Symptoms of worms in dogs vary, based on the type of worm and the dog’s general health. A dog’s health depends on the lifestyle and the diet provided by the human primary caregiver.
Yet, no matter how prudent the dog owner is, dog worm infestations are common as they will always go to places and eat things they are not supposed to. In doing so, they expose themselves to numerous types of external and internal parasites.
Between the two, internal parasites or worms are more difficult to detect. A dedicated dog owner should know the essentials of worm infestation in dogs. In doing so, proper treatment and prevention are sure to follow.
Types of Worms in Dogs
These worms are also known as ascarids. They are white worms that resemble white noodles. Roundworms reside in a dog’s intestines and can grow up to 20 centimeters or eight inches long.
These worms consume the food in the dog’s intestines. As long as there is food for them, they will continue to lay eggs.
These intestinal worms are detrimental to children. That is why dogs should never be allowed to defecate in play areas for children, particularly in the sandbox.
Roundworms can stay dormant in a sandbox for years. The moment they enter the child’s body, they migrate to the brain, liver, eyes, or lungs. They become encysted there permanently.
It is called a tapeworm mainly because of how it looks like. Its structure consists of a series of white segments linked together like pieces of tape.
Tapeworms keep joining together until they reach several feet in length. Then, they drop off strategically to reproduce. Each segment that falls off contains eggs that look like rice grains that wriggle.
They look like pieces of rice in the dog’s stool. Sometimes, they stick to the dog’s anus like tiny clusters of white eggs.
This parasitic worm resembles a hookworm, but it has hook-like teeth at its anterior end. The six teeth grab onto the dog’s intestines so that it can suck its blood.
Here are more things about hookworms a dog owner should know:
These six-inch long worms live in the large blood vessels and in the heart. The following are more details about heartworms:
These intestinal parasites can only be diagnosed by vets through diagnostic tests.
Whipworms are small parasites which measure about 2 inches long and tapered at one end, like a whip. They commonly inhabit attach the colons of dogs and feed on dog’s blood.
You won’t be able to see them, unless your dog passes them in a clump in his stool. Signs of whipworms include diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.
Your dog can pick up whipworms by swallowing the eggs in soil, water or other places that may contain dog feces.
How Do Dogs Get Worms?
Symptoms of Worms in Dogs
Common Clues Your Dog Has a Parasite Infection:
Vomiting (worms may be present)
Scruffy Fur or Dull Coat
Intermittent or Frequent Diarrhea (with Mucus or Blood in Feces)
Excessive Itching or Scooting, particularly near the anus
Loss of Appetite
Weakness / Lethargic
Some worms are not visible to the naked eyes. In case your dogs are showing these kinds of symptoms, get a fecal test analyzed by your vet to confirm a diagnosis of worms.
White Worms in a Dog’s Feces
Kibble-fed dogs are much more susceptible to worms than raw fed dogs because parasites love the starch and sugars in kibble.
How To Prevent Worms in Dogs
Lungworms are difficult to diagnose, but if your dog has trouble breathing or frequent coughing, or experiences weight loss, have your vet check your dog for lungworms.
How to Get Rid of Worms in a Dog without Going to the Vet
Food as Natural Dewormer for Dogs
- Add the kefir to your dog meal or give it as a special treat.
Size of Dog
1 tsp to 1 tbsp a day
1 to 2 tbsp a day
2 to 3 tablespoons a day
- Grind the seeds using a coffee grinder or a blender and sprinkle it in your dog’s food. ( Note: only use raw, organic unsalted pumpkin seeds).
- Give 1/2 teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog’s weight once a day.
- Feed the appropriate amount daily to eliminate worms in 2 weeks.
- Start by adding 1/4 of a tsp or 1 tsp of ACV to your dog food or water once a day. Doing this will create a more alkaline digestive system which is less attractive to parasites.
- Only use raw, organic , unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar to see good results.
- Peel the garlic and chop, mince or grate. Let it sit for about 10-12 minutes before adding them to your dog food. Note: Chopping or mincing garlic will release or activate the compound called "allicin" - a pungent, oily liquid with anti-bacterial properties found in garlic.
- Allicin degrades quickly, so feed the garlic right away after the "sitting" period to maximize the benefits.
- Use a level measuring spoon to determine the right amount of garlic according to your dog's weight for consistency and exact dosing.
How Much Garlic Should You Give to your Dog?
Size of Dog
Dosage Per Day
Refrain from feeding garlic if your dog is taking these medications.
High Blood Pressure
Caution for Puppies and Pregnant/Nursing Dogs
- Pregnant Dogs - Be cautious when feeding garlic to your pregnant dogs. It is recommended to consult your vet when administering garlic to them. Moreover, no garlic for nursing dogs as it can change the taste of their breast milk.
- Puppies - Never try feeding garlic if your puppy is under 6 months old. Basically, puppies don't produce new red blood cells while they are young like about 8 week or less.
- 6 Months to 1 year old Puppies - Take precaution and just feed half of the regular dose.
- Sprinkle unsweetened dried coconut meat into your dog food.
- Repeat 2x a day for 10 days
Size of Dog
Dosage Per Day
Fruits Or Veggies for Dogs
- Start slow to get your dog accustomed with fruits and veggies. Feed them 1/2 a teaspoon of fruits or vegetables for every 10 pounds of body weight daily (at least a week ) until they get used to them. After that, you can increase the dosage to 1/2 a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice a day at mealtimes.
Grated Raw Carrots
Green Veggies (like spinach, kale etc.)
Chelsea is a qualified veterinarian with background in animal care and training services. She loves dogs and at personal level, understands the powerful, emotional connection that dogs and humans have with each other.
Chelsea Moore / DVM