Are Roundworms in Dogs Contagious? A Must-Know!

Dogs are man’s best friend, but sometimes our furry pals can harbor uninvited guests. One of the most common parasites found in dogs is roundworms. As a responsible dog owner, it’s crucial to understand the risks and precautions associated with roundworms. In this article, we will delve into the question that every dog owner dreads – Are roundworms contagious in dogs?

What are roundworms?

Roundworms are a type of parasitic worm that infects dogs’ small intestines. They are usually white or light brown in color and about 3-5 inches long. The eggs of roundworms are shed in the feces of an infected dog and can contaminate the environment, such as soil and water, where other dogs can come into contact with them.

How do dogs get roundworms?

Dogs usually get roundworms by ingesting the roundworm eggs from contaminated environments. This could happen by your dog licking their paws or fur after coming into contact with contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water, or eating infected animals, such as rodents or birds. Another way is through a mother dog passing the roundworms to her puppies while they are still in the womb, or when nursing them.

Are roundworms contagious in dogs?

Yes, roundworms are highly contagious in dogs. They can easily spread from one dog to another through contaminated feces, soil, water, and other environmental sources. It’s essential to prevent your dog from coming into contact with feces from other dogs, especially in communal areas like parks, dog runs, and kennels.

What are the symptoms of roundworms in dogs?

Roundworms can cause a wide range of symptoms in dogs. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Poor coat condition
  • A swollen abdomen (due to the accumulation of worms)
  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Reduced appetite

How to diagnose roundworms in dogs?

A veterinarian can diagnose roundworms in dogs by examining a stool sample. The presence of roundworm eggs in a dog’s feces confirms that the dog has been infected with roundworms. However, not all infected dogs will excrete eggs in their stool, so it’s essential to keep an eye out for any symptoms your dog may exhibit.

Can humans get roundworms from dogs?

Yes, humans can get roundworms from dogs. They can be infected by accidentally ingesting roundworm eggs from contaminated environments, such as soil or objects that have come into contact with infected dog feces. Children are at a higher risk of infection because they are more likely to play in contaminated environments and put their hands in their mouths. It’s crucial to wash your hands thoroughly after handling dog feces and disinfect any surfaces that may have come into contact with contaminated feces.

How to prevent roundworms in dogs?

The best way to prevent roundworms in dogs is to practice good hygiene and sanitation. Always pick up your dog’s feces and dispose of them in the proper manner. Keep your dog away from contaminated environments, especially in communal areas. Regular deworming is also essential to prevent roundworm infections in dogs. Puppies should be dewormed every two weeks until they are three months old, followed by monthly treatments until six months of age. Adult dogs should be dewormed at least every three to six months, depending on their lifestyle and risk factors.

How to get rid of roundworms in dogs?

There are several treatments available for roundworms in dogs, including oral medications such as fenbendazole, pyrantel pamoate, and milbemycin. These medications work by killing the roundworms in the dog’s intestines. In severe cases, hospitalization may be required, and more intensive treatments may be necessary.

Can dogs die from roundworms?

In most cases, dogs will not die from roundworms but left untreated, roundworms can cause severe health complications and can be fatal in extreme cases. If you suspect your dog has roundworms or is exhibiting any of the symptoms, it’s crucial to seek veterinary assistance right away.


Roundworms are highly contagious in dogs and can cause severe health complications if left untreated. As a responsible dog owner, it’s essential to practice good hygiene and sanitation and regular deworming to prevent roundworm infections in dogs. If you suspect your dog has roundworms, seek veterinary assistance immediately. With proper care and treatment, roundworm infections can be effectively managed and prevented, allowing your furry friends to live happy and healthy lives.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • Q: Are roundworms in dogs contagious to cats?
  • A: Yes, roundworms can be contracted by cats from dogs. It’s important to keep dogs and cats in separate areas and to always pick up after your dog to reduce the risk of transmission.

  • Q: Can roundworms in dogs cause blindness in humans?
  • A: Yes, if the larval stage of the roundworm comes into contact with the human eye, it can cause blindness. This is why it’s important to keep your hands clean after handling dog feces or contaminated soil.

  • Q: How long do roundworms live in dogs?
  • A: Roundworms can live for up to two years in dogs if left untreated.

  • Q: Can roundworms be passed from a mother dog to her puppies?
  • A: Yes, roundworms can be passed from a mother dog to her puppies during pregnancy or nursing.

  • Q: Can over-the-counter dewormers treat roundworms in dogs?
  • A: Over-the-counter dewormers can often treat roundworms in dogs, but it’s important to consult with a veterinarian to ensure that the treatment is safe and effective.


1. American Kennel Club (AKC). (2021). Roundworms in Dogs: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention. Retrieved from

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). Parasites – Toxocariasis (also known as Roundworm Infection). Retrieved from

3. PetMD. (2021). Roundworms in Dogs. Retrieved from

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