There are many tried and true home remedies for worms in dogs. While conventional deworming drugs can carry some nasty side effects, natural dewormers are a much safer choice. There are many foods and herbs like pumpkin seeds and black cumin seed that are both safe and effective natural dewormers for dogs.
Let’s take a closer look at how to get rid of worms in a dog without going to the vet …
What Are The Symptoms Of Worms In Dogs?
Common signs of worms in dogs include:
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Dull coat
- Mucus covered stools
- Bloody stool
Find The Best Natural Dog Dewormer
The best natural dewormer for dogs is a healthy diet that helps build a strong immune system. Your dog’s IgE antibodies can attack and destroy worms on their own … so your job is to support the immune system with healthy foods that include good amounts of zinc, vitamin D and other immune boosting nutrients.
But whatever you’re feeding, there are many foods and herbs you can use to help kill all types of worms in your dog. Start slowly with all these remedies if your dog isn’t used to eating them, and work up to the recommended dose.
Fermented foods are a great natural dewormer for dogs. They help expel worms by boosting your dog’s immune system. Almost 90% of the immune system is in the gut … so adding fermented veggies to your dog’s diet can help improve his gut health and defend him from parasites. You can buy fermented veggies or make your own. Start slowly with fermented veggies and work up to 1 to 3 tsp per day per 20 lbs of body weight.
One of the safest and most effective ways to treat worms is with pumpkin seeds. That’s because pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called cucurbitin. Cucurbitin paralyzes the worms and eliminates them from your dog’s digestive tract.
When feeding your dog pumpkin seeds, use raw organic seeds. Don’t give your dog the salted seeds, which aren’t safe for him.
Grind seeds and give ¼ tsp per 10 lbs of weight once or twice a day until the parasites are gone. Pumpkin seeds are safe for pregnant dogs.
Black Cumin Seed
People call black cumin seed “the cure for everything except death.” It’s very safe and can work for most worms. If possible, try to buy whole seeds. In a pinch, you can use black seed oil but if you do, halve the dose.
Give your dog ½ tsp to 1 tsp of seeds daily in his food. If your dog doesn’t like the taste you can heat the seeds in a pan to get rid of the bitter taste.
Grated Fruits And Vegetables
You can add certain fruit and veggies as a natural dewormer for dogs. They’ll make your dog’s digestive tract less welcoming. Good choices include carrots, cucumber, watercress, greens, squash, and fennel. Pineapple is also a good choice. It’s full of bromelain, an enzyme that digests proteins. It can also boost your dog’s immune system to help him fight off the worms. Another enzyme called papain, in papaya, can also help combat worms.
Pomegranate is useful for fighting off tapeworms. Compounds in pomegranate help expel worms from the digestive tract.
Add at least 1 tsp of any of these fruits and veggies per 10 lbs of body weight to your dog’s meals twice a day. Veggies in your dog’s diet can also provide a much-needed source of fiber.
Mix fresh carrot, beet, and cucumber juices into your dog’s food. These juices help make his intestines less attractive to worms.
Give 1 tsp per 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight per day.
Garlic is another natural dewormer for dogs. If you give it to your dog in moderate amounts it can be a good way to fight worms. In fact, garlic can be as effective as conventional dewormers.
Use chopped raw organic garlic and let the garlic sit for 10 to 15 minutes before giving it to your dog. This will help release the beneficial compounds that fight off the worms. Then you can give your dog the following amount.
Small dogs– up to ¼ clove twice a day
Medium dogs – up to ½ clove twice a day
Large dogs – up to ¾ clove twice a day
Giant breeds – up to 1 clove twice a day
Caution: Don’t use garlic as a worm remedy for pregnant or lactating dogs, or if your dog is on blood thinners.
RELATED: Can dogs eat garlic?
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits as a natural dewormer for dogs. It creates a more alkaline digestive system that’s less attractive to parasites. Use raw, organic, unfiltered vinegar and give ¼ to 1 tsp per day in your dog’s water or food.
Thyme is especially useful for hookworms. In their book Herbs For Pets, herbalists Greg Tilford and Mary Wulff recommend that you use fresh or dried herbs. Add 1 tsp per pound of food.
Caution: Do not use thyme essential oil on your dog as it can be toxic. You shouldn’t use thyme in any form for pregnant or lactating dogs.
You can also use parsley as a simple natural dewormer for dogs. Cook fresh parsley down and strain out the solids, then freeze it into ice cubes. Give one cube daily.
Note: some people worry that flat leaf parsley may be toxic to dogs, but herbalists say that’s only in very large amounts. If you’re concerned, just use curly parsley.
Bone broth helps promote digestive health, which helps the immune system kill worms. It’s especially effective around the full moon.
Add a few tablespoons to your dog’s food or feed as a separate snack. You can also add some pure aloe juice for an extra boost.
RELATED: How to make bone broth …
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
You can use food-grade diatomaceous earth to reduce the number of worms in your dog. But it may not be helpful if your dog has tapeworms. Small dogs – 1 tsp per day Dogs over 55 lbs – up to 1 tbsp per day
Caution: Make sure you mix the diatomaceous earth into your dog’s food very well. If your dog inhales it, it can irritate his lungs. Do not use DE for pregnant or lactating dogs.
You can use chamomile to prevent and expel roundworms and whipworms. This herb works more slowly but also helps reduce inflammation caused by the worms.
Use chamomile in a glycerin tincture for worms. Give 0.25 to 0.5 ml per 20 pounds of body weight, twice daily. Some dogs may be allergic to chamomile so check for sensitivity before using it. To do this, apply a small amount of the tincture to your dog’s skin.
Caution: If your dog is pregnant or lactating, you shouldn’t use these herbs.
Olive leaf extract contains oleuropein, which can help expel parasites from your dog’s intestines. Look for an extract with 12% oleuropein or higher and give it for 8 weeks.
Small dogs – 300 mg twice daily
Medium dogs – 500 mg twice daily
Large and giant dogs – 1000 mg twice daily
Oregon grape is antibiotic, liver tonic and it’s a great natural dewormer for dogs.
Give your dog 12 drops of Oregon grape tincture per 20 pounds of body weight. You’ll also want to give liver support like milk thistle when using Oregon grape. That’s because Oregon grape can be harsh on the liver and milk thistle will help protect it. Give ¼ tsp of milk thistle tincture per 20 pounds of body weight.
Caution: Oregon grape isn’t safe for pregnant or lactating dogs. Don’t use it for dogs with liver disease.
Black walnut is safer than conventional dewormers but can be toxic to your dog if it isn’t used properly. That’s why you should only use it if the gentler options don’t work. Always ask for guidance from your holistic vet on using black walnut for your dog.
It’s also important to understand that black walnut does not address the underlying cause of the worms. It will simply kill and expel the worms. If other options haven’t worked, there’s a good chance that your dog’s immune system is the problem.
Like black walnut, wormwood can be hard on your dog’s body but it is a natural dewormer for dogs. If you have exhausted all other options and want to try this herb, you should do so with the guidance of a holistic vet. This herb can irritate your dog’s liver and kidney.
Caution: You should never give wormwood to dogs who have seizures, kidney problems, or liver disease.
Does apple cider vinegar kill worms in dogs?
How can I deworm my dog naturally?
Anti-Worm Food Supplement
You can mix remedies to use as a general worming solution. Herbs For Pets recommends this combination for worms in dogs. 2 parts unsalted, raw pumpkin seeds 1 part garlic powder 1 part fennel seeds 1 part yucca root Mix the ingredients together. You can grind the pumpkin seed or leave them whole. Add 1 tsp per pound of food daily. Tilford and Wulff recommend you feed this mixture for 5 days then take 2 days off. Continue until your dog no longer has worms.
Caution: Don’t use this mixture for pregnant or lactating dogs.
Food is the best place to start treating your dog for worms. These foods are all gentle, natural ways to help get rid of your dog’s intestinal worms. And they’re a whole lot safer than giving your dog conventional deworming medication.
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.