Worm count for dogs

How often do you worm count dogs? Where do dogs get worms from and what types of dog worms are there? How do you know if your dog has worms? Can a dog get worms from eating raw food?

A worm count  is a simple test which looks for worm eggs in your dog’s poo. You can order worm count kits online or have them done by your vet. The results will tell you what type of worm your dog has and therefore the right treatment. The optimum timing for these tests, to catch the full lifecycle of the worms, is every three months. 

Where do dogs get worms from?How do dogs get worms?

Dogs can pick up worms from all sorts of places. Mainly from eating something undesirable while out on a walk (dead animals, dog or fox poo…), but also from fleas and even from eating slugs and snails. Puppies can also get worms from their mother’s milk. Because so many worms are passed on through dog poo, and humans can pick up some types of worms from dogs, is one of the many reasons it’s so important to pick up and bag your dog's poo. Feeding raw can make your dog’s poo more pick-up-able!


What are the different types of dog worms in dogs?

Tapeworm

Dogs pick them up by eating fleas (because the immature flea larvae have ingested the worm eggs). Tapeworms are flat and look like little grains of rice in the dog’s poo. Or you may even see them moving near your dog’s bottom. Regular flea treatment can help keep tapeworm at bay.

Ringworm

Also easy to spot - these are long and look like miniature strands of spaghetti. You can see these in vomit. 

Roundworm

Common in puppies and stray dogs. You can also see them in your dog’s poo or vomit. They also look a bit like spaghetti.

Lungworm

From eating slugs, snails or frogs. Often the dog may not have meant to eat the slug but might do so by accident, picking up a favourite toy in the garden. It helps to collect up discarded dog toys and also wash them regularly.

It is possible for dogs to pass roundworms and one type of tapeworm onto humans –- which is one of the reasons hygiene around picking up poo is important and you should not let your dog lick your face.


How do you know if your dog has worms?

Depending on which type of worms your dog has, they may have any of the following symptoms:

  • Bum shuffling/itchy bottom
  • Coughing (if they have lungworm)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue/no energy
  • Sore bottom
  • Stomach pain or bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Wheezing (lungworm)

Of course these symptoms of worms may also be the sign of an underlying health condition so always check with your vet. 


What are the treatments for worms?How to treat worms in dogs

Vets will prescribe deworming tablets, but there are some more natural ways to help prevent and treat worms. Pumpkin seeds are well known as an effective deworming agent. They contain an amino acid which helps eliminate the worms. Feeding some fiber-rich veg like carrots, apples and coconut can help cleanse the intestine. 


Can a dog get worms from eating raw meat?

Worms usually occupy the stomach and intestine in an animal, which is why dogs pick them up from eating dead things in the park or other dog/fox/cat poo. It is very rare to find any kind of parasite in muscle meat or any of the cuts and offal used in raw dog food. That said, this is only guaranteed to be the case with reputable, commercially manufactured raw dog food as we have to adhere to strict supply chain and traceability regulations. 

On top of this, commercially manufactured raw food like ours is also kept frozen from the point of production and freezing for over 24 hours is a sure way of killing off any possible parasites. 

So it is extremely unlikely - and frankly unlucky - for a dog to get worms from eating a raw diet if the food has been purchased from a credible company.