Does My Dog Have Tapeworms?
Tapeworms can be a nasty problem to deal with, but for your dog, they can be an uncomfortable nuisance. If left untreated, tapeworms can also be quite dangerous to your dog. These segmented parasites make themselves comfortable inside your dog’s intestines. These nasty little worms can reproduce in each of their segments, causing more worms and more strife for your dog.
If your sweet, loveable pup is dealing with tapeworms, you might see diarrhea or notice visible weight loss. You may also notice your dog vomiting or scooting along the floor or grass. Tapeworms can be seen wriggling in your dog’s feces or on the fur along their backside. Luckily for you both, there are some incredible natural ways to eliminate them from your dog’s system.
Eliminating Tapeworms Naturally
Though your veterinarian can prescribe a deworming medication, those methods are usually based in chemicals and not entirely healthy for your dog. Natural methods to try to rid your dog of nasty tapeworms are outlined below.
Pumpkin seeds are a natural food which can eliminate tapeworms as well as other worms that may be infesting your dog. Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called cucurbitacin which naturally paralyzes and rids your dog of intestinal worms, including tapeworms. Giving your dog pumpkin seeds can improve their health in other ways as well. Pumpkin seeds are loaded with added benefits for your dog, including folic acid, niacin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, iron, copper, amino acids, protein, and, of course, fiber. Whole and raw pumpkin seeds can be crushed and then immediately added to your dog’s meals. If your dog has tapeworms, keep feeding your dog crushed pumpkin seeds until you no longer see the rice- like creatures in your dog’s stool.
Cloves carry antiparasitic and antibacterial properties which kill off parasites such as tapeworms as well as other intestinal worms. Cloves are also known to boost immunities, helping with illness or reactions to worms. Cloves can be given crushed over your dog’s food easily. Depending on your dog’s size, you can crush ¼ of a whole clove for small dogs and up to a 1 whole crushed clove to your dog’s food for larger breeds. Give your dog crushed cloves once daily for a week, take a break for a week, and then repeat the crushed cloves in your dog’s food for another week to ensure the tapeworms are not returning.
A warning about cloves: do not give cloves to a pregnant dog, as cloves can cause uterine contractions.
Papaya is easy to find in your natural food store in chewable pills you can easily wrap inside treats. You can also buy fresh papaya in the produce section at your local grocery store. Papaya contains an enzyme which is common for aiding in digestion. This enzyme, papain, also helps to rid your dog of tapeworms.
Papaya seeds have properties which are antiamoebic and anthelmintic in nature. This means papaya seeds are great for killing parasites living in your dog’s digestive system. Papaya seeds can be crushed and added to your dog’s food. Add crushed papaya seeds to your dog’s meals for seven days. If needed, add the crushed seeds to wet food or inside a treat to make them less noticeable to your dog. You can also give your dog bite-size pieces of fresh papaya.
Following Up After Tapeworms
Once your dog has been treated holistically for tapeworms, you will want to keep a close eye on their behavior and stools to ensure the tapeworms have been expelled. Be sure to pick up after your dog every day and keep your yard clean so any tapeworms still existing in the yard do not find their way back to your dog.
You will need to have a flea control plan in place because tapeworms are often found in fleas. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend a flea control appropriate for your living area and your dog’s breed. If you’d like to repel fleas naturally, you can add ½ teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s diet each day to repel fleas. Apple cider vinegar can also be mixed with warm water to make a misting spray for your dog’s coat to repel fleas. You can treat your yard with a garlic or apple cider vinegar spray as well, to keep fleas away from your yard. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend medicinal prevention for flea and tick control.
Tapeworms should be treated as soon as you notice them. They are not usually incredibly harmful to dogs, but if left untreated, tapeworms can cause weight loss and extreme discomfort for your dog.