Worms and parasites don’t need to be a fact of life for your dog. Here are 3 things you need to include in a parasite cleanse. And be sure to include this common seed to paralyze worms and clear them from your dog’s system.
What Is A Parasite?
A parasite lives off of another organism. When your dog has worms, some live off the food your dog eats. Others like hookworms and whipworms live off blood. And some parasites can cause diseases. Hookworms can cause anemia and roundworms can lead to poor growth and development.
Signs Of A Parasite In Your Dog
Here are some things to watch for:
- Constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, gas
- Loss of appetite
- Drinking less water or dehydration
How To Diagnose Worms In Dogs
Most worms aren’t visible to the naked eye in your dog’s stool. So if you suspect your dog has worms, you need to have a fecal test done. Your vet will need a stool sample to examine under a microscope for eggs.
If your dog has worms, you should put him on a parasite cleanse for a minimum of 2 weeks. You’ll need to watch his poop as you’ll be able to see when the worms are leaving his body. You’ll also note that his symptoms start to improve.
Avoid Chemical Dewormers
Some veterinarians recommend deworming your dog 2 to 4 times a year with toxic drugs. That’s their version of a “cleanse.” But deworming drugs are harsh and will suppress your dog’s immune system.
Instead, support your dog’s immune system by putting him on a parasite cleanse several times throughout the year. Healthy dogs aren’t attractive hosts for parasites and worms. You can feed your dog anti-parasitic herbs and antioxidant-rich foods as described below. These will continue to strengthen your dog’s immunity to expel future invaders.
Here are 3 things you need to do when putting your dog on a parasite cleanse.
1. Use These Parasite Cleansing Herbs
There are constituents in each of these herbs that force parasites from your dog’s body. Use them one at a time or try a couple in combination to see what works for your dog.
Black Cumin Seed
Black cumin seed is very safe and can work for most worms. That’s probably the reason it’s known as “the cure for everything except death.” Try to get it as whole seeds. If you can’t, use black seed oil … but if you’re using oil, you’ll need to halve the dose. If you have seeds, give your dog a ½ tsp to 1 tsp daily in his food. If he doesn’t like the taste, heating the seeds will get rid of the bitterness.
If your dog has hookworms, thyme is the best herb to use. Use either fresh or dried as recommended by herbalists Greg Tilford and Mary Wulff in their book, Herbs For Pets. You can add 1 tsp per pound of food.
Caution: Please don’t use thyme essential oil on your dog as it is toxic. And you shouldn’t use thyme in any form for pregnant or lactating dogs.
Parsley is another herb that’s useful to expel worms. Pack a cup of parsley leaves and add it to 2 cups of water. Cook it down for 10 mins and strain and squeeze out the solids. The water should turn a nice green. Cool and freeze it into ice cubes and give one cube daily.
Chamomile is a good herb to prevent and expel roundworms and whipworms. It works more slowly but it will also reduce any inflammation the worms are causing. Use chamomile in tincture form. You can give your dog 0.25 to 0.5 ml per 20 pounds of body weight, twice daily. Because some dogs might have an allergic reaction, check for sensitivity before using it. Do this by applying a small amount of the tincture on your dog’s skin.
Caution: If your dog is pregnant or lactating, avoid using all the above herbs.
Oleuropein is a component of olive leaf extract. This can help expel parasites from your dog’s intestines. You’ll need an extract with 12% oleuropein or higher. Give it for 8 weeks.
Here’s how much to dose:
Small dogs … 300 mg twice daily
Medium dogs … 500 mg twice daily
Large to giant dogs … 1000 mg twice daily
Oregano has antibacterial and antiparasitic effects. It increases the production of stomach acid, which will kill parasites and prevent infections. If you’re using oil of oregano it’s pretty potent so you must dilute it for your dog. Always dilute with 1 tsp of olive oil per 1-2 drops of oregano oil and mix it into your dog’s food. A drop or 2 or oregano oil is all you need for tiny dogs, 3-4 drops for medium to large dogs, 5-6 drops for extra large dogs. Or, you can add fresh oregano to meals as a pinch for small dogs, 2-3 pinches for medium dogs, and a ¼ cup for larger dogs.
Or you can pack a cup of oregano leaves and add it to 2 cups of water. Cook it down for 10 mins and strain and squeeze out the solids. Cool and freeze it into ice cubes and give one cube daily with your dog’s meal.
2. Put Your Dog On An Anti-Parasite Diet
Parasites live off of bad bacteria and fungus in your dog’s digestive system. A parasite cleansing diet will kill these harmful organisms. You want to start by removing all grains and sugar from your dog’s diet. Processed kibble diets are very high in grains and carbohydrates. They convert to sugar through digestion. Sugar feeds harmful organisms in the gut and can contribute to inflammation. And that can lead to infection and damage your dog’s immune system, among other things. A weakened system allows parasites to take hold and feed.
The best diet for your dog is whole food, raw meat diet. It will help eliminate parasites by removing their food source of grains and sugars.
For the time being you should also limit fruit in your dog’s diet. Stick with low-sugar berries like raspberries, blueberries and cranberries along with the herbs already listed.
Here are additional things you can include in your dog’s diet:
Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil are solutions often recommended to fight parasites in your dog’s GI tract. And here’s why. Pumpkin seeds contain specific antioxidants and compounds that include tetracyclic triterpenes and cucurbitins. They paralyze worms and make it difficult for them to survive in the intestinal walls.
You can feed your dog ground raw hulled pumpkin seeds spread over meals each day.
1 cup per day for extra-large dogs from 100 lbs and up
¾ cup per day for large dogs 50 to 100 dogs
½ cup per day for medium dogs 30 to 50 lbs
¼ cup per day for small dogs 15 to 30 lbs
1-2 tsp per day for toy dogs up to 15 lbs
Include a variety of high-fiber vegetables with protective compounds that nourish the gut. Fiber encourages bowel movements that will move the parasites through the digestive tract.
Include vegetables like broccoli, greens, kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cauliflower and zucchini. Carrots and squash are high in fiber but they also have a higher sugar content that would feed the parasites. All vegetables should be ground or blended, or lightly steamed so your dog can digest them.
Pineapple core contains the enzyme bromelain, which can boost digestion and kill parasites. While pineapple juice can reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines that lead to colon inflammation. Bromelain also breaks down protein foods, so it fights intestinal parasites and kills worms.
Garlic is immune-boosting and also has anti-parasitic effects. Its sulfur compounds and antioxidants can destroy parasites and other pathogenic organisms. Use it fresh by chopping and grinding it and adding it to your dog’s food. Use a quarter clove or 1/4 tsp or less for small dogs, ½ tsp to full clove for medium dogs, a clove for large dogs and as much as 2 cloves for extra large dogs.
Ginger is similar to oregano. It has antibacterial and antiparasitic effects that increase stomach acid that kills parasites and prevents infections. Grate it fresh and add it to your dog’s food. Use 1/4 tsp or less for small dogs, ½ tsp to full clove for medium dogs, a clove for large dogs and as much as 2 cloves for extra large dogs.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar can be effective at killing worms in your dog. Unlike other vinegars, it increases the alkaline levels in your dog’s intestines. That discourages parasites and worms. When your dog eats a high fibre diet, they get swept from his system in his poop.
Just add ¼ to 1 tsp of raw organic ACV to your dog’s water bowl or his food every day.
3. Include Probiotics To Support Digestive Health
Probiotics have a huge impact on your dog’s health and his immune system. These beneficial bacteria maintain the balance in your dog’s microbiome by fighting bad bacteria and infection. Probiotic-rich foods colonize your dog’s gut with good bacteria to improve his health. They include fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. Prebiotics are also essential because they feed the probiotics. Prebiotics to include are mushrooms, garlic, bananas and dandelion greens.
Digestive enzymes can also help your dog’s system. They support the digestive system making it easier for your dog to expel parasites like worms.
By regularly adding some of these herbs and foods to your dog’s diet, his gut will be an unwelcome environment for parasites. And if your dog has parasites, start adding these things now to get rid of them.
Li, Tiaoying, et al. Usefulness of pumpkin seeds combined with areca nut extract in community-based treatment of human taeniasis in northwest Sichuan Province, China. Acta Trop. 2012 Nov;124(2):152-7.
Ayaz E, Türel I, Gül A, Yilmaz O. Evaluation of the anthelmentic activity of garlic (Allium sativum) in mice naturally infected with Aspiculuris tetraptera. Recent Patents on Anti-infective Drug Discovery. 2008 Jun;3(2):149-52.