What to Look for and Avoid in Pet Wormer Products

A pet wormer product is beneficial to help a pet stay healthy and parasite-free. Knowing what to look for and avoid in a pet wormer product can help one be a more responsible pet owner.

How Pets Contract Parasites

Parasites a pet would use a wormer product for include tapeworm, whipworm, heartworm and other types of worms. A dog or cat can contract a parasitic infection through a variety of means: coming in contact with contaminated feces, soil or water, contaminated or raw foods, earthworms, rodents, ticks and fleas. Symptoms of a parasitic infection include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of energy, a distended abdomen, loss of appetite and an unhealthy coat.

What to Look for in a Pet Wormer Product 

Look for a product that’s appropriate for one's pet. Keep in mind that pet wormer products vary according to the type of parasite, how the wormer is used, and the pet's age and weight. Don't purchase a wormer that looks like it treats "everything." Instead, confirm what type of parasite is ailing the pet and then purchase a deworming product per a veterinarian's recommendation. This way the chance of overdose or an allergic reaction is avoided. 

Pregnant cats and dogs aren't immune to parasites. Parasites can infect a pet quickly, lie dormant and infect the unborn litter. For pets that are pregnant, look for products that are safe for her and the unborn litter.

When opting to use an herbal wormer product, look to see that the ingredients will not make a pet ill. Herbal and natural pet wormer products have not been licensed as official worming medicines for pets. The ingredients in the herbal product can create an environment in the pet’s body in which a parasite can’t survive. Consult a traditional veterinarian or licensed veterinarian that uses alternative medicines to make sure a natural wormer is safe and effective for their pet before administering it.

What to Avoid in a Pet Wormer Product 

Avoid resistance to a pet wormer by giving a pet the correct product, the correct dose, administering the indicated number of treatments and maintaining good pet hygiene. A pet may even benefit from a rotation of worming products, as some can generate a resistance in parasites, but only do this if it’s recommended by a veterinarian.

Avoid purchasing a pet wormer product that’s sold online from an unknown vendor that advertises the cheapest prices, no prescriptions are needed or the product is imported from an undisclosed country. The reason for this is because these cheaper medicines do not always have the same ingredients as the product one intended to purchase. The substitute products can cause toxicity, an allergic reaction or may not even remedy the parasitic infection. If a wormer product causes an allergic reaction in a pet, it should also be avoided.

When in doubt about what pet wormer product to purchase, consult a veterinarian. It's cheaper to make an appointment and receive this advice than to purchase the wrong product and pay bills for an emergency veterinary clinic visit.