How worms in dogs come to infect our pets is not actually as simple as one factor. Different types of the parasites infect dogs in different ways. What all worms in dogs do have in common is that they are parasites, so called because they feed off the dog. They are also unable to reproduce without getting inside the dog.
Roundworms infect the dog either when it ingests eggs from the ground which have been passed in the feces of another infected dog or from an infected mother before birth or shortly after in her milk. Hookworms infect dogs in much the same way.
Tapeworms, on the other hand, are different. They infest dogs in a different way. Not only do they need to be inside the dog to reproduce, but they also need the help of another animal, known as an interim, to complete its life cycle. The majority of the time, at least with the most common type of tapeworm in UK dogs, this intermediate animal is a flea. So the lifecycle goes like this: an infected dog releases tapeworm eggs with its feces and a flea ingests an egg. The egg hatches inside the flea and when the flea infests a dog and is accidentally swallowed, the worm larvae is released inside the dog, allowing the cycle to begin again.
With lifetimes like these, it is there before difficult to prevent worms in dogs entirely because eggs are very often able to survive for long periods in the environment. Regular treatment should be a priority.
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