Can You Tell If Your Dog Has Worms?

Do you know which signs to look for if your dog had worms?   There are several different types of intestinal worms that your dog can get and they can affect your dog’s system in different ways.   There are also natural, safe ways to get rid of worms without using chemical de-wormers.

Pixabay Image 1136957Signs Of Something Amiss

Some of the more obvious signs of worms in your dog are intermittent and frequent diarrhea or vomiting, fever, lack of appetite, his hair coat looking dull, and you may see stools that are covered in mucus.  Sometimes you will see your dog scooting and licking his behind, or you may even see squiggly worms or things that look like rice in his poop.   Some worms cannot be seen with the human eye so it is best to take a sample of fecal material to be analyzed by your vet.  You don’t need much, but you do need a fresh sample.   Place the samples in a clean small plastic container or a sandwich size plastic bag.   If you’re dog does happen to test positive for worms, you’ll need to know what kind of worms he has before deciding how to treat them.

Types Of Worms

Roundworms are about 7 inches long and look like spaghetti.   They have microscopic eggs that your dog can pick up by eating infected animals like birds or mice.  Hook worms live in the small intestine, they are gray and are about one half an inch to three quarters of an inch long.   The front end of this type of worm has a hook on it that attaches to the intestinal lining where it feeds on your dog’s blood.  These worms can be picked up from the soil through the mouth or actually even through the skin or through the pads of the feet.  They too, attach to the intestinal lining and feed on your dog’s blood.   They are about 2 to 3 inches long and are tapered at one and just like a whip.  Your dog can get whip worms from swallowing eggs in soil or water that contains dog feces.  Tapeworms are long, flatworms that attach to your dog’s intestines also, and feed on his blood.  If your dog has a tape worm infestation you may see worm segments in his poop that look like grains of rice.  There are about 14 different species of tapeworms and our parasitic little friend the flea carries tapeworm eggs!   So, if your dog has fleas he runs a high risk of getting tapeworms.

I happen to not like any of the deworming medicines that are available to treat these worms.  .   I don’t like the drugs because they all contain toxic ingredients that can harm your dog’s organs causing serious disease and eventual death. The point I am trying to make is that prevention and treatment is always a healthy immune system.  But, occasionally your dog may pick up intestinal worms anyway – especially if walked off of your property or if you frequent dog parks.   80% of your dog’s immune system is in his gut, so giving your dog the best diet possible will help keep worms away by feeding a natural whole food – preferably raw meat-based diet.  By supporting your dog’s overall well-being you can avoid pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics and vaccines as well as pesticides like flea tick and heartworm medications.  Another very important factor is to keep your yard free of poop.  This will help to prevent your dog from picking up intestinal worms.


Helpful Foods And System Supports

Did you know that there are some foods that you can add to your dog’s diet to help prevent worms as well as things to help get rid of a worm infestation?  Certain foods make your dog’s intestinal tract less attractive to worms – things like grated raw carrot, watercress, greens, squash, fennel, papaya or pumpkin.   Those foods also provide your dog with plenty of vitamin A which can help eliminate roundworms.   Dried coconut can help eliminate tapeworms from the body just by sprinkling a teaspoon or two on your dog’s food.  Probiotics and digestive enzymes help to provide additional support for your dog’s digestive system.  Be sure you use a product specifically for dogs and follow the package dosing recommendations.  Apple cider vinegar helps keep your dog’s system naturally alkaline and kill parasites.   1/2 to 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar added to your dog’s food or water every day can help keep his system alkaline.

Herbal And Natural

There are also some other common herbal and natural treatment options available to you but make sure you don’t overuse them (using more than the recommended amount without consulting a holistic living herbalist can cause harm to your dog) and above all many of them should not be used for pregnant or lactating dogs.

Garlic is safe and is good for your dog when fed in moderation it can boost his immune system and help fight worms.  Garlic helps rid your dog’s intestinal stomach wall of mucus and makes it less hospitable for all worm.   It also contains an amino acid which is effective against roundworms and hookworms.  Peel and chop the garlic and allow to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes before you give it to your dog.  Small dogs can handle 1/4 of a clove twice a day, medium dogs one half a clove twice a day, while large dogs can handle three quarters of a clove twice a day.

Diatomaceous earth can reduce the number of worms in your dog, although it may not be as effective for tapeworms.  Make sure that it is food-grade – not what you would use for your swimming pool.  Mix it into his food; a teaspoon for small dogs up to 55 pounds, 55 pounds and up; 1 tablespoon per day.  Make sure it’s mixed well with his food because inhaling it can irritate your dog’s lungs.

Chamomile is an herb that is great and works to prevent and expel both roundworms and whip worms.   Cloves are also effective against microscopic parasites like Giardia and coccidia.  One clove for 10 pounds of body weight once daily in your dog’s food will kill the eggs of parasites.  Other effective natural and organic herbs that help to flush parasites out of your dog’s intestinal tract is slippery elm.

My Final Thoughts

It takes 10 days to kill worms with natural and herbal supplements.  Therefore it would be very effective when using herbal wormers to give them on a 10 days on, five days off and then 10 days on schedule. You would then need to get a stool sample to your vet after the treatment series to confirm that the worms are indeed gone.

I would love to hear your comments, feedback stories and ideas.

Scoops is a pooper scooper, dog waste clean up and pet waste clean up service located in central New Jersey – Check us out at

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