How to Prevent Tapeworm Infection in Your Home

Do you know how to protect your pets and family from becoming infected by tapeworm ? If not, keep reading to discover this essential information and learn how to prevent tapeworm problems around your home.

Tapeworm, Your Dog & You

Due to the rather unpleasant nature of tapeworm, many dog owners shy away from thinking about the subject. This is a mistake! Being informed on how these parasites infect pets is the first step towards preventing them from becoming a problem.

There are two common tapeworm species which use dogs as their host. The first and most frequently encountered is Dipylidium caninum, the dog tapeworm. This worm uses a very clever method to infect dogs. It relies on a flea as an intermediate host. If a dog swallows a host flea, it will become infected by the tapeworm. The second species is Taenia. Like Dipylidium, Taenia uses an intermediate host, in this case, small mammals such as mice, voles and rabbits. If a dog hunts and eats these animals, it can become the definitive host for worms.

Although a pet which has worms may not show many symptoms, being infected is by no means beneficial to their well-being and can cause discomfort, lethargy and digestive problems. Tapeworm-infected dogs could also potentially pass the infection to humans (through close physical contact, accidental contact with feces in the garden etc) and to other animals.

Tapeworm Prevention Tips

Fortunately for dog owners, scientists and health experts have spent many years working on solutions to control and prevent tapeworm. One important point to note is the intermediate hosts of the two tapeworm varieties : fleas and small mammals. Prevent fleas by regularly using a product like Frontline Plus or Revolution , and you have already significantly reduced the chances of your pet catching worms. Where possible you should discourage your dog from hunting/eating rodents, and take precautions to prevent these species from making their home around your property.

Because it is not 100% possible to ensure your pet does not come into contact with fleas or catch a mouse, veterinarians recommend that you treat your pet with a dewormer such as Droncit on a regular basis. Droncit contains praziquantel , which eliminates any tapeworm from your dog's system, thoroughly, cleanly and quickly.

Although tapeworm infection by Taenia and Dipylidium is relatively rare in humans, everyone in the home needs to be aware of the dangers and follow good hygiene practices. Make sure that dog feces are always cleaned up and disposed of, and always wash your hands after touching your pet, gardening or spending time outdoors.