Bird Dogs & Training  |  09/05/2017

Worms: Managing Parasites in the Outdoor Dog

Your dog is more than just a hunting companion. It’s a member of the family. It’s up to you to keep your dog healthy and free of intestinal parasites. While parasites are a threat to all dogs, outdoor dogs are especially vulnerable due to environmental exposure. 

How dogs get worms

Parasites are all around us and it’s common for a dog to become infected with intestinal parasites at some point in their life. The more your dog is outside, the greater his or her risk of infection. Common sources of parasite infections include:

Most puppies are born with worms they acquired either from their mother in utero or from nursing.

The Environment
Dogs may ingest infective eggs or immature worms in the environment, which can easily be picked up through the soil, from feces or, in some cases, dogs can pick up parasites through their skin.

Ingestion of Other Animals
Worms are transmitted by hosts such as rodents that have consumed the infective stages and act as intermediate hosts. When a dog eats an animal carcass, it also ingests these infective stages of parasites.

Get to know the major culprits

All dogs are susceptible to intestinal parasites and the best way to defend your dog against these parasites is to understand the most common threats impacting dogs in North America.

Time for deworming

If your dog is showing these signs, it might be time for deworming.

* Poor stamina
* Diarrhea
* Weight loss
* Dry or dull haircoat
* General poor appearance
* Potbelly (in puppies)

Threat to humans

Worms aren’t just dangerous to the family dog. They also put people at risk, especially children. Young children are the most vulnerable because of their tendency to put things in their mouth. Most infections in kids and adults happen accidentally by eating roundworm eggs containing immature worms. 
Hookworms can cause disease in people when the eggs are accidently ingested. More commonly they cause a skin irritation that occurs when the hookworm larvae enter the skin and migrate causing severe itching and painful tunnel-like rashes. 
Preventing parasite infestations in dogs is not only important for the overall health of the dog, but also reduces human health risks associated with environmental contamination.

Choosing the right dewormer

Regular deworming is essential to protecting the health of your dog. But not just any dewormer will do for your outdoor dog. It’s important to select a dewormer that is not only effective against the four major parasites of outdoor dogs, but is also extremely safe. 
Safe-Guard® (fenbendazole) Canine Dewormer is a safe and highly effective treatment for eliminating a variety of intestinal worms including six species of the four major parasites found in dogs that spend a lot of time outside, including whipworms and Taenia tapeworms. Safe-Guard is the only broad-spectrum canine dewormer with no warnings or contra-indications. 
Safe-Guard is safe for:

* Dogs of all breeds
* Puppies (at least 6 weeks of age)
* Pregnant females
* Older dogs

Consult your veterinarian If you suspect your dog may have parasites, consider scheduling an exam and fecal test with your veterinarian. Worms are usually diagnosed by finding eggs when a stool sample is examined under a microscope.
By following your veterinarian’s recommendations and having your pet tested for parasites annually, you can protect your dog and your family from potentially harmful parasites all year long. For more information, visit
Consult with your veterinarian for assistance in the diagnosis, treatment and control of parasitism.
Approximately 1% of dogs had vomiting associated with the use of this product. Safe-Guard® Canine Dewormer has no known drug interactions and is an ideal complement to monthly heartworm prevention products, which may not protect against all four major types of intestinal worms.
Copyright © 2017 Intervet Inc., d/b/a Merck Animal Health, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.