How Do Dogs Get Worms?

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When I got my first puppy, one of the first things my breeder and vet recommended to me was getting worm treatment for my dog. But why and how do dogs get worms?

Especially newborn puppies have a high risk of getting infected with worms from the milk of their mother. Sometimes they can already get infected in the womb.

Roundworm larvae encapsulate themselves in the musculature of the bitch and then travel to the uterus to infect the fetus.

Besides that, dogs can get worms by eating contaminated stool which is a risk because my pup definitely used her mouth to feel every texture on planet earth (learn how to stop your dog from eating poop, stones, or other undesired things).

Fleas can be an intermediate host for tapeworms. If your dog has fleas and happens to eat one, that may cause an infection.

What are the Symptoms of Worm Infection?

Different types of worms can cause different types of symptoms. Sometimes your dog won’t have any symptoms at all.


Whipworms are very difficult to treat and cannot be detected with the naked eye. They live in the large intestines and feed on your dog’s blood. Signs may include bloody diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.

Like most worms, whipworms are passed on through contaminated stool. Luckily for us, they are rarely passed on from dogs to humans as we have our own species of these worms.


Hookworms get their name from a hook that is able to attach the body to the inner lining of the intestines. They consume blood and can be especially dangerous for puppies.

Puppies can get infected by their mother or by eating other animals. Symptoms are bloody stool, weakness, and anemia. If not treated right it will cause death to the puppy.


Dogs can get lungworms by eating infected snails. The lungworms then grow inside the body and move through the heart and blood vessels. This will lead to breathing problems, abnormal blood clotting, and coughing.

Fortunately, lungworms can not be passed from dog to dog or dog to human however the waste they will leave behind is infected and can be consumed by snails which would complete the cycle.


Heartworms can be only detected through blood test. They live in the heart and arteries of your dog and can give your dog a hard time breathing.

It’s a very serious disease that can lead to heart failure, organ damage and even death. Only the bite of an infected mosquito can pass the parasite.


Roundworms are visible to the naked eye and have a spaghetti-like appearance. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dull coat, weight loss, and other symptoms.

Puppies may get infected by roundworms through their mother or by eating contaminated stool. Because they are so common in puppies, the pups may be dewormed around the age of 2-3 weeks old to prevent any infestations.

How Do You Get Rid Of Worms in a Dog Without Going to the Vet?

How do you kill parasites naturally?

My puppy was dewormed at two weeks old and I was told to continue deworming every two weeks after she received her last drop of milk.

So-called “allwormers” are best for the most common worms, like roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.

After that, your dog should be dewormed every three months. Worm treatment can be harsh and some puppies may experience dizziness and diarrhea.

You have to keep in mind that worm treatment only has an effect for 24 hours, killing all existing worms. Even one day after treatment, your dog could be infected again.

Everybody has their own opinion on this but I do not want to pump de-worming products into my puppy on suspicion.

That’s why I always get her stool examined before deworming to see if she has any worms at all.

To prevent a worm infection I can recommend feeding your dog coconut oil. It is very effective against parasites, worms, fleas, ticks, and also benefits their coat and skin and many other things. You can feed it your dog as dry coconut rasps or oil. Either daily or every other day will do the trick.

Can I Test My Dog For Worms At Home?

It is possible to test your dog for worms at home with kits like the FECAL Worm Test but they can be highly inaccurate and results may take longer than the indicated 24 hours.

If you want to be really sure about the diagnosis, monitor your dog’s symptoms and take him to the vet. Fecal exams cost about $30 and all you need is a fresh stool sample. Sometimes they also suggest to make a heartworm test which cost about $45.

This test will provide you with the safest results and your veterinarian will be able to recommend treatment based on the diagnosis. Then it is your choice if you would like to go with medical treatment or natural remedies.

How to Treat Worms in Dogs

Can Humans Get Worms From Dogs?

Natural Worm Home Remedies

Does Coconut Oil Kill Worms in Dogs?

Does Vinegar Kill Worms In Dogs?

Does Garlic Kill Worms In Dogs?

How to Deworm a Dog With Tobacco

Turmeric for Dog Worms

Worm Prevention for Dogs

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About Danielle

In love with dogs, their behavior and psychology. I am writing on this blog since February 2019 to provide you with valuable information on everything dogs. When I am not working on my blog, I study research articles and enjoy the time with my beloved Rottweiler Amalia.

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