Why Are There Slugs in My Dog’s Poop? (The Truth of the Matter)

slugs in dog poop

One of the most disgusting things I have ever seen was when I found a slug in my dog’s poop. It was a small black slug, kind of like a tiny snail, and it really did make my stomach turn. My first reaction was that my dog must have pooped out the slug. But was this really the case?

I had a chat with my vet friend to find out why I saw a slug there, whether dogs can poop out slugs, and what the dangers are. Here’s what the vet told me plus some of my own online research married to common sense.

Why you see slugs in dog poop

The reason you might find slugs in your dog poop is simply because slugs are attracted to dog faeces. They love it! Slugs eat a broad range of organic material and are completely driven by their sense of smell.

Slugs are especially attracted to pet food and a dog’s bowl that has been left out, which can account for their attraction to canine faeces. If you’ve ever smelt some puppy poop, you will now how it can sometimes smell the same as their food.

Some people have also reported that the slimy creatures on the dog poop can look like tiny snails, but without the shell – these are just tiny slugs. Other owners have reported seeing black, white, and brown slugs of varying sizes.

But did they come from your dog?

Can dogs poop out slugs?

What if you’re absolutely convinced that your dog pooped out a slug rather than the critters seeking the faeces out as a tasty snack?

Despite what you might think, it’s simply not true.

Can dogs poop out slugs? From a science perspective, it’s not possible for dogs to poop out slugs. They could vomit them up, minutes after swallowing, but pooping slugs out is impossible due to the stomach acid inside your dog. A slug would not survive passing through a dog’s digestive system.

A snail or slug could simply not cope with the gastric acid, and then be pooped out he rear end alive or in one piece.

slugs eat dog poop
If you see slugs in dog poop, it’s not because they have been digested through your dog.

If you’ve ever seen salt being poured on a slug, you will know how unstable their flesh is. There’s no way a slug could survive being inside of a dog’s stomach and then passing through the intestines and then anus.

The bottom line is this; if there really are slugs in the poop, they have been seeking it out and made their own way to it. They will have come from the environment around you when the conditions are just right. This typically tends to be when it gets warmer and wetter – in the UK, spring is their ideal environment.

I am certain the slugs have been pooped out though!

OK, so if you are 100% sure that the slugs didn’t just find your dog’s poop outdoors, and instead did get pooped out, there can only be one scenario left to consider…

They are not slugs, but instead could be parasitic worms.

Most worms that are found in dog poop tend to be roundworms or tapeworms. Other worm varieties are usually too small to be visible. Both roundworm and tapeworm tend to be white in colour, which could account for people seeing white slugs in the dog poop.

You might also have heard of something called lungworm. This is a parasitic disease that is caused when dogs eat slugs. Lungworms cannot come out of dog’s bums, so this won’t be what you’re seeing either.

Handy Hint: You can learn more about dogs eating slugs and the health risks in this guide.

 Now I’ve explained why you might see small slugs in dog poop, you’ve got a few options. But firstly, just to confirm:

  1. Dogs cannot poop out slugs.
  2. Slugs are attracted to dog faeces.
  3. They could be parasitic worms and not slugs.

What can I do next?

Regardless of what the situation is, I would recommend the following: 

  1. Always keep up to date with your dog’s worm treatment.
  2. If you do see worms in your dog’s poop go to the vet and possibly take a sample.
  3. Keep slugs away from your dog, they can be toxic.

Handy Hint: Are you leaving your dog indoors for a long time? If so, here’s how long they can without pooping or peeing.

Related questions

Are slugs attracted to dog poop?

Based on what pet owner see, slugs love dog faeces. If you’ve ever had a slug infestation in your garden, you will well know how much they can eat through.

They don’t just like lush green plants but will also munch on dead vegetation such as old piles of leaves, dead animals, and anything else that was once alive.

Do slugs eat dog poop?

Slugs do eat dog faeces and will eat absolutely anything they can get to. In fact, here’s a video of this happening somewhere in the United States.

How to prevent slugs on your dog’s food bowl

If you are finding slugs on your dog’s water or food bowl then it’s imperative that you fix the solution immediately. There can be parasitic larvae in slug slime that causes lungworm in dogs. The larvae can survive for 15 days outside the slug’s body.

Aside from keeping the bowl fresh and clean, you can use dog-safe slug and snail killers in your garden. The best ones I have found is the Garden Safe Slug Bait on Amazon.

Alternative methods I found on gardening forums include:

  • Ground coffee
  • Beer traps
  • Egg shells and seashells
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Copper tape
  • Slug repelling plants
  • Recycled wool paste pellets
  • Nematodes
  • Wheat or corn bran 

Handy Hint: Other things you might see in dog poop include black bugs or white specks that look like tiny grains or rice. Here’s what that could mean for your dog’s health

Conclusion

If you have found slugs in your puppy poop, chances are they got there by their own accord. Slugs have an excellent sense of smell and will eat anything. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if they manage to feast on the faeces!

If you are 100% sure this wasn’t’ the case, the only other option is that they are worms that have come out of your dog.

You should always consult with your vet if you are at all concerned.

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I’ve written a number of guides on how to keep your dog safe in the garden or yard. You might also like:

Marc Aaron

I write about the things I've learned about owning a dog, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips I've picked up along the way.

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