Intestinal Worms

Intestinal worms are relatively common in many animal species. Regular deworming is essential to ensure your pets remain healthy and to reduce the risk of some of these worms being transmitted to people.


Puppies and kittens are often the most susceptible to worms. Intestinal worms are spread via dog faeces, so can be picked up anywhere from the backyard to the dog park. Puppies and kittens sometimes arrive at their new owner’s home with worms already present.

Intestinal worms can cause gastrointestinal disease, malnutrition and anaemia. Sometimes there may be no obvious signs that your dog has intestinal worms.

Important intestinal worms that can affect Australian dogs are:





Frequent deworming will kill worms that are present, but it is very easy for them to become re-infested, especially if your dog likes to eat poo! So it’s important to continue deworming all year round. Some intestinal worm species can produce large numbers of eggs, for example roundworm can lay 200,000 eggs per day within five weeks of infestation. It’s important to maintain a regular deworming program for your pets to reduce eggs being shed into the environment. 

Can you get worms from your dog?

The short answer is yes, many worms infesting dogs are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans. Different worms cause different diseases and each have their own signs. Anyone can become infected by intestinal worms, but children and the immunocompromised are at greater risk.

How to reduce the risk of human exposure to worms:

  • Routine worming treatment for all of your pets
  • Prompt disposal of pet faeces
  • Ensure good hygiene, encourage children to wash their hands regularly (especially after playing in dirt or sandpits, playing with pets or prior to eating)
  • Prevent children from ingesting soil or pet faeces
  • Protect playgrounds, garden areas and cover sandpits
  • Always dispose of dog faeces in public parks and playgrounds
  • Prevent your pet from scavenging or hunting.