Deworming: Why deworming is important for your pet & the whole family

Most pet owners cringe at the thought of worms infecting their dogs or cats. Worms such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms can seriously harm your pet, and even cause death, particularly for puppies and kittens. They can also infect you and family too, and that’s why it is so IMPORTANT to deworm your pet and family!

1. How do dogs and cats get worms?

Have you ever wondered how your pet pal picks up worms? These unpleasant critters are transmitted to dogs and cats through various ways - when they lick the ground, drink contaminated water or through the milk of the mother to un-weaned puppies and kittens. Your pets can also become infected with worms through the placenta before birth from the mother to puppies, when they go hunting or scavenging as well as from eating raw offal.  One of the most common ways for your pet to pick up tapeworm, is from fleas which they do by ingesting the flea whilst grooming themselves, so it is very important to keep them flea free.
One of the main reasons that cats pick up worms is through the ingestion of the faeces of infected cats. These worms multiply inside your pet’s body, mainly inside the stomach and intestines. They release eggs which are passed through the stool and as a result, infects your environment. We and especially, children are easily prone to picking up worms if our environment has been contaminated.
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2. How to spot worms in your pet?

It is very seldom that you will see worms in your pet. I’m often asked if pets pass worms but this happens rarely except in puppies. Some worms are easier to spot than others. If your dog picks up a tapeworm, you may notice what looks like grains of rice around the anus. Possible symptoms caused by a worm infestation in your pet could be:
• Diarrhoea
• Vomiting
• Bloody stools
• Pot-bellied appearance
• Loss of appetite
• Lethargy, weakness
• Weight loss
• Anaemia
• Poor growth
• Coughing
• Nervous symptoms such as epilepsy or convulsions
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3. Should I worry? Is a worm infestation dangerous?

Yes, a worm infestation in your pet is definitely cause for concern and worry! A severe worm infestation can cause enteritis which is followed by diarrhoea – sometimes the diarrhoea can be really bad and even contain blood and mucous. During a heavy worm infestation, your pet’s intestines may also be blocked and lead to the animal’s death. In some cases, worms suck the animal’s blood which causes anaemia and weakness, and very often also death. Another reason to be worried is that dogs or cats can transmit the worm infection to humans which will then cause serious health problems.
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4. How to prevent a worm infestation in my pets?

It is very important that pets are dewormed regularly to keep them in good health. Usually, a puppy or kitten needs to be dewormed for the first time two to three weeks after weaning and thereafter every two weeks until they reach three months of age. Adult pets should then be dewormed every three to four months for the rest of their life.  Make sure you have an excellent flea control program in place each month – as fleas can transmit worms to your dog or cat.
If you are breeding, make sure that your bitch is also dewormed thoroughly. As there are a wide variety of dewormers on the market, it is always a good idea to follow the advice and guidance of your vet when choosing one which is best suited for your pet – the type of worm present as well your pet’s age, size and present health condition all needs to be taken into account.
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5. Can conventional worm treatments be bad for my pet’s health?

Some over-the-counter worm treatments can be excessively harsh and often less than effective. Continual deworming with conventional products may also weaken your pet’s immune system. Worm Dr Pets is a natural worm and parasite repellent that promotes digestive health and balance, repelling worms such as roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm. As an added bonus, Worm Dr Pets also detoxes the digestive system and restores digestive health after parasitic infection! 
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6. Strong immune systems help to prevent worms

Just as is the case with any other infection or infestation, strong immune systems can help to prevent worms, which are much more likely to infest animals (and humans!) with weak immune systems. It is therefore essential to keep your furry friend’s immune system strengthened so that if he does become infected, he will recover quickly. Use our Immunity & Liver Support to boost your pet’s immune system and protect against disease. This all-natural immune booster also acts as a general tonic and is very effective during convalescence. For cats, we recommend our Worm Dr Pets from our Feelgood Pets range which eradicates intestinal worms. Worm Dr Pets comes in liquid form which cats are more likely to take than a capsule! A few drops in your kitty’s food will help to keep him worm-free and in tip top health. 
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7. How to protect myself and family against worms?

We treat our pets as part of the family and as such we often have lots of physical contact with them. Some of us pet our animals, let them lick our hands or faces, and even allow them to sleep on our furniture and beds. The problem with being at risk of worm infestation is when you do not practice good hygiene habits. Washing your hands after playing or working with your pet is essential. As much as you love and adore your pet pal, don’t let him lick your face. Make sure that you remove pet faeces every day. Another no-no is sharing cooking utensils with your pet – make sure that your pets have their own bowls to eat and drink out of. If you are going to feed your pet offal, make sure that it’s well cooked as raw offal could be infected with tapeworm.
Lastly, deworm yourself and your family every six months to protect against infection. Over-the-counter deworming medications can often be harsh for the body’s system, especially young, fragile bodies. In the Feelgood Health range of natural remedies for humans, we have a natural deworming remedy called Worm Dr which safely eradicates intestinal worms and promotes digestive health in children and adults.
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