Worms and Maggots in Your Dog’s Water Bowl – What to Do?

As pet owners, we only want the best for our pets. It goes even to the small things such as providing clean water to drink. Thus, it can be worrisome to find some small entities dancing in our pet’s water bowl. Therefore, it begs the question:

If there are worms and maggots in your dog’s water bowl? If you find worms or maggots in your dog’s water bowl, you should take it out, clean the bowl, and look for any signs that indicate a complication. If your dog exhibits difficulties, a vet visit might be necessary. It should also be a lesson to keep your pet’s water bowl clean at all times.

Of course, some worms you can see on the water bowl may not come from your pet but the environment. Regardless, you wouldn’t want any worm in your pet’s drink, right?

In this article, we will tackle every kind of worm and what to do with it. This way, you can be confident your pet stays safe from the risks these worms carry.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Why are there worms in my dog’s water bowl?

Worms appear in a dog’s water bowl for many reasons. Some worms may arise from your dog, while others may emerge from the environment.

For instance, worms such as Giardia inestinalis are common in drinking water. They usually thrive in the fecal matter of an infected person or animal.

Such parasites spread when someone swallows water contaminated with an infected person or animal’s fecal matter.

Another instance would be an adult Gordian worm in the water. This kind of worm lives in a particular insect thriving near the water. As they grow, they induce the insect to jump in the water and burst.

Now, you may be wondering if such worms pose any threat to dogs.

Are worms in water dangerous to dogs?

Worms in water pose different kinds of problems for dogs. While some would only induce mild symptoms such as diarrhea, others may need you to take your pet to the vet.

As I said earlier, you may need to observe and monitor your pet for health complications symptoms.

It would be best to do so as soon as you see any worms in your dog’s water bowl.

You may know if your pet needs immediate attention through a thorough observation. Or if your dog only needs its area cleaned and maintained.

Whatever the circumstance is, I bet we can all agree that we don’t want any kind of worm in our pet’s drink, right?

Here’s a quick look at the different kinds of worms that may appear in your pet’s water bowl.

Tiny brown worms in dog’s water bowl – what to do?

Tiny brown worms in the water bowl could be the famous parasite that lodges in dogs’ intestines. If left unchecked, it can pose quite a dangerous risk.

The good thing about such kinds of worms is that they are so common that any vet can treat them.

Still, prevention is better than cure, so be sure to maintain cleanliness in your pet’s water bowl and area.

If left unchecked, some of the complications can occur in your pet:

  • Abdominal swelling
  • Weight loss
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • Worms in the stools or vomit

Thus, if you see your dog with such symptoms after drinking that water, contact a vet right away.

Small white worms in dog’s water bowl – what to do?

Small white worms are what we call the Gordian worms. These worms are parasites. However, they tend to attack insects and crustaceans instead of big animals.

While it won’t do any harm to your pet, it’s still unhealthy for your dog to drink water with such a worm in it.

Thus, you want to clean the bowl regularly to avoid any worms from recurring.

Red worms in dog’s water bowl – what to do?

Red worms are not harmful to plants or even your dog if it eats only a few. However, it can induce your pet to vomit if consumed in large quantities.

These kinds of worms aren’t the parasitic type. However, they are still a nuisance, so removing them is necessary.

As always, what you want to do is clean the water bowl and the entire area of your dog.

As long as you maintain the cleanliness, your worm problem shouldn’t recur again.

Maggots in dog’s water bowl – what to do?

Maggots come from flies, and they can be plenty in hot seasons. These things get in the water bowl more likely due to dog poop lying around.

Since the dog poop gathers flies around, they will likely hang around and lay eggs near the water dish.

Another thing is that your dog eats its poop with eggs and spits out the maggot in the dish.

Not only does it look gross, but it can also be unhealthy for your dog as well.

Such a problem is resolvable by regularly cleaning your pet’s area and not allowing the dog poop to stay for days.

As long as there’s no dog poop, there will be lower chances of flies producing maggots around.

dog water bowl

Mosquito larvae in dog’s water bowl – what to do?

Mosquito larvae are among the usual entities we can see in a dog’s water bowl. The bowl makes the perfect place for mosquitoes to lay their eggs because they need a pool of standing water.

These larvae, if ingested, shouldn’t cause any issue. The acid in your pet’s stomach would be enough to destroy the larvae, and they don’t carry any disease.

Still, the problem starts when these larvae turn into mosquitoes. As soon as they do, they may begin feeding on your dog’s blood.

For this reason, it would be best to prevent it from happening by constantly changing your dog’s water.

Another risk it involves is that it may infect your pet with heartworm disease. Such a condition can cause clogging in the major blood vessels that lead to the heart. Eventually, it will reduce the blood supply to the other organs, which can be dangerous.

Here are some of the symptoms of this complication:

  • Dry cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Loss of stamina
  • Fainting
  • Limbs swelling
  • Anemia
  • Jaundice

The best thing to do is clean your dog’s bowl every day. This way, you can eliminate the larvae and keep them from recurring. You can also use a pet fountain, so the water doesn’t stagnate.

How do I keep worms and maggots out of my dog’s water bowl?

As I said, keeping all kinds of worms and maggots out of the water bowl is the best way to keep your pet safe.

Here are some steps you can do to make sure your pet won’t have any worms in its water bowl.

Clean the area.

Aside from the water bowl, you need to make sure the area is free from any possible way for worms to occur.

Among the things you need to consider are the plants, your dog’s poop, and even the pee. You also need to keep an eye on puddles and small bodies of water.

In general, you need to keep the place clean, dry, and free from any strong odor.

Clean the water bowl regularly.

Cleaning the water bowl keeps the worms coming and keeps the water clean.

It would be tempting to use bleach, but it’s not a great idea. Bleach can be toxic to pets. Thus, a dishwashing liquid would be enough.

Bathe your dog.

One of the things that attract fleas is the scent of your dog. Thus, if your dog stinks, it can attract flies nearby.

For this reason, you need to maintain your pet’s cleanliness to make sure the flies won’t come.

Get a stainless steel bowl instead of plastic.

A plastic bowl is prone to bacteria and even worms. Thus, it would be best to replace it with a stainless steel one.

Of course, you can get a ceramic or a glass bowl, but it’s easy to break. Thus, stainless steel remains your best option.


Worms and maggots are entities that don’t only bring nuisance. Moreover, they can pose quite a few risks to our pets if we ignore them.

As always, the effects of these worms vary depending on their kind. However, it’s still a fact that our pets won’t do any good with them.

Thus, take it as a rule of thumb to prevent any worm from getting into your pet. Consider maintaining the cleanliness to avoid such things from happening.


Image credits – Canva

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