What are Natural Worm Remedies?
Worm infestations in dogs are common, with roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms being the most common. Worms may be visible worms in the dog’s stool, appearing as squiggly worms 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 his rear end. 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 eradicate the worms, however, worm medications can have significant side effects and may contain several medications to treat multiple worm conditions that are not necessary. Natural remedies to prevent and remove worm infestations in your dog are available that have fewer side effects. Also, there are some things you can do, such as keeping your yard free of rodents and fleas and cleaning up dog feces as soon as possible, that will also help prevent worm infestations.
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Natural Worm Remedies Procedure in Dogs
Natural remedies for preventing worm infestation focus on a healthy immune system and balanced intestinal environment which helps prevent infestations from taking hold and thriving. Healthy bacteria in the gut limit 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
- Feeding a low carbohydrate and high protein diet without preservatives and chemical additives
- Probiotics, which maintain gut ecosystem
- Avoid milk and eggs when treating for worms
- 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. These should be administered under the direction of a holistic veterinarian to ensure correct dosage and appropriateness for your dog’s condition. They may include:
- Garlic, which boosts the immune system, and acts as a dewormer, ½ clove to 2 cloves daily depending on your dog’s size.
- Vegetables such as grated carrots, fennel, watercress, papaya, and shredded coconut make your dog’s intestine less hospitable to worms.
- Pumpkin Seeds, (raw, organic), 1 tsp per day per 10 kg bwt in your dog, prevents or expels worms.
- Diatomaceous earth (DE), food grade only, reduces worm populations, although not effective for tapeworms. For small dogs, provide 1 tsp/day, for large dogs 1 Tbsp per day, mix in food.Do not allow your dog to inhale, as it can be a lung irritant.
- Chamomile and pineapple weed are effective preparations for reducing roundworms and whipworms.
- Oregon grape is an antiparasitic that can be given in a tincture of 12 drops per 20 pounds of body weight, effective against giardia.
- Black walnut can be used against both intestinal and heartworms, can be toxic if given inappropriately, and may have side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea. Caution should be used and the advice of a holistic veterinarian obtained when using black walnut to ensure correct dosage and usage. Only green hulls of black walnut should be used. A regular strength tincture can be used for 2 weeks at a time, using 1 drop for every 10 pounds bwt or ¼ of a 500 mg capsule for 5-25 pound dogs and ½ capsule for larger dogs.
- Wormwood is an effective anti-parasitic that also is effective against tapeworms. It can have side effects, and should only be given under the supervision of, and on the advice of, a holistic veterinarian.
- Apple cider vinegar is a natural food that kills parasites. You can add one quarter to one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog's food.
- Black seed removes worms and is safe for pregnant and lactating dogs.
- Olive leaf helps flush out your dog's intestinal tract. It should contain 12% oleopurin or higher. Give your dog for up to 8 weeks 300 mg twice per day for small dogs, 500 mg twice per day for medium dogs, and up to 1000 mg twice per day for large dogs.
- Neem leaf given twice per day will help eliminate intestinal parasites, although it is not effective for tapeworm. Typical dosages are 150 mg per day for small dogs, 250 mg for medium dogs, and 500 mg for large dogs.
- Slippery elm acts as a laxative that will help remove worms from your dog’s system. Slippery elm powder can be administered in food or yogurt, one eighth of a teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight.
Efficacy of Natural Worm Remedies in Dogs
Natural worm remedies can be effective in dogs, especially for preventing infestations. They also have fewer side effects than many medications available by prescription. In addition, medications often combine deworming ingredients so your dog may end up getting medication for worm infestations that they do not have, which is unnecessary. However, it is important to monitor the effectiveness of the natural worm remedy and seek veterinary care if natural remedies do not completely address worm infestation.
Natural Worm Remedies Recovery in Dogs
It is important to ensure that your dog's liver is supported when administering herbal antiparasitic natural worm remedies. Many of the herbs used to prevent and reduce worm populations can have a toxic effect, and your dog's liver will need to be protected. Milk thistle, given in a tincture of 1 quarter teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight, will help protect the liver from the toxic effects of some natural herbs used for worm treatment. Parsley water is also useful at eliminating toxins left behind in the digestive system after natural worm treatments.
Cost of Natural Worm Remedies in Dogs
Traditional worm medications can be expensive, while natural remedies are cost effective and readily available. However, many natural remedies can be toxic and should be given under the consultation of a holistic veterinarian. Holistic veterinarian consultation can cost between $50 and $150 per session depending on the cost of living in your area.
Dog Natural Worm Remedies Considerations
If natural remedies do not appear to be controlling the worm population in your dog, seek veterinary attention, as 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 can be fatal in some cases. Because worm infestations can be transmitted to humans, take precautions to prevent transmission to yourself, family members, and other pets in the household.
Natural Worm Remedies Prevention in Dogs
Several steps can be taken to prevent worm infestation in your dog. Ensuring that they do not drink contaminated water, play on contaminated soil, or eat contaminated meat will greatly reduce the likelihood of them coming into contact with infectious worms. Keeping your dog’s outdoor environment free from feces that could be contaminated is important to interrupt worms’ life cycle and prevent infection. 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.