Regular worming is an important part of looking after your dog’s health and well-being, whether you are a seasoned pet parent or you’re just considering welcoming a new furry friend into your family.
Worms are a common problem for dogs, which most will catch at some point throughout their life. These nasty parasites can cause suffering, illness and in some severe cases even death. Even healthy-looking dogs are susceptible, so it's important to be vigilant.
How do Dogs get Worms?
Depending on the species, dogs can contract worms by eating the eggs from contaminated soil or stools, or by eating infected rodents or fleas. Hookworms are often contracted when a dog is grooming its feet and eat the microscopic larvae.
What Types of Worms are There?
There are six types that generally affect dogs:
The most common type is the Roundworm, these live and grow inside the dog’s intestines. In a dog’s adulthood a roundworm can grow reach 3-5” long. They resemble round strings, which you may be able to notice in your dog's faeces or vomit.
Heartworms are the most dangerous type of worm for a dog and are transmitted through mosquito bites. The worms enter the bloodstream of the dog and reach the heart where they develop in size. This can produce severe damage over time in your dog’s heart and lungs.
How Do I know if my Dog has Worms?
Some of the tell-tale signs of worms to look out for in your dog are:
- Vomiting and diarrhoea.
- Rapid weight loss or sudden bloating.
- Scooting along the floor and itching.
- Change in your dog’s usual behaviour.
- Poor coat appearance.
- Stunted growth and development in young puppies.
- Loss of appetite.
- Noticeable tapeworm segments can appear around your dog’s anus (the appearance of a long and flat grain).