Taking care of a pregnant dog and the unborn pups is a challenge with huge rewards. It’s imperative that their health is looked after so that the mother and pups have the best start to their new life. One of the obstacles with looking after a pregnant bitch is what medicine you should and shouldn’t be given, in this article we’re going to specifically look at how worming treatments work during pregnancy and whether or not it can be done safely.
Should you worm a pregnant dog
Before anything is said about worms during pregnancy, we should stress how important it is to regularly give your bitch worm treatment before getting pregnant to reduce the risk of having worms during the pregnancy and then to pass them on to her pups.
If you’re a breeder and the pregnancy is planned then there is no excuse not to do this. This is the same principle as with their vaccinations. Don’t let your dog’s health be an afterthought.
But, for those looking for guidance on the subject you may have noticed there is a lot of conflicting advice about giving your bitch worming treatment during pregnancy. This conflict should be enough for you, as a responsible owner, to seek out veterinarian advice first and to never medicate your dog yourself.
Pregnant bitches do need to be dewormed but you will need to seek out a specific kind of medication as regular treatments are unsuitable and the dosage could be too high which could harm the pups in the uterus.
A quick conversation with your dog and a medical examination will determine whether or not it is safe to give them worming treatment if you’re concerned, especially if you’re not a professional breeder with experience in dealing with this situation.
Worm treatments have powerful chemicals which can cause more harm than good to the unborn litter and the risks are simply too large. There are treatments available which are advertised as safe for pregnant dogs and these may be recommended to you by a vet.
What is clear about these pregnancy safe treatments is that they are not the same as regular treatments – the dosage is labelled as ‘little and often’. If the question is can you use your normal worm treatment on an expecting mother then the answer is a definite no.
Dangers of worms for pregnant dogs
Untreated worms are a death sentence to many dogs and especially puppies. The hormones released during pregnancy can reactivate dormant worms which stresses our point that worming should be a regular occurrence leading up to the pregnancy. If you have dropped the ball with your dog’s treatment and you’ve discovered she’s pregnant then you need to visit your vet asap. We mean that.
However, vet approved medications are suitable online.
Ronnie is the JugDog site editor and a dog expert who has lived and worked with dogs his entire life. Living in St. Helens, UK with his wife son and Jug Dog Jeff Ronnie spends most of time researching the answers to the burning questions of the dog community as well as reviewing the latest and greatest dog products.