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5 Things To Know About Worms & Your Dog

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It’s definitely not a topic most pet parents want to discuss, but it is something that is essential--and that’s worms. They can cause discomfort for your dog and are all-too-common amongst our pets. But, perhaps the grossest part about discussing dogs and worms is the fact that the best way to keep tabs on your pet and his digestive health is to frequently take a peek at his poo--because worms in dog poop are easy to spot. Here are five things you need to know about worms and dogs. 

#1 What Are Worms In Dogs?

Worms are parasites your dog can get from a host of sources. They’re disruptive to your pet and can cause some serious discomfort and serious health issues if left unchecked. There are 5 types of worms that most commonly affect our pets. They each have their own unique symptoms and effects on your pet and include: roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms, and heartworms. When pet owners discuss worms, however, they're typically referring to the type of parasite that hangs out in the digestive system and causes issues for your dog’s intestinal tract. 

#2 How To Spot Worms In Dogs

Depending on the type of worms your dog is experiencing, he will present symptoms in a different way. If your pup has an intestinal parasite, you’ll likely start noticing symptoms before you spot worms in his poo. Some of the signs include: 

  • Coughing: If your dog has respiratory issues and is constantly coughing, wheezing or having trouble breathing, it could mean he has heartworm.
  • Digestive Distress: If your dog has loose stool or diarrhea, has trouble controlling his bowels or has gas and is bloating, it might mean he has worms. When your dog has an intestinal parasite, he will almost always be in some sort of digestive discomfort. 
  • Vomiting: If your pet is vomiting and you’re not sure why, it might be because he has worms. Roundworms notoriously make dogs vomit and cause an upset stomach.
  • Worms In Dog Poop: One of the most unpleasant ways to discover that your dog has worms is to see them with your own two eyes, but it is the most immediate manner in which you can diagnose what’s going on with your dog. If you notice worms in your dog’s poop, he most definitely has an intestinal parasite that needs treating. 
  • Scooting: If your dog has suddenly started scooting and seems to have some extra odor and discharge ‘back there’ it’s a sign he has digestive worms. 

#3 What Do Worms Look Like In Dog Poop?

If you suspect Fido has a digestive parasite and you want to find out if it really is worms that’s affecting your dog’s health, take a close look at his poo. If you see small, stringy things in has #2, they’re probably worms. They look a little bit like pale spaghetti and may still be moving, which is unsettling! But, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on your dog when he's doing his business, so you can spot health issues like worms before they escalate into more serious health problems for your dog. 

#4 How Dogs Get Worms

Certain types of worms are more common in some areas of the United States than others. Many southern cities with warmer climates have more cases of worms than their northern, colder counterparts. That said, it’s not necessarily the temperature that can cause worms in dogs. Here are some ways dog are affected by these parasites:

  • Mosquito bites: Mosquitos are more than just pests! They can also be carriers of harmful pathogens and parasites. Mosquitos are a leading cause of heartworm in dogs.
  • Dog poop can be a source of worms: Parasites and worms from an infected dog’s feces can be transferred to another pup that comes into contact with his ‘business.’ 
  • Fleas: Your dog can get worms from fleas, which is why it’s important to treat fleas asap when you first notice your dog is itching! 
  • Other dogs: Worms are highly transmittable and they can be passed from one dog to another quite easily. 
  • Contaminated Water: If your dog likes to cool off after a long walk by sipping from the local pond, you may want to think again. Contaminated water can house parasites that cause worms in dogs. 

#5 How To Help Prevent Your Dog From Getting Worms

Some pets also have the urge to go after anything smelly and that includes feces from other creatures outside and dead animals. This is a common cause for worms, since these things often contain parasites. It’s a good idea to keep close tabs on your dog whenever you’re outdoors so you can make sure your dog doesn’t come across some deer poop and gobble it up or take a bite out of a bird he found that is no longer alive. 

Also, avoid contact with infected dogs. Worms are easy to transmit from one pet to another, so it’s a good idea to limit visits from his four-legged-friends if they’re recovering from intestinal parasites and you don’t want your dog to get worms! 

Pet Honesty Products That Can Help

Another great way to support your dog and help prevent worms from becoming a health issue for your pt is to support his digestive tract with the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Try adding probiotics like Digestive Probiotics Chews to your pet’s diet. They’re packed with billions of healthy bacteria that help keep your dog’s gut biome healthy and happy. Or, reach for the 10-for-1 Multivitamin chews. They’re full of all the essential nutrients your dog should be consuming daily plus probiotics for added gut support.