Do you ever wonder where your furry friend got those pesky worms? As a dog owner, it’s important to be aware of the potential sources of these parasites.
In this brief post, we’ll explore where dogs commonly get worms from and what you can do to prevent them from infesting your pup.
Let’s get started!
Where do dogs get worms from?
Dogs can get worms from their environment, soil, and/or feces of other animals, from other pets, such as cats or rodents, and even other dogs.
They also can get them by eating something off the ground, like worm-infested meals.
Worms are contagious and can get passed on to other dogs via contact, fecal matter, or contaminated food.
Types of Worms that affect dogs
These worms can infect dogs both inside and outside of the body of dogs. So what are the different types of worms that affect dogs?
Unfortunately, there are five kinds of worms that can infect your dog:
Learn more about How Dogs Get Heartworm
Places Dogs Can Get Worms
Here are some common places where dogs can easily get worms from:
1. Contaminated water
Flies love wet surfaces like water, and they lay eggs on the water, this means that open water can be contaminated by worms.
When a dog drinks from this sort of open contaminated water they ingest the worms and become sick.
Be sure not to leave any open water in your house as you can never tell when your dog can drink from it.
2. Contaminated food
Eating contaminated food is the simplest way dogs get worms, and this can occur when you decide to feed your dog with leftover food.
Keeping your dog’s food open can also invite flies and these flies will end up depositing worms in the open food.
Every time you take food from the bag which contains your dog food always make sure to close it tight.
3. Contaminated meat
Most meats get contaminated when flies perch on them, and these flies transfer worms into the meat.
While this affects only dogs who feed on raw or cooked meat, it is recommended that you keep where you process your dog’s food clean.
Flies love raw or cooked meat and will not live until they land on the meat, by landing on the raw meat, the meat can get contaminated.
Make sure you always keep your dog’s plates clean to avoid flies landing on them and laying eggs.
4. Eating worm larvae
Flies are everywhere and are known to lay eggs on wet food or substances.
When flies land and lay eggs on any substance, the eggs hash to form larvae that are not visible to the dog’s eyes.
When a dog ingests these larvae they become a host and over time the larvae can mature into adults.
Dogs can eat larvae when they drink water that flies lay eggs on, so be sure to keep all stagnant water away from your dog.
5. From fleas bite
Fleas bites are the most common way dogs get worms. And fleas can bite a dog anywhere, not just outside the home.
Even though this can be controlled by keeping fleas away from home or using some anti-fleas shampoo, it is important you keep your surroundings clean.
When fleas land on your dog’s skin they bite and lay eggs, the eggs stick on your dog’s skin and continue the growth stages.
6. Contaminated soil
Flies love laying eggs on wet surfaces, and most dogs enjoy digging and rolling on wet soil.
When dogs dig the soil they come in contact with the worms and which continue their growth stages on the body of the dog.
7. Infected rodents
Most dogs are very territorial and will not share their home with other animals like rodents.
This will definitely force a dog to chase after a rodent without minding the outcome of the chase.
There is a high chance that if your dog chases after an infected rodent your dog can get infected too.
8. Infected stool
Most dogs can be funny and eat feces, not minding the implications, even when you give them proper training.
When a dog eats a worm-infected stool, it’s an easy way of getting infected with worms and this can cause many health challenges.
Remember worms love wet surfaces and stools are always wet, so keep stools away from your dog.
9. From other infected pets
As funny as it may sound, dogs can get worms from other infected pets within or outside their home.
So be careful when you hang out with your dog or when your dog comes in contact with other pets.
Oftentimes it’s difficult to identify a dog with worms, therefore always keep your dog safe.
10. Small gardens around your house
Worm larvae hang under leaves in the garden and if they come in contact with a dog they get transferred to the dog’s skin to continue their growth.
Dogs love to play in the garden which makes it easier for them to get worms, make sure you don’t allow your dog to go into the garden when the leaves are wet.
Symptoms of worm infestation in dogs
Here are the common symptoms of worms in dogs:
- Diarrhea – Diarrhea is a common symptom of many types of worms in dogs. Diarrhea may vary in consistency and color and may contain blood or mucus.
- Vomiting – Dogs with worm infestations may also vomit frequently. The vomit may contain worms or worm segments.
- Weight Loss – Worms can cause malnutrition and weight loss in dogs, even if they are eating enough food.
- Pot-bellied Appearance – Some dogs with a heavy worm load may develop a pot-bellied appearance due to the worms causing the abdomen to become bloated.
- Dull Coat and Skin Irritation – Worms can cause skin irritation and a dull coat in dogs. The coat may also become dry and rough.
- Lethargy – Worm infestations can cause dogs to become lethargic and lack energy.
- Coughing – Some types of worms, such as heartworms, can cause dogs to cough frequently. The cough may be dry or may produce mucus.
- Anemia – Dogs with a heavy worm load may develop anemia due to the worms consuming a large amount of blood.
- Scooting – Dogs with worms may scoot or drag their rear end across the ground or floor due to irritation around the anus.
Find out if humans can get worms from dogs.
How to prevent worm infestation in dogs
Here are some common ways to prevent worm infestation in dogs:
- Regular Vet Visits: Visit your vet regularly and get your dog tested for worms. This will help you detect any worm infestation early, and ensure that treatment is started promptly.
- Annual Fecal Testing: Annual fecal testing can help detect the presence of worms in your dog’s stool, even if there are no visible symptoms.
- Deworming Medicine: Give your dog preventive deworming medication as recommended by your vet. The frequency of the dose depends on the age, health, and lifestyle of your dog.
- Dispose of Waste Properly: Always clean up after your dog to prevent the transmission of parasites in the feces.
- Sanitation: Keep your dog’s living areas clean and hygienic. Don’t let your dog play in areas that are known to contain parasites like playgrounds, or near the litter boxes of other animals.
- Flea and Tick Control: Proper flea and tick prevention is essential, as they can transmit certain types of worms to your dog.
- Regular Bathing: Bath your dog regularly to remove dirt and parasite eggs. This can significantly help prevent the occurrence of worm infestations.
- Nutrition: Ensure your dog’s diet is nutritious and balanced to help boost its immune system. A strong immune system can help ward off infestations.
- Limit Exposure To Other Animals: Keep your dog away from other animals known to have parasites. This is especially important if your dog is young or less immune to worm infections.
Learn more about how long it takes worms to leave dogs after deworming.
What are the most common types of worms that dogs get, and what are their symptoms?
The most common types of worms that dogs get include roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms.
Symptoms of these worms can include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a bloated belly.
Can humans get infected with the same worms that dogs get?
Yes, some types of dog worms can be transmitted to humans.
This can happen when a human accidentally ingests eggs from infected dog feces or through contact with an infected dog.
How can I prevent my dog from getting worms?
There are several things you can do to prevent your dog from getting worms, including keeping your dog’s living area clean, avoiding contact with infected dogs or contaminated soil, and regularly deworming your dog with a veterinarian-prescribed medication.
How are worms diagnosed in dogs, and what is the treatment?
Worms in dogs are usually diagnosed through a fecal examination performed by a veterinarian.
Treatment typically involves administering an anti-worm medication, which may need to be repeated depending on the severity of the infection.
Is it safe to be around my dog if they have worms?
While it’s not pleasant to think about, being around a dog with worms is generally safe as long as you practice good hygiene measures such as regularly washing your hands and avoiding contact with your dog’s feces.
However, it’s important to treat the infection promptly to avoid spreading it to other animals or people.
Worms in dogs are common parasites that often cause intestinal issues, such as diarrhea and vomiting.
These worms are transmitted by fleas and contact with other infected dogs and are more common in regions where there is a high rate of canine contact.
If you suspect your dog has worms, or if you have any questions about the topic, be sure to speak to a veterinarian for advice.