dog-worms-dnm2

Dog worms … they’re one of those things that you’d rather avoid. But if you have dogs, you’ll probably have to deal with them at some time in your life. You want to get rid of dog worms fast. And you want to get rid of worms without medicine, because conventional deworming drugs can be very harsh and they all come with side effects.

It turns out some of the safest and most effective ways to treat worms in dogs are to use everyday foods. You probably already have some of them at home. We asked holistic veterinarian Patricia Jordan DVM about her favorite foods to get rid of dog worms naturally. First, she told us about how to recognize the most common types of worms dogs get.

Common Dog Worms 

These are the most common types of worms dogs get. Humans can also get roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms. 

Roundworms

You can see roundworms in your dog’s poop. They’ll look a lot like spaghetti. Your dog may look pot-bellied and he may feel lethargic. Sometimes roundworms can cause diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and weight loss.

Tapeworms

Whole tapeworms are flat and about 6 inches long. Usually you’ll see the broken-off segments looking like grains of rice in your dog’s poop. Tapeworms come from intermediate hosts like fleas. If your dog has fleas, watch out for tapeworms in his stool.

You can’t see the other types of worms with the naked eye, so if you suspect them in your dog, you’ll need to get a fecal analysis to confirm them.

Hookworms

Hookworms have a hook that attaches to the intestinal lining. They suck blood and can cause anemia in your dog, so are especially dangerous for small puppies.

Diarrhea and vomiting are the usual signs of hookworms in your dog. Symptoms of anemia are weakness, lethargy or pale gums.

Whipworms

Whipworms are tapered at one end, like a whip. They attach to the mucus membranes in the cecum and colon and feed on your dog’s blood. You won’t be able to see them, unless your dog passes them in a clump in his stool. Signs of whipworms include diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.

Full Moon For Fecal Tests 

If you need to get a fecal test to confirm a diagnosis of worms, Dr Jordan says the best time to test is during a full moon. This is when parasites shed their eggs the most.

Foods To Eliminate Dog Worms

Starting out with a healthy diet helps build a strong immune system. A whole foods, raw meat based diet is the best option to help keep your dog worm-free. Kibble-fed dogs are much more susceptible to worms than raw fed dogs because parasites love the starch and sugars in kibble.

But whatever you’re feeding, there are many foods you can use to help eliminate worms in your dog. And some of the best ones to add are fermented foods. All fermented foods have probiotic properties and can also be used to help prevent and eliminate worms.

[NOTE: Intestinal worms thrive on the sugars and starches in kibble. Find out which ingredients in your dog’s food are sugary and starchy with the free DNM Pet Food Analyzer. Click here to download it.]

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Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are some of the best ways to build a healthy digestive system. That helps eliminate worms by boosting your dog’s immune system.  80% of the immune system is based in the gut.

Fermented Vegetables

The safest way to treat worms is with fermented vegetables. You can buy fermented veggies like sauerkraut or kimchi, or make your own fermented veggies. There are many recipes online; here’s a site with lots of information on fermented foods.

Start slowly with fermented veggies and work up to 1 to 3 tsp per day per 20 lbs of body weight.

Kefir

This is another great fermented food for dogs. Non-dairy is best for so use coconut kefir, or choose goat milk kefir. Make your own or buy at grocery and health food stores.

Give small dogs 1 tsp to 1 Tbsp per day, medium dogs 1 to 2 Tbsp per day, large dogs 2 to 3 Tbsp per day. Add to food or serve as a separate treat or snack.

(Click here for more information on Kefir for your dog.)

Other Vegetables and Fruit 

Vegetable matter helps to treat worms (Dr Jordan jokes that healthy vegetables seem to scare the parasites!) and the fiber helps to move out the worms.

All these foods are easy to get and are everyday foods you can safely use.

Pumpkin seeds

  • One of the safest and most effective ways to treat worms
  • Grind seeds and give ¼ tsp per 10 lbs of weight

(Pumpkin seeds are great for your dog. Click here to find out more …)

Grated carrots, watercress, greens, squash, fennel

  • Any of these veggies added to food can help get rid of worms
  • 1 tsp per 10 lbs of body weight per day

Cucumber

  • Add grated or chopped cucumber to food, or use fresh carrot, beet, and cucumber juices mixed into food

Pineapple (including the stems)

  • Full of bromelain, an enzyme that digests proteins

Papaya

  • Contains papain, another enzyme that can help combat worms.

Pomegranate

  • Useful in treating tapeworms

Overall, you can give fruit and veggies up to about 20% of your dog’s diet. If your dog’s not used to eating produce, start gradually to avoid digestive upset.

Other Pantry Items To Treat Worms

Beyond fruits and veggies, there are other pantry items that can help get rid of your dog’s worms.

Garlic

  • Garlic is safe to give your dog in moderate amounts
  • Use 1 clove or 1 tsp of chopped raw organic garlic per per 30 lbs of body weight per day

(Here’s another great article about garlic for your dog. Visit now …)

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

  • Use raw, organic, unfiltered vinegar
  • ¼ to 1 tsp per day in your dog’s water or food creates a more alkaline digestive system that’s less attractive to parasites

Coconut oil (use organic, virgin coconut oil)

  • This is especially helpful to eliminate roundworms, which tend to clump together in the intestines and cause an obstruction
  • Start gradually and work up to 1 tsp per day per 10 lbs of body weight

(Looking for organic virgin coconut oil? Click here to see it in our store.)

Parsley

  • Cook fresh parsley down and strain out the solids, then freeze it into ice cubes
  • Give one cube daily

Bone Broth

  • If you’re up for a little easy cooking, bone broth (click here for recipe) helps promote overall digestive health, supporting the immune system in eliminating worms
  • Especially effective around the full moon
  • Add some aloe juice for an extra boost
  • Add a few tablespoons to your dog’s food or feed as a separate snack

Food is the best place to start treating your dog for worms. These foods are all gentle, natural ways to help your dog eliminate intestinal worms – and they’re a whole lot safer than giving your dog conventional deworming drugs.

Food alone may not get rid of every worm infestation and in more stubborn cases you may need to ask your holistic vet for herbal or homeopathic options as well. Some herbal options are included in this article, or find holistic vets at ahvma.org and homeopathic vets at theavh.org.