PetFitness Blog – Pet Exercise, Workouts & Fitness Tips for Dogs

How Do Dogs Get Parasites and How to Avoid Them

how do dogs get parasites

Dogs can become infected with parasites in a variety of ways. Direct contact with an infected animal is one of the most prevalent ways for external parasites like fleas, lice, and mites to spread (or shared bedding, collars, etc.).

Ticks are picked up by dogs in the woods, shrubs, long grasses, and other outdoor areas. Intestinal parasites are often transferred when a dog consumes or licks infected excrement, dirt, grass, food, or water.

How Do Dogs Get External Parasites

Direct contact with an infected animal is one of the most prevalent ways for external parasites like fleas, lice, and mites to spread.

During the winter months, flea eggs can linger in your home, leading to a rapid increase of up to 100 new eggs per day.

Be sure to inspect your pet for ticks routinely, particularly if you have ventured into a tick-prone area. To check completely and safely, look at their skin and ears then underneath their legs too.

If your furry companion is suffering from mange mites, you can rest assured that your veterinarian will suggest the most reliable and efficient solution. In rare situations, a medicated shampoo specifically formulated for dogs might be used to alleviate signs of external parasitic infections.

To effectively remove ear mites, your veterinarian may suggest a topical treatment that you can apply in the area located at the back of your pup’s neck or between their shoulders.

How Do Dogs Get Internal Parasites

Dogs can become infected with intestinal parasites in a variety of ways. Parasites are often spread when an animal consumes parasite eggs or spores from contaminated soil, water, feces, or food.

  • A fecal test is advised in all healthy dogs once a year to screen for intestinal parasites.
  • Monthly heartworm prevention includes medicine that treats common intestinal parasites in dogs, preventing them from becoming a problem.

As for heartroms, these are usually transmitted through mosquito bites. The dog is the sole host, which means that the worms grow into adults, mate, and reproduce while living within a dog.

To protect your pup from heartworm disease, the FDA has approved several products that require a veterinarian’s prescription.

The majority of products are administered on a monthly basis, either as a topical liquid applied to the skin or as an oral pill.


The best way to prevent worm infections in your pet is regular deworming. Ask your veterinarian which option would be the most beneficial for your beloved companion.

Additionally, you should also give your dog a good diet and regular exercise.

Keeping your dog fit and healthy is an essential part of preventive care and can help avoid parasites in dogs. By taking proactive measures like this, you can keep them safe and healthy!

For more information on pet care, make sure you check out the Pet Fitness blog!

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