Strategic Deworming Guidelines

Intestinal parasites have been around forever and are not going away – which means you need to manage them out of your pet. Parasites don't want to kill your kitten or puppy, they just want to use their resources for their next meal. However, they don't mind dragging pets down, causing rough hair coats or anemia in the process!

Horse We want to feed our pets - not the parasites - the best nutrition. That is why we deworm. Don't wait until you are sure your pet has parasites – they have already caused damage at this point. Strategic deworming means getting your pet dewormed before they have tissue damage and start showing signs.

These recommendations are from the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists (AAVP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Puppies & Kittens: The goal is to clear the parasites during the growth phase of their life, when they are most susceptible.
  • Deworm at 2-4-6-8 weeks of age, then again at 12-16 weeks of age.
  • You can then move to 6 months and 1 year, then deworming as an adult.

Adult Dogs and Cats: We are recommending the standard here. If your pet is a big hunter they will need more frequent deworming - you must assess the risk for your pet.
  • The general rule: twice a year for life.
  • If your cat is 100% inside, you can deworm once a year. If your cat likes hunting outside, more will be necessary.
  • Dogs put everything in their mouth and need twice a year deworming to eliminate the parasites they will pick up.

Bitches and Queens: Parasites get active in late pregnancy when the females are heavily pregnant and stressed - the time when the mom has the least resistance to parasites. Bitches and queens will transfer roundworms in the milk, so the effort is to try and stop the transfer to the next generation.
  • Fenbendazole is labeled for pregnant dogs and is safe for moms during gestation.
  • After 50 days gestation, deworm for 3 days with Safeguard/Panacur to remove as many parasites as possible from the mom before birth.

Newly Acquired Animals: No matter what the history or age, assume they have parasites!
  • Deworm immediately and repeat in 2 weeks.
  • Put on the above adult program.

The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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