The importance of protecting your puppy against parasites

Even those amongst us who aren’t squeamish would have to admit that the thought of parasites either inside or outside your young puppy is enough to leave your skin crawling! Thankfully, nowadays, we have safe and effective products available which can rid our furry friends of these pesky critters.

Most breeders will provide parasite prevention for your puppy for the first few weeks. However, once our puppies come home with us, this very unglamorous chore becomes our responsibility. It’s important to ask the breeder which products they have been using and when the last dose was administered so we know when our pups next need to be given something.

How do parasites infect my puppy?

Your puppy can pick up parasites from their mum’s milk and the environment around them. It is extremely common for them to be re-homed with some worms in their belly and a flea or two hiding in their fur. Often, it is hard to spot this. This makes it critical for us to always provide parasite prevention whether we see evidence of parasites or not.

Untreated, young pups with parasite burdens will soon begin to become unwell. Thankfully, most parasite infestations are not only easy to treat but also easy to prevent.

Take advantage of our Healthy Pet Club membership that includes monthly flea and worm prevention, meaning you won’t run the risk of forgetting when the next dose is due.

Fleas

Fleas not only cause itchiness, red skin and scabs but they can transmit tapeworms too. As they bite skin and eat blood, they can even result in an anaemia when present in large numbers. In particular in small pups who have a relatively low blood volume. This anaemia can be so significant that the worst affected puppies can become very unwell and even pass away.

Dog fleas cannot live on humans but they can be transmitted to other dogs and cats in the home. Frustratingly, they can be very difficult to eliminate from the environment once they have been introduced. This is because their eggs and larvae live in the beds, carpets and curtains within the home, developing into adult fleas over time. When a dog is diagnosed with a flea infestation, it is essential that we treat not only them but also the other pets in the home and the home itself. Remember, we may not always see the fleas but if flea dirt (tiny specks of black, gritty material) is present on the fur, then we can be sure that they are about!

Worms

There are a number of different worms that can affect your pup, including tapeworms, roundworms and whipworms. Often, these worms are present and we don’t even realise. Sometimes, they will cause diarrhoea, an increased appetite and a bloated belly. An unlucky owner may even witness worms in their pup’s poo or find tapeworm segments on the fur around their bum. Some worms can be passed on to people and young children are especially at risk. Therefore, it is incredibly important to treat our puppies regularly. This should be done at least once a month until they are six months old. On top of this, their environment should be kept clean, poos should be cleaned up as soon as they are passed and children should be taught to wash their hands after playing with or stroking pets.

Ticks

As global temperatures rise, ticks are becoming even more prevalent within the UK. Ticks attach themselves to our pets, sucking their blood and growing day by day. They can also transmit diseases and they are sometimes mistaken for warts or skin tags. However, you should be able to see their spider-like legs if you look close enough. Ticks need to be removed in a specific manner to prevent infection. Follow this link to find out more >