Wormer for Dogs: treatments and vet tips

A worm treatment for cats targets different worms than a wormer for dogs. While dogs need to be treated for tapeworms and nematodes, worming for cats aims at tape- and roundworms. 

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Wormer for dogs: different worms & symptoms

Your dog can be infected by 5 types of worms which all result in different symptoms and require a different wormer for dogs. So it’s important to know what to look out for.


They are the most common worm infestation in dogs. You’ll know that a wormer for dogs is required due to the following symptoms: pot belly appearance, diarrhoea, vomiting, dull coat and weight loss. You may even see this type of worm in your dog’s vomit or faeces. They look like pieces of spaghetti (6 inches or longer). Roundworm wormer for dogs is usually given in the form of a tablet. Roundworm can be transferred to humans, but good hygiene will usually eliminate this threat.


They can’t be seen with the naked eye, so they’re usually diagnosed by your vet through a lab test. The symptoms of hookworms include: bloody stool, anaemia, weight loss, pale gums, diarrhoea and low energy levels. This is the other type of worm that can be transmitted to humans. Good hygiene and cleaning up after your infected dog can prevent a human infection.


They can be diagnosed by the following symptoms: abdominal pain, nervousness, severe itching around the anus, vomiting and weight loss. You may see this worm in your dog’s faeces. The broken sections, which may still be moving, will give the dogs stool a rice-like appearance. Tapeworm wormer for dogs is usually given in the form of a veterinary tablet. Flea control will limit the potential infestation of worms in your dog.


They can’t be seen by the naked eye, and must be diagnosed through laboratory testing. Symptoms of a whipworm infestation include anaemia, weight loss, flatulence, diarrhoea with blood or mucus in the stool and lack of energy. A vet worming tablet will effectively treat this.



How do dogs get infected with worms?

  • Consumption of infective worm eggs from soil in the environment (generally through normal grooming)
  • Consumption of a prey animal (usually rodent) that is carrying developing worms 
  • During embryonic development when an infected mother dog is pregnant (most puppies are infected this way)
  • Nursing from an infected mother dog

The adult worm can lay up to 200,000 eggs per day. These eggs can live up to 5 years (even in the ground) and go on to infect uncooked meat, other pets and even us! This shows why a wormer for dogs is so important.

Wormer for dogs: what should I use and how frequent?

Adult dogs should be treated with a product containing all three drugs (praziquantel, febantel and pyrantel), at least every 3 months.

Pregnant or lactating bitches should be treated monthly and must get at least one wormer for dogs every 3 weeks after whelping. Some worms stay dormant in the tissues of bitches until they become pregnant. The worms then start migrating and can infect the puppies in the uterus. The worms can also be passed on through the milk while the bitch is lactating.


Wormer for dogs: puppies

Worms can take their toll on a young puppy. Left untreated it can cause anaemia and depression. Some puppies can get so sick that the worms cause the gut to burst and they die, others need fairly intensive treatment. It is much easier, less painful and cheaper to kill the worms before they become a problem, so please don’t forget about a regular wormer for dogs.

The following symptoms show that your puppy may require a wormer for dogs:

  • slight potbelly appearance
  • eating a lot but not gaining weight 
  • dull & scruffy coat 
  • scooting

Puppies need a wormer for dogs every 2 weeks until 
they are 3 months old. They then need to be wormed monthly until they are 6 months old. Once your pet is 6 months old, they can be wormed every 3 months.

Puppies and kittens are wormed with an Allwormer formulated for a young animal. This treats roundworm and hookworm, the most common worms. They can occasionally get tapeworm if the mother has not been de-flead and fleas are present on them.

Important notes on wormer for dogs

Worm treatments for dogs sold at supermarkets have many ingredients that are unknown and can sometimes have fatal consequences for our pets. Care is paramount when following the recommended dose. If a dog is given a higher dosage than diagnosed, it can kill him.
As dogs can also get worms by swallowing a flea infected with a tapeworm larvae while grooming, flea treatment plays a vital part in helping to prevent your pet from getting this particular type of worm.


Automated Dog Worming Programme

VetEnt offers a free delivery service to all our clients on our worming programme. Your worming tablets will arrive regularly on an agreed date and your account is automatically charged. To find out more click here.

Click here to download a printable version of the Canine Worming Factsheet, or visit the Canine Worming Factsheet page for more information.

See our page about Worm treatments for cats to see all Vet worming tips.

You may also be interested in: 

Worming cats

Fleas & Ticks

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