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Dog Parks and Parasites

While we all love walking our dog and throwing the ball for our pet in the park, an Australian based study done in collaboration with the University of Melbourne has just been released with some information that we need to be aware of. The nationwide study has found prevalence of canine intestinal worms in the soil from many parks across the country. The study has found that more than 40% of parks tested were found to have evidence of canine soil transmitted worms present in the samples. These worms included hookworm, whipworm, threadworm and roundworm.


People can get parasites from their pets

Parasites, like intestinal worms found in dogs and cats, can be transmitted from dogs to humans. The worms that have been detected in the samples from the park pose a health risk to both the pets and the people that visit it. Your dog could potentially be infected by either rolling in the soil (in the case of hookworm), or by licking or eating the contaminated dirt. People can also be infected without careful hygiene practises, such as hand washing after picking up faeces. Tapeworm is another intestinal worm that is common in both humans and pets. 


Signs your dog could be infected by intestinal worms

If your dog becomes infected from parasites at the park, it is unlikely to be immediately obvious, however within days to weeks after picking up the worms, your dog could develop:

- Diarrhoea

- Vomiting

- Lethargy

- Weight loss


How to protect your dog from getting parasites

Based on the high numbers of parks and faecal samples found to contain canine soil transmitted worms, some recommendations have been made to minimise the health risk to both pets and people that visit parks across Australia. The guidelines from the Australian Companion Animal Zoonoses Advisory Panel include:

  1. Intestinal worming of pets monthly.
  2. Treat pets for external parasites such as fleas all year round.
  3. Regular veterinary checks for your pet.
  4. Ensure good hygiene practices (dispose of dog faeces, washing hands)

It should also be noted when handling raw food, you should wash hands thoroughly and ensure meat is from a trusted source.


Pet Lovers Club home delivers complete parasite protection each month when your pet is due, so you’ll never forget and have 365 day per year protection. The monthly protection by trusted brands covers all relevant intestinal worms, and we send tapeworm protection every 3 monthly as vets recommend.  Our complete protection also includes cover for fleas, flea allergy, heartworm disease and tick paralysis so you can rest assured that parasite prevention is complete and the health of your dog, cat and family is protected.

Visit for simple complete and low cost monthly parasite prevention.


By Dr Lydia Matheson BVSc (Hons)

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