Can You Get Tapeworms from Dogs? Tips to Stay Protected!

Tapeworms are a type of parasite that can infect dogs and other animals. If left untreated, they can cause serious health problems in pets. But what about us humans? Can we get tapeworms from our furry friends? The answer is yes, but the good news is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself. In this article, we will cover what tapeworms are, how you can get them from dogs, and provide some tips to stay protected.

What are tapeworms?

Tapeworms are long, flat worms that live in the intestines of animals. They are made up of multiple segments, each of which contains eggs that can infect other animals. The most common type of tapeworm found in dogs and cats is called Dipylidium caninum.

How Do Dogs Get Tapeworms?

Dogs can get tapeworms by ingesting fleas that carry tapeworm eggs. Tapeworm eggs are often found in the feces of infected animals and can be ingested by other animals if the feces are not properly disposed of. Once ingested, the tapeworm eggs hatch and the larvae migrate to the intestines where they grow into adult tapeworms.

Can humans get tapeworms from dogs?

Yes, humans can get tapeworms from dogs. This can occur if a person ingests an infected flea or comes into contact with contaminated feces. However, it is important to note that human infections with tapeworms are relatively rare.

What are the symptoms of a tapeworm infection?

If you have a tapeworm infection, you may not show any symptoms at all. However, some people may experience mild symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. In rare cases, tapeworm infections can cause more serious health problems such as cysts in the liver, lungs or other organs.

How can I protect myself from tapeworms?

The best way to protect yourself from tapeworms is to practice good hygiene and take steps to prevent your pet from becoming infected. Here are some tips:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after handling your pet or cleaning up after them
  • Keep your pet on a regular deworming schedule
  • Dispose of pet waste promptly and properly
  • Vacuum and sweep your home regularly to get rid of any fleas that may be present
  • Keep your pet’s bedding clean and sanitary

What should I do if I suspect I have a tapeworm infection?

If you suspect you have a tapeworm infection, you should see your doctor right away. Your doctor can perform tests to confirm the diagnosis and prescribe appropriate treatment if necessary.


Tapeworm infections in dogs are common, but they can also affect humans. By taking steps to prevent flea infestations and practicing good hygiene, you can reduce your risk of getting a tapeworm infection. If you suspect you have been infected, seek medical attention as soon as possible.


  • Q: Can I get tapeworms from my cat?
  • A: Yes, cats can also carry tapeworms and transmit them to humans.

  • Q: Can I get tapeworms from my dog if they are on a regular deworming schedule?
  • A: While regular deworming can help prevent tapeworm infections, it is still possible for your pet to become infected.

  • Q: Can tapeworms be transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal?
  • A: No, tapeworms are not transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal.

  • Q: Can tapeworms be transmitted through the air or water?
  • A: No, tapeworms are only transmitted through ingestion of contaminated fleas or feces.


  • Barr, S. C. (2007). Biology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of Dipylidium caninum infection in dogs and cats. The Compendium on Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, 29(7), 412-420.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). DPDx – Dipylidium caninum. Retrieved from
  • Papini, R. (2015). Tapeworms in the modern era: risk factors, symptoms and diagnostic management. Infectious Diseases: Research and Treatment, 8, 67-75.

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