Can I Get Worms From My Dog Sleeping In My Bed?
Humans and their dogs sharing a bed is a common occurrence. Many studies have also pointed out the health benefits of sleeping with dogs. But there are also health risks that come with it.
Can I get worms from my dog sleeping in my bed? Yes, it is possible to get worms when you share a bed with your dog. While it isn’t common, it is still advisable to take precautions.
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Read on and find out about the health risk of letting your dog sleep in your bed. We will also discuss a few safety steps to reduce your risk of getting worms from your dog.
Worms With The Highest Zoonotic Risk
Zoonotic potential refers to the risk of infections transferring from animals to humans. When it comes to intestinal worms in dogs, the ones with the highest zoonotic potential are:
- Roundworms – Also known as Toxocara cati and Toxocara canis, it looks like short spaghetti strands that measure between one and seven inches long.
- Tapeworms – These worms are also called Dipylidium caninum. They grow between six and 24 inches long and with a long, flat shape. Their eggs resemble grains of rice on their host’s feces, skin, and coat, particularly around the anus.
- Hookworms – Also known as Dipylidium caninum and Dipylidium caninum, this type of worm has vampire-like teeth. They use their teeth in attaching themselves to their host’s small intestine.
You can become infected when handling soil that contains old yet contaminated feces. In this case, the eggs are highly infectious. Your risk of infection increases when there’s hand-to-mouth contact, too.
You may also become infected with worms upon swallowing infected adult fleas with a larval tapeworm. Your risk of getting tapeworms increases with direct contact with an infected pet.
Take note, too, that children are the highest risk for worm infestation from animals. They are more likely to handle contaminated soil or sand and place their soiled hands in their mouths. They are also less likely to wash their hands before eating and after playing with pets.
Tips For Reducing Risk Of Zoonotic Infection
Your vet will recommend giving your dog his own bed to sleep in. You may want to read our article on the best beds for small dogs to ensure you get a bed your Yorkie loves.
But it doesn’t stop there. Here are more safety precautions to consider:
- Avoid letting your dog lick any open skin, such as wounds, incisions, and scrapes. Immediately wash the area that your pet licked if it cannot be helped.
- Don’t let your dog kiss you on the mouth, nose, and eyes, too. It is particularly true if you have a compromised immune system. You never know where its mouth and tongue have been, such as in the cat’s litter box.
- Wash your dog regularly and keep him as clean as possible. Regularly clean his potty areas, too. This way, he doesn’t get poop particles on his fur and paws.
- Have your dog undergo fecal examinations about two to four times during the first year of his life. Then, he should have a fecal exam once or twice a year afterward.
Ask your vet about a deworming schedule for your puppy. A puppy should be dewormed every two weeks when he reaches two weeks of age. Your vet may also recommend a flea and tick control product, such as Frontline Plus.
Most importantly, your dog should be examined by a vet every 6-12 months. The healthier he is, the better he can resist worm infestation.
To conclude, your dog sleeping in your bed may have its rewards. But before you do it, be sure that you’re taking the right precautions to prevent infections.