Dog attending veterinary clinic for a worming check up

Roundworm in dogs: why and how to protect your dog from roundworm

A good worming routine is all part of being a responsible dog owner – and it’s vital to protect your dog or puppy from the dangers of these pesky parasites.

By far the most common type of worms in dogs is roundworm. We take a look at the symptoms of roundworm in dogs, and the best way to protect your dog from roundworm.

Does my dog have roundworm? Identifying roundworm in dogs

It’s not uncommon for dogs with worms to show no signs or symptoms, so it’s possible for even the most healthy-looking dog or puppy to have roundworm without you knowing. By contrast, roundworm can cause a long list of symptoms. No wonder it can be hard to identify!

The risk of complications from roundworm is high, which is why a regular worming routine is vital for your dog. As always, your vet should be the first port of call when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

“Even the healthiest-looking dog or puppy can have roundworm without you knowing.”

The technical bit…

Roundworms (toxocara canis and toxascaris leonina) are the most common variety of worms in dogs in the UK. They look like cooked spaghetti, and can grow up to several inches long.

Signs and symptoms of roundworm in dogs include:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Itchy bottom
  • Weakness
  • Dull, dry coat
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

Scoop the poop

Did you know that dog worms can also be dangerous to humans? Direct contact with old dog faeces can cause illness and even blindness. Scooping your dog’s poop is a vital and effective way to reduce the risk of infection.

How often should I treat my dog against roundworm?

Your dog or puppy needs regular worming – at least every few months – to keep them in tip-top health and protect against roundworm. Puppies are particularly at risk of contracting roundworm, due to their immature immune systems.

Most over-the-counter worming treatments are an effective way of keeping your dog free of roundworm, as well as killing any worms your dog has already picked up. As the benefits are short-term, it’s vital to get into a regular worming routine for your dog – so keep those treatments up! Your local vet will advise you on the best roundworm prevention treatment for your dog or puppy.

Expert advice on preventing roundworm in your dog

For expert advice on roundworm prevention or treatment for your dog or puppy, contact your local vet. To find your nearest recommended vet or pet clinic, use our Find a Vet page.