How Do Dogs Contract Tapeworms? #SentinelSpectrum

June 14, 2016

This post is sponsored by Virbac® SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help create awareness about protection against common parasites found in dogs but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. More information about SENTINEL SPECTRUM. Virbac is not responsible for the content of this article.

I get a nauseated feeling when I think about parasites. We have two dogs and three cats who live inside our home, so parasite prevention is very important. If one pet contracts a parasite, all of our pets are at risk. My son who is 6 years old, constantly has one of the dogs or cats in his arms. I certainly don’t want to risk him contracting a parasite either. So, how do dogs contract tapeworms?

how do dogs contract tapeworms?

Tapeworms are a little different than some of the other parasites that can infect your pets. They generally use a flea as an intermediate host, but they can be contracted from the environment too. If your pet ingests a flea that is a host to tapeworm eggs, the tapeworms stay in the stomach where they develop. Tapeworms aren’t difficult to contract. You dog can accidentally ingest a flea while they’re grooming themselves or another pet in the household. Adult tapeworms can be as small as 4 inches, but can grow over 2 feet in length (yuck!). Pieces of tapeworms that are roughly the size of a grain of rice break off the worms and are passed in the stool. The segments contain tapeworm eggs, so the cycle starts over again.

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how do dogs contract tapeworms

On the bright side, tapeworms aren’t typically difficult to eradicate and treat. You need to treat the existing tapeworms and prevent a reinfection after treatment. We use SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® because it is a multi-purpose parasiticide for year round prevention. The once monthly SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® Beef Flavored chews you can protect your dog from heartworms, fleas, hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms.


Did you know that you can see only a small fraction of the flea population? Most of the flea population is eggs and larvae that can’t be easily seen. Egg production begins shortly after female fleas take their first blood meal, and they can produce 40-50 eggs per day. If untreated, adult fleas can live several months. Have you considered how exponentially a flea population can grow in a matter of weeks? Just think about how much suffering your dog would go through if they find themselves infested with a large quantity of fleas? It definitely won’t sit well with pet owners, unless of course, you decide to look at how essential oils for dogs, (click here to learn more) can help to keep them away from your fur friend for good, as there is nothing worse than seeing them suffer. A flea collar is always a good start, especially a natural one with a natural solution in it, like the ones available at, but there are other things that you can try too.

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Lufenuron, is a unique ingredient found in SENTINEL Brand Products. They prevent fleas from developing into adults. SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® delivers protection through a chewable, and it cannot be washed off . It’s evenly distributed throughout your pet’s system. It stops flea eggs and maggot-like flea larvae from developing into adults. This helps prevent a flea infestation before it begins.


Here are a few responses from a recent survey of pet owners:

  • 80% of respondents stated that heartworm protection was either a High or Very High priority to them as pet parents.
  • 84% of respondents said that flea protection was either a High or Very High priority for them as a pet parent.
  • 79% of respondents said that they provide their dog flea prevention all year long whereas 20% said that they only provide flea prevention during the spring and summer months.
  • 70% of respondents said that a dog can contract tapeworms from ingesting just one infested flea.
  • 90% of respondents said that tapeworm segments can be found near a dog’s anus, in feces and/or where he lives and sleeps.
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How do you prioritize parasite prevention and do you use it year round? I recommend asking your veterinarian about the importance of year round parasite prevention and if SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® might be the right product for your dog.

A rebate is currently available here on the purchase of certain SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® products, and you have trouble remembering when to administer SENTINEL® SPECTRUM® you can sign up for text and email reminders here.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Virbac® SENTINEL® SPECTRUM®. The opinions and text are all mine.