How to Get Rid of Worms in Dogs at Home Without a Vet

By Ann Collins / September 4, 2021

Did you know there are several types of worms your dog can get? They’re all equally nasty and dangerous, requiring harsh treatments to get rid of.

They can cause many complications if you don’t treat them. Things like poor growth, anemia, and slow development can all be caused by untreated worms. Some dogs can even die from the complications.

It’s possible to get rid of worms with some herbs and foods you already have at home. But, how can you be sure your dog has worms?

There are several ways in which you can determine whether this is what’s causing trouble.

Take a few minutes to discover all about symptoms of worms, different types, and what you can do to help your dog.

Signs That Your Dog Has a Parasite Infection

A parasite infection gives out many symptoms and signs, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. In most cases, dogs have several symptoms that make it even easier to diagnose.

Here’s what you should look out for:

  • Coughing – although dogs cough for several reasons from time to time, you’ll notice more frequent coughing if there’s a parasite infection. Extended coughing fits are also a good indicator.
  • Bloating – if your dog looks bloated even if they didn’t yet eat, they might have intestinal worms.
  • Fever – intestinal worms cause a fever, but it’s the type that comes and goes. It’s unlikely to stay constant.
  • Scooting – this refers to when your dog is dragging its butt across the floor. It’s another clear sign of worms.
  • Stoop Problems – take time to inspect your dog’s poop, looking for mucus or loose stool. You might also notice worms that look like small grains of rice.
  • Lethargy – frequent changes in appetite or lethargy appear as the worms advance. This usually occurs with voting.

Types of Worms in Dogs

As we mentioned, there are five types of worms, four of which are intestinal worms. Nonetheless, we’ll cover all the types to make it easier to differentiate them.

We gather all information about each worm, how it’s transmitted, and the specific symptoms it causes.

Roundworms

Roundworms live in the dog’s small intestine and are quite large. They can grow up to seven inches long and come to look like thin spaghetti you’ll most definitely notice in your dog’s poop if they appear.

These attach to the dog’s intestine, feeding on the blood and nutrients from the food. It’s a common parasite most dogs get at some point by eating an infected bird or rodent.

Some can even get it from their mother’s milk, so it’s not always possible to prevent it.

The most common symptoms include weight loss, a potbellied look, abdominal pain, and a dull coat. Your dog can easily have one or all of these symptoms, so it’s best to see a vet if you think it’s roundworms.

Whipworms

Whipworms live in the dog’s cecum and can grow up to three inches. They have a tapered end that looks like a whip hence the name.

These are quite aggressive, attaching to your pup’s mucus membrane and feeding on the blood.

This type of infection is easy to get through eating soil. Some dogs get it by drinking water that’s contaminated with feces containing whipworm eggs.

For this reason, ensure that your pup doesn’t drink any water you’re not sure about, especially when taking walks outside.

Your pet will show several symptoms after a while. The most common sign of whipworms is a bloody stool, so make sure to see your vet as soon as you notice this.

Untreated infection can cause many severe complications and death, even in healthy dogs.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are long and flatworms that hook to your dog’s intestines. However, you can also see these on your pup’s butt and in their feces.

These appear as tiny, white specs that appear as grains of rice. Unfortunately, tapeworms feed on the nutrients from your dog’s good, and worse of all, they might not show any signs.

The most important thing to remember is that there are 14 different kinds of tapeworms. The most common one is the kind your dog gets from flea eggs.

Animals can get it from eating contaminated meat, transferring the worms from the meat to your dog’s intestine.

If any signs show up at all, it’ll probably be lethargy and weight loss.

Heartworms

Heartworms are possibly the scariest and most damaging types of worms a dog can get. Luckily, they’re preventable.

Heartworms live in your dog’s heart and large blood vessels. And the scariest thing is that they can grow over 12 inches long.

Mosquitos transmit these, so be careful when walking your dog. A mosquito biting your pup will transmit the larvae into the animal’s blood and to the heart.

Heartworms are preventable, but it’s best to talk to your vet about how you can do this. There are collars that serve as mosquito repellants that have been proven effective.

The most common signs of heartworms are difficulty breathing, coughing, and possibly even death. Another thing worth noting is that the therapy is typically very expensive and takes quite some time to show improvement.

Hookworms

Hookworms have a small hook-like attachment on their mouths. They use it to attach to your pup’s intestinal wall, where they thrive. They feed on blood and can even eject eggs.

Dogs usually get these worms when they ingest dirt or feces. It can happen when they clean and lick themselves, but they can also ingest them from their mother’s milk.

These are no joke because they feed on your dog’s blood. After a while, they can cause anemia which is always dangerous for older dogs and puppies.

It’s a common type that many dogs get through their lifetime. A strong immune system and regular vet checkups are a must when it comes to prevention.

Home Remedies to Treat Worms:

First and foremost, it’s always essential to visit a vet if you notice any symptoms of worms. It’s by far the safest way of getting rid of worms in dogs because veterinarians are professionals.

However, there are a few things you can do before taking your dog to the vet. These home remedies can come in handy if your vet can’t see you soon enough.

Some remedies are easier to get your hands on since you probably have them lying in your pantry. Others, however, are a bit more challenging to get depending on where you live.

Nonetheless, here’s what you can give your dog to help get rid of parasites.

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is probably the most common home remedy you can use. It has powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that make it ideal for cleaning out your dog’s intestinal parasites.

Apple cider vinegar is safe and natural, so you won’t do any harm to your dog’s body. Add one-fourth of a teaspoon to their water or food each day, increasing the amount each day.

The goal is to get to one teaspoon, adding it until the worms are gone.

Pumpkin Seeds 

Raw pumpkin seeds work wonders, but you have to grind them before giving them to your dog. Add one-fourth of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds.

You can add pumpkin seed oil as well, although your dog might not appreciate the taste as much.

Fermented Vegetables 

Fermented vegetables are among the best for getting rid of worms and building a healthy digestive system. These help to improve your pup’s immune system.

You can make fermented vegetables or buy some in-store. Then, add them to your dog’s food, working up to one to three tsp per day for each 20lbs of body weight.

Black Cumin Seeds 

Black cumin can cure nearly anything, including most worms. Try to buy whole seeds because they have the most health benefits.

You can use black seed oil if you can’t find whole seeds, but remember to halve the dose. Add half a teaspoon to one teaspoon to your dog’s food until the symptoms are gone.

Some dogs don’t like the bitter taste, in which case you can warm the oil a bit.

Vegetables and Fruits

Some fruits and vegetables are proven to help with a worm infestation. These are rich in vitamin A, so make sure not to feed your dog too much because you can upset their stomach.

Pumpkin, raw carrot, squash, watercress, cantaloupe, apricots, apples, and asparagus have high levels of vitamin A. Pomegranate is effective in fighting tapeworms.

Vegetable Juice

Mix some fresh beet, carrot, and cucumber juices, adding a teaspoon per 10lbs of body weight to your dog’s food. This mix helps to make the worms dislike the intestines of your dog.

The juices must be fresh, or else the mix won’t have the same effect.

Garlic 

Garlic is a known home remedy that can fight many health issues. It’s safe to feed to dogs in moderate amounts, but remember to use raw organic garlic.

Chop and leave it to sit for ten to fifteen minutes before feeding your pup. Small dogs can only have one-fourth of a clove, while medium dogs can have up to half of a clove.

Large dogs can eat up to three-fourths of clove, and giant breeds can have an entire clove a day.

Thyme 

Thyme is highly efficient in fighting hookworms, and you can use both dried or fresh. Add a teaspoon per pound of food, adjusting the amount based on how much your dog eats in a day.

Keep in mind that thyme essential oil isn’t a smart replacement as it’s toxic. Also, thyme is unsafe to use for pregnant or lactating dogs.

Parsley 

Parsley is another excellent herb you probably have at home. However, it’s important that it’s fresh and not dried.

Cook fresh parsley and remove any water before freezing it into small ice cubes. Give one of these cubes to your pup each day.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) 

Diatomaceous Earth is effective in reducing the number of worms. Still, it’s not the best choice if you’re trying to fight tapeworms.

Small dogs should have a single teaspoon per day, while pups over 55 pounds can have a tablespoon per day.

Be careful with how you mix this into the food because inhaling can irritate the dog’s lungs.

Bone Broth 

Bone broth has many health benefits, especially to the digestive and immune systems. All you have to do is add a few tablespoons to your pup’s food.

You can even feed them the broth as a separate snack, but add some aloe juice in there for an extra boost and some flavor.

Chamomile 

Chamomile is efficient in getting rid of roundworms and whipworms. It helps to reduce inflammation, although it takes a while to work.

You can use it as a glycerin tincture, giving your dog 0.25 to 0.5 ml per 20lbs of body weight. However, you should check if your dog is allergic to chamomile first by applying a small amount to their skin.

Again, avoid this herb if your pet is pregnant or lactating.

Olive Leaf 

Olive leaf extract has oleuropein, helping to expel parasites from the dog’s intestines. Make sure the extract has 12% or more oleuropein.

You should give it to your dog for about eight weeks, so you might have to wait a while to see improvements. Small dogs can have 300mg a day, while large breeds can have 1000mg twice a day.

Neem Leaf 

Neem leaf is another useful option for removing parasites from your dog’s body. However, it’s not effective against tapeworms, so make sure to figure out the exact worms you’re fighting.

Small breeds can have 150mg per day, while large dogs can have up to 500mg per day.

Oregon Grape 

Oregon game is antibiotic, anti-parasitic, and liver tonic. You can give your dog up to twelve drops of tincture per 20lbs of body weight.

You might want to include milk thistle with Oregon grape because it can be harsh on the liver. Include one-fourth of milk thistle tincture per 20lbs of body weight.

Black Walnut 

Black walnut can be toxic if not used properly. For this reason, proceed to use it only if the previous methods didn’t work. You might also want to consult with your vet.

Black walnut kills worms in dogs, helping the animal to expel the parasites. However, it doesn’t cure the cause of the worms.

Wormwood 

Although it’s pretty effective on all types of worms, wormwood can also be quite harsh on your dog’s body. So try this herb only if you’ve already tried other methods.

Again, consult with your vet because wormwood can irritate the dog’s kidney and liver.

How to Prevent Dogs From Getting Worms? 

The best way to prevent your dog from getting worms is to boost its immune system. A healthy immune system is likely to expel them on its own.

Feeding your dog whole raw foods is often the best way to promote a healthy immune system. You should also avoid unnecessary vaccines and drugs that can sometimes have negative effects.

Probiotics can be helpful, too. A good probiotic helps to maintain the balance of good bacteria, boosting the digestive and immune systems.

Consider buying supplements with both prebiotics and probiotics. The probiotics help with beneficial bacteria, while prebiotics feeds the bacteria, so the two work together.

You might also want to include digestive enzymes that support the digestive system, helping your dog expel worms and other parasites.

Another crucial thing is to keep the space free of poop. Clean your yard regularly so that your pet doesn’t come in contact with any feces.

Can Humans Catch Worms From Dogs?

Sadly, humans can get roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms from dogs. Still, it’s important to note that although these things happen, the odds are pretty low.

Pregnant women and children are at greater risk, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Luckily, there’s a way to reduce the risk of catching worms.

First and foremost, keep your kids away from where the dog poops. Wear gloves when cleaning out the area and avoid walking barefoot to avoid contaminating the house.

Humans can catch tapeworms from eating contaminated flea or meat. Still, this is very unlikely because the odds are low you’ll eat a flea.

However, kids can easily swallow a flea when playing with dogs, so be careful if your dog has intestinal worms.

Final Thoughts

Worms in dogs are a serious issue you should approach with care. It’s a dangerous thing for both your dog and you, so make sure to give your dog all the help and care it needs.

Think about the symptoms and how your dog behaves. Although you should take your dog to a vet, you can also try a few natural remedies first.

A dog that has worms will show at least one sign, if not all of them. It’s important to act quickly, boosting the immune system and get rid of worms using pumpkin seeds, apple cider vinegar, garlic, or another natural remedy we mentioned.

These parasites can be quite persistent, so it often takes time for natural remedies to work. If your dog has worms for quite a while already, you might want to get professional help on top of trying natural remedies.

About the author

    Ann Collins

    I've been a college grad for over 4 years now. I'm a full-time contributor for puppypointers and I absolutely love it. I enjoy meeting people from all over the world, especially those that have a warm heart for doggies. When I'm not writing, I spend a lot of time at the beach in sunny California.

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