Yes, it is possible, but it is also unlikely. You needn’t worry about it. You just need to take the proper precautions. Prevention is the key.
Roundworms are the most common worms found in cats and dogs. These are the large worms that look like spaghetti noodles. The roundworms live in your pet’s intestines, and the eggs pass out in the feces.
In order for a human to get roundworms, he or she would have to ingest an egg. This is uncommon, but does happen occasionally, and most cases involve children. It is not uncommon for children to play outside with the dogs, and accidentally get some fecal matter on their hands, unbeknownst to the parents.
Prevention is the key. Deworm your dog regularly. Keep any area heavily trafficked by people free of pet waste. And teach your children to wash their hands after they play with their pets, and always before they eat.
Tapeworms are also common. They are long, flat, and look like tape. Tapeworms live in your pet’s intestines. Pieces of the worm break off and can be found in your pet’s fecal matter. These look like pieces of rice, and are sometimes still moving when you find them.
You cannot get a tapeworm from your dog directly. In order to become infected with tapeworm, you would have to ingest a flea that had eaten tapeworm eggs. This is very rare.
Your best prevention against tapeworm is aggressive flea control. Also, do not allow children to play in potentially contaminated areas.
Heartworms are large worms that live in the hearts of animals, most commonly in dogs. Dogs get heartworm by being bitten by an infected mosquito.
You cannot get heartworm from your pet, unless you have a pet mosquito. The only way to contract heartworm is to be bitten by an infected mosquito. Still, it is very rare, and when a human is infected by a heartworm, a single heartworm is usually found in the lung.
Prevention for humans? Insect repellant!
Hookworms are tiny, thin worms that hook into the pet’s intestinal wall. Hookworms cannot be seen with the naked eye.
You can get hookworms by coming in contact with fecal matter, or with soil that has been contaminated with fecal matter. Hookworms can infect a person either through ingestion or by penetrating the skin.
To protect yourself and your children from hookworms, practice good hygiene, and do not walk barefoot in any areas where animals could have left waste, e.g. dog parks.
Whipworms are long, thin, whip-shaped worms that live in an animal’s colon. Animals get whipworms by ingesting whipworm eggs, which are found in the fecal matter of other infected animals.
Humans can get whipworms by ingesting these eggs. It is uncommon, but possible.
Prevent this rarity by practicing vigilant hygiene for both your human family and your pets. If you have had a whipworm problem with your pets, make sure you clean up all pet waste from your property. Try not to let your children play in an area that could be contaminated by your pets, or by anyone else’s, as whipworm eggs can live a long time.