According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, worms in dogs are a common and prevalent problem. Puppies are especially prone to worms and can even be born with them if their mom is infested. Getting rid of worms can seem like a continuous struggle, and commercial preparations contain scary chemical names as long as your arm. Holistic methods of worm control are often safer, and many times less expensive than store-brand pet wormers, but are they effective? How do you know what works and what might still be dangerous? Careful study brings up several at-home remedies for worms in dogs that are effective and safe.
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Pumpkin seeds are used fresh, raw and without salt. They have long been known as an anti-parasitic (gets rid of parasites) in humans as well as dogs. They are not poisonous and contain many valuable nutrients.
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is an excellent parasitic, it isn't poisonous, and can be given for several days without problems. Use as much as 1 heaping tsp for every five lbs. of animal weight.
Black walnut is a very effective cure for intestinal parasites, but it can be poisonous if taken too often and in large amounts. It doesn't take more than a few mg per lb. for each dog.
This is another common herb that's often used for getting rid of parasites--but like black walnut, it can be poisonous due to a high level of tannins. Careful use of wormwood will produce the desired results, but it should not be used often.
You Can Lead a Dog to a Wormer, but...
Getting dogs to eat a wormer can be almost impossible. Most of the herbal remedies that are effective against worms are also rather distasteful, even to a dog. You can buy empty gel caps and make your own herbal pills, or attempt to hide it in his favourite foods. Peanut butter works especially well, and dogs have a difficult time spitting it out once it's in their mouths.
Is It Worms?
There are many signs of worms, from bloated stomach to bloody stool or excessive coughing. Worms are a serious condition if left untreated because they soak up all of the vital nutrients a dog needs to survive. However, the signs of a worm infestation are similar to many illnesses, and some are equally lethal. Know what you're dealing with before attempting to treat it. Take a fecal sample to your veterinarian to check for worms for a very small fee.
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