What's the Best Treatment for Roundworms in Dogs?

Roundworms in dogs are parasites that live in the small intestine. They feed on bodily fluids and tissue and cause infections that can be fatal to puppies. These worms often travel to the lungs and cause respiratory problems. Since they can be transmitted to humans, you should take preventive action if your pet is infested with roundworms. There are 2 types of roundworms that commonly infect dogs: hookworms and ascarids. They can grow to 6 inches in length and often resemble spaghetti.

Transmission of Roundworms:

  • A puppy can get infected in the mother’s womb in its embryonic stage. Hormonal changes in the mother can activate the larvae that then migrate through the placenta into the unborn puppy’s body.
  • Roundworms can be transmitted through the mother’s milk.
  • Puppies can become infected after ingesting feces or dirt that contains eggs and worm larvae. 
  • A dog can contract worms by eating a rodent or any other prey that carries the developing worms.

Symptoms of Roundworm Infestation:

De-Worming Your Dog

Since most puppies have roundworms, you should de-worm your dog before breeding her and also de-worm the puppy 5 weeks after birth, to get rid of the roundworms in both the mother and the offspring. Your pet should be given a de-wormer at 5 weeks, 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 10 weeks and 12 weeks of age. The dog should then be de-wormed every month till she is 6 months old. After the pet is 6 months old, de-worm her biannually to prevent the recurrence of roundworm infestations.


Medications anesthetize the worm so that it cannot hold onto the host’s intestine. This helps to eliminate active worm infections. Since the adult worm can’t survive in the environment, it dies after being excreted. However, the larvae present in the dog’s body can’t be killed by these medications and these will eventually grow into new worms inside the dog’s intestine. Follow-up de-worming is, therefore, very essential to keep the intestine free of roundworms.

Rodent-Free Environment

You should get rid of rats, mice and other rodents from your dog’s immediate environment. When using pesticides to kill these rodents, exert caution and keep your pet away from toxic substances. You should also discourage your pet from eating these rodents.

Cleaning the Environment

The flooring of your house and the pet’s kennel should be kept clean. Fecal matter should be removed regularly and the floor should be mopped with a bleach solution on a weekly basis. Fecal matter in the yard should be removed along with the soil if it’s contaminated.


It’s best to avoid taking your pet to places where other pets defecate. You should try to discourage your dog from eating the feces of other animals or eating soil that might have roundworms surviving in it.

Proper hygiene is the best way to prevent roundworm infestation in your pets. Since roundworms can be transmitted to humans, it’s essential to train your pet to not defecate in areas where children play. It’s also best to wash your hands before you eat your meals to avoid contracting any infections.