My Dog Ate Earthworms What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Kyoko •  Updated: 01/22/21 •  3 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Earthworms are really interesting creatures. Sure, they’re a bit gross but they’re still very interesting. In fact, earthworms have a very important job in nature!

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But are earthworms bad for your dog? Can eating an earthworm make your dog sick?

What are Earthworms?

Earthworms are those squiggly things that come out of the ground when it rains. It’s those worms that you may dig up when gardening or searching for bait to catch fish. Did you know there are over 1,8000 species of worms on the planet?

Worms are scattered all around the world, where they can find moist soil and decayed plant material to eat.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

The body of the earthworm is divided into segments, where they have their internal organs. Each segment is duplicated in a worm, with most having between 32 to 37 segments. Did you know that earthworms are blind and deaf? Even so, they’re very sensitive to vibrations in the ground and light.

Worms love to eat decayed plant materials, insects, and more. And they can eat through their weight in food and soil every day! Imagine that!

These squiggly creatures are also hermaphroditic, which means they have the reproductive organs of both the male and female in one worm. It’s interesting to note, however, that the eggs of one earthworm must be fertilized by another earthworm.

These are really interesting creatures, but if your dog eats a worm, will he get sick?

Earthworms & Dogs

Dogs love to eat almost anything, and that includes worms. You’ll be happy to know that in most cases, eating just one worm will probably not make your dog sick.

However, if your dog loves to eat worms on a regular basis, it is possible he could become ill. That’s because worms eat all types of matter from the soil. This includes parasites, bacteria, pesticides, and other chemicals commonly put on the lawn.

So, if your dog eats plenty of worms, there’s a small chance he could become sick from bacteria or the chemicals in the earthworm’s system.

Bacteria infect your dog if he’s eaten a lot of worms. Your fur baby could develop diarrhea and vomiting that lasts longer than 24 hours. In this case, it would be a good idea to call the vet for advice.

Another problem is that the worms could be infected with roundworms. Yuck! If your dog eats worms carrying this infection, then he could also develop a roundworm infection.

So, if your dog eats one or two worms once in a while, he’ll probably be OK. But if he loves to eat more worms on a regular basis, and shows any signs of illness, then be sure to call the vet. This isn’t a life-threatening situation, but your dog may need medication to treat any infection picked up from eating earthworms.

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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