Being a dog owner can sometimes come at a cost…literally! One of the most expensive parts of dog ownership is paying off the vet bills, especially when the visit to the vet is because of something unexpected. After we wrote our article on how to tell if your dog has worms, we received multiple emails from our readers asking for more information on how to get rid of worms without going to the vet. The primary reason people gave for not wanting to visit the vet was because they simply couldn’t afford it.
Although it is possible to treat worms without a vet visit, we don’t recommend it. There are various types of worms and not all of them are treated the same way. The only way to know with certainty what type of worm your dog has been infected with is to go to the vet. Plus any prescription medication your vet provides you with will be more powerful than an over the counter alternative.
With that said, we understand taking a trip to the local veterinarian isn’t possible for some of you at the moment. If that’s the position you currently find yourself in, then you’ll want to follow the methods below. There’s no guarantee they will work, but studies and real life tests have shown they are effective.
The Top Methods To Get Rid of Worms Without Going to The Vet
- Over the counter dewormer medication
- Dried Coconut
- Apple cider vinegar
- Raw pumpkin seeds
- Black seeds
- Diatomaceous earth
The first one on this list – over the counter medication – is the priority. If you only try one thing, make sure that’s it. The rest of them are various types of foods you can feed your dog. These work for some dogs and don’t work for others. Once you begin using the over the counter medication, go down the list of foods and test each one for a few days. Hopefully one of them will work for you pup!
OTC Dewormer Medications
The first thing is to look into over the counter dewormer medication. These can be purchased from a pet store, online, in most grocery and discount stores or directly from your vet. Do some research to find out the best dewormer for the type of worms your dog has. Some types of dewormers are specifically designed to the type of worms.
Here are our top 3 OTC dewormers for dogs
- Safeguard Canine Dewormer For Dogs by 8-in-1 Pet Products
- Tapeworm Dewormer by Bayer Animal Health
- Nemex 2by Pfizer
Give one of those three a try. Once you begin the OTC treatment, the next step is to feed your dog certain foods.
Foods to Prevent or Kill Worms in Dogs
You may be wondering how certain foods can help treat worms.The reason is because most worms live and grow in the intestinal tract of a dog. The foods we will be covering below make the environment in the intestinal tract less appetizing for worms. The goal with these foods is to “disrupt” the worms environment, making it impossible for them to survive.
Don’t go too crazy with the foods below and don’t test them all at the same time. Not only will this make your dog sick, but you’ll have no idea what works for your dog. Knowing what worked for your dog is essential if you want to prevent another infection from happening.
Although chamomile does work slower than other remedies, it’s one of the safest options out there. it can be especially helpful to dogs that are suffering from bloating and excess gas because it’s a strong anti-inflammatory for the gut. .
How to Use
You’ll want to give chamomile to your dog in small doses (.25-.5 ml per 20 pounds of weight added to their water). This amount is very helpful to treat roundworms and whipworms. Any more than that and it could cause an upset stomach, but even if that happens you have nothing to worry about. Chamomile is non-toxic for dogs.
2) Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Cucurbitin is an amino acid you’ve probably never heard of. It’s the “unsung” hero of amino acids when it comes to killing parasites in the digestive tract. When it comes into contact with a worm, it will paralyze the worms which will eventually kill it. The dead worm will then be eliminated through your dogs waste. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of protein and can help improve your dogs coat. An overall amazing food for dogs.
How to Use
Grind raw pumpkin seeds and add a small spoonful for every 10 pounds of body weight to their food.
3) Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth are remnants of underwater plants called diatoms. The good news is that if you keep these dry they have an unlimited shelf life so you can stock up! These can be used against most types of worms, but are not effective against Tapeworms. However, tapeworms are caused by fleas, diatomaceous earth can help prevent fleas. This means it may not be able to directly kill a tapeworm, but it can help prevent them.
How to Use
The recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon per day for small dogs, less than 55 pounds, and 1 Tablespoon per day for bigger dogs.
4) Coconut Oil
Coconut is extremely powerful when it comes to eliminating specific types of worms – tapeworms in particular. Not only that, but coconut oil is great for your dogs overall health. once you start giving your dog coconut oil, you’ll notice their fur looks much healthier and they’ll have a little more energy.
How to Use
Measure out about 60 grams of oil and pour it over your dogs food. Most dogs love the taste so getting them to eat it shouldn’t be an issue.
One of our all time favorites for treating worms in dogs. Garlic is especially helpful when trying to get rid of tapeworms. Garlic contains amino acids that help kill the worms and then sulfur compounds and oils that help flush the worms.
How to Use
Single clove crushed and added to food. Allowing the crushed garlic to sit for approximately 15 minutes before adding to the dog’s food helps the enzymes to activate. IMPORTANT: Do not feed your dog more than one clove per day. High amounts of garlic can be poisoning to a dog. if your dog is pregnant or nursing, avoid garlic completely.
These have been found to guard against many types of parasites, especially worm eggs because of their antibacterial and antiparasitic abilities. Cloves are effective by themselves, but when combined with black seed, the effects are amplified. So if you’re going to use cloves, we recommend using black seed along with it.
How to Use
One full clove per 10 pounds of body weight per day for prevention. Put a small amount of clove powder in their food to kill eggs. IMPORTANT: If your dog is pregnant, do not give them cloves.
7) Black Seed (cumin seed)
We have the anxient Egyptians and the Assyrians to thank for this method. This is one of the most popular cures for just about any issue. Whether that be a fever, diarrhea, the common cold, a headache, it seems like black seed is the answer! The reason black seed works to get rid of worms naturally is because it contains two chemicals called nigella and melatin. These chemicals cleans the digestive system and have the potential to kill worms as they are cleansing.
How to Use
½ to 1 teaspoon of seeds, heated, then added to the food once per day for up to two weeks
8) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used by a lot of humans to alkalize the body, luckily it has the same effect on dogs. When the dogs body is being alkalized, it can help eliminate worms.
How to Use
Add ¼ to 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar your dog’s food. Most dogs have no problem eating food with apple cider vinegar on it. However, if your dog isn’t interested in eating the food, try putting a tiny bit in their water bowl.
Let’s Make Sure Those Worms Don’t Come Back!
Now that you know 9 of the best ways to get rid of worms without going to the vet, let’s talk about how to prevent your dog from getting worms again in the future. By taking some of these preventative measures, you will decrease the chances that your dog will fall victim to some of the most common types of worms, such as roundworms and hookworms.
Protect Against Fleas
Fleas are themselves a nuisance, but they can also carry tapeworms. Dogs ingest the worms while grooming and the fleas can transfer them to the dog when they bite. So, take the necessary steps to make sure your dog and yard are flea free.
At this point, we have all heard that some of the cheap dog foods are made with fillers and to buy better food. Whether that is true or not of the food your dog eats, you need to make sure the food your dog eats contains plenty of vitamins and minerals to support a strong immune system.
Vaccinate Your Dog
Whether you are just bringing home a new pup, or your buddy has been around a while, all dogs should have regular vaccinations. In some states, these vaccinations can even be administered at home. Check with your local agriculture or pet store to see if they carry canine vaccines.
Clean The Yard
It may not come as a surprise that many dogs get worms in their own back yard. Sometimes this is from other animals, but it can also be a re-infestation from a previous case of worms. Believe it or not, some types of worms can stay dormant for up to 7 years in contaminated soil. Picking up feces will help to prevent re-infestation of some worms.
These can be purchased at most pet stores and big box stores, as well as directly from your veterinarian. Many types of preventative dewormers work for multiple types of worms as well.
When Should You See The Vet?
We stated at the beginning of this article that our recommendation would be to see the vet ASAP. However, we understand that may not be possible for everyone so give these methods a try for two weeks. If you suspect your dog is still suffering from a worm infection after two weeks, it’s time to see the vet. If you delay it any longer you could be doing serious long term damage to the health of your dog.
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