If you’ve ever owned a dog or a cat, you probably know a thing or two about worms. These scary parasites always worried me as a dog owner- the damage they can do to your dog’s stomach, lungs, skin, heart and more if left unchecked can be fatal.
However, the strong chemicals in deworming medications worried me too. That’s why I chose to find a way to deworm my dog naturally. Read on to find out the methods I discovered to rid your dog of these nasty bugs.
Worms in Dogs
Before we can get to treating them, we need to understand what exactly are worms in dogs.
Dogs can be infected with five types of worms: heartworms, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms. These various worms are parasites that live in the dogs internal organs. Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms affect the intestines and colon, and heartworms affect the heart.
Worms can be contracted in a variety of ways, from eating feces on the ground, to mosquitoes, to being passed down in milk from mother to puppy. They are rarely contagious to humans, but sometimes can be.
Because these parasites live in the organs of your dog, it is not hard to imagine what can happen if they are left to multiply. Anemia, weight loss, diarrhea, and organ failure are all possible outcomes of worms if left untreated.
If your dog has worms, it is essential that you treat them quickly, before they spread. Symptoms of worms include diarrhea, lethargy, blood in the stool, dehydration, abdominal pain, vomiting, poor coat appearance, or a pot bellied appearance. If you notice any change in your dog’s health, it’s best to check with your vet.
Worms are typically treated with deworming medication, but treatment varies depending on the type of worm your dog has. Treatment, especially for heartworms, can be harsh on the rest of your dog’s body. That’s why treating them naturally as much as you can is key.
Vets recommend deworming your dog with over the counter deworming medication every 2-3 months as a prevention method. That’s a lot of strong medication entering your dog’s body! If you’re still worried about worms, there are several natural steps you can take to help too.
Because so many worms are contracted by ingesting feces or leftover animal matter that is infected with worms, it’s essential to keep your dog’s surroundings clean. Make sure you remove all feces from your yard, and never let your dog pick feces up off the ground. You might consider muzzle training your dog if he’s a stubborn scavenger.
In addition, never let your dog drink water that’s been sitting out outside, like from a puddle. Change water bowls inside and outside your house frequently.
If you have pests such as mice or rats, make sure to exterminate them, and never let your dog do that job. Stay vigilant about any feces they might leave in your house, and pick it up right away.
As much as you can be careful about letting your dog ingest worms, it’s important to keep up with their regular medications. Talk to your vet about a gentler or more natural medication if you’re unsure, but never forgo them completely- worms are a serious issue who no one wants their dog to suffer from.
Alongside deworming medications, there’s a few great things you can add to your dog’s diet to strengthen his immune system and help ward off these nasty parasites.
First of all, feeding your dog plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables provides them with a lot of natural fiber to clean out their digestive system naturally. Coarsely chopped carrots are known to scrape the intestinal walls as they pass through and take any parasites with them. Dried coconut and pumpkin seeds both have natural deworming properties, and can be sprinkled on top of food.
Turmeric and apple cider vinegar are two superfoods that are recommended for a lot of their health properties. These include deworming properties for dogs. Apple cider vinegar increases the alcohol level in your dog’s intestines, making it an unfit environment for pests. Turmeric has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that make it an excellent worm prevention treatment. Both of these superfoods are too strong to be ingested on their own- ACV can be mixed in very small amounts in your dogs water, and turmeric given with coconut oil.
Keeping your dog worm-free is a solid mix of medication, prevention, and supplementing your dog’s diet with ingredients that keep his intestines clear and free of the parasites. Doing all these things can go a long way for your dog’s health, and ensure no more serious conditions develop due to an infestation.
No matter what you do, it’s important not to skip out on the essentials- a trip to the vet and regular deworming medication. Your dog will thank you for it.