Why should I worm my pet?

Advice about worming your dog or cat

Regular worming for cats and dogs is vital to maintaining both their health and yours. Worms can pass from pets to humans very easily and can make you both very ill.

On this page, we share some medical advice and information about dog worming and cat worming with you.

Why should you worm your pet?

What types of worms do dogs and cats get?

Dogs have three types of worms they should be treated for; tapeworms, roundworms and lungworm.

Lungworm isn’t common and you don’t get it all over the UK but it can be very dangerous if your pet is infected. Therefore it is crucial that ALL dogs are treated. Lungworm can cause dogs to cough, and prevent blood from clotting properly. This can be fatal.

Cats should be treated for tapeworm and roundworm. Tapeworm is really common in cats and some types are infectious to humans too.

Roundworm is really common in cats AND dogs.

Worms in puppies and kittens can cause them to have pot bellies, upset stomachs, blocked bowels and rapid weight loss.

Prevention is better than cure

Cats and dogs preventative worming treatment is easy to administer, but you must routinely do this to ensure your pet doesn’t get worms.

Pets should be wormed every month up to 6 months of age, then 4 times a year after that for Roundworm and Tapeworm. Lungworm treatment for dogs needs to be done monthly.

Worming treatments can either be done at home or by the vet in the practice.

Treatment is either via a tablet or a spot on. Spot on is a liquid dropped on to the skin on the back of the neck.

To administer it, pick an area that your pet can’t lick (back of the neck or between the shoulders is best), part their hair and drop the treatment directly onto the skin.

Other things you can do to help prevent the spread of worms are:

Clean your pet’s food and water bowls regularly

When it comes to worming, the key things to remember are:


  • Worming needs to be done
  • It needs to be done regularly – at least 4 times a year
  • It is not as hard as you think


If you struggle to administer worming treatment to your pet, your vet can help.


Worming is included free on the Complete Wellness Plan at White Cross Vets.

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