Puppies should be dewormed every 2 weeks until they are 8 weeks old, and then again at 6 months of age. At that time, you can switch to a deworming program for dogs for adults, which usually consists of an antiparasitic treatment every 6 months. All but the most amateur dog breeders know that puppies (and their mothers) should be dewormed every 2 weeks until they are 8 weeks old. But do you know why this is so important? Distemper and parvovirus are serious, life-threatening infections that mainly affect puppies.
Their mother's antibodies can protect puppies until they are old enough to get vaccinated. Unlike human babies, puppies receive very little transfer of antibodies through the placenta; most are transferred by breastfeeding colostrum in the first 18 hours after birth. The mother must have adequate immunity to transmit it to her puppies. You get this immunity from your own vaccines.
Most dogs develop long-lasting immunity from their vaccines as puppies and young adults, but some dogs don't respond as strongly, especially if “minimal vaccination protocols” are used, or their immunity may decline over time, so a booster shot is needed. Whenever possible, both veterinarians and staff should work to educate breeders and owners of pregnant and lactating animals on the importance of implementing a deworming protocol before and after delivery. Treating your puppy with a broad-spectrum dewormer can help reduce the risk of transmission to other family members. In accordance with the American Association of Animal Hospitals Canine Life Stage Guidelines, puppies should begin broad-spectrum deworming treatments at 2 weeks of age.
It is important that we regularly talk about intestinal parasites with all customers and emphasize the importance of deworming dogs of all ages, especially since recent studies show an increase in the prevalence of hookworms and roundworms (. Therefore, fecal sampling alone is not a reliable means of addressing parasitic infections and should always be combined with routine prophylactic deworming in puppies. We follow Canadian guidelines for treating parasites in dogs and cats when determining how often puppies should be dewormed. Many of these preventatives are available in a form that combines a dewormer with them, simplifying monthly control of fleas, ticks, and internal parasites.
All puppies should be treated with a broad-spectrum antiparasitic medication at 2, 4, 6 and 8 weeks of age to combat intestinal parasites.