Everyone knows our stance on flea treatments – they’re absolutely unnecessary and potentially very harmful for you and him. I strongly advise not dosing a healthy dog with chemical flea treatments. If your child was to get lice you deal with it. You don’t apply noxious chemicals that if a louse bit them it would drop down dead. More here “Why I Don’t Recommend Chemically Worming Dogs“. Like a possible flea infestation, I don’t concern myself in the slightest with them, nor do most people on the more natural side of things. However it would be amiss of me for me to say you should do the same so below you will find a few natural ways to prevent worms in dogs.
The reason I don’t concern myself with worms is four fold:
Common Clues Your Dog Has a Parasite Infection
With some internal parasites, a diagnosis can be tricky because there may not be any obvious signs that something is wrong with your dog. However, there are also several common symptoms or clues that can point to an internal parasite infection, and they include:
- Bloating – Does your dog look bloated whether or not they’ve eaten? Having continuous bloat or seeming generally uncomfortable can be a sign of worms.
- Coughing – Your dog naturally coughs from time to time just like a person will. However, if you notice your dog starting to cough more than normal or go on extended coughing fits, this is a sign of worms.
- Fever – You may notice that your dog is running a fever with this type of infection. It can come and go, and it normally won’t stay constant.
- Lethargy – Sudden changes in appetite or lethargy is common as the worms advance. This can also come with vomiting that gets worse over time.
- Scooting – Scooting refers to your dog dragging it’s butt across the floor. It looks like they’re “scooting” across the floor when they do this.
- Stool Problems – Your dog’s stool may be loose or covered in mucus when they go to the bathroom. Additionally, you may notice worms in their stool or what looks like small grains of rice.
Preventing Worms in Dogs
Prevention is the key when it comes to these parasites because it’s much easier to take preventative steps than to treat the resulting infection. There are several things that you can do to prevent these worms, and they include:
- Make sure that you clean your yard regularly and remove any feces that you can see, and you should plan on doing this at least once a week. Over time, these feces can get infested with worms, and they can transmit to your dog if they eat it or get it on their coat and then ingest it when they clean themselves.
- Your vet will prescribe deworming medications, and it’s important that you give these medications to your dog as recommended by your veterinarian. It’s especially important that you do this when your dog is young because puppies usually get at least three rounds of dewormer to help prevent infections as they grow.
- If you can’t prevent your dog from getting worms, you can help to catch it quickly before the infection advances. Make sure that you’re routinely checking your dog’s fur, feces, and rear for the worms themselves, larvae, or any eggs.
How to Get Rid of Worms Naturally
Although you may want to take your dog to the veterinarian to get a professional’s opinion, there are several things that you can do at home to keep your dog healthy, happy, and free of a parasitic infection.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Almost all homes have apple cider vinegar around because it has powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that make it an excellent cleaning agent. It’s natural and safe for your dog to digest, and this makes it a popular remedy for getting rid of worms.
To give this remedy to your dog, start by adding one-fourth of a teaspoon to their food or water each day, and slowly increase this over a week until you get to one teaspoon. Once you get to a teaspoon, you can keep giving them this amount each day to keep the worms away.
Black Cumin and Pumpkin Seeds
Both black cumin and pumpkin seeds along with black cumin oil are safe for your dog, and they work to prevent, expel, and maintain your dog’s worm-free state. You want to give your dog between a half and a whole teaspoon of black cumin seed each day in their food, but remember to heat it first to get rid of the very bitter aftertaste.
Pumpkin seeds work very well if you grind them before you add them to your dog’s food, and you want to add around one-fourth of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight. For black cumin oil, use half of what you use for black cumin seeds, and it’s always a good idea to start at the lower end of the dosage and work your way up to the full dose.
Chamomile is popular for having anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s a slower acting herb where parasites are concerned that works by reducing any discomfort your dog may have. You can make a chamomile tincture and add it to your dog’s food or water twice a day at 0.25 to 0.50 milliliters per every 20 pounds of body weight.
To make your chamomile tincture by mixing:
- 1/2 to 1 cup of dried Chamomile flowers
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups of boiling water
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups rum or vodka
- Quart glass jar with an airtight lid
Add your flowers to the bottom of the jar and pour the boiling water over the flowers. Next, pour the rum or vodka into the water and flower mixture until the jar is full and seal the lid.
Once it’s sealed, store it in a cool and dry place for four to six weeks and shake it for a few minutes each day. After four to six weeks, open the jar, strain the liquid, and it’s now ready to add to your dog’s water or food once a day.
Dried coconut is excellent for getting rid of worms due to its fiber content, and it can help expel up to 90 percent of any parasitic worms that your dog may have in under 24 hours. You do want to start your dog on a lower quantity and slowly work your way up to the regular dose over the span of a week or two to avoid digestive upset.
The maintenance dose you want to eventually end up with is one teaspoon for small dogs, two teaspoons for medium dogs, and one tablespoon for large dogs once a day sprinkled over their food. You may want to start with half of a dose or a quarter of a dose and work your way up to the full dose.
As long as your dog isn’t on blood thinners, feeding them garlic can help to rid them of any parasitic worms. Garlic helps to remove mucus from your dog’s stomach lining, and this makes it more difficult for the worms to attach and thrive.
You do want to give your dog fresh cloves of garlic, and let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 to 20 minutes before you chop it and add it to their food because this will allow the garlic to release an amino acid called allicin. The suggested feeding guidelines are as follows:
- Small Dogs – One-quarter of a clove of garlic twice per day.
- Medium Dogs – One half of a clove of garlic twice per day.
- Large Dogs – Three-quarters of a clove of garlic twice per day.
- Giant Dogs – One clove of garlic twice per day.
Vegetables and Fruits
Anything with high levels of vitamin A is an excellent home remedy to help slow down and eradicate an infection of parasitic worms. You don’t want to feed your dog too much of these fruits and vegetables because it can cause digestive upset, especially when you first introduce it into their diet.
You may want to start feeding your dog a half of a teaspoon of fruits or vegetables for every 10 pounds of body weight once a day for at least a week to get them used to it. After a week, you can increase these dose to a half of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice a day at mealtimes.
Fruits and vegetables that have high levels of vitamin A include:
- Raw Carrot
Getting rid of worms in dogs can be an ongoing process that takes time and effort on your part. But, once you get rid of them, keeping your dog healthy, happy, and worm free is a relatively easy process, especially if you use one or more of our natural worm remedies.
3) Natural Wormer For Dogs Available in Shops
I positively loathe over-priced chemical wormers for dogs with no worms. It makes as much sense as horrible chemical flea treatments for dogs with no fleas. Maybe…MAYBE if I found some stubborn worms like lung worm then yes I’d consider going nuclear but why do it par course?!
There are lots of natural worm preventatives (anti-helminthics to give them their real name) that not only do a great job of keeping them away but should they pop up will kill any and all gut worms. The thing is, as with most natural treatments, there is little good science on natural wormers. Nobody does good (costly) science unless a dollar can be made so true evidence of the effectiveness of natural therapies are generally woeful.
Mild natural anti-worm treatments (lets call them preventatives) include a small amount of fresh garlic every other day (quarter of a clove per 20kg body weight). Awhile ago we posted up about pumpkin seed oil which is a popular anti-helminthic (among a number of other benefits). You can find it in Lidl. Like a little fresh garlic (the origina anti-helminthic) pumpkin seed oil is a good preventative, keeping worms from settling in the system. You can find at Lidl.
4). Something a Little Stronger…
We stock a natural wormer here called Worms Away by Holistic Hound. It’s a brilliant natural wormer which you could employ should you suspect an issue.
Another great wormer is called Verm-X which you can purchase from Emily Mc Ateer in Portmarnock Vets, Dublin, or you can buy it online from Amazon.
For lung worm you may need to go nuclear or see a natural vet for some wormwood and black walnut hull. However I don’t recommend wandering down this path aimlessly on your own without the necessary hand holding of a good natural vet.