It is not something that any dog owner wants to think about, but most dogs suffer from intestinal worms at some point.
The most important sign of an intestinal worm infestation is white, squiggly worms in your pet’s stool.
Other symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, dull coat, increase in appetite with no weight gain, anemia (low red blood cell count), scooting their bum on the carpet or grass, mild to severe coughing and scratching at the base of their tail.
The most common cause of worms in dogs is playing in infested ground or soil, drinking stagnant water, drinking the milk of an infected mother and from fleas or rodents.
The types of worms that dogs can suffer from include tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, threadworms, and heartworms, to name a few. Most of these worms infest a dog’s intestinal tract, although they can also affect other organs.
Regardless of the type of worm, the best remedy is prevention. Hence, it is important to keep your dog from eating feces, including his own. Do not allow your pet to drink water from ponds, streams or lakes.
At the same time, there are many simple home remedies to treat your dog for worms.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for intestinal parasites (worms) in dogs.
1. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds contain a deworming compound called cucurbitacin, an amino acid that aids in expelling tapeworms and roundworms from your dog’s intestine.
Cucurbitacin paralyzes the worms, thus preventing them from holding on to the intestinal walls during a bowel movement. Soon, the worms will get expelled from the digestive tract. Moreover, these tiny seeds offer other health benefits for dogs.
You need to grind the pumpkin seeds, mix the powder into your dog’s regular food and feed your dog twice daily. Use ¼ teaspoon of the ground pumpkin seeds for every 10 pounds that your dog weighs.
Use this remedy until you stop noticing any worms in your dog’s stool.
2. Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) can also help eliminate worms, such as roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms. However, it is not effective against tapeworms.
DE is deadly to many insects, yet completely harmless to animals. The microscopically sharp edges of DE pierce the parasites’ protective coating, which causes dehydration and death.
You can use DE internally as well as externally to control a worm infestation.
- For dogs over 55 pounds, add 1 tablespoon of food-grade DE to dog food and give it once daily.
- For puppies and smaller dogs, keep the dosage to 1 teaspoon per day.
Follow this remedy for at least 1 month to destroy adult worms as well as eggs, hatchlings and smaller worms throughout the lungs and stomach.
To control fleas, which can cause worms, simply rub the DE powder into your dog’s coat. Wait 10 minutes, then bathe your dog. Use it 2 or 3 times a week.
Note: Use only food-grade DE, as pool-grade DE can be potentially toxic for the dog.
Cloves contain potent antibacterial and antiparasitic properties that help in destroying different types of intestinal worms.
Also, cloves aid in increasing the white blood cell count, which boosts your dog’s immune system.
- For small dogs, give ¼ of a whole dry clove, crushed and mixed into food once daily for 1 week.
- For medium-sized dogs, give ½ of a whole dry clove, crushed and mixed into food once daily for 1 week.
- For large dogs, give 1 whole dry clove, crushed and mixed into food once daily for 1 week.
Follow this remedy once again for a second week, after a break of 1 week as a precautionary measure.
Note: Do not give cloves in any form to pregnant dogs as cloves are a uterine stimulant.
The effective enzyme papain found in papayas can help get your dog rid of intestinal parasites.
Papaya seeds have anthelmintic and anti-amoebic properties, which mean the seeds can kill intestinal worms and other parasitic organisms in your dog’s digestive system.
- Give your dog 2 tablespoons of papaya seeds in powdered form per 20 pounds of dog weight. The remedy should be followed for 7 consecutive days.
- You can even feed your dog ripe papaya in bite-size chunks. Most dogs really love the taste of papaya.
Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce inflammation and the damage to the intestine caused by a worm infestation. This herb also heals the areas of the intestines that were infested with worms.
It also helps the liver get rid of the toxins left behind in the body by the intestinal worms.
Also, the slightly bitter taste of turmeric paste or powder is liked by a majority of dogs.
You simply need to add turmeric to your dog’s regular food for 10 to 15 days. Use roughly 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon of turmeric per 10 pounds of your dog’s body weight. Start low with the dosage and increase it gradually.
Note: If your dog is pregnant, avoid giving turmeric as it may stimulate the uterus.
Another herb that can be used to get rid of intestinal parasites in dogs is wormwood. This herb can successfully expel roundworms, threadworms and tapeworms when the dosage is correct.
Its antiparasitic nature helps destroy intestinal parasites and it even improves digestion.
Add ¼ teaspoon of dried wormwood to the dog’s food for larger dogs. Cut the dosage in half for puppies and smaller dogs. Do not use this treatment for more than 3 consecutive days.
Note: Consult a holistic veterinarian before feeding this herb to your dog. Avoid overusing this herb, as it can damage your dog’s nervous system. This herb is not recommended for dogs with seizures, liver or kidney disease, or females who are pregnant or lactating.
Garlic is another herb that can help treat worm infestations in dogs. Raw garlic has sulfur-containing amino acids that are antiparasitic in nature. However, when it comes to garlic, it must be used in moderation.
Garlic helps detoxify the body and supports beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract while eliminating harmful bacteria. Due to its potent antimicrobial and antibiotic properties, it fights parasites and protozoan organisms as well.
Another benefit of garlic is that it will also prevent flea infestations in dogs.
You must give garlic based on your dog’s weight.
- 10 to 15 pounds: ½ clove
- 20 to 40 pounds: 1 clove
- 45 to 70 pounds: 2 cloves
- 75 to 90 pounds: 2.5 cloves
- 100 pounds +: 3 cloves
Just grate the required amount of garlic and mix it with some fennel before feeding it to your dog.
Note: Garlic should be given to dogs for no more than 1 week, otherwise it can be harmful.
During the deworming period, it is important to include carrots in your dog’s diet.
This orange vegetable helps with the expulsion of the parasites by scrubbing the weakened worms out of the digestive tract. It even soothes the inflamed intestinal walls.
Carrots are a safe source of nutrients and great support for the dog’s immune system, hence you must include carrots in your dog’s diet on a daily basis.
Give ½ to 2 tablespoons of finely grated carrots daily to your dog, depending upon its size.
Along with carrots, beetroots and turnips can also be given to worm-infested dogs.
9. Parsley Water
It is important to give your dog parsley water during deworming treatment to help keep his system working well. Parsley helps the body eliminate toxins left behind in the digestive system by the worms. It also reduces inflammation caused by parasites adhering to the intestinal wall.
Parsley also contains many nutrients that give a boost to your pet’s immune system.
- Put 1 bunch of fresh parsley in a pan of boiling water.
- Allow to simmer for 3 minutes.
- Remove it from the heat and set it aside to cool.
- Strain the water and store it in the refrigerator.
- Give your dog 1 tablespoon of parsley water for every 10 pounds of body weight, once a day for 10 days.
10. Black Walnut
Black walnut is an herb that helps eliminate intestinal worms from infested dogs.
Only the green hulls of black walnut should be used to get rid of intestinal worms in dogs.
- Give your dog black walnut tincture (regular strength, do not use extra strength) for no more than 2 weeks at a time. Use 1 drop for every 10 pounds of body weight.
- Alternatively, give ¼ of a 500 mg capsule for dogs 5 to 25 pounds and ½ capsule for dogs 25 pounds and up. Continue for 2 weeks.
Note: Black walnut can be potentially toxic if you administer the wrong dosage, hence be extra careful.
- Avoid giving whole milk and eggs to your dog when you’re treating him for worms.
- Frequently clean and sanitize areas where your dog spends most of his time, such as his bed or kennel.
- Do not allow your dog to socialize with other dogs or animals when suffering from a worm infestation.
- When you take your pet for a walk, make sure he does not eating anything from the ground.
- Avoid giving raw meat and fish to your pet.
- Make sure your animals always have plenty of clean drinking water.
- Do not allow your pets to drink from sources where other animals may have left feces, such as any stagnant water in ponds or near lakes.
- Try to keep your yard clean and free of rodents and fleas to prevent a worm infestation.
- Schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian. Get your dog’s stool checked from time to time to make sure he does not suffer from intestinal worms.
- If possible, prevent your pet from killing and eating rodents and other small animals.
- Do not allow your pet to roam around freely unsupervised. Keep it leashed to keep it from poking its face in the stools of other dogs.
- If needed, give drugs prescribed by your vet.