How did my dog get worms?

Find out the different ways your dog can contract worms and where they are most at-risk.

How does a dog get tapeworms?

Tapeworms are a type of intestinal worm and can be spread by ingesting any number of infected hosts, but the most common species is spread by fleas. Tapeworm is especially a concern for dogs that spend a lot of time around other dogs, are unsupervised off their leash, or outdoors with their owners going hunting, camping, hiking or living on a farm.

How does a dog get heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is a potentially deadly infection that starts with the bite of an infected mosquito. First, the mosquito bites a heartworm-positive dog that has larvae circulating in their bloodstream. These are ingested by the mosquito and carried in its saliva. When a mosquito bites another dog, it injects infective larvae into the bite wound which then circulate in the blood and tissue. Eventually, these larvae end up in the heart. Just because it’s colder, doesn’t mean your dog can’t get heartworm. And gaps in your dog’s treatment can leave them vulnerable. That's why it's best to protect your dog all year long to prevent heartworm disease.

Where is my dog most at risk?

  • Anywhere your dog may scavenge or hunt
  • Anywhere mosquitoes may be present
  • Nearby stools of other dogs
  • In playgrounds, parks and sandpits
  • Near contaminated soil – whether that’s in your backyard or elsewhere

You might be interested in…

Want to keep reading? Get clued up on worms by exploring the articles below.

5 dangerous worms in dogs

Learn about the different types of worms you need to be aware of and how they infect your dog.

Signs of intestinal worms

Would you know what to look out for? Read up on the signs of intestinal worms.

Interceptor® Plus (milbemycin oxime/praziquantel) worm protection

Find out how monthly Interceptor Plus provides effective, year-round protection against worms. <style> .h-full{ border-top: 1px solid #e0e0e0; } </style>


Interceptor Plus prevents heartworm disease and treats and controls adult roundworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tapeworm infections in dogs and puppies 6 weeks or older and 2 pounds or greater.

Important Safety Information

Treatment with fewer than 6 monthly doses after the last exposure to mosquitoes may not provide complete heartworm prevention. Prior to administration of Interceptor Plus, dogs should be tested for existing heartworm infections. The safety of Interceptor Plus has not been evaluated in dogs used for breeding or in lactating females. The following adverse reactions have been reported in dogs after administration of milbemycin oxime or praziquantel: vomiting, diarrhea, decreased activity, incoordination, weight loss, convulsions, weakness, and salivation. For complete safety information, please see Interceptor Plus product label or ask your veterinarian.

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