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Are Worms Contagious To Other Dogs? (Answered!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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If you have a dog, then you’ve probably heard of worms. Worms are parasites that can cause serious health problems in dogs if left untreated.

But, are worms contagious to other dogs? If one of your dogs has worms, will the other get it?

In this blog post, we will discuss what worms are, how they are spread, and how to prevent your dog from getting infected.

Key Takeaway

  • Worms in dogs are contagious to other dogs, primarily through contact with infected stool and contaminated soil, though some types like tapeworms require more direct contact for transmission.
  • It is generally recommended to treat all dogs in the household if one has worms, as these parasites are easily spread among pets.
  • A dog can have worms for months to years before it dies, depending on the severity of the infestation and the dog’s overall health, but untreated worm infestations can eventually lead to life-threatening complications.

Are Worms Contagious To Other Dogs?

Are Worms Contagious To Other Dogs

Worms are highly contagious to other dogs and can be passed easily from one dog to another. However, if one dog has worms, your other dog will not get them simply by breathing the same air. Worms are most commonly spread through contact with contaminated feces or by drinking contaminated water and eating contaminated food.

However, if you have one or more dogs, you know it is simply impossible to keep them from drinking each other’s water or food. Since worms are contagious to other dogs, I would simply just separate or treat both dogs for worms.

Worms are most commonly spread through contact with contaminated feces. This can happen if your dog comes into contact with another dog’s feces or if they eat something that has been contaminated with worm eggs.

Dogs can also get worms by drinking contaminated water or coming into contact with infected soil. If a dog drinks water that contains worm eggs, the worm larvae can hatch in the dog’s intestines and mature into adult worms.

There are several different types of worms that can infect dogs, but the most common type is the roundworm. Roundworms can cause a variety of health problems in dogs, including vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and a general decline in health. If left untreated, roundworms can be fatal.

Some types of worms can be transmitted from mother dogs to their puppies during pregnancy or nursing. Puppies can also become infected if they eat their mother’s feces.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent your dog from getting worms. The best way to prevent worms is to have your dog regularly tested and treated by a veterinarian. You should also make sure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Types Of Worms That Dogs Can Get

Dogs can get various types of worms including heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms, each causing different symptoms and requiring specific treatments.


Heartworms are transmitted to dogs through mosquito bites. They live in the heart and major blood vessels, causing heart failure, lung disease, and damage to other organs in the body. Symptoms may include a mild persistent cough, fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss.


Roundworms are the most common parasites in dogs, especially puppies. They live in the dog’s intestines and consume the dog’s nutrients. Symptoms often include diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, dull coat, and a potbellied appearance.


Hookworms are small, thin worms that attach to the wall of the small intestine and suck blood, which can lead to anemia. Dogs can get hookworms through the mother’s placenta, contact with infected feces, or by ingesting contaminated soil or water. Symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, and progressive weakness.


Tapeworms are flat, segmented worms that attach themselves to the walls of the small intestine. Dogs typically get tapeworms by swallowing a flea infected with a tapeworm larvae. Symptoms may not be obvious but can include segments of the worms, possibly moving, in the dog’s feces.


Whipworms live in the area where the large intestine and small intestine meet. Dogs become infected by swallowing whipworm eggs in soil or other substances that may contain dog feces. Whipworms suck blood and can cause inflammation and damage to the bowel. Symptoms may include chronic weight loss, bloody diarrhea, and dehydration.

Should I Treat Both Dogs If One Has Worms?

Are Worms Contagious To Other Dogs

If one of your dogs has worms, you should either test the other one for worms or simply treat them as if they were both infected. Treatment for worms takes up to four weeks so there is no guarantee that the other dog will not get worms in the meanwhile.

If one of your dogs has worms, you should treat all pets as if they were infected. Worms are easily transmitted to other pets, but also to humans.

If you have two dogs and one of them has worms, you may be wondering if you should treat both of them.

The answer is usually yes because there is a good chance that the other dog has worms too. If one dog has worms, it is likely that it got them from the other dog.

Worms are easily spread from one dog to another, so it is important to treat both of them to prevent the worms from spreading. If you only treat one dog, the worm will likely just come back.

Cats can also get worms from dogs. Dogs can carry a type of worm called hookworm, which can infect cats if they come into contact with contaminated soil or feces. Hookworms are dangerous to cats because they can cause anemia and death.

There are a few different types of wormers that you can use to treat your dogs. Your vet can help you choose the best wormer for your situation. Some wormers need to be given more than once to be effective.

If you only treat the one dog that has worms, the other dog may become reinfected. You should also take steps to clean up your yard and home to help prevent future infections says The Spruce Pets.

How Long Can a Dog Have Worms Before It Dies

How long can a dog have worms before it dies depends on the type of worm it has. Some types of worms, like roundworms, can grow up to 12 inches in length and live in a dog’s intestine for years.

Other types, like hookworms, are much smaller but can cause deadly anemia in a month’s time if left unchecked. Still, other worms, like tapeworms, rarely grow longer than a few inches and typically don’t pose a serious threat to dogs.

In most cases, however, the biggest danger posed by worms is not death but rather the potential for serious health problems. Worms can rob your dog of vital nutrients, cause anemia, and lead to weight loss and a general decline in health. In some cases, they can even block the intestines, leading to a potentially life-threatening condition.

While worms can pose a serious threat to your dog’s health, it is important to remember that death from worms is relatively rare. With prompt treatment from your veterinarian, most dogs make a full recovery and go on to live happily.

There are a few different types of worms that can infect dogs. So, the treatment will vary depending on which kind your dog has.

The most common type of worm is the roundworm, and treatment for this is typically done with a dewormer medication. If your dog has tapeworms, they will need to be treated with a different type of medication. Treatment for whipworms is also available, but it is not as common.

Symptoms of Worms in Dogs

Dogs infected with worms often exhibit symptoms such as weight loss, changes in appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, and a dull coat.

Weight Loss

Even if a dog is eating a normal amount of food, they may experience significant weight loss. This is due to worms consuming the nutrients meant for your dog, thus causing them to lose weight.

Changes in Appetite

Some dogs may experience a decrease in appetite, while others may have an increased appetite. This can be due to the discomfort caused by the worms or because the worms are taking up space and nutrients in the dog’s digestive tract.


Diarrhea is a common symptom of many types of worm infestations. The consistency and color of the dog’s stool might change, depending on the type of worm. For instance, tapeworms can lead to stools that contain white, rice-like segments of the worms.


Vomiting can occur in some cases of worm infestations. If your dog has roundworms, you might even see whole worms in the vomit.

Dull Coat

A healthy dog typically has a shiny, thick coat. However, a dog with worms may have a coat that appears dull, thin, and dry due to the lack of proper nutrients absorbed by the body.

Other Symptoms

Other potential symptoms of worm infestation in dogs include a potbellied appearance (especially in puppies), coughing, fatigue, and general changes in behavior such as lethargy or depression.

What Are The Chances Of Getting Worms From Your Dog?

While it is possible to get worms from pets, it is not very common. Worms cannot be transmitted from dogs to humans by licking. However, if a person comes into contact with dog feces that contains worm eggs, they can become infected with the worms.

Additionally, people can become infected with roundworms by consuming contaminated food or water. Therefore, it is important to practice good hygiene and wash your hands after coming into contact with dogs or their feces.

Roundworms can cause serious health problems in humans. So, it is important to seek medical attention if you think you may have been exposed to them.

The chances of getting worms from your dog are relatively low. However, there are a few things you can do to reduce the risk even further. First, make sure your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations. Second, keep them away from areas where other animals may have been defecating.

Finally, practice good personal hygiene by washing your hands after handling your pet or their waste. By taking these precautions, you can help protect yourself and others from these pesky parasites.


Q: Can dogs get worms from other dogs?

A: Yes, dogs can get worms from other dogs. Worms can be transmitted through direct contact with infected feces or through the ingestion of contaminated food or water.

Q: How do dogs get infected with worms?

A: Dogs can get infected with worms by ingesting parasite eggs or larvae from contaminated environments, such as soil or feces. They can also get worms from eating infected prey or through mother-to-puppy transmission.

Q: Can worms be fatal to dogs?

A: Yes, in severe cases, certain types of worms like heartworms can be fatal to dogs if left untreated. It is essential to regularly deworm dogs and maintain preventive measures to avoid serious complications.

Q: How often should dogs be dewormed?

A: The frequency of deworming depends on various factors including the dog’s age, lifestyle, and the prevalence of parasites in the environment. It is best to consult with a veterinarian who can recommend an appropriate deworming schedule.

Q: How are worms diagnosed in dogs?

A: Worms in dogs can be diagnosed through fecal examinations. A small sample of the dog’s feces is examined under a microscope to identify the presence of parasite eggs or larvae.

Q: How can I prevent worms in my dog?

A: You can prevent worms in your dog by practicing good hygiene, picking up their feces promptly, keeping their living areas clean, and regularly administering deworming medications. It is also important to avoid contact with unknown or infected dogs.

Q: Can I get worms from my dog?

A: Some types of worms can also affect humans. For example, roundworms and hookworms are zoonotic, which means they can be transmitted from dogs to humans. It is crucial to maintain good personal hygiene when dealing with infected dogs or their feces.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, it is important for dog owners to be aware of the potential risks and precautions when it comes to worms.

While worms can be easily treated with proper medication, they can also spread to other dogs if not properly taken care of.

By regularly deworming your dog and practicing good hygiene habits, you can help prevent the spread of worms to other dogs in your household or community.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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