How to Choose Dog Wormers

There are so many different worming medications available for dogs that selecting the right one can be a very daunting task - and that is before you have even gone near that mouth and all those teeth to get your dog to swallow a tablet!

Different worming medications will treat different parasites. It is important to know which parasites a product covers,to ensure that your dog will have complete protection against all relevant parasites for your state.

Rest assured - in order to be registered and authorized for sale, all worming medications are tested for safety and effectiveness, so that you can be confident that they all work.

However, different ingredients in different wormers mean that some protect against some worms and not others, so it is probably a good idea to chat to your veterinarian and work out which parasites are a problem in your area, which you should be treating your dog for, and at what times of the year.

Intestinal worms tend to occur year-round in dogs, although some types of worm are restricted to certain US regions. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you which worms you need to treat for in your home state.

Most worming options for dogs are in a tablet or chewable form. So which products treat which worms?

Let's start with looking at the intestinal worms which affect dogs in the US. They are:

  • Roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina)
  • Hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma brazilense and Uncinaria stenocephala)
  • Whipworms (Trichuris vulpis)
  • Tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum, Taenia spp and very occasionally Echinococcus spp)

Varying "worming" products will treat some, all or absolutely no intestinal worms. Some products will combine intestinal worm treatment with heartworm prevention, or sometimes even flea treatment. Thus it is very important to know the list of parasites treated by a product before using it.

Ideally for a complete parasite control program, you should be able to tick the box for every parasite listed. Ticks may also be important in some areas. You may need to choose more than one product to get complete coverage. Speak with your veterinarian to get the right advice as to which is the best option for your dog.

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