When your dog’s pregnant, you have to be extra careful when it comes to what you feed her and how you treat various health conditions.
You don’t want to put her health or that of her unborn pups at risk. They already have other issues they have to deal with, like impaired movement and inverted nipples. But what happens if your pregnant dog has fleas or worms? Can you treat fleas and worms in a pregnant dog?
Yes – and it’s important to treat these conditions in your pregnant dog so as to prevent them from being transmitted to her pups, such as via her milk when the puppies are born.
That said, you can’t just put any flea or worming treatment on your dog because some are not recommended for pregnant or nursing dogs. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about treating fleas and worms in a pregnant dog, safely and effectively.
- Why Pregnant Dogs Are At Risk Of Parasites
- You Should Deworm A Dog Before She Gets Pregnant
- When To Deworm Your Pregnant Dog
- Safe Flea And Worming Treatments For Pregnant Dogs
- Tips For Keeping Your Pregnant Dog Safe During Treatments
- Natural Flea Treatment You Can Try At Home
- Related Questions
Why Pregnant Dogs Are At Risk Of Parasites
You should always ensure that your puppies and dogs are vaccinated, but this is even more important when it comes to pregnant dogs.
You need to ensure that your pregnant dog’s vaccines are up to date to keep her and her puppies healthy during the pregnancy, but it’s also important to ensure that you keep parasites at bay.
Interestingly, when a dog is pregnant she experiences hormonal changes that can cause roundworms in her body to become active. There may be visible symptoms, such as listlessness, and a tendency to sit down abruptly.
These are also capable of entering her milk supply, so her pups can become infected when she nurses them. Other worms, such as hookworm, can also be transferred via a mother’s milk.
Deworming your pregnant dog is therefore essential. If your pregnant dog isn’t up to date with her vaccinations, it’s important to give her a parvovirus booster but this should not be administered later than seven weeks into her pregnancy.
Parvovirus is a virus that’s sometimes seen in pregnant dogs because of an underlying intestinal worm problem.
You Should Deworm A Dog Before She Gets Pregnant
Ideally, you should start deworming your female dog before she even falls pregnant. This is said to be best done about a week after mating, but it’s not enough. You also need to deworm your dog during her pregnancy.
When To Deworm Your Pregnant Dog
You should aim to deworm your pregnant dog throughout her pregnancy. This should take the form of deworming every three months to prevent intestinal worms and every month to prevent heartworm.
However, you should also give your dog an extra dose 10 days before she gives birth. This is done so that the puppies will be protected against intestinal worms when they are born.
You need to bring your pregnant dog to the vet for check-ups regularly to ensure that your dog’s deworming plan is effective, and your vet will be able to decide what dosage is recommended just before your dog gives birth.
However, that doesn’t mean you won’t have to deworm your pups after they are born because they could still be at risk of getting worms. So, you need to stick to a deworming schedule for the nursing mother and her pups.
After the puppies have been born, you should aim to deworm the mother every three weeks.
The puppies need to be dewormed from when they’re two weeks old, then they need to be dewormed again when they’re four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks, 10 weeks, and 12 weeks old. Then, they’ll be dewormed monthly.
Safe Flea And Worming Treatments For Pregnant Dogs
You can’t always treat a pregnant dog against worms and fleas in the same way that you would other dogs, so always consult with your vet before giving your dog a deworming or flea control product.
This is because many topical methods aren’t recommended for pregnant dogs. There are other things you can do to prevent fleas and ticks, however, such as using sprays in the home to control flea and tick numbers.
Those methods aren’t enough, though, because they won’t always prevent your dog from getting fleas and worms.
What are the best flea treatments?
To treat fleas in pregnant dogs, you should choose an effective treatment that’s considered safe for use during pregnancy. A great example is Frontline Gold.
This has been approved for use on dogs that are pregnant and lactating. Another topical flea and heartworm treatment that’s safe for use on pregnant dogs is Revolution.
What are the best deworming products?
Deworming your pregnant dog should take the form of products that have been tested for their safety – many have not!
A broad wormer that will prevent all intestinal worms is the best course of action, as this will prevent various worms that can be harmful, such as roundworm, tapeworm, and hookworm. Here’s a list of the safest parasite prevention treatments you can give your pregnant dog.
- Drontal: It controls all gastrointestinal worms, such as roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, and whipworm.
- Cazitel: While you shouldn’t use this on a dog that’s less than four weeks pregnant, you can use it during other pregnancy stages. It will treat 12 species of intestinal worms.
- Interceptor: This controls hookworm, heartworm, roundworm, and whipworm. It’s safe for breeding and pregnant dogs, but dogs must be tested for heartworm before treatment is administered.
- Milbemax: This is a safe way to treat worms and can be given monthly to pregnant dogs. It targets common worms, such as tapeworm, roundworm, hookworm, and whipworm.
- Panacur-C: This also treats a variety of worms, such as roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, and whipworm.
However, even when a flea and worming treatment is considered safe, it’s always important to ensure that you monitor your pet.
Back in 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Animal Drug Safety Communication that found that there are some side effects associated with these medications, such as tremors and seizures, that are worth knowing about.
Therefore it’s always best to consult with your vet about flea and deworming treatments for your pregnant dog, and which ones they think are best for your pet. Your vet will also take your dog’s health into consideration before prescribing a flea or worming treatment.
Tips For Keeping Your Pregnant Dog Safe During Treatments
When your vet has prescribed a certain flea or deworming treatment for your dog, you need to follow some important tips. These include the following.
- You should always give your dog flea and deworming treatments earlier in the day instead of at night. This ensures that you can monitor your pet for any adverse reactions. If your dog does experience worrying symptoms, they will be easier to treat because you can quickly take her to the vet during office hours.
- Ask your vet if the medication should be given with food. For some flea treatments, you need to administer them with food to increase the bioavailability of the product’s active ingredient.
Natural Flea Treatment You Can Try At Home
You might prefer the idea of natural remedies to keep your pregnant dog free of fleas. A common one is the use of Dawn dish detergent. Run your dog a lukewarm bath and add a quarter cup of detergent to it.
You’ll then use a flea comb to search for and eliminate fleas in your dog’s fur. After you’ve dried your dog with a towel (remember to be gentle!) you can spray a mixture of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water on her coat for added protection against fleas.
Remember that it doesn’t help to eliminate fleas and ticks on your dog without cleaning her environment. Ensure you regularly clean her bedding.
This is especially important because your pregnant dog will be resting a lot in the days and weeks leading up to her labor, and you want to ensure she has a safe, healthy sanctuary.
You can clean your dog’s bedding by washing it in hot water. Add a cup of vinegar during the washing machine’s rinse cycle to prevent and reduce the risk of fleas. You can also soak the bedding in hot, soapy water for 15 minutes.
How can you tell your dog is pregnant?
Pregnancy signs include increased weight and appetite, prominent teats, and behavioural changes. Bring your dog to the vet so that tests, such as blood and urine tests, can be done to confirm the pregnancy.
Are flea treatments safe for puppies?
Many flea treatments advise not treating your puppies until they’re eight weeks old or weigh more than two kilograms. This is why it’s best for your vet to manage the flea and worming schedule for your puppies.
If your pregnant dog has fleas or worms, you’ll naturally want to treat these problems as soon as possible. However, it’s important to tread with caution because you don’t want to harm the mom or her unborn puppies.
In this article, we’ve outlined some of the best flea and worming treatments for pregnant dogs, so that you can keep your dog and her litter healthy.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.