I have always used chemicals to treat my dog, I suppose because that is what I have grown up with, you just use chemical (or “normal”) treatments to get rid of worms in your dog and with fleas we live in an apartment so don’t have the worry of fleas hiding under the porch or in the garden!
With my horses I have used garlic (I used granules but know someone that would soak a couple of whole bulbs in their molasses water mix for wetting down feeds and every couple of days would add a new bulb) and apple cider vinegar to back up normal parasite control and to prevent bug bites.
Usually people don’t go searching for natural alternatives until they have no choice and nothing to lose!
If I actually think about what I’m giving my dog it’s quite scary, especially if you look at a heartworm medication that controls fleas as well- that is a bloody strong chemical if it’s killing fleas within 30 minutes of being ingested!! In my case I just presume my dog will be safe because it’s a big company and it’s what we do! Blindly believe and follow!!
Here I’ll list some of the natural or home remedies for dog worms and for fleas that I’ve read about- I am not telling you to give these to your dog, nor am I advocating them, some of them sound pretty wild to me, just passing on what I’ve heard!
A few natural treatments & home remedies I’ve heard about
Garlic- there is a lot of controversy about garlic, people saying it’s just as bad as onions for dogs but then there are other people that have either used it for years or know someone that has with positive results.
Garlic is a wonder plant because of its anti –bacterial, anti-fungal and anti –viral properties. The chemical Allicin is released when garlic is chopped or crushed but once cooked garlic the Allicin is reduced or destroyed. For people that eat raw garlic apparently swishing some milk around in your mouth at the same time before eating it will reduce garlic burps and odors from eating it raw, or drinking milk afterwards.
If you want to give it to your pet the general consensus seems to be one clove for a big dog for 3 days in a row to kill worms. I have tried cutting it up and disguising in cheese as an easy way of getting them to eat it.
For flea control they say every second day is enough but as garlic works the same way as aspirin and thins the blood always talk to your vet first and be careful.
Cayenne Pepper & Chewing Tobacco- some people say one way to rile intestinal worms up, including tapeworms, is to sprinkle some cayenne pepper into your dog’s food then follow this up with chewing Tobacco. I think if I was a worm I would be peeved at someone setting my house on fire too but I really don’t know how a dog is going to react to cayenne pepper!!
It is the nicotine in the tobacco that is the poison that kills the worms but apparently not enough to kill your pet. So how much is enough or too much? The general consensus is you must use as pure as possible, organic, chewing tobacco, not what you find in a cigarette. People have used it with horses, dogs and cats. Could just be an old wives tale…
Cats Claw- the bark of this woody vine was used back by the Inca civilization, it is thought to stimulate the immune system. Is often combined with other herbs by professional herbalists.
Brewer’s Yeast- often given to horses for stomach ulcers and as a vitamin B supplement, this apparently also wards off fleas, they don’t like the taste of the thiamine in the blood when a cat or dog has Brewer’s yeast in their diet, however bloating in dogs is a common side effect and bloating will do a lot more harm than a few fleas!
Ginger- Some people say that ginger is eaten with sashimi as it has antiseptic properties and so some people say ginger can be used to help with worms but the most common reason for ginger to be given to dogs is for motion sickness, ginger snap biscuits, made with real ginger, are often recommended to pet owners with dogs that get car sick!
Some of the signs and symptoms of a dog with worms
If your dog is scooting it’s butt, has a dry and “starey” coat, where it stands up rather than lying down looking glossy, may be losing weight or just won’t put on weight, lethargic or a bit disinterested in life in general and even coughing can all be signs of worms.
Butt scooting can be an anal gland problem. Anal glands are normally emptied when a dog does a number 2 but if they don’t have enough fiber or bones in their diet and just do soft mushy poos you might be up for some stinky squishing!
If your dog is as far gone as coughing take him to the vet! This can be caused by heartworms and it will be pretty advanced if he’s coughing. It could also be kennel cough.
I would always go to my vet first and then talk to them about alternative treatments, if they are against it you can always seek out a holistic vet or one that is a little bit more sympathetic towards natural treatments or remedies.
Are natural treatments & remedies for me?
I am torn between 2 fields of thought; the drugs available have been thoroughly tested, unfortunately on a lot of unsuspecting dogs in labs that have nothing but death to look forward to, so if you think you are being righteous not “experimenting” on your own dog, take a step back and think of all the lab animals that have died so your dog can safely consume his Heartgard each month.
The natural or home remedies may or may not work, just because Joe Bloe up the road has fed his dogs chewing tobacco doesn’t mean I want to give it to my dog and then be responsible for her being sick or dying.
Like I said at the beginning it is often not until we run out of options that we turn to natural alternatives, our pet may be at a stage where they cannot get any worse. This is often the case with people, they have cancer and cannot get any worse, then find a “magical” cure. What works for one person or pet may not work for another.
I will continue to use chemical treatments until I am a little surer and have done a lot more research.
If you have used any natural or home remedies I would be very interested in hearing them!