The Importance of Worming Your Dog and Cat

The most common tapeworm is spread mainly through fleas, so it is important to also treat your dog or cat for fleas regularly.

Created: 29/05/2020 Updated: 03/08/2021 - Shelley Audis-Riddell

cats, dogs, health, Health & Wellbeing, parasite

Did you know you should worm your adult cats and dogs a minimum of 4 times a year, which is every 3 months?

Dogs and cats should be wormed at 3 monthly intervals to treat common types of worms, roundworms and tapeworms.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are transmitted to cats and dogs through the accidental consumption of fleas during grooming, so it is vitally important to regularly treat your pets for fleas in order to help ensure a healthy pet.

Roundworms

Roundworms are transmitted through contact with worm larvae. This can occur when your pet is outside or when it consumes infected prey animals.

Sheepdog led down and barking at owner

Worming treatment

Beaphar WORMclear® for cats is an ideal treatment for cats. For adult dogs, try Beaphar WORMclear® for dogs

Follow the worm guideline closely and avoid worming your pet just after a big meal, as it can make them sick. If your pet won't take the worming tablet, you could try wrapping it up in a little piece of food or use our tablet introducer. If your pet is sick after worming, contact your veterinary practice for further advice.

Worming your puppy or kitten

Depending on the product you are using, puppies and kittens should be wormed every 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks and then every 3 months.

Puppies and Kittens contract worms through their mother's milk. A litter of puppies or kittens should first be wormed at 2 weeks old. Then at 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 weeks. After 12 weeks, a young pet should be wormed every 3 months or as advised by the vet. Beaphar Worming cream is an easy syringe treatment for puppies and kittens.

When you worm your pet it only kills the worms that are present: it doesn’t prevent your cat or dog from picking up more worms!

Just because your pet doesn’t show symptoms of having worms (which many adult dogs and cats don’t), this does not mean you shouldn’t worm them – it is still essential to worm them every 3 months as they do not always show outward signs.

Puppies and kittens are likely to have roundworms, most puppies are born with worms and if not treated the effects can be serious.

There are 3 main reasons for worming regularly:

1) Protect your pet

  • You are preventing them from growing a nasty worm infestation which can make them very poorly. Infestations in puppies and kittens can lead to them becoming seriously ill and/or even cause death.

2) Protect your family

  • You are worming them to protect your family – certain worms are classed as zoonotic which means they can be passed from animals to humans.

  • The dog roundworm, Toxocara canis, and the cat roundworm, Toxocara cati, are probably the best known of these.

  • A human can become infected if they swallow the eggs having picked them up from the environment. In some cases, roundworm infestations in people have been linked to blindness and asthma in children.

3) Protect the environment

  • Finally, we should all worm our pets to protect the environment.

  • Most worm eggs are released back into the environment via our pet’s faeces. The eggs become infectious 30 days after the faeces has been passed, so sticking to a regular worming routine and picking up after your pet as soon as they’ve toileted will help reduce the spread of worm eggs.

  • Worm eggs in fresh faeces are not infective to pets or people, so there is no need to stop picking up your dog's poop!

Cleaning up after your pet as soon as possible and regularly worming your cat or dog helps prevent the spread of worms.

Want to learn more about parasites in pets?

Check out our blogs…

Do you need further advice?

If you need any further advice, please contact the OSCAR Helpline Team on our freephone number 0800 195 8000 or email helpline@oscars.co.uk.