A common concern among dog owners when speaking to their veterinarian is; can humans get a parasite from their dog? And the answer is yes! This is especially true if your dog has worms and they have been left untreated. This seamless transmission is a good reason to take care of your dog’s parasites right away. Not only for your dog’s health, but to prevent the parasites from being transmitted to you.
Common signs your dog has a parasite
There are a few things you can look out for to determine if dog has a parasite, these indicators include:
- Monitor your dog’s stool for worms. This may sound disgusting, but it must be done to make sure your dog is healthy and parasite-free. Inspect your dog’s stool; if parasites are present you will be able to see worms actively moving in the stool. If this is observed, visit your vet immediately so that they can determine the type of parasite your dog has and initiate a treatment play right away.
- Keep your dog away from other dogs’ poop, if they come in contact with an infected dog’s stool they can contract the parasite as well.
- Maintain a clean yard. This includes cleaning up your dog’s feces every time they go and properly disposing of it in a waste bin. If stool is left on your property – especially stool that is parasite riddled, your dog can contract the parasites again despite receiving treatment.
Once you determine whether or not your dog has worms, you need to take preventive measures to make sure you don’t get them as well if your dog does have them. Below are the common type of parasites your dog can get and how to prevent them from transmitting the parasites to you.
Roundworms mostly infect puppies but adult dogs can get them too. If you suspect your dog has roundworms, you at risk of getting them as well if proper preventative measures are not in place. Of course, getting your dog treated with medication from your vet can help prevent your dog from being sick from the roundworms and in turn prevent you from getting them too.
Roundworms can be transmitted to you easily. Your dog can spread them to you because they shed them. Also, if your dog licks his butt and then licks you, you can easily get them this way too. This is especially true if you touch your mouth afterward because the roundworms can then enter your body without you seeing them. Not only this, but you and your kids can also pick these parasites up by stepping in dog poop or walking barefoot in the area where your dog does his business outside.
However, while you are waiting on your vet appointment to take your dog to be treated, there are a few things you can do to prevent your family pet from transmitting them to you:
- Don’t let your dog lick you in the face or mouth if you suspect he has roundworms.
- If he licks you in the mouth and you were unable to stop him, wash your mouth and your hands as soon as possible
- Stay away from your dog’s poop. In fact, you should put on a pair of rubber or latex gloves and use a baggie to pick up the infected poop and throw it in an area where it can’t contaminate you and your family. You can wrap it up really well and throw it in your garbage so the garbage company can dispose of it when they take your garbage away.
If you end up with roundworms from your dog, they can get into your intestines and cause a blockage. If your doctor finds them in time, he or she can give you medication to get rid of them. However, if the blockage from the roundworms is found too late or is just too bad, you will need to have surgery to have the roundworms removed from your intestines.
Once your dog is diagnosed with hookworms, you will need to take him or her to the vet as soon as possible because hookworms can kill dogs and humans.
You can prevent getting hookworms from your dog by not walking in their contaminated poop or the area they pooped in with bare feet. Hookworms get through your body through your skin. If you end up with an itchy rash, and you don’t suspect it to be caused by anything else, it could be hookworm since the parasite can irritate the skin upon transmission. If you suspect you have hookworms from your dog, get to a doctor or a hospital immediately to seek medical help. Obtaining Hookworms should not be something you should be embarrassed about. This serious parasite can cause morbid consequences and should be treated immediately.
This type of parasite is rare to contract because you would have to swallow an infected flea in order to get it, however it is still possible. Your dog can also obtain Tapeworms in the same manner as well. Here are a few things you can do to prevent tapeworms:
- Never walk barefoot in the area where you dog poops.
- Wash your hands right away after petting your dog and do not touch your mouth before washing your hands.
- Do not sleep with your dog if he or she has tapeworm because then the eggs can fall in your bedding and you may unknowingly ingest them while you sleep.
Always remember, if you suspect your dog has a parasite, to take him to the vet immediately but remain calm because dogs get worms all the time. Parasites can be easily treated in dogs, and if the proper preventative measures are followed you will significantly decrease your chances of obtaining them as well.
However, if you do think you might have contracted a parasite from your dog, visit your doctor to be treated right away. Medication and treatment is readily available to rid of parasites.
In addition, it’s important to be diligent about administering the proper medications to your pets to prevent parasite contraction. Monthly application medications like Frontline and Heartgard should be consistently given to your dog to help prevent them from getting parasites.
Keep in mind that not all worms can be transmitted from a dog to a human. One type that a dog cannot give to a human is heartworm. However, you should still do everything you can to prevent your dog from getting heartworm too just like the other parasites. If you are concerned about your dog’s risk for obtaining parasites, be sure to speak to your vet for proper care and maintenance!