Concerned Your Puppy Has Worms? Here’s What You Need To Know (2024)

A Golden Retriever puppy sitting on a blue floor in front of a blue wall.

When you see worms in your puppy’s stool, you may be alarmed. Worms are very common, and most puppies will have some type of worms in their lifetime.

Worms are easily treated, and as long as they are treated quickly and properly, your dog can recover with no serious issues. 

How do I know if my puppy has worms? The best way to find out if your dog has worms is to have a stool sample taken by a veterinarian. You can also examine your dog’s feces yourself to see if you see any signs of worms or worm eggs. Some parasitic worms are easy to see, and others are microscopic.

If you think your dog may have worms or if you just want to be aware of the symptoms so you know what to look for, read on to learn more.

Signs of Worms in Puppies

All dogs react to worms differently. Some dogs can have worms and show no symptoms at all. Here are some of the most common signs of worms in puppies. 

1. Round, Distended Abdomen

Worms can cause a puppy’s stomach or abdomen to appear round and bulging. It may appear distended and may protrude from the sides.

2. Slow or Poor Growth

Worms can absorb a lot of the nutrients that a puppy’s body needs.

When puppies eat, they may not be getting proper nutrition if they have a worm infestation. They may begin to lose weight or have a slower than normal growth rate. 

These symptoms are often coupled with an overall poor appearance, particularly a dull, brittle coat.

3. Weight Loss

Puppies may have protruding abdomens that make them appear as if they are gaining weight, but over time the worms can take away their nutrition and cause them to lose weight.

This can lead to severe malnutrition and can be very dangerous. 

4. Lack of Energy

Puppies are normally energetic, but when they suffer from worms, it can put a strain on their little bodies and cause them to be lethargic and even depressed.

They may not want to play, may tire quickly, and may want to sleep more often. 

5. Change in Appetite

When dogs have worms, it can cause an upset stomach and change their appetite.

They may not want to eat certain foods, may not want to eat at all, or may want to eat more because they are not getting enough nutrition from the food they eat. 

6. Visible Worms in Stool or Vomit

Check your dog’s stool for signs of worms or eggs. Sometimes the worms are easy to see and may even be moving if the stool is fresh.

Sometimes they are very tiny and can only be seen under a microscope. 

7. Itchy Rear End

When dogs have worms, the parasites often irritate the rectum and can cause itchiness.

You may notice your puppy licking, rubbing, or dragging its rear end on things to try to relieve the itch.

8. Diarrhea

Worms can cause a lot of issues in the intestines, and one of those issues is diarrhea.

Puppies can have a very runny stool, and at times it may be bloody or even clear. It may also have worms in it.

9. General Malaise

When puppies have worms, they may just feel bad in general.

Parasites put a strain on their bodies, change their appetite, and prevent them from getting the proper nutrition needed to make them feel happy and healthy.

Worms Commonly Found in Puppies

Several large roundworms found in a puppy's stool.

While puppies can suffer from a variety of parasites, the most common type of puppy worm is roundworms.

They appear as small, white worms and have round bodies. They can be passed from mother to puppy and can even infect humans.

Other worms found in puppies include tapeworms, lungworms, and heartworms. 

Worming Schedule for Puppies

Most puppies will contract worms at some point in their life, and even if the worms are not apparent, it’s a good idea to treat the puppy.

Puppies should receive worming treatment at two weeks old and continue to receive a dose of wormer every two weeks until they are three months old.

If puppies contract worms after six months of age, they are treated with adult worming products and should also take a preventative heartworm medication.  

What To Do if You Suspect Your Puppy Has Worms

Finding out your puppy has worms can be scary, but worms are actually a very common problem for puppies, and most puppies will get worms at some point in their life.

If you suspect your puppy has worms, make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

Your vet will be able to tell you what types of worms your puppy has as well as the severity of the infestation.

If you can identify the worms yourself, you can also treat the worms with over-the-counter worming medication, such as Panacur C, which treats roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.

Panacur C Canine Dewormer (Fenbendazole), 1 Gram,...
  • Mix the daily dose with a small amount of your dog’s usual food; Your dog should eat all of the...
  • Repeat the daily dose for 3 days in a row (each packet is a daily dose depending on your dog's size)

Be sure to provide the proper dosage, and follow up with your veterinarian to ensure all the worms have been removed.

Just because you can’t see the worms in the stool doesn’t mean they aren’t still living inside your puppy’s body. 

Related Questions: 

Can You Over Worm a Puppy?

It is possible to over worm a puppy. It’s important to follow the recommended worming schedule of every two weeks until the puppy is three months old and provide the proper dosage during this time.

Over worming does not prevent worms or treat them faster, but it can cause a puppy to develop an intolerance to the wormer and make it less effective. 

Can Puppies Get Heartworms?

Puppies can get heartworms. Heartworms are commonly caused by the bite of a mosquito that is infected with heartworm larvae.

It is important to provide preventative heartworm medications starting at six months old.


While it can be scary to find out that your puppy has worms, worms are very common and, if treated correctly, are not a serious cause for concern.

Untreated worms can be dangerous. It’s always a good idea to have your puppy checked out by a veterinarian, even if you are familiar with worms and feel like you can treat the puppy yourself.

Last update on 2024-07-23 at 05:47 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API