How Does a Pet Get Worms?


If your pet is infected with worms, he may show signs of diarrhea, bloating, weight loss and trouble breathing. Some common worms found in pets include roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms. Your pet may contract worms by ingesting the worm or egg or from a mosquito or flea bite.

Ingesting Worm Eggs

Your pet often contracts worms by ingesting worms or worm eggs. If you have an infected pet, other pets can contract the worm from the feces of another infected pet.

Whipworms and hookworms are passed between dogs through feces. Puppies can get hookworms through an infected mother's milk. Hookworms can enter the body through contact with the skin as well. Pets can eat tapeworm eggs, which are often found in fleas, rodents or rabbits. Cats may also contract lungworms when they eat an infected snail, slug, bird or rodent.

Mosquito Bites

Heartworms infect your pet's heart and are more common in dogs. They are transmitted to your pet through the bite of a mosquito who fed on the blood of another animal infected with heartworm. Ask your vet whether your dog should take regular heartworm medicine.


  • Ask your vet for tips on how to make sure you dog doesn't get worms and make sure you have your dog tested annually. If you think your dogs has worms, seek immediate veterinary care.

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