how do dogs get worms

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 to then travel to the uterus and infect the fetus.

Besides that, dogs can get worms by eating contaminated stool which is a risk because I definitely got a poop eater here.

Fleas can be an intermediate host for tapeworms. If your dog has fleas and happens to eat one that may cause an infection. If your dog likes to hunt and eat wildlife he may be at risk to get infected by any type of worm.

What are the Symptoms of Worm Infection?

Different type 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 may cause symptoms like bloody diarrhea.


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.


Lungworms can also be life-threatening and dogs can get infected by eating snails.


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.


Puppies will get infected by roundworms through their mother or by eating contaminated stool. They can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dull coat, weight loss, and other symptoms.

How to Treat Worms?

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 my puppy always felt dizzy and had 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 my puppy to be drugged 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. I am kind of a fan of coconut oil, to be honest. You can feed it your dog as dry coconut rasps or oil. Either daily or every other day will do the trick.

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