDSA you should worm your adult dog once every 3 months. But consider worming more frequently if your dog likes to scavenge a lot.

PDSA also suggest worming a puppy based on their weight and age. Their initial treatment should be at around three weeks old and after that, every two weeks until they are 16 weeks old. After 16 weeks, dogs should then receive worming every 3 months.

So here is a quick time line of how often you should be worming your dog.

  • First treatment 3 weeks old (check weight of dog)
  • Every 2 weeks until they are 16 weeks
  • After 16 weeks, once every 3 months. Or as regularly as your vet suggests.

What kind of dog worming tablets should I use?

There are a range of worming tablets you can use for dogs. Some are used against specific parasites, but some can kill all worms. I would advise you speak to a vet before considering which worm tablets are best for you.

But I usually buy my wormers from Amazon. Johnson’s one dose is an easy wormer for larger dogs from 8kg-40kg which tackles roundworms, taperworms and hookworms. Here’s a link if you want to check it out.

How can you give your dog a worm tablet?

There are several methods you can use to give your dog a tablet. I prefer to wrap the tablet or pill in a treat my dog likes, and sometimes even cheese. Here are some other methods:

You can try and test these methods as you go and find which works for you. But if you’re still struggling then check out this video by Monkoodog on how to give your dog any type of medication.

5 Practical ways to give your dog medication by Monkoodog

Final note from me

Some parasites can be dangerous for you and your dog. Worming and visiting your vet for advice against worms should be a top priority for every dog owner. Remember I am not a vet and I cannot give veterinary advice.


Q: Can I treat my dogs worms without going to the vet?

Yes and no, while it’s not recommended, harmless worms can be treated at home with a change in diet. Regular washing and changing what you feed your dog can go a long way. Foods like pumpkin seeds, carrots and coconut oil are known to help eliminate worms naturally. However, no one will have a better opinion about your dog than a vet!

Q: Can dog worms be passed to humans?

Yes worms from your dog can be passed onto you through feces or infected soil. Some parasites eggs can survive for weeks and even years in playgrounds or gardens. Children however are more susceptible to worms as they may play around with dirt and put objects near their faces or mouths. Roundworms for example can habitate in soil or sand, whereas hookworms are transfered when larvae penertrate the skin. This usually happens when you walk barefoot in unknown areas.

Q: How do I know if my dog has worms?

The obvious signs are:

  • Visible worms or eggs in the feces
  • Pale gums/anaemia
  • Changes in appetite and weight loss
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Scooting or rubbing
  • Dull Coat
  • Poor growth or tiredness

Another tell tail sign your dog has worms is “scooting” or shuffling. Dogs tend to scoot when they have pains or itches on their bottom.

Q: Why does my dog eat grass?

Grass is a good source of fiber. Fiber allows your do to digest and pass stools more easily, so grass can actually help your dogs digestive system.

Q: How often should my dog be wormed?

Your adult dog should be wormed every 3 months. Or more regularly if your vet advises you to do so.

Olivia Williams

Olivia Williams is a keen writer and has spent 6+ years writing professional, research-based content. Specialising in everything home related, whether that’s smart home products or pet goodies, she has an extensive knowledge on home appliances, dogs and safety products with a lot of reviewing experience. Before joining ThirtyBlue Media, she wrote content for her own website. 

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