If you spotted your dog eating earthworms, you should be very concerned. These worms are full of parasites. But how do I get my dog to stop eating earthworms, you ask? That’s what we are here for!
Dogs can pretty much eat everything they are told not to. Sometimes, they can surprise you by eating grasses, fallen twigs, flowers, and leaves. But they can make you skip a heartbeat by eating flies, moths, and earthworms.
As dog owners, it’s natural to worry about their health and safety, especially if you see them eating filthy and gross things. If you are sure that your dog has consumed something harmful and showing signs of indigestion or vomiting, rush to the vet immediately.
However, we will give you some easy steps that you can take to rid your dog of the earthworm eating habit. Stay tuned to learn how!
Can Dogs Eat Earthworms?
Yes, dogs can eat earthworms, roundworms, and tapeworms, which can all be very harmful to them. Earthworms can pick up many bacteria and parasites which are harmful to dogs, so eating earthworms is a bad habit and you should try to stop your dog from doing it.
Are Worms Harmful For Dogs?
Yes, worms are harmful to dogs.
As mentioned above, worms are home to many types of parasites and bacteria. Together they can jeopardize your dog’s health.
Worms feed on soil; hence, they consume bacteria present in the soil. These bacterias can give your dog a stomach ache and result in vomiting and diarrhea. This may last for a few hours to a few days but will eventually fade with proper care and medication.
Parasites, on the other hand, is a bigger concern. It’s common for dogs to have roundworms, hookworms, or whipworms. These worms can be a threat to your dog; hence you must be watchful.
For example: if you live in a place where mosquitoes are common, then there are high chances that your dog is suffering from heartworms. Hence you need to go for heartworm medicine for your dog.
Why Does My Dog Eat Worms?
There can be many reasons associated with your dog eating earthworms. Some of these reasons are curiosity, taste, an instinct to hunt, and a disorder known as Pica.
Let’s discuss each of them in more detail
Dogs are known to be pretty curious animals, and they love to touch, sniff and eat almost everything they find. The wiggly earthworms attract them, especially the puppies who see them for the first time. However, big dogs are also not behind. The only way to determine whether a thing is edible or not is by eating them.
What you can do about it
if curiosity is the main culprit here, then take your dog for long walks in a new location. Give it something to divert its mind and buy a dog puzzle game to stimulate the brain. Something like this.
Some people love to eat worms. They consider them a delicacy. They like its taste and often consume them as snacks. The same might be the case with dogs. They might also like the taste of earthworms and enjoy the protein-filled snack every now and then.
What you can do about it
If your dog likes the taste of the earthworms, then try to give it its favorite snack and divert its mind.
Dogs are hunters, and they have this so-called hunting instinct. Some see these wiggly creatures as prey and eat them after hunting just out of instinct.
What you can do about it
If your dog is hunting and feeding on earthworms due to its hunting instincts, it will be a challenge to make it stop doing that because dogs are born hunters. They can sniff and spot their prey.
Hence, you need to divert its mind and keep it busy with other activities out of the home. The best thing to do is give it some toys to play with. This will curb its hunting instinct as well as prevent it from eating worms.
Pica is a compulsive eating disorder that affects not only animals but also humans. Anyone suffering from this tends to eat non-food items. Dogs affected by Pica may eat paper, plastic, and worms. If your dog has a frequent upset stomach, loss of appetite, or lethargy, this can be due to Pica.
What can you do about it?
If your dog has Pica and it’s the sole reason it is feeding on earthworms, then you need to determine whether it is behavioral or medical. If it is due to medical reasons, your vet is the best person to help you.
However, if it is behavioral, you need to change your dog’s daily routine. For example, if it is eating earthworms because it is alone the whole day or feeling bored, you need to start spending time with your dog and keep it busy with some dog games.
How do I Get My Dog to Stop Eating Earthworms
If your dog eats earthworms, you need to be extra watchful around him. You need to stop it from chasing or going after any of its wiggly friends. You need to say No or sometimes punish it for doing so.
You can also keep your dog inside till the time you are not ready to accompany it outside. Don’t let your dog wander alone outside if you can’t keep an eye on it, and always use a leash to control its movement.
If you live in an area where it’s common to spot earthworms, then you can think about changing your locality. Earthworms are more visible during the rainy season; hence you need to be extra watchful if you take your dog out for a walk.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate A Worm?
Observe your dog and monitor its health for some time if your dog ate a worm. If within 4-5 hours your dog shows no signs of disease, don’t panic, but it will be better if you take it to the vet.
If you observe lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, or symptoms of diarrhea, take your dog immediately to the vet.
A Few Final Words
Dogs are our valuable friends and just like our babies. They are naive and can literally chew on anything they want. Hence, proper care is needed every now and then.
Earthworms can jeopardize your dog’s life and will leave you vulnerable. Therefore, try making your dog lose this habit of eating earthworms as early as possible.
Thank you for reading this article, and we hope that we were able to answer all your queries. If you have more doubts, please write to us in the comments section.
We have written about more things that your dog can eat which are dangerous for them, such as smoked turkey necks, A1 sauce, Popeye’s biscuits, quail bones, cheese, burger buns and so on. Please do read these guides and keep your dog safe!