In this article:
How to keep your dog’s immune system strong - a strong immune system is your companion animal’s natural defense against parasites;
Foods to include in your dog’s diet to support worming;
DIY natural, herbal, homeopathic dewormers.
Conventional dewormers use chemcial-based pesticides that contain toxins and carcinogens. By using natural, herbal, homeopathic dewormers you can reduce your dog's toxic load, exposure to carcinogens and support their overall health. In some cases of extreme parasite infestation use of pesticide-based treatment may be required - but as soon as the treatment is completed, you can follow the protocol provided below to prevent re-infestation and re-use of pesticide-based wormers
1.0 How to keep your Dog’s Immune System Strong
A healthy body is not attractive to parasites – so the key to preventing repeated infestations of intestinal worms is to support the overall health of your companion animal by taking a comprehensive approach…
Make sure you dog is on a species appropriate diet;
Make sure that his/her diet does not include toxins and carcinogens;
Replace pesticide-based flea, tick, mosquito preventatives with herbal alternatives;
Don’t over vaccinate your dog – only vaccinate for what is truly necessary and have titter tests done to ascertain when repeat inoculations are required;
Don’t put your dog on antibiotics or chemical-based drugs if you can treat the issue with other interventions, for example; Ear infections, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, etc.
Further reduce the toxic load of your companion animal: Choose health care products (i.e. shampoo, dental chews and toothpaste that do not contain toxins and carcinogens; don't use chemical-based cleaning products in your home; don't use chemical-based pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers in your yard, on your grass, trees, garden, etc. Wash road-salt off of your dog's paws.
Signs that your Dog Might Have an Infestation of Intestinal Parasites
Eating a lot of food without putting on weight;
Anemia (deficiency of red blood cells in the circulatory system);
Mild to severe coughing;
Scratching – particularly at the base of the tail.
Dogs do get some of the same parasites that we humans are prone to getting, including…
Round Worm (common round worm – Ascaris);
Strongyloides – a type of round worm also known as Threadworm, Pinworm, Seatworm, etc.;
Trichinella - a type of round worm that causes (trichinellosisor trichinosis).
. 2.0 Foods to Include in Your Dog’s Diet to Support Deworming
If your dog does not have an infestation of worms and you are simply deworming your dog once or twice a year as a routine healthcare maintenance program – blockage due to passing worms should not be an issue.
If, however you have never dewormed your dog and/or you know that he/she has an infestation of worms it is very important to pay additional care to ensuring that your dog has enough fibre and moisture in their system during the deworming period.
Add Beneficial Fluids to the Diet during the Deworming Period
Parsley Water or Rooibos Tea
If your dog has liver problems, kidney or gall bladder problems or is pregnant or lactating do not use parsley water. Parsley is high in oxalates and can cause issues for dogs with renal issues. For dog with renal issues use Rooibos Tea (it is an herb and has zero tannin) instead of parsley water.
Add parsley water to your dog’s food during deworming treatment. Parsley is rich in many nutrients; it is also a diuretic – helpful to keep systems working well during deworming. The recipe for parsley water is provided below.
Parsley is an excellent immune system booster... Parsley’s volatile oils have been shown to inhibit tumor formation;
Parsley is: Rich in antioxidants; rich in Vitamin A and C, both help to fight disease, Vitamin C is also an anti-inflammatory (important as intestinal walls can be inflamed from parasites adhering to the intestinal wall);
Parsley supports cardiovascular health;
Parsley helps the body eliminate toxins.
Boil 1 quart of water; Add one bunch of fresh parsley (curly parsley, Italian flat leaf parsley, etc.) to the boiling water; Allow to simmer for 3 minutes; Remove from heat and allow to cool; Remove the parsley and discard it; Pour the liquid into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
1 tbsp parsley water (for every 5 kg of body weight) once a day for 10 days.
Add Beneficial Foods Your Dog’s Daily Diet During Deworming
When treating your dog for worms it is important to include foods in their diet which will:
Help with the expulsion of the parasite (foods ‘scrub’ the weakened worms out of the digestive tract);
Boost the immune system;
Sooth inflamed intestinal walls;
Help to kill parasites and prevent re-infestation...
Add to each meal one of the following (fresh, grated or finely chopped – organic is best) to help cleanse the digestive tract and scrub parasites away in combination with using a dewormer…
Carrots ½ tbs to 2 tbs a day, or;
Beets ½ tbs to 2 tbs a day, or;
Turnip ½ tbs to 2 tbs a day.
Foods that Help to Kill the Parasites and Prevent Re-infestations
Add the following foods to help kill the parasites and prevent re-infestations...
Papaya – fresh finely chopped/crushed, or in powder form (in which case dosage would be as per manufacturers’ instructions);
The enzymes in papaya aid digestion and help to irritate and destroy worms from their exterior;
1 tsp to 1 tbs of depending on the size of the dog.
Turmeric - naturally contains four anti-parasitic compounds which when present collectively have strong worm-killing properties. Turmeric is also an anti-inflammatory so can help in reducing the inflammation of the intestine walls caused by the worms.
Wheat Germ Oil or Pumpkin Seed Oil – ¼ to 1 tsp (amount depends on the size of the dog).
Yogurt or Kefir – Plain, natural yogurt and kefir, no additives, sweeteners - are rich in beneficial probiotics (microorganisms) that help to keep disease causing microorganisms at bay while replenishing the intestinal tract with friendly flora.
You can also add…
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – add food grade Diatomaceous Earth once a day. DM irritates the external surface of the worms, thereby causing the worm to lose hold on the intestinal lining so that they can be pushed out. Read more about DE and dosage further below.
If you find that your dog enjoys the inclusion of beets, carrots, garlic, lemon, papaya, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, yogurt in their diet you can continue to give these fresh food stuffs on a daily basis as all have multiple health benefits. My ten dogs get these food stuffs on a daily year-round basis.
3.0 Choose a Dewormer
Diatomaceous Earth (DE), food grade;
Pumpkin (Pepitas) Seed;
Note, deworming regimens usually require about 10 days…
Diatomaceous Earth (DE), Food Grade
For the treatment, prevention of multiple types of worms in dogs
DE can be given to dogs of all ages. DE is a white powder made from crushing and grinding fossilized marine life (diatoms, a type of algae), which results in a fine abrasive powder that is non-toxic to dogs and humans. When the powder comes into contact with parasites, DE’s microscopic, razor-like edges abrade the parasites exterior – DE also dehydrates the parasite.
DE rids the body of:
Parasites such as lice, ticks, fleas, mites and worms (not heartworm though);
Harmful bacteria and some viruses;
Organophosphate pesticide residues;
DE does have a dehydrating effect, so make sure to add Parsley Water or Rooibos Tea as described in ‘Part 2.0’ above and ensure your companion animal always has access to plenty of fresh water.
Dosage for DE
Small Dogs – ½ tsp
Medium Dogs (under 20 kg) – 2 tsp
Large Dogs (20 – 50 kg) – 1 tbs
Garlic (Allium sativum)
For the treatment, prevention of multiple types of worms and giardia in dogs
Garlic is an effective immune system booster and is also effective in preventing and treating an infestation of intestinal worms. Garlic has also been shown to be beneficial in preventing and treating the parasite Giardia.
In 2008, a scientific study was done in which Garlic was tested against Ivermectin.
Garlic proved to be very effective as an alternative treatment to allopathic interventions such as Ivermectin, which is a pesticide-based preventative. Garlic is also an effective inhibitor against Giardia.
How to Include Garlic in Your Dog’s Diet
You can decide to give your dog garlic just during the deworming period, or you can add garlic to your his/her diet on a daily basis;
Chop, mince, crush or press the garlic and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before giving the garlic to your dog;
This gives the allinn and alliinase sufficient time to undergo the enzymic reaction that creates allicin.
Recommended Daily Dosage for Dogs
1 clove fresh garlic (or 1 tsp minced/finely chopped) per every 15 kg of body weight per day.
If your dog is on a blood thinner:
Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog garlic. Garlic can slow down blood clotting - garlic may increase the efficacy of the blood thinner warfarin. The dosage of the blood thinner would need to be adjusted for intake of garlic.
Grapefruit Seed – Pulverized Seed or Extract
For treatment of various types of worms in dogs
The benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) were first noted in 1972 by physicist Dr. Jacob Harich who observed its broad spectrum use as an antibacterial and antiviral remedy.
Grapefruit seeds contain active ingredients that are anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and more. Grapefruit seed extract is known to be excellent for treating internal diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, it is used topically to treat and remedy skin diseases, external injuries and fungal infections.
University of Georgia researchers found that GSE is an effective antiviral, antifungal and anti-parasitic agent for fighting many viral and bacterial infections, including E. coli;
Additional findings have proven that GSE is a highly effective treatment for:800 bacterial and viral strains;
100 strains of fungi, and;A multitude of single and multi-celled parasites.
GSE is also an immune system booster. It contains:
Hesperidin (a bioflavonoid), well known for its potent immune system benefits;
Vitamin C, Citric Acid, sterols and multiple additional antioxidants that aid the immune system’s ability to battle infections.
Grapefruit Seed Can be Administered Two Ways for Deworming
Pulverized seeds can be used as an ingested treatment sprinkled on top of food;Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) drops can be mixed into the food.
Minimum dosage - 0.5 drops per every kg (per every 1 kg) of body weight;
Maximum dosage - 10 to 15 drops per every 5 kg of body weight 3 times a day;
8 mg per every kg (per every 1 kg) of body weight.
Pumpkin (Pepitas) Seed or Oil
Treatment and preventative for hookworms and tape worms in dogs
Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil provide:
Are an anti-carcinogen, and;
Use raw pumpkin seeds - certified organic raw is best.
Grind the pumpkin seeds to a fine powder (you can use a mortar and pestle, a coffee grinder, a food processor, etc.).
Add the ground pumpkin seeds to your dog’s food once a day for two weeks.
As pumpkin seeds are completely non-toxic to dog’s and have many health benefits, i.e.
Are a good source of zinc, vitamin A and are high in protein;
You can also choose to add them to your dog’s diet on a regular, daily basis.
1/4 teaspoon for every 5 kg of body weight, in combination with;
1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin seed oil (or wheat germ oil) for every 5 kg of body weight.
Cloves For treatment, prevention of multiple types of worms for dogs
Cloves have many health benefits and have been used for both their medicinal and culinary properties by humans dating back 2000 years. Their benefit in the fight against internal parasites is two-fold…
Cloves contain a compound that increases the white blood cell count which boosts your dog’s immune system – a healthy dog is not a good host for a parasite infestation;
Cloves contain potent antibacterial properties and anti-parasitic properties.
As cloves are potent they should not form part of a dog’s regular year-around daily diet. The use of cloves should be restricted to a several week period once or twice a year.
Small dogs – use ¼ of a whole dry clove, crushed and mixed into food once a day for a week, then skip a week and repeat dosage one more time.
Medium size dogs - use ½ of a whole dry clove, crushed and mixed into food once a day for a week, then skip a week and repeat dosage one more time.
Large size dogs - use 1 whole dry clove, crushed and mixed into food once a day for a week, then skip a week and repeat dosage one more time.
Use certified organic if at all possible.
Cautions – do not use whole dry or fresh cloves, ground, powdered cloves, clove oil on pregnant dogs as clove is a uterine stimulant.