50% of American pet owners consider their pets just as much a part of the family as any other family member. Another 36% consider them a part of the family just not as significant as other family members.

Keeping everyone in the family happy and healthy is a top priority and your dog, cat or other pet are just as important.

Did you get a new puppy or kitten that was born with intestinal worms? Maybe your older pet needs a pet dewormer? It's not uncommon for animals to have worms at some point in their life.

We know you want to keep your pet free from parasites. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about worms in your pets and find out what dog and cat dewormer options are available.

How Do Animals Get Worms?

Animals get worms in a variety of ways. These are the more common incidences:

  • ingesting fleas
  • catching animal prey like mice
  • eating the feces of other animals
  • picking up eggs in the soil where other animals have defecated

Puppies and kittens are born infected with worms. Hormones that result during the pregnancy stimulate the resting worms found in the mother. The worms then pass to the newborns through the placenta. They also pass through the mother's milk. Newborn animals and their mothers need to be dewormed routinely.

Types of Worms

There are 5 types of worms that affect dogs and cats. They include the following:

  • heartworms
  • tapeworms
  • hookworms
  • roundworms
  • whipworms

Symptoms

A lot of times, it may not be obvious that your pet is infected with worms. Your veterinarian will take a fecal sample to test for worms when you take your pet in for a yearly physical.

The symptoms to look out for in the meantime are as follows:

1. Weight loss

Have you noticed that your pet is losing weight? Rapid weight loss can be a sign of a tapeworm or whipworm.

2. Vomiting

An animal infected with worms will often vomit. Roundworms will be visible in the vomit.

3. Dry Coat

Is your pet's coat looking dull, dry or coarse? This could be a sign that your pet has worms. Worms may also cause a rash or hair loss. If your pet's coat isn't looking as shiny and thick as it usually does, it's a sign that something is wrong.

4. Itching

Itching is a sign of a severe worm infestation.

5. Coughing

Hookworms and roundworms may cause your pet to develop a cough, but advanced stages of heartworm will definitely cause your pet to cough.

6. Diarrhea

Worms will cause soft, loose stools.

7. Scooting on Bottom

Worms may be around your dog's bottom causing them to scoot on the floor to relieve the itching in that area.

8. Visible in the Feces

Have you noticed rice-like moving segments in your pet's fecal matter? It's likely that your pet has a tapeworm. Roundworms are also visible in fecal matter.

9. Pot Belly

If your pet's belly looks bloated, you need to be concerned. This is a sign often seen in puppies born with worms.

10. Loss or Increase in Appetite

Is your pet not eating like he or she normally does? Eating more? Eating less? Roundworms can cause a loss of appetite. On the other hand, while the worms steal nutrients, your pet may feel the need to eat more.

What Does a Dewormer Do?

Worms can cause your pet to suffer from many symptoms and even cause death. Deworming your pet is important to their overall health. But what does a dewormer do?

How It Works

Dewormers are medications that work to kill any worms in your pet's body. The meds work to separate the worms from your pet's intestinal walls. Your pet will then excrete the worms.

In order to totally rid your pet of worms, the deworming medication should kill all of the eggs and worm larvae in your pet's system. Sometimes this is accomplished with a single dose of a dewormer.

Your pet may need more than one dose given over a period of time from several days to a week. Heartworm treatment can take up to several months.

Always have your pet rechecked following treatment to get the all-clear from your vet.

How Often Do Animals Need a Dewormer?

Newborn animals need to be dewormed every two weeks. Dewormers are usually given when these young animals receive their vaccinations.

Older pets should be checked for worms once or twice a year by your veterinarian.

Best Dewormers

The best dewormers have a powerful active ingredient and are easy to administer to your pet while being safe and reliable.

Cat Dewormer

Have you tried to give your cat medication? You know it's no picnic. Cat dewormers that are easy to administer are best.

A cat dewormer that is tasty and can be added to food or water will work well to rid your cat of intestinal worms including three types of roundworms.

Dog Dewormer

Dog dewormers come in tablet, liquid or gel form. Dewormer tablets can take care of a variety of worms from tapeworms to roundworms to hookworms.

Your vet will prescribe the correct medication for the type of worm with which your dog is infested.

Large Animal Dewormer

Does your horse need deworming? Check out these products. Amprolium powder treats and controls parasite infections. Add it to the drinking water or give it orally with a solution made with the soluble formula.

The Best for Your Pet

Now that you know all about worms and how to rid your pet of them, you'll want to choose the best large animal, dog or cat dewormer for your four-legged family member.

Do you know who has all you need in pet supplies? We at California Veterinary Supply offer everything you can imagine for any of your pets. Check out our site for all your pet needs. You'll be glad you did.