What Are The Chances Of Getting Worms From Your Dog?

Keeping the dog healthy is an absolute priority for everyone who cares about their health.

Most people deworm their dogs to save them discomfort, but the truth is, it’s personal care too.

Chances that worms in a dog’s body can affect humans or other animals when they get direct contact with your dog are pretty numerous.

As you know now the answer to the question “what are the chances of getting worms from your dog”, the following are ways how the human body can get worms from a dog:

Contact With Dog Feces

Worms, such as roundworms and tapeworms, are exposed to the environment through dog feces.

That is where thousands upon thousands of microscopic worm eggs are released into the environment.

You should be quick to collect and discard your dog’s feces and wash your hands immediately; otherwise, you may ingest them sooner than later.

little dog pooping outdoor

Another way to keep off worms from you is by using a plastic bag to collect the feces or wearing gloves when cleaning the litterbox.

Through Direct Ingestion Of Worm Eggs

Humans, especially children, and pregnant women are at a higher risk to get contaminated with these eggs.

That could be through kissing or dog licking, spreading the worms to them.

So keep an eye, specific on your children and pregnant women, and don’t let your dog lick your face or even worse, lips.

What Happens If I Contract Worms From A Dog?

It is important to note that contracting worms from dogs can cause diseases.

Diseases transmitted by animals such as dogs to humans are known as zoonotic diseases.

Different worms affect the human body differently.

For instance, canine roundworms in dogs become very infectious to humans if accidentally ingested.

They can migrate to vital body organs such as the brain, liver, lungs, and eyes.

When they infect the eyes, a permanent loss of vision is probable; in the lungs, symptoms similar to asthma can begin.

So it’s even more important to focus on not getting worms from your dog and prevent it.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Worms?

To prevent getting worms from your dog, you first may want to know how you can know that your dog has worms.

Your dog can be infested with worms and may still show few to no symptoms.

However, keeping an eye on the following changes in appearance and the following signs can largely assist in identifying worms in most dogs.

As a dog owner, familiarize yourself with signs that indicate the presence of worms in dogs.

They include:

  • Vomiting: adult worms can sometimes be seen in the vomit

  • A bloated belly or one that generally appears unusually abnormal

  • Blood or mucal-like diarrhea

  • Weight loss despite unchanged appetite and feeding patterns

  • A dry and dull coat

  • Excessive chewing and scooting of their bottom due to itching

  • Dehydration

  • Lethargy

  • Blocked intestines or pneumonia

Sort Of Worms / Which Worms Should I Worry About?

girl hugging dog

You do not want to imagine some crawling stuff infesting your dog.

As a dog owner, familiarize yourself with signs that indicate the presence of worms in dogs.

The following are the most common intestinal worms in dogs.


These are the most common intestinal worms.

There are two types of roundworms in dogs:

  1. Toxascaris leonina

  2. Toxocara canis(T. canis)

T. canis is commonly identified in puppies and is transmissible to the human body.

Most puppies are born with roundworms inherited from their mother’s uterus during gestation.

Taking your puppies to a veterinarian is appropriate a few days after birth.

Puppies can also get roundworms by ingesting the roundworm larvae in their mother’s milk.


Hookworms are intestinal parasites that could infect your dog or puppies.

These worms suck your dog’s blood for survival by attaching themselves to its intestines with sharp teeth.

Your dog gets hookworms in two ways:

  • By ingesting larvae after contact with contaminated, especially when grooming

  • Through the skin or paw pads when your dog is lying on the ground

The larvae get through the skin by burrowing into the small intestines, where they develop into adult worms.

Hookworms could also get to other organs such as the lungs, where the dog coughs only to swallow some again, and their life cycle is continued.

Hydatid Tapeworm

Tapeworms are intestinal parasites too.

They attach themselves to the dog’s intestines.

Tapeworms are several inches long, and their bodies are segmented, with each segment able to break open, releasing tapeworm eggs.

Your dog may get tapeworms by ingesting flea tapeworm.

A flea tapeworm hatches from eggs and then develops into an adult.

The adult flea jumps on the host, especially dogs and cats, making the pet itch.

The host chews itself, ingesting the adult flea, which later attaches itself to the small intestine.


Whipworms are very common in dogs and cats.

They derive the name ‘whip’ because their bodies are wide on one end while the rest narrow to a whip-like head.

They live in the large intestine by attaching their heads to the tissue.

These parasites, like hookworms, such blood from pets for survival.

Your dog could get whipworms by ingesting whipworm eggs living in the soil, especially while self-grooming.

The whipworm can infect dogs when its eggs hatch inside the small intestine into larvae.

The larvae move down to the large intestines, developing into adult whipworms.

Whipworm eggs can be traced in the dog feces and could stay dormant in the soil for years until a new host ingests them.


Heartworms have this name because the adults live in the heart, lungs, and the associated blood vessels.

Dogs get infected by heartworms through mosquito bites.

When the mosquito bites an infected dog, it spreads the worms to other dogs when it bites them too.

The mosquito acts as an intermediate host because the worms must live in it at least for a short period before they become infective.

However, the ultimate host is the dog because the worms only reach maturity, mate, and multiply inside a dog.

Heartworms can result in severe heart failure, lung disease, and other organ damage, eventually leading to death, mainly in dogs, ferrets, and cats.

Even though cats too get heartworms, the worms rarely get to adulthood.

Dogs are at a greater risk of contracting heartworms than cats which do not naturally host to the worms.

Heartworms cannot be transmitted to other dogs through proximity.

Heartworms must get through the bloodstream to infect a dog.

How Can I Get Rid Of Worms In My Dog?

dog dont want to take pill

Owning a dog is fun and interesting.

However, it can be overwhelming and scary if the ‘family dog’ becomes infested with canine worms.

There are different ways to rid of both juvenile worms and adult ones.

It’s always recommended that you first consult your vet since every infection and situation of almost all dogs.

Natural Treatment

Many people are quite concerned about the side effects of conventional worming products.

If worms are left untreated, your dog’s immune system remains on edge.

It’s good to understand that there are available natural alternatives for treating worms in dogs.

  • Fermented Vegetable

1 to 3 teaspoons of fermented vegetables per 20lbs of body weight per day is recommended.

Pumpkin seeds and black cumin are highly recommended.

They contain cucurbitacin, an amino acid that paralyzes worms making them easily flash out of the intestine.

  • Vegetable Juice

Providing vegetable juice and garlic to your dog can largely eliminate worms.

When using garlic, allow 10 to 15 minutes after chopping before feeding your pet.

  • Apple Cider

Fermented apple cider is a very effective worms treatment for your dog.

It increases alkalinity in the intestines, making it unconducive for parasites and worms.

Use a quarter to 1 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar each day for that parasite prevention, and you will begin to note the difference, especially with the dog’s coat.

  • Tumeric

Tumeric is well known for its ability to boost your dog’s immune system and its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Tumeric can repair the damage in the intestine caused by these parasites, ultimately resulting in a healthier gut.

Veterinary Services

Treatment to get rid of the worm in your dog naturally is always a great start against all the symptoms of parasite infection.

However, a blood test is inevitable to protect your dog against heartworms.

Visiting a vet at least annually will go a long way in keeping your dog healthy while ensuring the situation does not infect people around your dog.

What Are The Side Effects Of Treating Worms?

black dog looking nice

It is important to remember that once you treat your animal for worms, the symptoms from the infection eventually cease.

Some medicines dissolve the worms in the infected dog, while others paralyze them.

Paralyzed parasites detach from the intestines and maybe finally found in the dog’s vomit or feces.

Important to know: if you find worms or parasites in your dog’s vomit, make sure your dog or another pet doesn’t eat the vomit.

Even though treating your pets is vital, all dog anti-worm medicines have side effects.

Some of the common side effects include:

  • Vomiting (with or without worms)

  • Slight drooling

  • Diarrhea

  • Lack of appetite

  • Gastrointestinal upset

How Did My Dog Get Worms?

Preventing your dog from worm infestation may not be so easy.

Dogs get exposure to worms in many ways:

  • Ingesting an infected flea

  • Eating wild animals which may carry roundworms

  • Contact with soil infected with parasite eggs

Why Is Deworming My Dog Important?

family with dog

Good health for your dog is so pleasant.

It is important to acknowledge that it is normal for dogs to have worms.

However, if left untreated, they multiply in their bodies only to cause infection to the dog’s liver and mouths and ultimately affect humans.

Dogs need frequent deworming.

If the infestation exceeds normal levels, it can be severe to the dog and even lead to death.

What Are The Symptoms Of Worms In Humans?

image of lunges

Intestinal worms are also common in humans.

Symptoms resulting from worm infestation in humans mainly relate to the gut.

The intensity of these symptoms varies depending on the type of worm present.

However, some worms, including some tapeworms, can affect the central nervous system (CNS), which is a severe extreme.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea

  • Vomiting

  • Abdominal Pain

  • Extreme Weight Loss

  • Fatigue

  • Gas

  • Fever

  • Rash Around The Anus

  • Blood In The Stool

How Do I Prevent Getting Worms From My Dog?

Keeping your garden free of dog waste is key to minimizing the chances of worm infestations to the human body through ingestion.

Also, make sure you thoroughly wash your food, such as root vegetables and salads, if your dog can get in contact with your food.

And most important: Make sure your dog doesn’t get worms, that way, you’ll be prevented as it’s best.

How Can I Get Rid Of Worms If I Got Them From My Dog?

girl kissing dog

The most effective way to treat worm infection is to get tested first to identify the type of worm involved.

The following are tests for worms to humans:

  • Stool test

  • Scotch tape test- A tape is applied to the anus to retrieve worm eggs for identification under a microscope

  • Blood test

Once worms are identified, treatment can be done through oral medication.

Medications are usually taken for one to three days.

Before You Go…

Now you know the answer to the question, “What are the chances of getting worms from your dog?”

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.