Worms in Puppies: An Investigation Into The Occurrence

worms in puppies

Worms in puppies – the transmission phenomenon

Worms in puppies is a common phenomenon and also occur in adult dogs, cats, and humans. It can transmit easily from pets to humans. Dog and puppy owners need to take extra care when walking barefooted in outside areas shared by your dog. 

Puppies are vulnerable even while in their mother’s womb. According to veterinarians, worms can be there in the intestinal tract of puppies and kittens while they are in their mother’s womb. Hence puppies and kittens can be born with worms.

The irony is that worms that have been lying dormant in the mother’s body are activated by hormones produced in the expectant mother. These worms enter and infect the puppies in utero by passing through the placenta. It almost appears that, as if by design, these worms are determined to remain within their host and her offspring forever! Hookworms and roundworms, in particular, are easily transmitted through the mother’s milk to the lactating puppies once they are born. So even if puppies escape in utero infection, these worms will worm their way into the puppies immediately after they are born! 

Worms in puppies – Symptoms and evidence

As we have observed, the worms naturally lodge a two-pronged attack on puppies; while in their mother’s womb, as well as through ingesting their mother’s milk.

Pet owners, therefore, need to look out for symptoms of worm infestation in their new puppy. Possible signs may include blood the following:

  • mucous or blood in the puppy’s stool, 
  • an upset and runny tummy, 
  • Coughing – can indicate round and hookworms. However, it could also indicate progressive symptoms of heartworms. 
  • Listlessness and poor appetite. 
  • the physical appearance of worms or eggs in the puppy’s stool
  • worms are detected around the fur in the puppy’s anal area.
  • puppy experiences discomfort in the abdomen 
  • lackluster hair coat
  • Bloated tummy 
  • focus and licking around the anal area.
  • Take a sample of your dog or puppy’s stool to the veterinary clinic to be analyzed under a microscope to detect the presence of worm eggs.

Risks associated with untreated worms in puppies and adult dogs

Whereas an adult dog infected with worms, may display any of the above symptoms but remain resilient, the same worms can prove fatal to a puppy if not treated timeously. 

Pet owners remain vigilant about observing their puppy for any symptoms of worm infestation. A delay in having your puppy or adult dog treated can have dire consequences. The puppy or adult dog’s internal organs can suffer damage due to worm infestation. It could further lead to your dog losing consciousness and possible death. 

Taking your dog or puppy to a veterinary clinic will not only ensure the elimination of all worms but also save them from much discomfort. However, the one worm that can cause serious harm in a dog is the heartworm. 

These worms are a danger to your dog because it survives in the bloodstream and travels to the lungs and heart of its host. In the long term, it is prudent and in your adult dog’s best interest to speak to your veterinarian about a monthly dosage of deworming medication to prevent every kind of worm infestation in your pets.

Deworming process for worms in puppies

Veterinarians agree that puppies have to be dewormed as soon as possible after birth. The deworming process is not a once-off but takes place with 2-week intervals during the first twelve weeks of the puppy’s life after that quarterly deworming should be sufficient to keep your dog healthy and worm-free for life! 

Don’t be shocked or doubtful when you see some worms in your puppy’s stool even after the deworming process. According to animal health practitioners, this is due to some deworming medication rendering the worms paralyzed so that they can then be eliminated naturally in your dog’s stool.

However, not all worm infestations are evident in dogs and puppies. Worm eggs can lie inactive in your pet’s body and activated when your dog is under stress or when a female dog is pregnant. Her hormones activate the dormant eggs or larvae. Unfortunately, the deworming medication is unable to destroy the worm eggs or larvae in pets.

Worms in puppies – The different types of worms analyzed

Type of Worms


Infestation in puppy or adult dog


Roundworm (Can grow up to 12 cm

female lays up to 200,000 eggs in one day!

Microscopic larvae in the tissue of unborn puppy in utero. Larvae migrate to the intestinal tract

Deworming medication cannot destroy eggs or larvae, only adult worms in the intestinal tract.


very small and thin.

Attaches to the intestinal wall of dog or puppy and sucks blood.

Transferred in utero to pups

Transferred through drinking milk from their mother

Eggs are detected only under a microscope.

Deworming starts 2 weeks after the birth of puppies.


resembles a tiny piece of thread, one end larger than the rest of the body.

Found in the dog’s large intestine.

An infestation of adult dogs mostly Difficult to detect.

Veterinarian prescribes medication even though it’s difficult to identify.

Based on the dog's symptoms but circumstantial evidence


(can  grow up to 90 segments in length).

An adult has a small head and body resembles brick-like segments

Infestation through fleas.

Dogs ingest anything that with fleas attached.

Detected by rice-pieces (one segment) under the dog's tail.

Only a veterinarian can prescribe medication that can destroy tapeworm.

Heartworm Disease as a cause of worms in puppies

  • Transmitted through mosquitoes.
  • Dogs and puppies that spend much time outdoors are more susceptible to being bitten by a mosquito carrying the larvae.
  • Heartworm infection is mostly diagnosed in adult dogs over 3 years of age.
  • It can be fatal to puppies that become infected with this parasite.
  • Most of the heartworm larvae mature into adult worms.
  • It enters the bloodstream of a dog and infects the lungs and heart.
  • It can be fatal even to an adult dog if left untreated.
  • A veterinarian performs a clinical test to detect the presence of heartworms.
  • The dog’s blood will be tested, and chest x-rays may also be taken.
  • Medication bought over-the-counter cannot destroy the heartworm. Only medication prescribed by a veterinarian will treat the infestation.

Natural ways to treat worms in puppies

Pumpkin Seeds 

Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin (an amino acid) said to be a very effective dewormer.


Vitamin A is also known to counteract worms in puppies and older dogs.

Coconut oil 

It is also known to destroy parasites, one of which, giardia affects dogs and cats.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Boosts the alkaline levels in the intestines, which makes it uninhabitable for parasites and worms. It has many additional health benefits for dogs.


It is known for its soothing benefits. It soothes inflammation and discomfort experienced by puppies and dogs infested with worms. Effectively eliminates roundworms and whipworms.


Turmeric contains four anti-parasitic compounds effective in the elimination of worms in puppies and dogs. It creates a hostile environment where worms and parasites cannot survive. 

Measures to prevent worms in puppies

Boosting the immune system of your puppy is essential right from the start. As your puppy develops, it is less likely to attract worms and other parasites.

A dog with a healthy, strong immune system will naturally eliminate parasites and worms.

The intestinal tract forms around 80% of your dog’s immune system. Hence, feeding your dog a healthy balanced diet is a great deterrent for worm infestations and illnesses.

Keep your dog’s immediate environment, hygienically clean and free from and feces.  

You can safeguard your puppy and adult dogs against worm infestations by purchasing an excellent approved source of deworming medication.

Safeguard Canine Dewormer comes in granule form and can be easily mixed with your dog’s food. It is safe to treat worms in puppies from 6 weeks old.

Now that you have gone through this article, you should know everything related to worms in puppies and how to treat them. In case you don’t see improvements in your puppy after following the tips mentioned in this article, consult your vet immediately to get an effective remedy.