Can Dogs Eat Earthworms? – Why Dogs Are Curious!

Dogs love to walk in a park and do not mind spending hours digging in a garden. While there is nothing wrong with letting your dog have the time of its life, you must ensure that it doesn’t swallow any prohibited items. Gardens are earthworms’ paradise as moist soil is their habitat. Your pup gets plenty of chances to eat earthworms while playing in the garden. But can dogs eat earthworms and stay unaffected?

Let’s read about it!

Can dogs eat earthworms?

No, dogs cannot eat earthworms. These parasites can infect a dog’s abdomen and kidneys. Earthworms consume roundworm eggs, and these eggs can upset a dog’s stomach, causing diarrhea or vomiting. In severe cases, dogs may develop Dioctopyma renale (giant kidney worm). So, stop your dog from consuming earthworms and keep yourself and your pup parasite-free.

Earthworms are edibles, and people love to roast them and eat as crunch snack or fry them and take it as sidelines. However, dogs generally eat them raw. They dig soil, find these wriggly ground dwellers and eat raw earthworms. In most cases, you may not be aware that your dog has consumed earthworm while it was busy playing in a garden. Therefore, you must monitor your dog and see if it displays any signs of sickness.

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What are the symptoms of dogs carrying worms?

Following are the symptoms of dogs carrying worms:

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • The visible presence of worms in a dog’s fur or its stool

As a dog pet parent, you must lookout for the symptoms of the worms, especially if your dog spends time in the garden. By the time your pup shows signs of worms, worms have already infected its body; thus, you need to hurry.

Since the symptoms may also be indications of other illnesses, you must seek a veterinarian’s assistance immediately. The sooner you get professional help for your dear dog, the better it’ll be for its well-being.

What to do if my dog eats earthworms?

Monitor your dog and check its stool to see any signs of roundworm infections. If there are spaghetti-shaped worms in its stool, then your pup has a roundworm infection. Consult your vet and start deworming your dog; your beloved pet will be fine in no time.

A single earthworm may not cause any threat to your pup’s health; however, if it eats plenty of them, you need to take it to the vet. Earthworms deposit nutrients and move the soil around; thus, they are great for the soil. But they often consume harmful bacteria and roundworm eggs. While your dog may not ingest bacteria or roundworm eggs directly, through earthworms, it can swallow these toxic materials and fall sick.

Besides, worms in dogs are dangerous for you, too, as these canines can pass worms to humans. So, keep an eye on your furry baby and do not let it consume these parasites.

Why do dogs eat worms?

You must be irritated or disgusted with the sight of your dog devouring these wiggly invertebrates. You may wonder, out of so many other things, why does a dog eat worms?

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Let’s find out!

They want to satisfy their curiosity

“Curiosity killed the cat” is a famous saying for felines, but dogs are no less curious than cats. Dogs are fond of putting everything in their mouth and do so with worms. When they spot these worms wriggling in the ground, they become inquisitive and want to try its taste.

They have pica

Pica is a health condition where dogs eat non-food items. They can eat anything from plastic, paper, mud, or other inappropriate things. Puppies generally do not suffer from pica, and it mainly occurs in adult dogs. Some dogs are secretive, and they may hide their endeavors from you. See if your dog eats inedible things, and if it does, seek a vet’s assistance.

They want your attention

Your furry friend is demanding and wants you to focus on nothing but it. Remember, dogs are intelligent and become attuned to their parent’s behavior. If they feel that you ignore them, they would deliberately go after worms to get your attention. When your dog realizes that you give it undivided attention, it will use this knowledge to its advantage goes worm-hunting so that you come behind it.

They like the taste of wiggly parasites

As weird as it sounds, your dear animal may like the taste of wriggly creatures. There is no explanation why some dogs like eating particular items and others don’t. Similarly, your furry friend may have developed a fondness for worms.

Dogs are natural scavengers

Your dog has an instinct to hunt, and this is where worms come in. Dogs love to sniff around and hunt for things. Getting them to stop hunting may be a challenge, but you need to be smart. Involve them in playing ball or plan something else to satisfy their hunting instinct.

How to stop my dog from eating earthworms?

If your dog has a habit of eating earthworms, try to distract it using a toy or some other curiosity so that it steers away from the worms. If your pup is out on a walk, redirect it when it spots a worm.

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Related FAQs to dogs and earthworms!

Can I feed my dog cooked earthworm?

Yes, earthworms are safe for your dogs to consume only if you cook them. Raw earthworms can cause multiple health issues; however, cooking them will kill bacteria. However, you must ensure that your dog does not go overboard while eating them.

Are earthworms nutritious?

Earthworms are a good source of protein. They contain 60-70% protein, 5-21% carbohydrates, 2-3% minerals, and several vitamins. Additionally, they have zinc, manganese, and copper.

Why does a dog dig and make holes in a garden?

Dogs dig holes in the soil to seek comfort and protection. In hot weather, they like to lie in cool soil. During rain or stormy weather, they seek shelter in these holes. Sometimes they dig holes out of curiosity or just for entertainment. When left on their own, they may feel bored and start exploring the soil to occupy themselves.

Concluding our thoughts on whether dogs can eat earthworms or not!

Earthworms are edibles, and many people love to devour them. However, eating them raw can cause many health issues for you and your dogs.

Dogs sometimes go overboard and eat plenty of earthworms. Consuming an abundant quantity of earthworms puts them in danger of ingesting soil, pesticides, bacteria, and roundworms eggs. So, if you feel your dogs have developed a habit of worm-eating, ensure that your pup is dewormed regularly to keep it safe and healthy.

Photo of author

Immad Amir

Immad has a black Labrador who is his first child. With no prior experience of how to take care of his pooch, Immad started researching about what dogs love to eat. This blog is a journal of all the research Immad has done regarding a pet's diet.
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