3 Common Parasites That Can Affect Your Dog


Caring for your dog can be difficult at times. Not only will they require food, grooming, and training, but your dog also requires medical care. Unfortunately, you may not realize veterinary care is essential for not only treating health issues, but also for preventing health issues. While surprising to learn, there are many parasites that can affect your dog's health and wellness and many of these parasites can be prevented. This guide will help you understand 3 common parasites and how to protect your dog from them.


You may be surprised to learn fleas are a type of parasite. Known as an external parasite, fleas infest your dog's skin and coat, causing excess itching and discomfort. In addition, fleas can travel from your dog to you, your family, and other areas of your home.

Another surprising fact about fleas is that the constant scratching they cause can irritate the skin, increasing the risk of infections, such as dermatitis.

Preventing fleas is possible with topical ointments and oral medications. Make sure to ask for a medication that prevents fleas and ticks, which is another common external parasite.

Intestinal Parasites

Intestinal parasites are also dangers your dog may face. Examples of these parasites include roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, and Coccidia. As the name suggests, these parasites build up in the intestines usually entering the digestive system through something your dog eats.

Intestinal parasites are actually quite dangerous. They can cause bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, intestinal bleeding, pain, and even death if not treated.

Prevention is possible. Ask your veterinarian for year-round medication that prevents intestinal parasites. Also, keep your yard free of fecal matter, which will prevent your dog from making contact with it. Never allow your dog to drink from a public food or water bowl, either.


Most experts agree heartworm is one of the most dangerous parasites that can affect your dog because it affects their heart and blood vessels. Signs of this parasite include the following:

  • Persistent cough
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen belly

It is important to note that if your dog has developed a swollen belly in addition to the other symptoms, they may be in heart failure, which can be life-threatening. Treatment is possible, but the effectiveness of treatment depends on how quickly heartworm has been diagnosed.

Again, prevention is best for protecting your dog from heartworm. Ask your veterinarian for medication that is taken throughout the year, or visit a pet hospital for more help..


6 December 2018

Finding Help Early

For years, I wanted to fill my home with happy animals. When I got married, my spouse wanted a pet just as much as I did, and it was great to start looking for pets together. We were able to find a rescue animal who worked well with our budget and our lifestyle, and it was neat to give that sweet animal a home. However, after we brought the pet into our home, we realized that he needed some medical care. We turned to a veterinarian for advice on his medical health, and we worked on getting him completely vaccinated. Check out this blog for more information on finding help early.