How to Treat Your Dog for Intestinal Parasites

Before you treat your dog for worms, be sure you recognize the warning signs that your dog may be infected, and familiarize yourself with the various types of intestinal parasites. The type of treatment you use will depend on the type of parasite that is infecting your dog.

Does my dog have worms?

There are several clues that may help you determine if your dog has worms.

Symptoms to look for:

  • Worms or worm segments visible in your dog’s stool, vomit, fur, or bedding
  • Scratching or rubbing his rear on the ground or “scooting” against furniture
  • A bloated belly – especially in puppies
  • Weakness, increased appetite, constant hunger, weight loss
  • Dull coat

Even if you do not see any of the symptoms above – your dog may still have worms. Discuss what you see with your veterinarian and have a fecal floatation exam performed to look for the presence of worm eggs.

Which worm treatment should I use?

It is important to know which worm(s) your dog has, as there are several different treatments available:

  • Roundworms and hookworms can be treated with a product containing pyrantel pamoate
  • Dogs with tapeworms should be treated with praziquantel (available over the counter or from your veterinarian).
  • A whipworm infestation may be treated with fenbendazole available from your veterinarian. This dewormer also can be used to treat roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and one species of tapeworm.
  • Coccidia should be treated with a sulfonamide antibiotic available from your veterinarian.