Controlling what your dog eats is easier said than done. This is because whatever seems pleasant in the eyes of the dog goes directly to the mouth. For this reason, your dog will always keep you on your toes because some of the things that he eats cause problems later. Earthworms are among the weird things that you may find your dog eating. Realizing that your dog ate an earthworm may scare you, especially if you have no idea of the effects that it could have on the dog. Bracing yourself with the right information on the effect the earthworm would have on your dog is the best way to navigate this time. Read below for more information on this.
Why Do Dogs Eat Earthworms?
Earthworms are among the objects that dogs eat because they find them fancy. Other objects that fall in this category are such as toys and clothes, among others. The habit of having a dog eat anything that he finds fancy is dietary indiscretion. Dietary indiscretion results from factors such as boredom, stress, anxiety, and lack of attention. It also occurs when the dog has an underlying medical condition or lacks a specific nutrient in the body. This is, therefore, one of the major reasons why your dog eats earthworms. In other cases, dogs eat earthworms because they love their taste. It is also possible that the dog ate the earthworm when exploring their taste.
Are Earthworms Safe for Dogs?
More often than not, dogs seem fine after eating earthworms. However, this may cause health hazards in the long term. This risk is due to the things that earthworms swallow when in the soil. Sure, some of the stuff found in the soil that earthworms eat is safe. For instance, some bacteria have benefits in the dog’s body when eaten. However, the soil has other stuff, such as eggs of roundworms, which are eaten by earthworms. When your dog eats the earthworm, he risks having stomach upsets due to roundworms consumed in the process.
Additionally, the chemicals and fertilizers found in the soil are toxic for dogs. If your dog ate only one earthworm, there are low chances of being affected by the chemicals. However, if eating earthworms is a common habit, then the chemicals and fertilizers will severely affect the dog in the long term. Puppies are more affected by such problems of eating earthworms than older dogs.
Problems That Earthworms Cause to Dogs
The main problem that earthworms have on dogs is stomach upsets. This means that your dog will have problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pains. Additionally, the dog may develop a roundworm infection. This is easy to determine by the presence of spaghetti shaped rings in their poop. The toxic chemicals found on fertilizers and other products that the earthworm may have consumed in the soil may have adverse effects on the dog.
How Do You Handle a Dog That Has Eaten Earthworms?
One earthworm is likely to have little or no effect on the dog. Therefore, if it was a single earthworm, there is no need to worry. However, observe the dog and see whether there are signs of stomach discomfort or pain. In case of such cases, contact a vet for advice on how to handle the dog. If your dog has eaten many earthworms or has been eating them for a while, he may be at a higher risk. First, there is the risk of infection by the toxic chemicals.
Additionally, there is a risk of roundworms and other harmful parasites. In this case, consider deworming the dog to help get rid of such parasites. This is especially if you can spot the ring-shaped spaghettis in their poop. On the other hand, inform the veterinarian if the dog shows any other abnormal signs. This could mean that the dog has been affected by the toxic chemicals found in the soil and consumed through the earthworms. The sooner you inform your vet, the higher the chances of proper treatment.
Earthworms are edible and a meal that even people love eating. However, eating them raw and without eliminating the soil in them is dangerous. For this reason, it is risky if your dog eats raw earthworms, mostly if he eats a lot of them. Strive to keep your dog away from earthworms to eliminate the adverse effects they could have on your pet.