Deworming And Feeding To Take Care Of The Dog’s Health In Summer
Deworming and dog food are two very important aspects of keeping our four-legged friends healthy. Parasites can be found in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and are very harmful to our pets.
It doesn’t matter how well you take care of your furry trusty. Most likely, at some point in his life, he will develop parasites and not only endanger his own health, but also that of other dogs and humans, which is why regular deworming is so important.
What types of parasites affect dogs?
There are two main categories of parasites that affect dogs. These are roundworms and tapeworms.
The most common of the worms (also called nematodes) is the one called Toxocara canis , which is similar to spaghetti strands or fibers, depending on its size.
The largest can grow up to 18 cm in length. They live in the foods that dogs digest and reside in their intestines. Eggs are microscopic and are released into the environment through animal feces.
Roundworms are formed by chains of very, very long flat segments. They can grow up to 70 cm. The most common is called Dipylidium caninum . They adhere to the intestinal wall, and continually produce eggs that gradually break down and excrete with the dog’s feces.
Warm temperatures help these parasites to spread.
Nematodes enter the animal’s body from the environment, through the dog’s muzzle, paws and coat, while it sniffs, licks and plays in contaminated areas ; then they are ingested and thus continue their life cycle.
Although all traces in the faeces disappear completely, the eggs can remain infective in grass or soil for two or more years.
They can also be transmitted indirectly if the dog eats a rodent or a bird that has previously eaten them.
Puppies are especially vulnerable to parasites and can be born already infected with them, as the female can transmit them through her milk or when she licks them.
That is why it is very important that, when the bitch is pregnant, that she is dewormed, the same should happen with the puppies, as soon as they are born.
The tapeworms, in turn, need to be ingested by an intermediate host, can be a flea. When a dog swallows an infected flea, the life cycle continues.
The worms can damage the intestine, cause diarrhea, dehydration, anemia, severe weight loss and make your dog much more susceptible to other diseases that, in some cases, can even be fatal.
It’s not just your dog that’s at risk; humans can also be affected in their health.
If they ingest the parasite eggs, they usually turn into larvae that can travel throughout the body. From the lungs to the liver and sometimes to the eyes, where they can cause changes and even complete loss of vision.
Having good hygiene standards is very important, especially children, who must be taught not to share plates of food with the dog and to wash their hands after petting or playing with him.
A good prevention strategy is just as important as some type of insecticide or deworming product. Therefore, your dog must always be clean and the places he frequents must also be in the same condition.
The frequency of deparatization depends on the product being used, the age of your dog and your lifestyle. Puppies are generally dewormed every two to three weeks, from two weeks of age until the twelfth week.
Then, monthly, until you are six months old. Then every three months is enough.
Dogs who live in homes with young children, who are heavily infected or who live in high-risk areas may need antiparasitic treatment more often.
Food is also very important. Try to make your dog follow a healthy diet. If you choose natural foods, wash them well and keep your feeders and drinking fountains clean and with fresh water.
In case you give him processed foods, remember that they must be of good quality and recommended by a veterinarian.