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Dog Deworming Schedule

Full Dog Deworming Schedule

Most of us already know that there are important things to do in order to keep our dogs healthy. Dogs should be spayed and neutered, get vaccinated, and get regular check-ups with their veterinarians. Did you know that dogs should also be on a deworming schedule? This is more than just a heartworm prevention.

To understand what type of schedule that your dog should be on for deworming you should first understand what deworming is and why it’s important. After that, you will be able to find out the cost of deworming, figure out the best deworming schedule for your dog’s needs, understand the deworming procedure and recovery process. Finally, it is important to know helpful ways to prevent worms.

What is Dog Deworming?

Deworming is the process of removing any worms that are in your dog internally. Deworming is typically done after the veterinarian diagnoses the exact type of worm that has infected your dog. Tests that the veterinarian may suggest are examination of a stool sample, or a blood test. Deworming can be done through spot-treatment, injection, medication, or a dewormer.

Why is Deworming Important?

It is very important to deworm puppies and dogs that are new to your home in addition to keeping a dog deworming schedule for your pooch after that because worms can cause your dog to have very serious health problems. Puppies can get worms very easily from their mother’s milk, as well as outside environmental factors.

Different worms can cause different problems. Tapeworms, roundworms, heartworms, and more can have a negative impact on your dogs health. It is important to have your dog diagnosed because the different worms might be treated in different ways.

Tapeworms can cause your dog to lose nutrients, because tapeworms feed on the nutrients passed in the small intestine, your dog may seem more hungry than usual… your dog might even lose weight. Prevention can be easy. Tapeworms are contracted when a pet swallows an affected flea and Scheduled flea prevention will keep your dog safe from infection. Tapeworms are treated with various deworming medications.

Roundworms are parasites that live off of your dog’s intestines. Symptoms are pot-belly, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, belly pain, dull coat, weight loss, and roundworms in poop or vomit. To treat roundworm, follow your veterinarians instructions, this will most likely be one of several deworming medications.

Heartworms enter your dog through a mosquito bite from an infected mosquito. The worms move to your dog’s heart and can live there for years. The following symptoms are present: intolerance for exercise, lingering cough, excessive fatigue, trouble breathing, coughing up blood, and more. Treatment is a long, tedious, and expensive process that takes over a month to treat. Heartworms can be easily prevented with a heartworm preventative as prescribed by your veterinarian.

Depending on your dog’s activities it may be even more important because they could be at a bigger risk for an infestation. Hunting dogs, dogs who frequently swim in lakes or ponds, and outside dogs are more likely to pick up one of these types of parasites, especially if they are not receiving the proper preventatives.

What Does Deworming Cost?

Most deworming medications cost between $40 and $80; however, if your dog has heartworm that treatment can cost upwards of $1,000, or more.

How Often Should I Deworm My Dog?

Even with the proper preventatives, it is important to follow a dog deworming schedule because not all worms can be prevented. Puppies, new-to-your-home dogs, and adult dogs should all follow a deworming schedule. Most vets suggests the following deworming schedules mentioned below.

ALSO READ: Can Humans Get Worms from Dogs?

Dog Deworming Schedule

Dog Deworming Schedule

Puppy Deworming Schedule

Puppies should receive deworming treatments every two weeks until they are twelve weeks old.

After twelve weeks old, puppies should receive deworming treatments once a month until they are six months old.

Once they have reached six months old they should follow an adult dog deworming schedule unless otherwise noted by your veterinarian.

New-to-your-home Dog Deworming Schedule

Deworm the new dog as soon as they arrive at your home.

Repeat the deworming treatment two weeks after their first treatment.

Then, begin a regular adult deworming schedule.

Adult Dog Deworming Schedule

Adult dogs should receive deworming treatment twice each year, or about every six months.

If your dog participates in activities that may make them more susceptible to worms then your veterinarian may suggest a more frequent schedule.

What is the Procedure and Recovery Process?

Deworming treatments are prescribed by your veterinarian based on the type of worm, dog’s age, and dog’s weight. Your vet will give your dog medicine by mouth or in a shot to kill the worms. Many of these drugs are described as “broad-spectrum,” because they're good for treating a wide range of parasites, including worms that live in the gut. They're poisonous to pests, but safe for pets.

There are over-the-counter deworming products that can be used to deworm your dog; however, you should check with your veterinarian first to see which one they think is best for your dog. Always follow the package instructions and seek veterinary care if your dog experiences severe adverse side effects.

Side effects of the deworming medication may include: lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.

If you need help with deworming your dog, here's Samantha's guide written in step-by-step process; or, you can watch the below video for more detailed explanations.

How Can I Prevent My Dogs from Getting Worms?

Even with the proper preventatives, it is important to follow a deworming schedule because not all worms can be prevented. In addition to following a deworming schedule, some ways to prevent your dogs from getting worms include:

  • Administering a heartworm preventative
  • Administering a flea and tick preventative
  • Support their immune system through proper diet and regular exercise

Deworming can become costly if your dog continually gets infected by any one of the various parasites, which is why you should talk to your veterinarian to find the best, most comprehensive preventative(s) for your dog. Preventing heartworm is crucial and there are several heartworm preventatives that are multi-functional and can help protect from fleas and ticks.

READ NEXT: 13 Science-Based Ways to Deal with Worms in Dogs


Kelly works as a veterinary technician in Austin, TX as well as regular animal rescue volunteer. She's been an animal lover and dog owner since childhood, and has worked in different dog related fields over the last twenty years. Currently she lives with three dogs and a cat.