Showing posts with label Deworming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Deworming. Show all posts

Monday, 27 May 2013

DIY Natural, Herbal Dewormers for Dogs and Cats

In this article:

  1. How to keep your dog’s or cat’s immune system strong - a strong immune system is your companion animal’s natural defense against parasites;
  2. Foods to include in your dog’s or cat’s diet to support worming;
  3. DIY natural, herbal, homeopathic dewormers.
Conventional dewormers use chemcial-based pesticides that contain toxins and carcinogens. By using natural, herbal, homeopathic dewormers you can reduce your dog's and cat's toxic load, exposure to carcinogens and support their overall health. In some cases of extreme parasite infestation use of pesticide-based treatment may be required - but as soon as the treatment is completed, you can follow the protocol provided below to prevent re-infestation and re-use of pesticide-based wormers.

1.0  How to keep your Dog’s, Cat’s Immune
       System Strong

A healthy body is not attractive to parasites – so the key to preventing repeated infestations of intestinal worms is to support the overall health of your companion animal by taking a comprehensive approach…

Signs that your Dog or Cat Might Have an Infestation of Intestinal Parasites

  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomitting;
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances;
  • Weight loss;
  • Eating a lot of food without putting on weight;
  • Anemia (deficiency of red blood cells in the circulatory system);
  • Scudding, scooting;
  • Mild to severe coughing;
  • Scratching – particularly at the base of the tail.

Dogs and cats do get some of the same parasites that we humans are prone to getting, including…

  • Round Worm (common round worm – Ascaris);
  • Hookworm;
  • Tapeworm;
  • Strongyloides – a type of round worm also known as Threadworm, Pinworm, Seatworm, etc.;
  • Trichinella  - a type of round worm that causes (trichinellosisor trichinosis).

2.0  Foods to Include in Your Dog’s or
       Cat’s Diet to Support Deworming 

If your dog or cat does not have an infestation of worms and you are simply deworming your dog or cat once or twice a year as a routine healthcare maintenance program – blockage due to passing worms should not be an issue.

If, however you have never dewormed your dog or cat and/or you know that he/she has an infestation of worms it is very important to pay additional care to ensuring that your dog, cat has enough fibre and moisture in their system during the deworming period. 

Add Beneficial Fluids to the Diet during the Deworming Period

Parsley Water or Rooibos Tea (Dogs, Puppies, Cats)

If your dog or cat has liver problems, kidney or gall bladder problems or is pregnant or lactating do not use parsley water. Parsley is high in oxalates and can cause issues for dogs or cats with renal issues. For dog and cats with renal issues use Rooibos Tea (it is an herb and has zero tannin) instead of parsley water. Read about the health benefits and dosage for Rooibos Tea here.

Add parsley water to your dog’s or cat’s food during deworming treatment.  Parsley is rich in many nutrients; it is also a diuretic – helpful to keep systems working well during deworming.  The recipe for parsley water is provided below.
  • Parsley is an excellent immune system booster...
    Parsley’s volatile oils have been shown to inhibit tumor formation;
  • Parsley is:
    • Rich in antioxidants;
    • Rich in Vitamin A and C, both help to fight disease, Vitamin C is also an anti-inflammatory (important is intestinal walls can be inflamed from parasites adhering to the intestinal wall);
  • Parsley supports cardiovascular health;
  • Parsley helps the body eliminate toxins.
Parsley Water
Boil 1 quart of water;
Add one bunch of fresh parsley (curly parsley, Italian flat leaf parsley, etc.) to the boiling water;
Allow to simmer for 3 minutes;
Remove from heat and allow to cool;
Remove the parsley and discard it;
Pour the liquid into a glass jar and store in the refrigerator.
1 tbsp parsley water (for every 10 lbs of body weight) once a day for 10 days.

Add Beneficial Foods Your Dog’s, Cat’s Daily Diet During Deworming

When treating your dog or cat for worms it is important to include foods in their diet which will:
  • Help with the expulsion of the parasite (foods ‘scrub’ the weakened worms out of the digestive tract);
  • Boost the immune system;
  • Sooth inflamed intestinal walls;
  • Help to kill parasites and prevent re-infestation...
Add to each meal one of the following (fresh, grated or finely chopped – organic is best) to help cleanse the digestive tract and scrub parasites away in combination with using a dewormer…
  • Carrots ½ tbs to 2 tbs a day, or;
  • Beets ½ tbs to 2 tbs a day, or;
  • Turnip  ½ tbs to 2 tbs a day.
Foods that Help to Kill the Parasites and Prevent Re-infestations

Add the following foods to help kill the parasites and prevent re-infestations...

Garlic – dosage, benefits, cautions as provided here. Not for cats or puppies.
 Papaya – fresh finely chopped/crushed, or in powder form (in which case dosage would be as per manufacturers’ instructions);
  • The enzymes in papaya aid digestion and help to irritate and destroy worms from their exterior;
  • 1 tsp to 1 tbs of depending on the size of the dog, puppy, cat or kitten.
Turmeric - naturally contains four anti-parasitic compounds which when present collectively have strong worm-killing properties. Turmeric is also an anti-inflammatory so can help in reducing the inflammation of the intestine walls caused by the worms – dosage for turmeric and health benefits provided here. Can be given to dogs, puppies, cats.

Wheat Germ Oil or Pumpkin Seed Oil – ¼ to 1 tsp (amount depends on the size of the dog, puppy, cat or kitten).

Yogurt or Kefir – Plain, natural yogurt and kefir, no additives, sweeteners - are rich in beneficial probiotics (microorganisms) that help to keep disease causing microorganisms at bay while replenishing the intestinal tract with friendly flora – health benefits and dosage provided here. Can be given to dogs, puppies, cats, kittens.

You can also add…

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) – add food grade Diatomaceous Earth once a day. DM irritates the external surface of the worms, thereby causing the worm to lose hold on the intestinal lining so that they can be pushed out.  Read more about DE and dosage further below.

If you find that your dog or cat enjoys the inclusion of beets, carrots, garlic, lemon, papaya, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, yogurt  in their diet you can continue to give these fresh food stuffs on a daily basis as all have multiple health benefits.  My ten dogs get a variety of these foods on a daily year-round basis.

3.0 Choose a Dewormer
  • Diatomaceous Earth (DE), food grade.
  • Garlic.
  • Grapefruit Seed.
  • Pumpkin (Pepitas) Seed.
  • Cloves.
  • Cloves and Goldenseal.
  • Black Walnut Hull.
Note, worming regimens usually require about 10 days…

Diatomaceous Earth (DE), Food Grade
For the treatment, prevention of multiple types of worms
in dogs, puppies, cats, kittens

DE can be given to dogs and cats of all ages. DE is a white powder made from crushing and grinding fossilized marine life (diatoms, a type of algae), which results in a fine abrasive powder that is non-toxic to dogs, cats and humans. When the powder comes into contact with parasites, DE’s microscopic, razor-like edges abrade the parasites exterior – DE also dehydrates the parasite.
  • DE rids the body of:
  • Parasites such as lice, ticks, fleas, mites and worms (not heartworm though);
  • Harmful bacteria and some viruses;
  • Methyl Mercury;
  • E. coli;
  • Organophosphate pesticide residues;
  • Drug residues.
Cautions for DE
  • DE should not be used on a daily basis for extended periods of time.
  • Use only when necessary and for a short period of time - i.e. 10 to 14 days.
  • It is very important to make sure the DE is mixed-in well with food. Airborne particles of DE can cause damage to the respiratory track and lungs if inhaled by your cat or dog.
  • DE does have a dehydrating effect, so make sure to encourage fluid consumption - i.e. fresh water, bone broth, rooibos tea, parsley water as applicable to your animal' individual circumstances.
Dosage for DE
  • Kittens ½ tsp
  • Cats – 1 tsp
  • Small Dogs – ½ tsp
  • Medium Dogs (under 50 lbs) – 2 tsp
  • Large Dogs (50 to 100 lbs) – 1 tbs

Garlic (Allium sativum)
For the treatment, prevention of multiple types of worms and giardia in dog. Not for puppies under 6 months of age. 

  • Garlic is an effective immune system booster and is also effective in preventing and treating an infestation of intestinal worms;
  • Garlic has also been shown to be beneficial in preventing and treating the parasite Giardia.
  • In 2008, a scientific study was done in which Garlic was tested against Ivermectin;
  • Garlic is also an effective inhibiter against Giardia.
To see all of the health benefits of garlic for your dog – read here.  

How to Include Garlic in Your Dog’s Diet 
  • You can decide to give your dog garlic just during the deworming period, or;
  • You can add garlic to your his/her diet on a daily basis;
    •  I give my dogs fresh garlic - I chop the garlic, let it sit for 15 minutes and then mix-it into their homemade food.
  • Chop, mince, crush or press the garlic and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before giving the garlic to your dog or cat;
  • This gives the allinn and alliinase sufficient time to undergo the enzymic reaction that creates allicin.
Recommended Daily Dosage for Dogs
  • 1 clove fresh garlic (or 1 tsp minced/finely chopped) per every 30 lbs of body weight per day.

How to Include Garlic in Your Cat’s Diet 
Cats are more sensitive to anemia induced by garlic than dogs. The safe dosage of garlic for cat's is not the same as the dosage for dogs. Dogs can have garlic in the right dosage on a daily basis, cats can only have garlic 2 to 3 times a week at most. For this reason garlic cannot be used as a wormer for cats (as they cannot safely ingest enough garlic to be an effective de-wormer. However cats can benefit from the healthful properties of garlic. 
The generally safe dosage for cats (for general health, not for deworming) is a single thin slice of a small garlic clove added to food 2 to 3 times a week. 

Interactions, Cautions
  • If your dog is on a blood thinner:
    • Consult your veterinarian before giving your dog garlic. 
    • Garlic can slow down blood clotting -  garlic may increase the efficacy of the blood thinner warfarin;
    • The dosage of the blood thinner would need to be adjusted for intake of garlic.

Grapefruit Seed – Pulverized Seed or Extract
For treatment of various types of worms in dogs, puppies and cats and kittens

The benefits of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) were first noted in 1972 by physicist Dr. Jacob Harich who observed its broad spectrum use as an antibacterial and antiviral remedy. You can read more about Dr. Jacob Harich and the history of GSE here.

Grapefruit seeds contain active ingredients that are anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and more. Grapefruit seed extract is known to be excellent for treating internal diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, it is used topically to treat and remedy skin diseases, external injuries and fungal infections.
  • University of Georgia researchers found that GSE is an effective antiviral, antifungal and anti-parasitic agent for fighting many viral and bacterial infections, including E. coli;
  • Additional findings have proven that GSE is a highly effective treatment for:
  • 800 bacterial and viral strains;
  • 100 strains of fungi, and;
  • A multitude of single and multi-celled parasites. 
GSE is also an immune system booster. It contains:
  • Hesperidin (a bioflavonoid), well known for its potent immune system benefits;
  • Vitamin C, Citric  Acid, sterols and multiple additional antioxidants that aid the immune system’s ability to battle infections. 
It is important to note that GSE extract is NOT a truly natural substance. GSE extract is a highly processed substance, processing includes the use of synthetic chemicals.

For additional health benefits, cautions and interactions
Grapefruit Seed Can be Administered Two Ways for Deworming
  • Pulverized seeds can be used as an ingested treatment sprinkled on top of food;
  • Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) drops can be mixed into the food.

Liquid GSE:
  • Minimum dosage - 0.5 drops per every kg (per every 2.2 lbs) of body weight;
  • Maximum dosage - 10 to 15 drops per every 10 lbs of body weight 3 times a day;
Pulverized GSE:
  • 8 mg per every kg (per every 2.2 lbs) of body weight.

Pumpkin (Pepitas) Seed or Oil 
Treatment and preventative for hookworms and tape worms in dog, puppies, cats and kittens


Pumpkin seeds and pumpkin seed oil provide:
  • Antimicrobial support;
  • Antioxidant support;
  • Nutrient support;
  • Are an anti-carcinogen, and;
  • A dewormer.
Use raw pumpkin seeds - certified organic raw is best.

  • Grind the pumpkin seeds to a fine powder (you can use a mortar and pestle, a coffee grinder, a food processor, etc.);
  • Add the ground pumpkin seeds to your dog’s food once a day for two weeks.
  • As pumpkin seeds are completely non-toxic to dog’s and have many health benefits, i.e.
  • Are a good source of zinc, vitamin A and are high in protein; 
  • You can also choose to add them to your dog’s diet on a regular, daily basis;
    • My dog’s get finely ground pumpkin seeds sprinkled on their food daily. 
    • For more information on the benefits of pumpkin seeds you can read here.
  • 1/4 teaspoon for every 10 lbs of body weight, in combination with;
  • 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin seed oil (or wheat germ oil) for every 10 lbs of body weight.
  • Ground pumpkin seed should be stored in the refrigerator.
  • If storing for many months, it is best to freeze the ground seeds to avoid loss of health benefits.
For treatment, prevention of multiple types of worms, for dogs. Not for puppies, cats and kittens.

Cloves have many health benefits and have been used for both their medicinal and culinary properties by humans dating back 2000 years.  Their benefit in the fight against internal parasites is two-fold…
  • Cloves contain a compound that increases the white blood cell count which boosts your dog’s immune system – a healthy dog is not a good host for a parasite infestation;
  • Cloves contain potent antibacterial properties and anti-parasitic properties.
As cloves are potent they should not form part of a dog’s regular year-around daily diet. The use of cloves should be restricted to a several week period once or twice a year.
  • Small dogs – use ¼ of a whole dry clove, crushed and mixed into food once a day for a week, then skip a week and repeat dosage one more time.
  • Medium size dogs - use ½ of a whole dry clove, crushed and mixed into food once a day for a week, then skip a week and repeat dosage one more time.
  • Large size dogs - use 1 whole dry clove, crushed and mixed into food once a day for a week, then skip a week and repeat dosage one more time.
Use certified organic if at all possible.

Cautions – do not use whole dry or fresh cloves, ground, powdered cloves, clove oil on pregnant dogs as clove is a uterine stimulant

Cloves plus Goldenseal (Orangeroot, Yellow puccoon)

Treatment, prevention of multiple types of worms, giardia and liver fluke in dogs

Goldenseal is an antimicrobial agent and digestive aid that enhances the medicinal qualities of herbs that it is blended with. Goldenseal contains berberine, a compound that works against parasites such as giardia, liver fluke and pinworms.

Preparation and Dosage:
  • Cloves – as noted above under ‘Cloves’
  • Goldenseal dosage as noted in table below under - blend the appropriate amount of cloves and golden seal and mix into food.
Dog’s Weight
Maximum Dosage of Golden Seal per day
1-10 lbs
a small pinch
less than 1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2 capsule, 1-3 times/day
1-3 drops, 2-3 times/day
10-20 lbs
a bigger pinch about
1/4 cup, 1-3 times/day
1/2-1 capsule/tablet, 1-3 times/day
3-5 drops, 2-3 times/day
20-50 lbs
2 pinches-1 teaspoon
1/4-1/2 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 2-3 times/day
5-10 drops, 2-3 times/day
50-100 lbs
2 pinches-2 teaspoons
1/2-1 cup, 1-3 times/day
1-2 capsules/tablets, 3-4 times/day
20 drops, 2-3 times/day
Over 100 lbs,
up to 1 tablespoon
up to 1 cup 3 times/day
adult human dose
adult human dose

Black Walnut Hull (Juglans nigra) 
For treatment of tapeworms and other intestinal worms in dogs only. Not for puppies, cats and kittens.

Black walnut hull:
  • Must be used with caution as they have high levels of tannin and alkaloids.
  • Is not to be used as a regular supplement to daily diet – it is only to be used infrequently as need to de-worm and must be used within the prescribed dosage.
  • Black Walnut Tincture - Treat dog daily but start out with 1 drop per day then increase drops per day to the maximum amount per body weight;
  • Do not use of a prolonged period of time – use for no more than 2 or 3 weeks at a time.
  • Tincture form (regular strength, do not use extra strength) - 1 drop for every 10 pounds of body weight.
  • Capsule form:
    • ¼ of a 500mg capsule for dogs 5 to 25 pounds;
    • ½ capsule for dogs 25 lbs and up.

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Article and graphics by Karen Rosenfeld