There are multiple species of worms that can infest your dog. No matter what type your dog has, the worms are parasites. This means they have to leach nutrients from your dog in order to survive. Worms are very common in young dogs, which is why every owner should know how to deworm a puppy yourself at home.
When the term ‘worms in dogs’ is used, it is a broad term that includes many types of parasitic worms living inside your dog’s body. They feed off your pet’s blood/nutrients to survive. In process, these little invaders will cause a lot of health problems for Fido.
Some common health issues (PDF) caused by worms in dogs include:
- lower energy
- severe weight loss
- If you leave worms untreated, they will reproduce and the infestation will continue to get worse and worse. Your dog can also spread worms through their feces. If you have other pets in your home, it’s quite likely that they will contract worms as well.
How to Deworm a Puppy Yourself at Home
Roundworms and hookworms can be passed to puppies from their mother in utero. The pups an also catch these parasites by drinking milk from their infected mother. Because worms in puppies are so common, a reputable breeder will deworm puppies before sending them to their forever homes.
If you believe that your dog is showing symptoms of worms, you need to seek veterinary assistance to determine the type of worm they have. The vet will likely require you to bring a fresh stool sample in for testing. Symptoms of worms may include:
- eating more food
- dull coat
- pot belly appearance
- excessive itching
- skin irritation
- “scooting” or rubbing bottom on the ground
- visible worms in feces or vomit
The steps involved in learning how to deworm a puppy yourself will be determined by the type of worms your dog has contracted and the severity of the infestation. Over-the-counter remedies are usually only effective for one type of worm.
Your veterinarian will probably offer a broad spectrum dewormer that will be effective on multiple types of worms.
If you’re planning to purchase an over-the-counter dewormer, be sure the one you choose is effective for the type(s) of worms that your dog has contracted. Read the packaging and dosage instructions very carefully.
You can purchase tablet or liquid dewormers. When administering the medication, be sure to follow the dosing instructions very carefully. You can see how to administer liquid and tablet medications in my video guide at the top of this article.
If it’s a tablet, lift your dog’s head, place the pill in the back of his throat, and then hold his mouth closed while you rub his throat to ensure that he swallows the medicine. If you’ve chosen a liquid dewormer, use a syringe to squirt the medicine into the back of your dog’s mouth. His natural instinct will be to swallow the liquid.