As a dog owner, you are probably well aware of their common health concerns – one of which is worms. Dog worms are basically small parasites that get into their bodies.
The idea of worms in our dogs is obviously not pleasant, but it’s important to be aware of the symptoms and risks and also the treatment options to keep them protected from infection.
What are dog worms
As mentioned above, dog worms are small parasites that can get into your dog’s system through a number of different ways. In the UK there are five main types of dog worms: roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, whipworms and lungworms.
Worms can make your dog quite sick, particularly if they are a puppy or an elderly dog with other health conditions. In some cases they can also affect humans too.
How do dogs get worms?
There are a number of different ways in which dogs can get different types of worms so it’s important to be aware of all of these.
- From their mother - this can happen in the womb or a mother dog can pass them to her pups in the milk
- Ingesting them - worm eggs and larvae can be found in other animal’s poo or in dirt and your dog may swallow these while sniffing. They could also ingest them by grooming off their feet.
- From eating snails/slugs - snails and slugs carry lungworm and even the snail trail can be enough for your dog to get lungworm (outside water bowls can therefore be a source)
- Through the skin - Hookworm larvae can penetrate the skin before they make their way to the intestine
- Fleas - fleas can carry the eggs of tapeworm and if your dog eats a flea on their coat while grooming they can get tapeworm
How do I know if my dog has worms?
The main symptoms of worms in dogs that you should look out for are:
- Visible worms in their toilet or vomit (these can look like little rice grains in the case of tapeworm, or long and spaghetti like in the case of roundworm)
- A bloated stomach in puppies
- An itchy bottom (your dog might try and rub their bottom along the ground or nibble at it)
- Some dogs will have no symptoms, which is why preventative worming treatments are so important
How to get rid of dog worms
Getting rid of dog worms is usually quite straightforward and treatment is fairly effective, which is good news. Worming treatments, flea control, and regular thorough clean-up of dog waste can go a long way in helping you to avoid serious problems.
There are various different types of treatments available, from tablets to spot on treatments. Always consult your vet and ask for advice to ensure you pick the treatment that is designed to kill the specific type of worms your dog has. Your vet will also be able to advise on how regularly your dog needs worming depending on where you live and their lifestyle habits.
It’s also a good idea to invest in pet insurance to help with the cost of treatments and vet fees – we offer a number of different pet insurance policies to suit you here at Asda Money, so you can be sure to find something that works best for you and your dog.