Parasite Prevention For Dogs

Posted by wormers-direct on 9th Jun 2023

Parasite Prevention For Dogs

Dogs are very curious animals, and are often found sniffing or rolling in anything they can find, licking things of interest and generally being very playful. Whilst of course this is very natural behaviour, it does mean that dogs are generally quite exposed to harmful things, including parasites.

During this time of year, ticks are very common, along with the usual fleas, heartworm, and other intestinal parasites. Ticks and parasites often act as carriers, so once they latch onto your dog they can easily spread diseases, which can be very dangerous. That is why parasite prevention for dogs is so important.

External Parasites

External parasites include fleas, ticks, lice and mites. Fleas can be found on even the cleanest of pets, so don’t worry if you do find your dog has them. They tend to suck blood, which is why one of the most common signs that your dog may have fleas is localised redness & irritation. Severe flea infestations can cause anemia, so regular flea treatments for year-round prevention is always advised.

Johnsons Veterinary Products 4Fleas Spot-On for Dogs

Ticks are another external parasite found on dogs, and they can transmit bacterial diseases including Lyme disease and Ehrlichia. They also feed on your dog’s blood, but the swell the more the drink so become easier to see. Ticks are commonly found in grasslands and woodlands, so they are fairly easy for dogs to pick up. Spot-on treatments and collars are best for tick prevention.

Frontline Spot On Small Dog 2-10kg

Internal Parasites

Internal parasites in dogs include roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms that live within a dog’s digestive tract, removing vital nutrients from them. No matter what age a dog is, developing an internal parasite can be very life-threatening. In puppies they can severely reduce growth and development, whilst in older dogs immune systems can be easily compromised.

Every dog is at risk for developing worms, no matter how much time they spend outside. Worms are usually transmitted by the fecal-oral method, but at this stage, the parasitic eggs would have been microscopic in size. Tapeworms are actually transmitted via fleas, so it is really important to remove these from your dog as soon as you can visibly see them.

For most dogs, it is recommended that worm prevention is taken all year round, but if you aren’t sure which product is the best for your dog, get in touch today and our qualified SQP will be able to advise you.

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Lungworm is another internal parasite that dog owners need to be aware of, as it can sometimes be a fatal condition in dogs. Lungworm is caused by a parasitic worm that lives in both the heart and lungs of dogs, and they are commonly caught after the ingestion of slugs, snails or frogs that are carriers.

Some of the early signs of lungworm can often be mistaken for other conditions, as they are quite generic symptoms: coughing, breathing difficulties, reduced appetite, weight loss and lethargy. Lungworm treatment often involves medication to not only kill the worms, but also reduce inflammation in the dog’s lungs too. Again, prevention is always better than cure when it comes to lungworm, so here are some of our top tips:

  1. Reduce your dog’s exposure to slugs, snails and frogs
  2. Clean your dog’s water bowl regularly, and refrain from letting them drink from puddles
  3. Consider using a monthly preventative treatment against lungworm
  4. Regularly deworm your dog, seeking the advice of your vet

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Parasite Prevention For Dogs

Unfortunately there is bound to be a time in your dog’s life when they are affected by either an internal or external parasite, it is just nature. However, there are some steps you can take in order you prevent parasites in your dog:

  • Practice good hygiene, including regular hand washing after touching your dog
  • Have your pet professionally groomed regularly
  • Check for fleas and ticks on your dog’s coat after being outside
  • Avoid feeding your dog a raw food diet (due to the risk of parasites)
  • Use preventative measures such as a flea/tick collar, and regular worming

For more information on any of the parasite prevention products we have on our website, please get in touch.