A tapeworm infestation is one of the most common diseases that affect dogs.
Tapeworms are intestinal parasites that attach themselves to a dog’s digestive system and feed upon the nutrients from the food that the dog eats. When matured, the tapeworm detaches itself from the body and comes out in the dog’s stool.
One of the main causes behind a tapeworm infestation are fleas that carry tapeworm eggs. So if your dog has fleas, he could get tapeworms. However, your dog can also get tapeworms by eating intermediate hosts like lice as well as rodents.
If your dog has tapeworms, he may not show any signs of illness in the initial stage. But with time, you will start noticing symptoms like a dull-looking coat, loss of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, scooting due to irritation, nervousness, and lack of energy.
Diagnosing tapeworms in dogs is easy. If you think that your canine friend is suffering from a tapeworm infestation, check your dog’s bowel movements several times. You may notice either moving or dried white tapeworm segments in the dog’s fecal matter and around his rectal area. You can also ask your vet to test your dog’s stool.
If diagnosed with tapeworms, do not panic. There are many simple and effective remedies you can use to get rid of them.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for tapeworms in dogs.
1. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are a very effective cure for tapeworm infestations in canines. In fact, you can also use pumpkin seeds to expel other intestinal parasites or worms in dogs.
The tiny seeds are rich in a natural deworming compound called cucurbitacin, an amino acid that aids in expelling tapeworms from your dog’s intestines. Cucurbitacin paralyzes the tapeworms, thus preventing them from holding onto the intestinal walls and soon they get expelled from the digestive tract.
Moreover, pumpkin seeds are safe to use, even if your dog is pregnant.
The process is simple. Grind up whole, raw pumpkin seeds and feed it to your dog before every meal. Depending on the size of your dog, you should give him anywhere between a ¼ teaspoon and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin seeds.
Caution: Do not feed pumpkin seeds in excess and avoid salted pumpkin seeds.
Administering clove powder in small quantities to your dog is another simple way to free your canine from a tapeworm infestation.
Cloves contain potent antibacterial, antiseptic, and antiparasitic properties that help in destroying tapeworms. Also, this powerful spice is good for your pet’s immunity.
The recommended dose is 1 clove per 10 pounds of body weight. For dogs, it is recommended to use only clove powder and mix it in with the dog food. Give it to your dog once daily for 1 week.
Caution: Do not give cloves to pregnant dogs and avoid giving it in high doses.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
You can also use apple cider vinegar to fight a tapeworm infestation in your dog. It helps maintain a proper pH level in your furry companion’s body, which helps make your dog’s intestines uninhabitable for tapeworms.
Also, it helps boost immunity and can be used to treat various health issues in dogs.
It is highly recommended to use raw, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar only. Just add it to your dog’s drinking water, using a quantity appropriate for your dog’s weight.
- Up to 14 pounds: 1 teaspoon
- 15 to 34 pounds: 2 teaspoons
- 35 to 85 pounds: 1 tablespoon
When dealing with a tapeworm infestation, it is important to include carrots in your dog’s diet.
Carrots work as a natural deworming agent, as they remove the mucus from your dog’s intestinal lining which helps expel the worms. Also, carrots are a great support for the dog’s immune system.
Give ½ to 2 tablespoons of finely grated carrots daily to your dog, depending on its size.
Green papaya contains papain, an enzyme that can help combat tapeworms.
Also, it will provide your dog with much-needed protein that will aid in digesting old mucus and any parasites that are present in the intestines.
Even the seeds of papaya have anthelmintic and anti-amoebic properties, which help keep your dog’s digestive system free from any kind of worms and parasites.
- Finely chop green papaya and add a ½ teaspoon for every 10 pounds of your dog’s weight to your dog’s food. Repeat daily for a couple of weeks.
- Alternatively, you can add 2 tablespoons of papaya seeds in powdered form per 20 pounds of weight to your dog’s food. Do this once a day for 1 week.
Turmeric contains several compounds that help fight and expel tapeworms. In addition, turmeric helps fight inflammation in the intestines caused by the presence of tapeworms.
Plus, it helps keep your dog’s immunity strong.
Add a ¼ teaspoon of fresh turmeric for every 10 pounds of weight to your dog’s food. Do it once daily for up to 2 weeks.
Caution: Do not feed turmeric to pregnant dogs.
Both coconut oil and dried coconut can be used to remove tapeworms from the body of your canine friend.
Both forms are rich in medium-chain triglycerides like lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, which help combat intestinal parasites like tapeworms. These saturated fatty acids make the body produce a substance that effectively kills parasites in the intestines.
- Sprinkle 1 to 3 teaspoons of dried coconut onto your dog’s food, depending upon his size. Repeat twice a day for up to 10 days.
- Alternatively, feed organic, virgin coconut oil to your dog. Start gradually and work up to 1 teaspoon per day per 10 pounds of body weight.
8. Black Walnut Hulls
Another good home remedy for canine tapeworms is black walnut hulls.
They work as a natural dewormer due to their high acidic content and help kill and expel any tapeworms, eggs, and larvae present.
Black walnut hulls are available in the market in capsule form. All you need to do is feed your dog 1 capsule per 20 pounds of body weight. Give it once daily for a couple of weeks.
Caution: Avoid feeding it in high amounts, as it can lead to negative side effects like diarrhea, gastritis, and vomiting.
Another herb that can be used to get rid of tapeworms in dogs is wormwood. This herb can successfully expel tapeworms, due to its antiparasitic nature.
However, bear in mind that when used in high doses, the volatile oils along with tannins in it can be harmful to your dog.
For large dogs, add ¼ teaspoon of dried wormwood to your dog’s food for just 3 consecutive days. When it comes to puppies and smaller dogs, cut the dosage in half.
Caution: Avoid overusing this herb, as it can damage your dog’s nervous system. Do not give this herb to pregnant or lactating dogs.
10. Prevent Flea Infestation
The best way to avoid a tapeworm infestation in your dog is to keep your pet’s surrounding area clean and free from flea infestation.
To keep a flea-free home environment, frequent vacuuming is a great way to go. Vacuum every other day the areas that fleas are most likely to populate such as carpets, rugs, crevices around baseboards and so on.
Wash your dog’s bedding regularly in hot, soapy water. If your dog has an outdoor doghouse, remember to clean the bedding in the doghouse as well.
Try to clean and disinfect your dog’s food and water bowls every day.
If you live in an area that’s prone to flea infestations, regularly use an insecticide. Consult your vet to determine the safe and best insecticide.
Also, do your best to prevent your pet from eating dead animals, garbage and other animals’ feces. Even avoid giving your furry friend uncooked meat.
- The starting point for preventing and treating worms (or any other disease) is always a healthy immune system. So take necessary steps to build your dog’s immunity.
- Feed your dog natural and whole foods, preferably a raw, meat-based diet.
- Keep your yard free of poop to prevent your dog from picking up intestinal worms.
- Feed probiotics to your dog to help maintain a good balance of healthy gut bacteria and to strengthen your dog’s immune system.
- Take your dog to the vet for frequent checkups to help your pet maintain good health.
- If you wish, bring another stool sample to your vet after the treatment to confirm the worms are gone.