Symptoms & Treatment For Various Types Of Worms In Dogs

pet image

Dogs have an unhealthy interest in each other’s poo – even though it can be full of all kinds of worms. Worms can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms, but worming treatments are very effective so there’s no need for panic.

What are Dog Worms?

If you have a pet dog at home, you need to be aware of dog worms and how they are detrimental to your dog’s health. Dog worms are one of the most common causes of intestinal disorders in dogs. Worms in dog dwell in their intestines and feed on the dog’s blood or food present there. Dog worms are far more uncomfortable than they sound. Roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms are the different types of worms in dogs that can infect them and make them sick. 

Why are they caused?

You might be wondering how a dog could get infected with worms. Here are some of the most common reasons for worms in dogs:

  • Fleas: If your dog ends up ingesting an infected fly while grooming itself, it also may end up ingesting a tapeworm parasite. 
  • Worms eggs or larvae: If your dog plays in contaminated soil, the parasites can find their way into your dog’s system and infect them. Contaminated soil is home to roundworms, hookworms and whipworms that live in the form of larvae. Upon ingesting, these parasites become active eggs and reside in the intestines, giving trouble to your dog. 
  • Eating other infected animals: If your dog ends up biting or eating an infected rodent, it may also end up ingesting dog worms. Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms can make way into your dog’s body this way, too. 
  • From mother dog:- Mother dog can transmit roundworms and hookworms to its unborn puppy through its uterus or while breastfeeding its young pup as well. This is one of the common causes of transmitting dog worms. Therefore, it is very important to seek advice about worming puppies from a vet.

Effects of Dog Worms:

Dog worms can often cause many changes in your dog’s health and appearance. You should look out for health issues like: diarrhea that sometimes contains blood or mucus; unhealthy appearance, or a bloated belly; vomit that contains adult worms; unusual weight loss; a dry coat; excessively scooting its bottom.

Types of Dog Worms and Their Symptoms

How to identify if your dog is infected with dog worms and what are the symptoms of worms in dogs? Each worm exhibits different symptoms in its host. Here are the signs to look out for dog worms: 

  • Roundworms: These worms can be seen through the naked eye and can be seen in the stools of the dog. Sometimes, the dog might even cough up a single worm or a cluster of worms. Diarrhea, a dull coat, weight loss, lethargy and a potbelly-like tummy are some of the distinct symptoms that indicate your dog has roundworms. 
  • Whipworms: These worms are smaller than roundworms but still visible to the naked eye and can be seen in the stools of the dog. They cause chronic weight loss and one of the main signs of whipworms is bloody stools and/or a visible mucus coating on the faeces.
  • Hookworms: Fully grown hookworms are not visible to the naked eye. Its symptoms are bloody stools, lethargy, anemia and weakness.
  • Tapeworms: You can easily identify tapeworms as they look like rice grains in the dog’s stools. If the dog keeps scooting uncontrollably, keeps itching and bites its behind, it might be infected with tapeworms.

Preventing Worms in Dogs

You can’t always monitor what your dog licks or eats. You can help by removing any poo that you find in your neighborhood, as well as picking up after your own dog. Remember that dog worms can easily infect people too, especially children. An otherwise healthy dog with worms may not show any symptoms at first, so make it part of your checklist when you take them for their regular visit to the vet’s. Lots of dog owners give a de-worming tablet every few months as part of their dog’s routine. Your vet will be able to advise you on how often you should worm your dog, and which treatment to use. 

If your dog shows any of these symptoms of worms, then get in touch with your vet straight away. 
• A hot, dry nose 
• Tiredness, or a lack of interest in walks and games 
• Poor appetite 
• Weak, watery eyes 
• Pale lips and gums 
• Unusually smelly breath 
• A hacking cough 
• A red, pimply or irritated skin condition 
• A constantly shedding, dry coat 
• Spaghetti-like strands in their poo or blood-stained poo 
• Or an itchy bottom that your dog drags along the floor

Treatments to Prevent Dog Worms

Once the tests prescribed by the vet determine what kind of worm has infected your dog, they will also set a treatment plan to get your dog better. The treatments may come in the form of spot-ons, injectable or oral dewormers that will neutralize and kill the worms in your dog’s body. They may also start your dog on oral and topical flea prevention medicines that are to be given to your dog each month because tapeworm infections can recur if your dog’s environ has fleas. Given below are some of the common worms’ treatments in dogs:

  • Oral dewormers: These medications are to be fed to your dog orally. If the worm infection is high, the oral dewormers might have side effects of dog vomiting, mild diarrhea and a temporary loss of appetite.
  • Spot-on treatments:These treatments aims to kill the fleas attached to your dog’s coat or fur.
  • Injectable dewormers: Praziquantel is an example of an injectable one-time dewormer that is used to treat tapeworm infections. This treatment paralyses and moves the worm from the intestinal wall and allows it to be passed through the stools. Injectable dewormers may cause side effects like reaction at the site of injection, pain, swelling and mild inflammation.

How Often Should I Worm My Puppy?

Dogs are prone to two types of worms, roundworms and tapeworms. It’s not always obvious that a dog has worms, so regular worming is a sensible precaution. Puppies should be wormed as soon as they are old enough - your vet will be able to advise you. Treatments for worms come in many different forms - powders, tablets, pastes and liquids – and will need to be repeated according to the manufacturer’s instructions – usually every three or four months. A puppy that’s had fleas should be wormed more frequently as fleas often carry worm larvae.

The Severity of the Disease on Humans

You might be wondering if dog worms could be a danger to humans since the dog infected with the worms would be sharing space with its owner. Dog worms like roundworms pose a risk to the health of children and even adults. If you come in contact with the faeces of a dog infected with dog worms, the infection can pass on to you as well. Children should not be brought near the place where the infected dog has passed stools. And even if the dog’s caretaker cleans the sare, they should immediately wash their hands thoroughly. 

You may not get worms from your dog sleeping in your bed or even licking you. Dog worms are transmitted if you directly come in contact with the worm eggs or young worms. 

Advice for the Owner

  • Worms, if left untreated, can lead to serious health complications. Therefore, if you notice bloody stools or unreasonable lethargy in your dog, it is best to take it to the vet to rule out dog worms.
  • Even if your dog gets infected with dog worms, just make sure you give it medications on time. It is also important to clean the area after the dog that has dog worms has passed stools. This will prevent the worm eggs from spreading throughout the house and coming in contact with other residents of the house.
  • You may also start worming your puppy once it is six months old, after taking advice from the vet.

Review this article:


Get a Sample

Buy Now

Pedigree dry


Pedigree wet



Dog Treats




Dog Oral care

Frequently Asked Questions about Worms in Dogs:

One of the main symptoms of your dog having dog worms is lethargy and bloody stools. If you notice your otherwise active dog is suddenly not feeling up for walks and is constantly tired, and if its stools appear bloody or mucus coated stool, rush to the vet.

Follow the treatment plan set by the vet to nurse your dog back to good health after a bout of dog worms. Maintaining good hygiene around the house, following the vet’s advice and administering medicine on time, and flea control help in getting rid of worms in dogs.

You can follow measures at home to prevent your dog from getting sick because of worms. Other than that, you should avoid self-medicating your dog or buying over-the-counter medicines to cure them of dog worms. Following the vet’s treatment plan is the best way to deworm your dog safely.

You only get worms from your dog if you come in contact with its faeces. If your worm-infected dog passes stools, clean the area thoroughly and wash your hands immediately as well. Do not let children in the area where the dog has passed stools either