What's are the chances of a human catching worms from a dog?
Amanda from Louisa, Kentucky
It depends on the worm. Hookworms and roundworms are the biggest risk, with roundworms being the scariest. If a roundworm egg is digested by a human (fecal to oral contact), it doesn't necessarily stay within the digestive tract like it would do in a dog. They can actually travel through the body and cause damage, most notably to an eye. Kids have been blinded due to roundworm ingestion.
It seems unlikely that fecal to oral contact will occur between kids and dogs, but does your dog lick his butt? Does he lick your kids faces? The good news is that roundworms are most common in puppies and less likely to occur in adults. Also, unlike some intestinal worms (whipworms and hookworms, for example), roundworms are clearly visible in your dogs poop. They look like spaghetti noodles. They are also very easy to treat.
Roundworms and hookworms are the reason why it is very important to have your pets checked for internal parasites every year. Just bring in a fresh poopy when you take your pet in for vaccines. Your vet will know what to do with it!