Last Updated on August 3, 2021 by Marco C.
Worms are an annoying but also common issue in young pups which leads many people to wonder how long does it take for a puppy to get rid of worms? The answer can vary depending on the pup and some additional factors such as environment, external parasites, and so on.
Also, note that young puppies aren’t the only ones who can get worms and adult canines are susceptible as well. The reason we’re usually talking about puppies is that worms are very common in them.
So, how long does it take for a puppy to get rid of worms, what causes worms, how can you get rid of them reliably, and more tips below.
On Average, How Long Does It Take For A Puppy To Get Rid Of Worms?
The deworming medicine your vet will administer will start working immediately. It’s expected for the first few worms to be killed and passed through the stool within 12 hours.
However, that’s just how long does dewormer take to work. For the whole process to be complete you’ll usually have to wait a whole week until the last worm is out of your puppy’s system. For particularly tough infestations, it may even take two weeks.
Also, note that dead worms are more transparent than live ones. This can make them more difficult to notice. It’s not uncommon for pups to keep passing dead worms for days without their owners noticing.
When To Deworm Puppies?
The obvious answer is – as soon as you notice some of the symptoms of worms. We’ll list those symptoms below. However, it’s also recommended that you deworm your young pup even if you’re not noticing any symptoms. This is especially true if your pup has been a stray, comes from a shelter or a rescue, or even if you’ve bought it from a sub-par pet store or puppy mill. In general, your vet should advise you depending on the circumstances.
The rule of thumb is that puppies should be dewormed on their second, fourth, sixth, and eighth weeks. After a brief break, two more dewormings should be done on the twelfth and fourteenth weeks.
The reason for that is that the symptoms of worms can take weeks to start manifesting. By that time your puppy will have lived with these parasites for a long time and will have suffered the consequences.
What Health Problems Can Worms Cause In Your Puppy?
Worms are quite literally stealing nutrients from your puppy’s body. This includes calories, vitamins, minerals, and more. So, not only are you feeding parasites but they can stunt your dog’s growth and development, they can cause intestinal issues, secondary infections, and they can even make their way into the dog’s lungs and brain.
How Long Does It Take For Worms To Leave A Dog That’s An Adult?
There doesn’t seem to be a major difference in how long it takes for a puppy to get rid of worms and how long it takes for an adult dog. In both cases, the process can take between several days in a week or up to two weeks for tough infestations.
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How Do Dogs Get Worms?
The reproductive cycle of worms is simple:
- They lay their eggs in the dog’s intestines
- The eggs are ejected out of the body together with the dog’s excrements
- Animals and insects pick up and ingest the eggs from the ground
So, the way your dog got worms can vary. Here are the two main possibilities:
- Your pup ate something off the ground with worm eggs on it (such as grass, another dog’s poop, etc)
- Your dog eats an insect, another animal, or an animal’s carcass that‘s itself infested with worms or worm eggs
This also leads to a common cause for re-infestations – fleas. A very frustrating cycle can occur when your dog has both fleas and worms. In that case, the fleas to get infested with worm eggs from the dog’s blood. Then, when the dog eats one of its fleas in an attempt to kill them, the dog gets re-infested with worms.
That’s why, if you deworm your dog but don’t notice or ignore its fleas, the deworming process can be ineffective.
What Are The Main Symptoms Of Worms In Puppies and Adult Dogs?
One or more of these symptoms can be noticeable as soon as a couple of weeks after infestation:
- Increased appetite
- Potbellied appearance
- The dog is dragging its rear on the ground
- Failure to grow or gain weight
- Decreased appetite
- Weight loss
- Skin or coat problems
- Itchy skin
Are There Different Types Of Worms To Watch Out For?
The five main types of dog worms include:
Fortunately, all of those are easy to deal with by deworming your pup. The process is more or less the same. The consequences of each type can be a bit different if the infection is left unchecked but that should be the case anyway.
Are There Any Side Effects Of Deworming?
It should be noted that the deworming process isn’t just time-consuming and annoying. It also has a few minor side effects. These include:
- Bloody stool
- Mood swings
All of these tend to be rare and minor, however. So, deworming your puppy is always the right call.
In Conclusion, How Long Does It Take For A Puppy To Get Rid Of Worms?
Deworming a puppy or an adult dog can take anywhere between several days up to a couple of weeks. The process is long and tedious, and it should also be repeated several times. However, it’s also very easy to do and has inconsequential side effects. So, it’s almost always recommended that you deworm your pup even if there are no symptoms of a worms infestation yet.
One of the few exceptions would be if you’ve gotten your pup from a reputable breeder whom you trust. However, even then it may be better to be safe than sorry and deworm your puppy anyway.