Worms are parasites that are commonly found in dogs. While a mild infestation is not usually anything to worry about, you will need to get rid of the worms as quickly as possible. If you try to stay away from over-the-counter and prescription treatments, you can try one of these dog tapeworm home remedies.
You may be wondering what tapeworms are and how your dog contracted them?
These are great questions, and it's important to know the answers before you can understand the treatment options available. Tapeworms are one of the most well-known types of worms in dogs. They can grow up to eight inches long and are made up of sections, each about the length of a grain of rice.
Some of a tapeworm's sections will detach and be passed through the feces, which is when many owners notice white moving specs that are actually worms in dog poop. You may also notice your dog “scooting” across the floor or chewing at his rear end due to the discomfort caused by passing the worm segments. Other symptoms include vomiting and unexplained weight loss.
Tapeworms are extremely contagious. They're most commonly picked up by a dog’s exposure to a carrier flea. Humans can contract the ailment in the same way, but not through contact with the infected animal itself.
Dog tapeworm home remedies may be effective if your pet has a mild case of worms. If the infestation doesn't clear up within 72 hours of trying a home remedy, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian. If left untreated, a tapeworm infestation could lead to much more serious health problems.
Dog Tapeworm Home Remedies
1. Pumpkin Seeds
One of the safest and easiest ways to treat tapeworms in dogs is with pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called cucurbitin. Cucurbitin paralyzes the worms, so that they can be passed through the digestive tract.
If you choose to use this method, be sure to purchase raw, organic pumpkin seeds. Salted seeds, which are the most common type found at grocery stores, are not healthy for your pet.
Grind the seeds and give 1/4 tsp. per 10 pounds of body weight 1-2 times per day. Continue this dosage until the parasites have been gone from the stool for 24 hours. This home remedy is safe for puppies and pregnant dogs.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
A naturally alkaline system (non-acidic) system kills parasites. To help balance the pH of your dog's digestive system, you can add apple cider vinegar to their diet. I like using organic ones, like Bragg's. Just add about 1/4-1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog's food daily, depending on his size.
Turmeric is a well-known superfood for humans and dogs. For generations, it has been used to boost the immune system and for its antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric actually contains 4 compounds that have been shown to help get rid of worms in dogs.
One of those compounds is curcumin, which can be hard for a dog's body to absorb if taken alone. The best way to give turmeric to your dog is by mixing it with a healthy oil, like coconut oil. The recommended turmeric dosage per day is:
- small dogs – 1/4 teaspoon per day
- medium dogs – 1/2 teaspoon per day
- large dogs – 3/4 teaspoon per day
- giant dogs – 1 teaspoon per day
I recommend mixing the turmeric with a small amount of coconut oil to make a paste, as turmeric alone is not very tasty. Turmeric is one of my go-to dog tapeworm home remedies because it not only gets rid of the parasites, but also helps to soothe and heal the irritated digestive tract once they're gone.
4. Grated Vegetables (especially carrots)
It all starts from the inside – with a healthy diet. There are some fresh ingredients that you can add to your pup's meals to make his digestive tract unappealing to worms.
Some of these foods include:
Thick grated vegetables scrape the walls of the stomach and intestines as they are digested. This removes the mucus lining and any parasites that are living in it. These vegetables are perfectly safe for your dog and can be fed as a snack or mixed in with regular meals.
As I mentioned, these home remedies have not been clinically proven to remove worms from a dog's system. However, many pet owners, myself included, have had success using these natural remedies to prevent their dog from contracting a worm infestation.