Let’s Talk About Worms


08 February 2022
We know it can be a little daunting trying to figure out your cat or dog’s healthcare needs, especially if you’re a first-time pet owner. But don’t worry, you’re in the right place.


For over 130 years, Bob Martin have been helping generation after generation keep their pets flea free, tick free and worry free.

It’s safe to assume that when you get a new puppy or kitten, thinking about ‘worms’ isn’t going to be at the top of your priority list, however it really should be.

Unlike some parasites which are more prevalent in the warmer months, worms are a year-round nuisance; and what’s worse, they’re not always easy to spot. Your pet may look completely healthy on the outside, yet still be infected.

If left untreated worms can become a really serious issue (and in some cases fatal), meaning that it is important to regularly complete worming treatments to keep your pet safe. Let’s break down everything you need to know about worms…

1. How often do I need to worm my pet?

The latest guidance indicates that most pets need worming monthly.* Whilst each individual pet’s needs will be different, based on their lifestyle and diet it is likely that the vast majority should be treated for these pesky parasites every month.

Top Tip: Make a note on your calendar of when treatments are due so that you don't forget. Follows us on social media and get our helpful #WormWednesdays reminders, recommending you worm your pets on the first Wednesday of every month.

Content continues after advertisements

2. What causes worms?

A range of risk factors can cause worms, including if your pet inadvertently eats something that has been contaminated with worm eggs. Roundworm eggs for example are shed in the faeces of infected animals and can easily contaminate the grass and soil your pet comes into direct contact with.

Similarly, fleas can also harbour tapeworm infection, meaning that your cat or dog could accidentally ingest them during grooming. If your pet is fed a raw diet or regularly scavenges outdoors, they are also at greater risk of ingesting worm eggs.

Parasites within infected slugs or snails can develop into adult worms, which live in the heart and arteries of your pet’s lungs. Larvae that are passed out in your cat/dog's faeces are then eaten by other slugs and snails, continuing the vicious cycle.

Top Tip: Keep an eye on anything your pet may be sniffing (or eating!) on their daily walk or when exploring the garden. This is much harder for cats, hence the need to treat regularly.

3. How can I prevent my pet from getting worms?

The single most important thing you can do is maintain regular worming of your pet as part of their monthly healthcare routine. Bob Martin’s market-leading healthcare range is now available via a convenient monthly subscription direct from bobmartin.co.uk, helping ensure you never miss a treatment again.

There are several other things you can do to help prevent your cat or dog from getting worms. When your pet goes to the toilet for example, make sure you get rid of their faeces immediately and carefully. It’s also worth avoiding areas with faeces from other dogs, cats or wild animals.

Always practice good hygiene in the home and make sure you keep a close eye on your pet in case they start displaying any symptoms outlined below.

Top Tip: Be as vigilant as possible if you have a pet that likes to scavenge, as they may pick up worms from the carcasses of dead animals such as birds and rabbits.

4. How can I tell if my pet has worms?

There are several signs to look out for that indicate your pet has worms, including:

  • Weight loss and being visibly underweight.
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting.
  • Bottom scooting
  • Lethargic behaviour
  • Increased appetite

Top Tip: Look for worms in their vomit and/or faeces and even around their anus. Roundworms for example look like strands of spaghetti and can be up to 20cm long.

5. How do I get rid of worms for good?

Unfortunately, there is no permanent fix for worms. In order to eradicate them and keep they at bay permanently, you need to maintain regular worming treatments. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to do this easily and cost-effectively, including:

  • Tablets: These can be given whole concealed in a treat such as chicken or cheese, or can be broken-up and hidden in food.
  • Granules: Some stubborn cats and dogs will refuse tablets, or eat around them when hidden in their food. Worming granules can be a more convenient option rather than grinding down the tablets yourself, simply sprinkling them on your pet’s food.
  • Oral Suspension: Worming syrups are also an option, especially for puppies and kittens however can be a bit messy.
  • Spot-Ons: Probably the easiest method for worming cats and kittens is by using a spot-on. This is applied directly to the skin at the back of the neck. If the cat is wearing a collar, ensure you remove it first so that it does not restrict application or cause irritation of the application site.

Top Tip: Store wormers safely out of reach of children and animals. Always read the label carefully and follow the on-pack instructions.

For more helpful advice on caring for your pet’s healthcare needs, head over to bobmartin.co.uk

About Bob Martin

For over 130 years, Bob Martin has been helping dog owners keep their pets healthy and free from fleas, ticks and worms; making vet-quality products available and affordable, without compromising on quality.

With Bob Martin’s range of treatment and prevention products, it couldn’t be easier to say goodbye to pesky parasites. Offering a comprehensive range of products for both pet and home, Bob Martin’s products are regulated and approved by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. This means you can have added peace of mind that they are not only safe, but also effective.

Bob Martin can be found in pet aisles of all major supermarkets, pet specialists and independent pet retailers, and is now available to order direct from bobmartin.co.uk.

Reference: Survey of UK pet owners quantifying internal parasite infection risk and deworming recommendation implications. Pennelegion et al. Parasites Vectors 13, 218 (2020)