When, how and why to deworm your dog

The deworming process is not easy. In the past, adult dogs were dewormed regularly, but this is no longer recommended. It is common for dog owners to have questions about when their dog should be dewormed and what symptoms indicate that the dog needs to be dewormed. Here we provide answers on what is involved in deworming a puppy and deworming an adult dog.

Puppy deworming

A puppy is dewormed during its first weeks of life, often against roundworms but sometimes using broader spectrum preparations. Therefore, always ask the breeder if the puppy has been dewormed and against what. Depending on the preparation used and when the breeder dewormed the puppy, you as the puppy buyer may sometimes need to deworm the puppy after you have taken it home.

Deworming of adult dogs

An adult dog is only dewormed if there are signs of parasitic disease, not regularly. There are many different symptoms that can be a sign that an adult dog has worms. A clear sign that the dog has worms (endoparasite manifestation) is that worms are visible in the dog's faeces. You may see larger worms in the dog's faeces or sometimes what looks like small grains of rice.

If you see worms in your dog's faeces, you can deworm your dog yourself. You can also take a stool sample to find out what type of worm your dog has, kits for which are available from pharmacies.

Other symptoms that may be signs of worms, but which may also be signs of other diseases, include vomiting, diarrhoea, dry and lacklustre fur and emaciation even though the dog is eating as usual. If your dog has any of the above symptoms and you suspect that it is worm, you should take your dog to a vet for further examination before deworming the dog.

It is common for dog owners to think that their dog has worms when it drags its bottom to the ground or licks its bottom, but this is not a typical symptom of worms, although many dog owners think it is. If your dog has any of these symptoms, you should not treat the dog by deworming but instead take it to a vet for examination. This way, the dog can get the right care quickly if a disease or other problem is behind the symptoms.

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