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What are Natural Worm Remedies?

Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms are the most common type of wiggly parasite your dog can encounter; there is heartworm as well, a potentially serious condition caused by being bitten by an infected mosquito. Intestinal worms may be visible in your dog’s stool, appearing as squiggly spaghetti-like forms or rice-like bodies. If your dog is infested with worms chronically, they may begin to lose weight and their hair coat may suffer. Additional symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, and an itchy rectum, which may cause your dog to bum scoot or lick their hind end. 

Unfortunately, worms are relatively common in dogs. A dog with worms isn’t dirty or uncared for, and having a dog that has contracted these nasty pests doesn’t mean that you are a bad pet parent. What it does mean is that it is most likely that your dog picked up the infection at the dog park, while on a walk through the forest, or even through the simple act of eating infected soil.

Determining what type of worm your dog has can be achieved by taking a fresh stool sample to your veterinarian for analysis. Your veterinarian can prescribe medication to safely eradicate the worms. Doing so is a necessary step because leaving the worm infestation untreated can be detrimental to your furry buddy's health. 

Once your vet has treated your dog with conventional therapy, you can take measures to help prevent another case of worms. These natural remedies may also be used concurrently with the prescribed medicine, but discuss the possibility of doing so to make sure there are no contraindications.

Natural Worm Remedies Procedure in Dogs

Taking steps to rid your dog of worms is an essential part of keeping your dog healthy. Asking your vet for guidance and following their prescribed care is recommended. The medication used, dosage, and follow-up will all depend on your pet's age and health condition. For example, discussing how to get rid of worms in puppies will be an entirely different conversation and procedure than treating an older dog with an underlying health disorder.  

The same goes for natural remedies for preventing worm infestation that focus on a healthy immune system and a balanced intestinal environment. Prevent infestations from taking hold and thriving by contributing to healthy bacteria in the gut. This limits the ability of worms to flourish in the intestine. 

A healthy diet to ensure good immune system functioning and natural intestinal flora includes:

  • Avoiding antibiotics by keeping your pet as free from infections as possible
  • Feeding a low carbohydrate and high protein diet without preservatives and chemical additives 
  • Give probiotics, which maintain the gut ecosystem
  • Always ensure plenty of clean water is available to your dog to discourage them from drinking contaminated water.

In addition, specific dietary supplements can help prevent or reduce worm populations. Discuss these options with your veterinarian to ensure correct dosage and appropriateness for your dog’s condition.

Vegetables

  • Vegetables such as grated carrots make your dog’s intestine less hospitable to worms. 
  • Dogs cannot easily digest carrots and because of this, the undigested form of the carrot travels through the intestines, potentially bringing some worms along with them.

Pumpkin Seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds can be ground up in a coffee grinder and then added to your dog's food.
  • Studies show that the cucurbitacin compound in the seeds affects the motility of the worms, aiding in the removal of them from the intestines.

Papaya Seeds

  • Grind the papaya seeds as you do the pumpkin, and add to your canine companion's food.
  • The papain in the seeds is shown in studies to have deworming properties.

Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Enzymes in apple cider vinegar are thought to have a beneficial effect against worms as the coating of the worm becomes weak and they then lose their grip on the intestinal wall.
  • Spray the vinegar directly on the food; if your pup does not like the smell or taste, mix it in a bowl of wet food.

Slippery Elm Supplement

  • Slippery elm acts as a laxative that will help remove worms from your dog’s system.
  • It must be administered after mixing with water and then added to your dog's meal. 

Wheat Germ Oil

  • Not only does wheat germ oil discourage tapeworms in particular from residing in the intestinal system, it also provides nutrients like fatty acids and Vitamins A, D and E.
  • Add directly to your dog's food at mealtime for a tasty treat they'll enjoy.

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Efficacy of Natural Worm Remedies in Dogs

It is recommended that the veterinarian prescribe an approved medication for your dog when worms are discovered. After the worms are eradicated and your vet has done a stool sample to verify that your dog is worm-free, keep them that way by using natural remedies that will render the gut and intestines as unfavorable to worms. By disrupting the environment in which they like to live, you will be protecting your dog against invasion. Of course, at your pet's annual veterinarian checkup, a stool sample will be analyzed to ensure there are no worms present, quietly and secretly residing within your dog's digestive system.

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Natural Worm Remedies Recovery in Dogs

While being treated for worms by the vet, your dog may be tired and feeling a little under the weather. They may have a poor appetite and could vomit. If their symptoms concern you, contact the clinic. Once the worms are gone and you are using natural remedies, you should see an improvement in your dog's coat (from dull to shiny), their energy level will improve and their digestive system should be functioning normally.

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Cost of Natural Worm Remedies in Dogs

Traditional worm medications can be expensive but are worth the cost as the quick removal of worms prevents extra veterinarian bills down the road, which may occur if worms are left to proliferate. Using natural remedies as a supplemental way to provide nutrients and keep your dog's digestive system healthy is also worth it. Pricing will depend on your dog's size, age, and health condition and may range between $50 and $200.

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Dog Natural Worm Remedies Considerations

Worm infestations that grow out of control can have a detrimental effect on your dog's health and can be difficult to eradicate when they become well established. Deworming a dog with a large infestation can result in a major worm “die off” that can cause illness in your dog and should be monitored by your vet. Because worm infestations can be transmitted to humans, take precautions to prevent transmission to yourself, family members, and other pets in the household.

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Natural Worm Remedies Prevention in Dogs

 There are additional measures to take that can work in the fight against a worm infestation. Around the home, remove standing water so that your dog is not tempted to drink from it. Not having stagnant water in the yard will also help against mosquitos. Cover your child's sandbox when not in use (this is important for your child's health, too). Pick up your dog's feces from the backyard immediately after they go to the bathroom, and keep them away from wildlife and wildlife feces. Monitor them when at the dog park to make sure they are not getting into things they shouldn't such as vomit or dead rodents. Monitoring your dog for signs of contamination and treating them early before worm populations overwhelm their system will result in better success than if worm populations are allowed to grow out of control.

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Natural Worm Remedies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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American Pit Bull Terrier

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Two Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

None

I was told that his litter mates had hookworms and they had all taken the same dewormer is there a way to see if he has worms and if he does can you recommend me a dewormer

Aug. 1, 2020

Owner

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Jessica N. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello- Thank you for your question. The best way to assess whether he still is infected with hookworms is to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian and bring in a stool sample to be checked. If hookworm eggs are still present your vet can prescribe an appropriate dewormer to clear the infection. Enjoy your new puppy. He is adorable!

Aug. 1, 2020

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Max

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Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua

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10 Months

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Will diatomaceous earth -food grade for fish- administered to my property of 4 acres, will it kill worm eggs etc to keep my dogs from getting worms from the soil? I have a rescued dog of 8 lbs, mix looks like Jack Russell Terrier and Chihuahua and he went to the Vet in Missouri, but Vet said preventives don't work well in the Ozarks location cause of so many worm infestations in the ground.Vet wormed him 2 mos ago, but now he has round worms. Can I use garlic, pumpkin seeds or what to clear him and keep him worm free? I am from Houston where we use Heartguard/plus and Nexgard, or Trifexis which Vet says won't work in Tecumseh MO. I have a German Shepherd and Dachshund which always did perfectly well on those meds in Houston TX, and I am scared now. Just moved into the new house.

Aug. 21, 2018

Max's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

The application of diatomaceous earth to land is not something I’m familiar with or have any reference for efficacy; the use within the home and on pets is documented. If your dogs keep getting worms, you should speak with your local Veterinarian about the medications they recommend for controlling parasites. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 21, 2018

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Chloe

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Chiweenie

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4 Months

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Mild severity

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1 found helpful

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Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Not Eating
Not Moving
Skinny Body

What all can I do to get rid of worms in my chiweenie puppy? As of right now she looks like she's going to pass away but she's moving around unlike before where she would just sit still and look around.

May 30, 2018

Chloe's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

You should be treating Chloe with an effective anthelmintic like Drontal Plus (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate/febantel) regularly as part of your parasite control program. Also, issues with digestion or malabsorption may also cause issues with a dog’s ability to digest and absorb food; you should take Chloe to your Veterinarian for an examination to ensure that nothing more serious is going on. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 30, 2018

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4 dogs

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Golden Retriever

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11 Years

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Serious severity

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3 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Rashes
Ear Infections
Joint / Movement Issues
Aweful Fungal Smell
Gnawing Their Legs/Paws
Rash
Skin Crust

Hi, great to see a Veterinarian giving natural remedies. My dogs have serious fungal infections from swimming in our pool with chlorine and drinking tap water, and of course, many antibiotics. I have read much about Turpentine, Borax, and DE for treating basically all types of infections, and especially fungal. I did not see mention of Borax or Turpentine, but it doesn't surprise me, they are less known and more controversial. I was wondering, however, if you had any experience or knowledge on them and just chose to exclude them for the sake of arguments? We have 4 dogs, and even the youngest (less so) who is under 2 have many symptoms of fungal infections, such as rashes, skin discoloration - dark or very red or black marks or other marks, hair discoloration, constant ear infections, always gnawing on their legs and paws, strong fungal smell from them, joint problems and lethargy, nasty scab-like things on their elbows and likely others I'm forgetting. I gave them some treatments of Turpentine recently (4-30 drops on their food) and Borax (1/2-1 tsp dissolved occasionally in their large water bowl. I've only done the turp a few times, but I did borax somewhat regularly, not too much, for a few weeks or so and I saw some improvements. The oldest dogs gained a lot of energy and were able to run around and play fetch a lot more, and one has serious hip and joint issues who seemed like they bothered him a lot less. Problem is I haven't kept up with the treatments, mostly because I have to sneak it to them because my mother has an issue with natural remedies and thinks drugs are the only way to go. She has taken them to a few Veterinarians who always prescribe antibiotics/antifungals/parasite medications. Sometimes symptoms lessen, but never go away. They are her dogs not mine, so I can't really force anything. Funny that even older generations become hell-bent on pharmaceutical meds instead of the natural treatments they grew up with or heard of as common in the old days. I have DE, so I will try to give them some DE also. The turps I gave them may not be that effective with food, so I need to find a better way. I do give them garlic/sulfur occasionally. It's hard to treat them naturally because my mother reads an article or two on her phone that says all these things are bad for dogs and its end of story. There's so many sites bent on keeping people misinformed, it makes it very difficult to argue against them. Thank you for your time, Steve

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