Little Black Worms in Dog Water Dish? Here’s What You Should Do

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When was the last time you inspected your dog’s drinking water container? Did you notice something in their drinking water dish the last time you washed it? Well, if you have noticed something strange in your dog’s drinking water dish, then you must know they were ‘little black worms in the dog water dish”. 

More often than not, these worms are harmless and will not cause any harm to your pet. However, if you do see worms in your dog’s water dish, it is important to take action and remove them. An ideal step would be not to allow any such situation to occur in the first place, where you need to maintain the cleanliness of your dog’s drinking water dish.

Dogs are just like our children, are they not? Dogs, like human children, need to be taken care of. As a dog parent, you can’t see your children being hurt and feel hurt yourself. Right?

You might be surprised to know that there are different kinds of worms that can potentially harm your dog’s health. 

What Are These Little Black Worms in My Dog’s Water Dish?

What Are These Little Black Worms In My Dog's Water Dish?

In fact, there can be a plethora of worms that can inhibit your dog’s water bowl. Out of these, the most common ones are roundworm, tapeworm, and fluke. All of them are potentially dangerous for your dog. Drinking water that is infested by these dogs can make your dog seriously ill. The side effects of such illness are equally problematic. Apart from diarrhea, your dog may begin to suffer from a poor appetite leading to rapid weight loss. 

These signs are alarming for sure. But don’t worry. They can be treated with the help of medical science. But, first, as a dog parent, you have to be careful about the water that your dog is drinking. Still, if you feel that your dog has consumed worm-infested water, don’t wait for long. Immediately take her/him to your veterinarian. 

There are a couple of ways by which you can treat the water that your dog drinks. One of the solutions to this problem is using a chemical treatment like praziquantel in the water. Apart from chemical treatment, you can also opt for natural treatments like diatomaceous earth to treat your dog’s drinking water. But please remember that dogs may react to these treatment methods differently. So, before applying either of these methods, it is always better to have an expert’s opinion. Therefore, do consult your veterinarian, who understands your dog’s health better!

What Causes These Black Worms to Form in My Dog’s Water Dish?

What Causes These Black Worms To Form In My Dog's Water Dish?

There are several known causes of those little black worms that might have been spotted in your dog’s drinking water dish, and here are a few mentions. Have a look at the following causes, and you will easily be able to find out which one is the possible cause for you.

#1. Dirty Water Dish

Cannot emphasize maintaining the cleanliness of your dog’s water dish regularly to prevent the growth of little black worms.

#2. Presence of Organic Matter

Ensure that your dog’s water dish is kept away from any compost piles or other organic matter, or else the little black worms may thrive.

#3. Stagnated Water

Do not allow the water to stagnate, ensure that you provide a free-flowing water stream of fresh drinking water and do not allow the drinking water to stagnate. Ensure that there is proper drainage. 

#4. Presence of Birds or Insects 

Keep a check on the presence of birds and insects that may contaminate your dog’s water dish. Try keeping it covered when not in use to help keep it clean.

What Are Some Of The Types Of Worms That Can Be Identified?

What Are Some Of The Types Of Worms That Can Be Identified?

There can be many types of worms that could have made your dog’s water dish their fine abode. Not many people will be able to differentiate between these types, but it is always a great idea to know about the existing kind of worms. 

#1. Gordian Worms

The first type is Gordian worms, and they are a type of roundworm. They are parasites that can cause severe infections in humans and animals. 

#2. Mosquito Larvae

Next up is the mosquito larvae, which is nothing but the immature form of the mosquito. They can carry diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. These can grow and become more problematic for your dog.

#3. Coccidia Worms

Coccidia is a type of single-celled parasite. These are the cause of diarrhea and other health problems in humans and animals.

#4. Giardia Worms

Another single-celled parasite that can cause diarrhea and other health problems in humans is known as Giardia.

How Can These Worms Affect My Dog’s Health?

How Can These Worms Affect My Dog's Health?

While in most cases, these little black worms, when detected at the right time, do not prove to be harmful. However, if left unchecked for several days, these can constitute a health concern to your dog.

#1. Diarrhea

The most common side affect of your dog drinking from a dish with black worms could be seen as diarrhea. Ironically, it can lead to dehydration and make your dog drink more of the water from the same bowl. So, it is advisable to keep the dish clean.

#2. Intestinal Blockage

The persistent intake of water from the dish with black worms can become lodged in your dog’s intestines leading to blockage. Dogs may end up swallowing worms causing them to become infected with other types of worms, including tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms.

#3. Allergies

It can lead to several infections like skin infection or serious eye infection. It can also cause skin rashes, hair loss, or in some cases, even respiratory problems. 

#4. Other Problems

Sometimes the problems caused by black worms are so minute that we disregard them as something normal. For example, if your dog is experiencing vomiting, fever, and loss of appetite every now and then, it will have to be treated properly.

What Should You Do?

Now that you know that a situation is normal, try not to panic. Here are a few things you can do to keep your dog’s water dish clean. 

As mentioned before, keeping your dog’s water dish clean is the most important. Would you ever drink from a dirty glass? How could you allow your doggo to drink from a container that is not clean enough for storing drinking water? 

It is essential to clean the water with hot water to kill any potential bacteria and use soap to sanitize it. For deep cleansing, soak the dish in a bleach and water solution. Take 1 part bleach to 9 parts of water. Some people also use the sanitization feature in their dishwater to keep dogs’ water dishes clean and free of any harmful worms.

Remember to dry the dish properly each time after washing it. You can place it in the sun to dry completely and pat it dry with a clean cloth to get rid of any potential bacteria or fungus. A great way of naturally sanitizing the water dish is by soaking it dry in the sun every now and then.

Apart from using the bleach solution, you can give vinegar a try as well. Ensure that you soak the dish in vinegar for some time; it not only gets rid of black worms but also of a foul smell that might become a cause of concern for your dog in the long run.

Always keep a check on the condition of the dog water dish, check for signs for worms periodically to avoid any situation that can prove to be harmful.


Now that you have known all about the little black worms in your dog’s drinking water dish use this information to ensure that it never happens to you in the future. Though predominantly not so harmful, it can be a cause of inconvenience if in case your dog’s immunity system is compromised; and also, your dog already has a history of health issues. It is advisable to keep an eye on your doggo’s movements to ensure that they are not mingling with another animal who could possibly pose trouble. At times, our dogs tend to bring some worms from outside, and they begin to accumulate and grow in their water dish. 

The reasons could be many; the solution is that precaution is always better than cure. Also, once you know the cause, it is important to take immediate action. Do not undermine the role of your dog’s vet, who could be well-equipped with handling any kind of issue that may arise on an urgent basis. 

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