It is important to make sure that pets are regularly wormed. Kittens and puppies should be wormed when they first arrive as roundworms are common at this time. This treatment will be supplied when the initial vaccines are given.
Once pets start to go outside then worm infection can be picked up from the ground. Routine worming is then advisable at 3-6 month intervals, depending on their risk profile, or sometimes more often if there are particular risks. Responsible dog ownership should involve picking up and disposing of stools together with regular worming. This will mean less infection being passed on to others, including children.
Foxes are now plentiful in urban situations and carry worms which may be passed on to dogs. If fox droppings are seen regularly in the garden they should be quickly removed and worming given more frequently. Foxes are thought to be responsible for the spread of lungworm, a parasite caught from eating snails. Lungworm is particularly unpleasant as it survives in the heart and blood vessels supplying the lungs. Infections can be fatal if not treated.
Fleas are the most common source of tapeworm infection in cats. If fleas are found then measures for their control must be taken as well as appropriate worming.