Author : thomousmiller thomous | Published On : 05 Jul 2024


Dog and cat intestinal worms can cause disease not only in pets, but also in the people who love and care for them every day. There are four types of intestinal worms that can affect dogs and cats: roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms.

If left untreated, worms can cause health risks to your pet, such as diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or in extreme cases, death.

Heartworm should be considered separately from intestinal worms. They cause a very different disease and have a different life cycle. Many products for intestinal worms do not treat heartworm. It is essential for pet owners to be aware of the differences between intestinal worms and heartworm so that they can treat their pets correctly for all types of worms.

Some types of worms can be transmitted to people, especially children or frail adults, causing serious disease. Therefore, it's important to treat your pets regularly and protect your whole family.

Recognizing signs that your pet may have worms is important for their health. Many infected animals may not display symptoms, so it's crucial to have a worm control program in place. Signs of worm infection can include a rough coat, weight loss, increased appetite, and other potential signs. Here's a list of possible indications of worm infection in your pet:
- Presence of worms in faeces, vomit, or around your pet's bottom
- Dogs and puppies dragging their bottom across the ground
- Pets with a rough, dry coat
- Weakness, dehydration, or lethargy
- Anemia in severe cases
- Distended abdomen or 'pot belly' in severe cases for infected puppies and kittens
- Weight loss despite a good appetite

How can my pets get worms?

Common Type Off Worm

Dogs and cats usually become infected when they consume the larvae or eggs of worms by sniffing and licking the ground, licking themselves or other pets, or sniffing and licking feces. However, there are several other ways they can pick up worms:
- Animals can pick up worms in a variety of ways.
- Dogs and cats become infected from eating the larvae or eggs of worms.
- Dogs and cats may come in contact with the larvae or eggs of worms when sniffing and licking the ground, licking themselves or other pets, or sniffing and licking feces.
- Worms can also be passed onto puppies from their mother before they are born or while they are suckling.
- Tapeworms are transmitted through consuming fleas when pets are grooming themselves or other pets.


There are several steps that all pet owners should take to prevent serious disease from intestinal worms in their pets. These include regular worm treatment and good hygiene practices for their pets.

Internal Parasites

A good worm-control program for pets should include the following steps:

1. Maintain a regular and effective worm control program.
2. Treat puppies and kittens with a reputable worm product starting from 2 weeks of age.
3. Treat adult pets against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms at least every three months.
4. Clean up after your pet and dispose of feces carefully in the bin.
5. Do not allow your pet to sniff or eat feces.
6. Prevent tapeworms by using flea treatment regularly, as fleas can carry tapeworm eggs.
7. Wash and disinfect food and water bowls regularly and ensure housing is regularly cleaned and disinfected to kill worms and eggs. Use a disinfectant that is safe for animals.
8. Pregnant animals should only be wormed under the supervision of a vet as some products are not safe for pregnant animals.
9. Wash your hands thoroughly before you eat.
10. Do not allow pets to consume offal from farm animals, as this may contain the dangerous hydatid tapeworm.

To reduce the risk of humans getting infected with worms from their pets, it is important to follow these guidelines:

1. All individuals who handle pets or pet equipment should wash their hands before eating.
2. Encourage family members to avoid kissing pets and allowing pets to lick their faces.
3. Discourage pets from sleeping on family beds, especially near pillows.
4. Pets should be encouraged to lie on blankets or towels in the house, which can be regularly washed in hot water to kill worms, eggs, and larvae.
5. Discourage pets from defecating in kids' play areas such as the backyard or sandpit, as infections with dog and cat roundworms are especially dangerous to children. Sandpits should be covered when not in use to prevent pets from entering them.


To keep your pets and family protected from worms, it is important to deworm your pets using a reliable allwormer treatment at the following intervals:
- For puppies and kittens: Treat them every two weeks from the age of 2 weeks until they are 12 weeks old. Then, treat them every month until they reach 6 months old.
- For adult cats and dogs: Treat them every 3 months for their entire life.