If your fluffy has gone from a happy-go-lucky fella to a lethargic, pooping and vomiting pooch, chances are that worms have infested him.
You may want to live in denial, but most pets will have intestinal worms at some point in time. There is little you can do to prevent this situation.
You can’t stop him from playing in the yard or sheepishly snacking on rotten roadside buffets and sometimes even poop. Yuck! OK, don’t throw up...it’s pretty normal to him.
Worms can also pass from an infected mother to her puppies through feeding.
Suffice it to say; dogs are quite susceptible to different kinds of worms that live in the soil or dog feces or various other sources.
There are four types of suckers that can call your doggo’s intestines home and feed on his blood. These include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms.
Another worm to watch out for is the heartworm, a thread-like type of parasitic roundworm that is spread by mosquitoes and resides in the heart or lungs of the host dog.
Heartworm is difficult and expensive to treat and turns fatal if diagnosed at a late stage. Getting your dog’s blood tested regularly can help identify heartworm early. This particular condition is more serious and requires a vet’s care.
- Signs and Symptoms of Intestinal Worms in Dogs
- Home Remedies for Intestinal Worms in Dogs
- Tips to help your pet
Signs and Symptoms of Intestinal Worms in Dogs
Before you jump the gun and start planning to deworm your dog, here are few signs to look for that indicate a worm infestation.
- Excessive flatulence
- Signs of anemia (gums looking pale)
- Lethargic most of the time
- Scudding, scooting or scratching, especially at the base of the tail
- Loss of appetite or eating a lot of food without putting on weight
- Dullness of the fur or coat
- Rice-like worms in the stool
Some of these symptoms can indicate other health issues besides worms. It’s a good idea to collect a sample of your dog’s stool and get it tested by your vet, so you know whether you are dealing with worms or need further testing for other conditions.
Home Remedies for Intestinal Worms in Dogs
Getting your pet checked and dewormed by the vet is the ideal solution. However, there are a few home remedies that can help deworm your pooch naturally.
Read on to learn three remedies you can use to get rid of worms in dogs.
Method 1: Garlic
There is no denying that garlic comes with a host of benefits for humans. It is antimicrobial, antibiotic, lowers cholesterol and acts as a detox agent. These same properties stand good for dogs as well. (1)
While you can consume as much garlic as you want, it should be given in moderation to dogs. High doses can turn toxic for your furry friend; however, when given in moderation, garlic can not only get rid of worms in your dog but also keep him free of fleas.
Single-Step Treatment: Feed fresh raw garlic to your dog for 5 days
Follow the guide below on the garlic levels that are safe for dogs per day, based on the dog’s weight.
- 10 to 19 pounds: ½ clove
- 20 to 44 pounds: 1 clove
- 45 to 74 pounds: 2 cloves
- 75 to 99 pounds: 2½ cloves
- 100 pounds and over: 3 cloves
You can grate the required amount of garlic and mix it with some fennel or feed it as is to your dog. Do it every day for 5 days to get rid of worms in dogs.
Method 2: Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is another effective remedy to get rid of worms and even fleas in pets. (2) DE is the microscopic remains of phytoplankton, known as diatoms that have razor-sharp edges that cut through the exoskeleton of insects and parasites on contact.
This eventually leads to dehydration and death of the worms. DE is non-toxic and can be given to puppies as well.
You can further use food–grade diatomaceous earth to effectively kill off ticks from your pet’s skin.
Single-Step Treatment: Feed food-grade DE to your dog for 2 weeks
Follow the guide below for the quantity to be given to puppies and dogs per day, according to their weight.
- Less than 10 pounds: ½ to 1 teaspoon
- 11 to 19 pounds: 2 teaspoons
- 20 to 50 pounds: 1 to 1½ tablespoons
- 51 to 100 pounds: 2 tablespoons
- Over 100 pounds: 3 to 4 tablespoons
Mix the recommended amount into your dog’s food once every day for up to 2 weeks to effectively get rid of worms in dogs.
Method 3: Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are another potent vermifuge that can be used to expel tapeworms and other blood-sucking parasites in both pets and humans. (3)
They contain a substance called cucurbitin that works on parasites by paralyzing them. The worms fail to hold onto the intestines and can be easily expelled from the body during a bowel movement.
Single-Step Treatment: Feed pumpkin seeds to your dog for 2 weeks
- You can either grind the seeds in a coffee grinder and mix it in your dog’s food or feed them whole as treats if your dog likes them.
- Give ½ teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog’s weight.
- Feed the appropriate quantity once every day to rid your dog of worms in 2 weeks.
Tips to help your pet
- Worms are fond of milk, eggs, and foods that are rich in sugar and fat. Hence, do not give these to your dog when treating him for worms.
- If your dog has been infested with worms and you have a toddler at home, make sure to keep your home clean, especially the area where your pet lives. Hookworms and roundworms can easily pass from animals to humans.
- To prevent heartworm, you can give your dog monthly doses of preventive medicine, such as Heartgard. Your dog must test negative for the infection before starting preventive medicine.
- Mikaili P, Maadirad S, Moloudizargari M, Aghajanshakeri S, Sarahroodi S. Therapeutic uses and pharmacological properties of garlic, shallot, and their biologically active compounds. Iranian journal of basic medical sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3874089/. Published October 2013.
- Bennett DC, Yee A, Rhee Y-J, Cheng KM. Effect of diatomaceous earth on parasite load, egg production, and egg quality of free-range organic laying hens. Poultry science. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21673156. Published July 2011.
- Díaz Obregón D, Lloja Lozano L, Carbajal Zúñiga V. Estudios preclínicos de cucurbita máxima (semilla de zapallo) un antiparasitario intestinal tradicional en zonas urbano rurales. Revista de gastroenterologia del Peru : organo oficial de la Sociedad de Gastroenterologia del Peru. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15614300. Published 2004.