Why should I worry about intestinal worms?
Intestinal worms are parasites that all pet owners should worry about. Regular worming is an important yet often overlooked part of your pet’s healthcare routine. As a rule, all puppies and kittens need to be wormed every two weeks until they’re three months of age, then every month until they reach six months of age, and finally, every three months for the rest of their life.
Dogs and cats can become infected with a range of intestinal worms including hookworms, roundworms, whipworm, and tapeworm. Intestinal worms can be transferred from our pets to human family members. Children, the elderly, and people who are immunocompromised are at a higher risk.
In most cases, dogs and cats become infected with parasites when they clean and lick their own feet. Microscopic worm eggs and larvae become attached to your pets’ paws when they walk over an infected area. Once inside your pets’ digestive system, it only takes a few weeks for the eggs or larvae to mature into adult worms. These adult worms continue to lay eggs inside your pet, at which point you may notice small, white flecks in your pets’ faeces; these are worm eggs. If an infected pet licks their bottom and then licks you or another family member, or even if you or a family member simply pat an infected pet, you can become infected with these parasites.
Cats can also become infected with hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms by hunting prey. Even indoor cats can be exposed to worms, as these parasites travel in smaller creatures like mice, lizards, insects, and fleas.
It’s important to maintain the worming regime set out by your veterinarian. Effective parasite prevention is about protecting your pet, your family, and yourself.
Dog and cat worming chart