Worms, also known as intestinal parasites, are not a rare illness among our loving companions. The good news is that after your dog has been treated by a vet it will be parasite-free. The bad news, however, is that parasite eggs can be left behind in your home and backyard.
This is dangerous not only because of the possibility of reinfection in your dog, but it also puts you and your family at risk of the disease.
We will provide you with some much-needed knowledge on how to:
- Detect possible parasites inside your dog before it’s too late
- Clean your yard making sure none of the parasites are left
- Keep your home healthy and safe for your family and pets
What are dog worms?
Dog worms are parasites that live inside our precious pets gastrointestinal tracts. The most common parasites are different types of worms, like roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.
How do dogs get intestinal parasites?
Dogs are able to contract those pesky worms in a number of different ways. Most often the parasites are transmitted when your dog unintentionally eats parasite eggs or spores. Those can be found in contaminated water, food, feces or ground. Puppies can usually get worms from their mother, either before being born or during nursing.
What to do if you suspect your dog has worms?
Intestinal parasites in your furry friends are very hard to detect. Most dogs who are infected are actually asymptomatic. Symptoms which may appear include:
- Weight loss
- Swollen/bloated abdomen
- Fearful and anxious behavior
Since it’s possible for dogs to exhibit no symptoms or very subtle ones which can easily go unnoticed, the single best way to be completely sure that your dog is healthy and worm-free is by taking him to your veterinarian once every six months for regular check-ups.
A vet will examine your dog and perform a test on his feces. This allows him to see any bacteria or parasites that might reside in your dog and to provide the recommended treatment if they are infected.
Intestinal parasites are almost never seen because they live inside the belly of your pet. They pass small spores or eggs in your pet’s stool which cannot be seen by the plain human eye. The exceptions to this are tapeworms and roundworms.
Tapeworms will scrap parts of themselves, which resemble white flower seeds or grains of rice. Those could be seen around your pet’s rectum and in their stool.
Roundworms sometimes pass with the rest of the feces so you can see them in your pet’s stool or their vomit.
Those exceptions aren’t meant to discourage you from taking your pet to the veterinarian. If you haven’t performed a check-up lately, or if you suspect your dog to be infected, our recommendation is that you book an appointment immediately!
How to treat your yard for dog worms
All types of dog worms can cause diarrhea, anemia, vomiting, loss of weight and general malnutrition. Not only can they infect our pets, they can also affect our families, who will exhibit the same symptoms until treated.
If you want to keep your family healthy, both human and animal members, you need to treat your yard for dog worms and ensure it’s completely disinfected.
After your dog defecates in your yard, pick up after him immediately. We must prevent the potential eggs in his feces from infecting your yard. The ground will become contaminated if we allow the feces to dry out and be absorbed by the earth.
Regularly wash down all concrete surfaces with both water and a safe cleaning product of your choice. We recommend the ACT Concrete Cleaner and Degreaser for this purpose, as it’s completely safe to apply and leave around pets and children.
Remove all leaves, branches and general debris since the parasite eggs can’t survive in sunlight. If you want to be extra-sure you can use chemicals containing borates on your soil, to help kill the parasite eggs. Be aware that these chemicals would kill the surrounding plants, so we advise against that course of action.
Removing the top layer of soil in your yard will also make sure that any eggs have been destroyed.
For destroying all eggs and parasites that might lurk in your soil, our recommendation is the Wondercide EcoTreat – Natural Outdoor Pest Control Concentrate. It’s one of the most popular solutions for this particular problem because it is safe for humans and pets.
Cleaning your home
We would like to recommend washing all of your dog’s toys, blankets and things in hot water, to remove any worm residual that might be left on them.
The best way to destroy these eggs and spores is by exposing them to heat. That’s why steam-cleaning your carpets, drapes and furniture is a recommended strategy.
Vacuuming your home and cleaning solid surfaces with bleach and water is also very useful. Bleach will allow you to clean the eggs away because it can remove the invisible bacteria on the surface.
If you have done everything mentioned above, here’s a list of things which you can do to make sure none of the parasites and worms bother your family, your pets, and yourself ever again:
- Wear gloves when cleaning up after your dog
- Wash your hands every single time you finish working in your yard, or playing with your pets.
- When walking outside make sure to wear shoes as parasites can also infect you through your skin.
- If you eat fruits and vegetables directly from your garden or the farmers market, make sure to always wash them first.
Your loving animal companions and your family members must be protected from any intestinal parasites. In order to do that you need to take your dog to a veterinarian for a check-up at least once a year. Keeping a close watch on your outdoor areas, your home, and personal hygiene is also a must.
If your dog has had a recent worm infection make sure to clean your home and yard with the any and all of these suggestions to prevent further reinfections.
P.S. Help a friend learn how to treat their yard for dog worms by pinning this!