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Worms in Dogs

Worms are parasites that rely on a host for nourishment, warmth, and a place to stay. There are five types of worms in dogs; hookworms, tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, and heartworms. Worms can affect any dog no matter their breed, size, or age. Puppies are more affected than older dogs and can be born with worms if the mother was infected.

Types of Worms


are an intestinal parasite that can grow up to an inch long. Hookworms can be ingested or can make their way through the belly or paws. The can also come through the mother’s milk which infects puppies.


Are common and can be found in the stool or around the anus. If you see rice size sacks around your pets stool or their anus, you are looking at the egg sacks. Tapeworms can get up to 20 cm long.


Live around the stomach and intestine of dogs. They can grow up to 18 cm long and are common in puppies by coming from the mother or mother’s milk.


Are found in the large intestine and feed on blood of dogs. They are not very common and are very hard to see unless using a microscope. They can find their way into a canine through food, water, or when a dog eats infected feces.


Spend their life on the right side of the heart or on blood vessels that connect the heart to the lungs. A dog can become infected by heartworms through a mosquito bite. Heartworms can grow up to 14 inches long.

Worms can sadly come into contact with canines very easily. Puppies can be infected by worms by having it passed down from the mother or through the milk of the mother. When infected dogs release feces, the worms in the feces can affect the area of soil and grass so when an uninfected dog is in the area they can become infected. Worms can make their way into dogs through the skin or by being ingested through uncooked meats or when they eat worms in dogs stool. Worms can also come from mosquito bites.

Symptoms of Worms

Symptoms of worms in dogs differ depending on the type of worm that the dog is infected by. If a dog has heartworm, they will experience coughing, abdominal swelling, easily fatigued, heart failure, and panting. Hookworms will give dogs symptoms of anemia which includes pale gums weakness, lethargy, panting, rapid pulse, and bloody stools. Tapeworms make your dog scoot their anus on the floor to relieve itching as well as give the dog a shaggy coat. Roundworms will cause the dog to have a cough as well as a swollen belly. Whipworms show signs of fatigue.

Common symptoms of all worms are:

  • Finding worms in stool, besides hookworms and whip worms which cannot be seen as well as heartworms which do not travel to the stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • And stunned growth in puppies since their nutrients are being taken away


If you cannot see worms in your dogs stool, it is good to take a sample to the veterinarian to have the vet diagnose and test your dog for symptoms of worms. The veterinarian will look at signs of behavioral changes to determine if your dog is infected as well. There are a few ways to treat worms in dogs when treating worms in dogs, the treatment may be different depending on the type of worms.

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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.