Worms in dogs and how to treat them

A worm infection can be really common in both adult dogs and puppies, and in most cases are nothing to worry about. The majority of infections come from intestinal worms – tapeworms and roundworms are the most common types, whilst hookworms and whipworms are less common but still important to keep an eye out for.

Most intestinal worms are easily treatable, and roundworms and tapeworms in particular can be prevented with regular use of a flea, tick and wormer treatment. 

You might have also heard of lungworm – this is a more serious infection that can be picked up from slugs or snails. If you’re worried your dog might have lungworm, please check their symptoms here and get in touch with your vet 

What are worms?

Worms are a type of parasite that live inside a ‘host’ body. They usually infect the intestines, absorbing nutrients. In most cases, the amount of nutrients that are taken from the infected dog aren’t enough to cause problems – but it’s still important to prevent them, or get them treated if your dog does get infected as long-term infections can end up causing a lot of complications.

How do dogs catch worms?

There are a few ways in which a dog or puppy can catch worms. The most common causes are:

  • Swallowing or eating flea larvae
  • Picking up worms from infected faeces or soil
  • For weaning puppies, they can pick up worms through their mother’s milk

If your dog has fleas already, they can end up with a worm infection as well if they accidentally swallow any of the fleas already living on them. Treating your dog with a suitable flea, tick and wormer treatment is the best way to prevent further infections.

How to prevent a dog catching worms

The best way to stop your dog from catching worms is to use a regular spot-on treatment. These are usually administered every three months and if used correctly, can be really effective in preventing a worm infection.

They’re available online, from your vet and at your local pet store – a subscription service for a flea, tick and worming treatment is a great option as not only does it arrive automatically when you need it, it means you won’t miss a treatment!

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