Have you ever caught your dog snacking on a worm? As gross as it may sound, this is a problem that many dog owners face. Yes, you’ve read that right. Some dogs love eating worms. But is this okay? Can dogs eat worms?
Can I give my dog worms
It is easier said than done to try to control everything that your dog eats. This is simply because anything that they find pleasant goes straight to their mouth. This is why having a dog means always staying alert to ensure that he doesn’t eat something that can cause some issues later on.
Worms are among the weirdest things that dogs may eat. Discovering that your fur baby snacked on a worm might put you in a panic mode, especially if you don’t know its possible effects on your dog.
But, if you are wondering if you can give worms to your dog, there is one plain and simple answer to that. No, you cannot give your dog worms. Read on below to know more about this.
Do dogs eats worms
As a dog owner, you surely know how dogs love to eat almost everything they fancy, from plastic toys to socks and even worms. So, the answer is yes. Dogs eat worms if they get the chance.
Pica is the common cause of so-called dietary indiscretion. It means eating excessive amounts of dog food or eating anything and everything. The following are the common causes of pica:
- Anxiety and stress
- Lack of attention
- Underlying medical conditions
Pica can be among the main reasons why dogs eat worms. But, some dogs simply like how worms taste. If your pup ate a worm, he might have done so because of sheer curiosity. Puppies and adult dogs alike use their mouths to explore the big world around them. This is also their way of determining whether or not an item is a type of food.
Should dogs eat worms
No, dogs should not eat worms at all. There is no reason for them to do so in the first place. While most dogs that ate worms don’t experience any problem, you might be surprised to know that worms could pose some health hazards. The main reason for this is because of the worm’s job as it works in the soil.
Worms will swallow the soil when they root around, dig, and do what they do. The problem here lies in the soil. Soil can contain all sorts of things, including parasites and bacteria. It can also contain fertilizers, fungicides, and pesticides that all pass through the worm’s body while they swallow the dirt.
The fertilizers, as well as other chemicals, are toxic to canines. If your pet has the habit of eating worms, it can make him sick after some time. The bacteria that a worm eats can also make your dog suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and an upset stomach. These symptoms can last for several hours to one day.
If your pup likes snacking on worms, make sure you stop the habit immediately. Although it won’t hurt your pet to eat a worm, you never know if that worm carries parasites or other troubles.
Are worms OK for dogs to eat
Most of the time, dogs may look fine even after they ate worms. But, in the long run, this may lead to some health hazards. This means that worms are not OK for dogs to eat.
The risk is because of the things that worms swallow during their crawling in the soil. Sure, a few of the things present in the soil eaten by the worms are safe enough. There can even be some bacteria that can be beneficial for your dog’s body once ingested.
But, as stated earlier, there is much other stuff like eggs of other worms that may cause stomach upset.
In addition, the fertilizers and chemicals present in the soil can be toxic for your dog. If your pup only ate one worm, there is a low chance for these chemicals to affect them. But, if eating worms becomes a habit, the fertilizers and chemicals can have severe effects on your dog in the long run.
What happens if a dog eats worms
Unlike humans that can do things to prevent the potential risks of eating worms, dogs don’t have such methods at their disposal. Every time they eat worms, these are often fresh, with most of the potential contaminants still intact.
While most worms themselves are not dangerous for dogs, the bad news is that these crawlies can carry parasites or bacteria harmful to your fur baby. Worms feed on soil and excrete this in a much better condition compared to when they ate it. What happens if a dog eats worms, then? The soil containing some things may compromise your pet’s health. These things include bacteria, parasites, pesticides, and fungi.
Parasites are the main issue when dogs eat worms, the most common of which are roundworms. These worms usually affect puppies. When your dog eats worms with roundworm eggs, the eggs could hatch and find a home in your dog’s body. Roundworms could even be passed on to you.
While it is rare, eating worms can also make your dog contract the giant kidney worm that attacks the kidneys and abdomen, destroying the kidneys. Only one kidney often gets affected, but if both get affected, death can occur because of kidney failure.
The bacteria present in the soil may also make your dog suffer from a stomachache. Diarrhea and vomiting can also take place. This usually lasts from several hours to several days and doesn’t pose long-term health complications.
Finally, the chemicals and pesticides found in the soil could become concentrated in worms as well. These could be very dangerous. However, dogs would have to eat many worms to be exposed to these enough to cause negative effects. It is rare for dogs to suffer ill effects because of this, but this is still possible, especially over a long time of time eating worms.
Can puppies eat worms
Puppies can be inquisitive that they will surely eat and munch on anything and everything they see. However, because of all the risks mentioned above, puppies cannot eat worms of any kind. This is to ensure that they remain parasite-free and will grow safe and healthy. Puppies tend to be more affected by the dangers of eating worms than older dogs.
Can dogs eat gummy worms?
Gummy worms are not those icky and creepy crawlies. Instead, these are sweet treats like gummy bears. Unfortunately, gummy worms are only meant for human consumption, so it might be best to avoid letting your dogs eat gummy worms.
In addition, gummy worms can also contain some artificial ingredients such as xylitol, which is not only unhealthy but even toxic for your pet. It is also vital that all formulas are different and unique that will depend on the specific manufacturer. Gelatin is always the main ingredient of gummy worms. Other color enhancers and flavors can either be artificial or natural.
So, even if the ingredients themselves may be fine, gummy worms are still lacking in nutritional value. This means that both you and your pooch will be better off with other healthier treats.
Can dogs eat sour worms?
Most dogs don’t like or even appreciate the taste of sour worms. However, this is not the only reason why dogs cannot eat sour worms. Sour worms have high amounts of sugars and other processed ingredients that are not good for your pup at all.
Can dogs eat grub worms?
No, dogs cannot eat grub worms. If you ever see Fido eating some grub worms in the yard or the dirt that contains them, make sure to keep him away from the area right away. Grub worms are not toxic to eat, and in fact, animals and people alike can eat them, but this is only possible if they come from sterilized soil.
When grubs develop, they can dig through the soil they live in then ingest it as they go. In case this soil contains bacteria, fungi, pesticides, or even eggs of the parasitic roundworms, your dog will also end up ingesting these dangerous substances as well.
Make sure you keep your curious pooch, particularly one that enjoys eating soil or worms, away from the yard or garden to ensure that he doesn’t get infected with parasites or fall sick.
Can dogs eat dead worms?
Dogs cannot eat dead worms. Aside from the dangerous stuff that the dead worm might have eaten, it has already absorbed everything else present in the soil or spot where it died. Once your dog eats these dead worms, he will run the risk of getting sick and being infested with parasites and other harmful organisms.
Can dogs eat wax worms?
Waxworms are a bit different since most people who love to go fishing use wax worms as baits, while reptile owners use these as food for their pets. It doesn’t necessarily mean that dogs can eat wax worms, nor are these ideal snacks for them.
However, wax worms that were bought for bait or food might be cleaned already with fewer parasites compared to those warms that are still crawling in the soil. But still, to stay on the safe side, it is best not to let your pooch eat wax worms.
Can dogs eat earthworms?
Every time humans eat earthworms, the first thing they do is remove that soil found in the worm’s intestinal tract, which is practically the whole worm itself, before cooking it well. Of course, dogs prefer eating earthworms raw and directly from the soil. For this reason, dogs cannot eat earthworms.
While rare, dogs could get infected with the so-called giant kidney worm or Dioctopyma renale if they feed on earthworms. It is a very harmful parasite that can infect a dog’s kidneys or abdomen and will eventually destroy the kidneys. These are very large worms with a maximum length of 40 inches or 103 centimeters!
If they eat earthworms, there is also the risk of dogs getting Capillaria plica, a type of small roundworm that can infect the bladder and even the kidneys and ureters at times. The infection doesn’t have any outward symptoms, but excessive urination, urinary incontinence, and urination in unusual spots may occur.
This means that you should never let your dogs snack on earthworms as much as possible unless you are willing to cook these crawlies first before serving them to your pet.