Dog Friendly, Natural Dewormers
Signs of worm infestation in your dog can include squiggly worms or “rice bodies” in his stool, a thrifty looking appearance, scooting and licking his rear, vomiting, and diarrhea. Luckily, you don’t have to fear worms because there are foods and herbs that can help keep intestinal populations in check and encourage their expulsion. Keeping your yard clean and free of rodents and fleas will also help.
There are many less invasive and more natural alternatives to conventional veterinary products that you might want to try. Here is a list of natural dewormers, from the safest to the harshest. It’s important to remember that some herbal substances can still be harsh on the body, so consult with a good holistic vet or herbalist if using the herbs that come with warnings.
The starting point for preventing and treating worms is always a healthy immune system. A balanced intestinal environment prevents disease, including parasite infestations. Recent research has linked gut bacteria to many health conditions and the type and balance of bacteria in the gut can actually influence the lifespan of intestinal worms. Avoiding antibiotics and processed commercial foods – and adding dietary probiotics like Lactobacillus sporogenes – will help maintain the delicate ecosystem in your dog’s gut, making it less habitable for worms.
When fed in moderation, garlic can boost the immune system and help fight worms and giardia. A recent scientific study found garlic to be just as effective as the veterinary dewormer, Ivermectin. (Ayaz et al, Recent Pat Antiinfect Drug Discov. 2008 Jun) Give a half clove to two cloves daily, depending on the size of your dog.
Fruits and Vegetables
Adding some of the following fresh foods to your dog’s diet can also help make his intestinal tract less attractive to worms: grated raw carrots, fennel, shredded coconut and papaya.
Raw, organic pumpkin seed can help prevent or expel worms. You can feed them as a treat or grind them and place them in his dish. Give a teaspoon per ten pounds of your dog’s weight.