Keeping your puppy happy and healthy is essential, and the last thing dog owners want is for their pets to contract worms, leading to poor health, or worse. Spotting the symptoms and getting your pup the care they need is a top priority. But how does a puppy get worms in the first place?
Puppies can get worms from many places, including their own backyard, as parasites live in the grass and soil. Dogs like to eat whatever they can find, including grass and dirt from your yard. Puppies can also contract worms through their mother. Fleas can also lead to an infection, so it’s essential to be mindful of all of these factors.
In this article, we’ll go into more detail about how your puppy can contract worms, as well as the different types of worms and how to spot them. Remember, if you do find any type of worms, contact your vet’s office as soon as possible for a formal assessment and to begin any necessary treatment.
The Puppy’s Environment: The Number 1 Factor in Determining How Does a Puppy Get Worms?
Puppies can quickly come into contact with worms outdoors in their backyard. As we stated earlier, many parasites live in the grass and soil right outside your home. It can be easy for your dog to come into contact with any of these unwanted parasites and contract an infection.
If your dog is sniffing around in the grass or playing with his toys outdoors, it can be easy for them to inhale worm eggs hiding in the dirt. Not only do these pesky parasites live in the soil, but they can also hang out in the stool of other animals.
This is another common way your pup may pick up an uncomfortable and potentially dangerous infection. It’s essential to be mindful of where your pup roams and what they may end up getting their nose into.
Worms Can Transfer From Mother to Pup
Your pup can easily contract worms through its mother. An infected mother can expose her unborn puppies to worms in her womb through the placenta. The infected mother can also pass on worms to her puppies while nursing.
If not spotted or treated soon, young puppies can be at risk of continuous exposure to harmful parasites. This is another common factor that dog owners should be aware of, especially if they have an older dog currently nursing young puppies.
Hookworms and roundworms can be harmful to puppies, so it’s vital to regularly screen any older dog you have for worms to keep all your animals safe.
Coming into contact with a deceased animal that has been exposed to worms is another way your puppy can get them. If your young pup is a natural hunter, animals such as rodents and birds can carry harmful parasites that will make your dog very sick.
If your dog regularly scavenges for other animals, it’s crucial to prevent this kind of behavior to keep your dog safe. You never know what your puppy could get a hold of, so it’s essential to be mindful of where they roam and what they chase after.
Fleas finding their way onto your dog’s skin and fur can also cause unwanted infections, and lots of uncomfortable itching. Fleas are also a health concern for us as humans, so be sure to deal with fleas immediately. Swallowing pesky fleas is another way your puppy can come into contact with worms.
Fleas are known to carry tapeworm larvae, making it easy for the larvae to develop into an adult tapeworm once swallowed. If your puppy has fleas, it’s best to contact your vet as soon as possible to treat the issue. Fleas can quickly become an even more significant issue, especially if your pup has ingested harmful worms, so it’s essential to be mindful of this.
Different Types of Worms and What You Should Know
Now that we’ve explored the different ways your beloved puppy can get into contact with worms, you should know more about the different types of worms out there. Other types of worms will affect your puppy differently and will require a unique treatment.
Below, we’ll explore some of the most common worms that your little pup may get into and how to spot them.
Dogs can pick up tapeworm from fleas. These internal parasites will hatch only after your puppy has consumed them and will then attach themselves to your dog’s intestinal lining, most likely causing your dog some discomfort.
You can usually tell if tapeworm is involved by inspecting your puppy’s stool. Another way to spot whether your dog is suffering from tapeworm is through their behavior since many dogs will scoot their bottoms along the ground.
If your puppy is dealing with tapeworm, it’s recommended you take a stool sample to your vet as soon as possible. Treatment will rid your dog of any fleas that may have infected them and will soothe any discomfort.
This is another reason dog owners should take flea prevention seriously and treat fleas immediately before they overtake your and your puppy’s environment.
Roundworms are very common, and there are two different types that your dog can suffer from. T. canis is common in puppies and is an internal parasite that can also be transmitted to humans.
Having roundworms can lead to poor growth in some puppies, and in severe cases, death. This type of worm can usually be spotted in your puppy’s stool, so it’s best to take a sample to your vet if you feel your dog requires treatment.
With the proper medication, your puppy can successfully rid themselves of roundworm and become more comfortable in no time.
Hookworms can become fatal to puppies if left untreated for too long. These internal parasites will attach themselves to your dog’s intestinal wall and ingest a lot of blood. Your puppy can become exposed to hookworms by licking infected dirt or soil or simply sniffing another animal’s infected feces.
There are several symptoms that dog owners should look out for if they feel their puppy is suffering from hookworms. Signs such as weight loss, weakness, pale gums, and itchy paws are all important to look for.
Being mindful of what your puppy gets their nose into is a great way to prevent hookworms from happening. With the proper treatment, you can successfully rid your puppy of unwanted worms, causing them distress.
Your puppy can contract whipworms through infected surfaces such as soil, grass, and infected feces. While there aren’t too many signs or symptoms related to whipworms, a telltale sign is if there’s blood found in your puppy’s stool.
It’s best to take a sample to your vet if you feel your dog has been exposed to whipworms. These eggs can live up to five years in a suitable environment, so it’s easy for your dog to become exposed, no matter what type of environment they find themselves in.
Heartworms can be contracted through mosquitoes. While avoiding mosquitoes may be impossible if your dog ventures outside, treatment for heartworm preventatives makes it easy for dog owners to worry less about their pets.
Heartworms will grow and multiply within the heart and can significantly affect your puppy if not treated early. If you feel as if your puppy is suffering from heartworms, it’s best to take action as soon as possible and contact your vet to begin treatment.
In this article, we answered the question of how does a puppy get worms. We also identified some of the more common worms that you should watch out for as a dog owner. Factors such as infected soil, fleas, feces, and even mosquitoes can carry unwanted parasites that significantly affect your dog.
Thankfully, there are telltale signs that will help your dog communicate to you that something is wrong. It’s best to contact your vet immediately if you feel like your puppy has come into contact with worms. While worms may not be completely avoidable, treatment is available to keep your puppy healthy down the line.