How to Deworm a Puppy

There's nothing better than bringing home your new puppy or caring for a litter of pups. Ultra-adorable pups are the cutest, but the worms that may be lurking in their systems certainly are not. That's why deworming a puppy is so important, because intestinal worms in dogs can cause a plethora of problems for your growing pooch.

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How to Deworm a Puppy
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Fortunately, your veterinarian can get you started on the right paw by deworming your puppy or recommending a good dewormer for puppies that is safe to use. There are several medications available that get rid of intestinal parasites, and which one you give will depend on your pup's health.

Worms in dogs and puppies

Little worms in puppies can cause big problems, which is why deworming is necessary. Even if your pup is in perfect health, it's best to give your dog a broad-spectrum dewormer to get rid of any worms that could be lingering in his system starting at 2 to 3 weeks of age. That's because a puppy can get worms from his mother while she's pregnant with him or when he nurses from her if she is infected with them, according to PetMD.

The types of intestinal parasites that can commonly affect your dog include roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms, according to WebMD. These pests can make dogs very sick, especially young puppies, because they cause vomiting, diarrhea, stunted growth, and anemia. Because growing pups are particularly vulnerable to worms, it's important to treat them with a dewormer specifically made for puppies.

Dewormer for puppies

To get your puppy started on the right path, take her to a veterinarian for her initial deworming treatment and vaccinations. Your vet will know just the right medication and dose to give to your growing pup. Worm medicine for puppies comes in many forms, including liquid, tablet, powder, and injectables.

The active ingredients in any dewormer for puppies include fenbendazole, albendazole, and mebendazole. These medications are known as anthelmintics, which kill off the parasites in your puppy's body without harming her.

Fenbendazole is considered one of the more gentle medications to treat worms in dogs and puppies and can be used on puppies starting as young as 2 weeks old, according to Vetinfo. It's also a broad-spectrum dewormer that kills more than one type of worm at once, eliminating the need for additional medications.

Using a worm medicine for puppies

Your veterinarian will likely send you home with several doses of oral deworming medication to give your puppy over several days, which you must administer orally to your puppy as directed. The repeated dosage is necessary to kill all of the worms in your puppy's system.

After the initial treatment, your veterinarian will likely treat your puppy again within two weeks to kill any remaining parasites that have hatched from eggs in your little one's system.

Dewormers are typically given as follows:

  • Every two weeks until the puppy is 3 months old.
  • Once a month until he's 6 months old.
  • Annually, starting at 1 year old.

Note that if your veterinarian finds evidence of worms or other parasites in your dog's stool, she may recommend a different deworming medication or a combination of medications to treat your pooch.

What to expect when deworming a puppy

Worm medicine for puppies is generally safe with few side effects. However, after the treatment, your pooch may experience diarrhea, vomiting, or even excrete the worms in her stool; most likely when there are several worms in your pup's system. Your pup should be back to her old self in a day or so. If not, contact your veterinarian immediately.

According to Vetinfo, there are some natural remedies for deworming puppies such as diatomaceous earth, wheat germ oil, and ground pumpkin seeds. But natural remedies may not be effective enough to combat a serious worm infestation for your growing pup. If your vet has definitively diagnosed worms in your pup, you should use the commercial dewormer she recommends.