Common Intestinal Parasites in Dogs

We all know that parasites are the common roots of illnesses among dogs. Although many pet owners are aware of the external parasites such as fleas and ticks, a lot are not aware that intestinal parasites are also potential causes of health issues in dogs. Hence, it is imperative to know the common intestinal parasites and how to manage them.

When we talk about intestinal parasites we refer to the parasites that reside in the gastrointestinal tract of an animal. But what are these parasites?

What Are The Common Intestinal Parasites In Dogs?

Intestinal parasites are beyond pestering that can create discomfort to your dog. They can create severe health risks not just on your pet, but also to the members of your family. As the pet owner, you must be familiar with the common intestinal parasites in dogs. Learning how your dog can be susceptible to these kinds of parasites is essential in facilitating a reduction of risk to you and your family members.

Some of the common intestinal parasites that you can find in dogs are the following:


Roundworms are the most prevailing intestinal parasites in dogs. They are long and resembles spaghetti. They also have a color of white. Adult dogs will normally not display any distinct indications; however, puppies could be more seriously affected and may even lose life because of the extreme loads on roundworms. Common indications of your pet affected with roundworms are diarrhea, vomiting, poor coat estate, and sluggishness. Young dogs may also show signs of slow growth and potbelly.

Puppies may also be ravaged through milk. Affected dogs catch out roundworm eggs by means of their feces, and these eggs will find their path into the ground. Pet dogs absorb the eggs when they are snuffling around the soil or having fun with a toy in an infected area.

People may also acquire roundworms if they unintentionally absorb the eggs. The larvae of roundworms may cruise all over the body creating dangerous conditions.


Tapeworms are stripped worms that reside in the small intestine of dogs. These parasites are sometimes noticed in the feces of the dogs, or around the area of the anus, looking like little creeping rice grains. The majority of tapeworm infections are asymptomatic. Nevertheless, they can trigger irritation around the lower part, unknown reason for weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Strips having eggs are produced from the worm and moves in the feces of the pet dogs, keeping them ambulatory for a certain moment. Secondary hosts like rodents, lizards, battening animals, or flea larvae absorb the eggs. Worms will eventually get mature, and the pet dogs will get infected by feeding on the secondary host.

People can also get infected with tapeworms if they absorb the tapeworm eggs or unintentionally swallow an affected flea. Although this is a very rare situation, it can be extremely dangerous if it happens. For instance, a hydatid tapeworm develops cysts to form in the human body, even affecting the brain.


Hookworms are other common intestinal parasites in dogs. These parasites lock on the intestinal lining of your pet dogs through their pointed teeth and consume the blood of your pet.

Adult dogs may not display any signs of hookworm infection. Signs are commonly noticed in younger pets and may include diarrhea involving blood, and also anemia. This may immediately result in death if not cured.

Hookworms can be obtained if your dog feeds or plays on soil that has hookworm larvae since hookworm larvae may infiltrate in the skin, or if they feed on another affected animal such as a bird or rodent. Puppies may also get infected through milk.

Furthermore, people who happen to walk barefoot on a ground that has hookworm larvae may also get infected. The larvae may delve into the skin and trigger extreme itchiness. Larvae can be ingested unintentionally, too.


Whipworms are common intestinal parasites in dogs. As to how the name implies, these parasites look like a whip, having a broader front-end and a lengthier, thinner rear-end. If there are minimal volumes of whipworms occurring, your pet dog may not display signs. However, in extreme infestations, whipworms can trigger injury to the intestines. This can result in diarrhea including fresh blood and mucus as well as straining.

Dogs that are susceptible to ransacking in the ground can unintentionally absorb whipworm eggs laying on the soil from the feces of other dogs. Dog whipworm is not seen as a zoonotic risk. Hence, there is minimal chance of getting this parasite by contacting your pet’s feces.

Get rid of worms before they harm your pet

Dogs can develop gross habits that make them vulnerable to getting infected by parasitic worms. Intestinal parasites in dogs should never be taken for granted. When it happens, act fast to deworm your puppy whether through pharmaceutical dewormers or natural foods that kill and repel intestinal worms. Immediate action prevents the development of serious health problems in your pet. Routinely worming your pet dog would be helpful, not only for the health of your dog but also to secure the safety of your family against the dangerous effects of intestinal parasites. 

Familiarize yourself with the commonly found parasites that make your dog’s GI tract their home, Learn all about the most common routes of infection so you can reduce the risk of it happening to your pets. When you know the basic of By making yourself knowledgeable of these basic facts, you can effectively prevent your pet dogs from getting harmed by these parasites. Become a responsible pet owner by not just providing your pet the nutritive foods but also learning the potential risks so that you can impose actions to prevent them.

With a growing pup, you need the best kind of nutrition that meet their needs. Scan through our list of grain-free dog food recipes to check if one of these products can be a good fir for your furbaby.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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