Gastro-intestinal parasites, such as tapeworms or hookworms, can drain a dog of vitality and cause many other problems. There are three ways to prevent them from being a problem for your dog that involve his environment, other places you take him, and his regular veterinary treatment.

Your Dog's Environment

Parasites thrive in cool, shady, and moist environments, so clean and warm, light-filled environments are best for your dog.

Inside your house, you should launder your pet's bedding frequently, and clean the feeding/water bowls daily. Vacuuming and keeping the floors clean is helpful as well.

To make your outdoors inhospitable for parasites, you could:

  • Get rid of yard clutter.
  • Clean the lawn furniture with a mild bleach solution.
  • Clean up any stools from animals that have defecated.
  • Fence the yard to keep out stray animals.
  • Give lawn furniture or other surfaces a fresh coat of paint.
  • Bring in some sunlight in densely shaded areas.
  • Pick up and dispose of your dog's stools promptly.
  • Keep your grass short.

You should avoid doing anything to encourage mammal wildlife (such as leaving out food for them) to come into areas where your dog will be.

Other Places

Dogs get the majority of their parasites by investigating the stool of other pets or animals with their mouths, so you need to limit opportunities for her to come in contact with animal feces. Ways to do this are:

  • Keep your dog on a leash when away from home, and keep a watch on what she wants to stop and sniff.
  • Hire a pet sitter or a dog walker rather than use doggy daycare businesses when you have to be away.
  • Avoid dog parks.
  • Don't bring in other pets unless you know their parasite status is negative/non-existent.
  • Sanitize objects such as chew toys before giving them to your dog.

Monthly Treatment

Your veterinarian can prescribe a monthly flea/tick/heartworm product that also controls other parasites for your dog. This medicine will be specific to your dog's breed and also to the parasites prevalent in your locality. Be sure to worm your pet several times before breeding her, and use a pregnancy-safe medication.


Keep a clean, dry, environment for your dog and limit its interaction to other animals (mammals) that are free from parasite infestation. Leash train your dog and do not allow him to get in contact with other animal's feces. Take your pet to the veterinarian, such as Fischer Animal Hospital, regularly and put him on a medicine tailored to its needs.