Top Natural Remedies for Natural Dewormers in Dogs & Cats
Updated: Feb 20
Does your dog or cat have intestinal parasites?
Learn some of the common symptoms that appear when your pet has intestinal parasites.
Learn how your pet can get an intestinal parasite infection, even while in-utero.
"Dewormers will work better during the full moon when parasites are more active."
Certain foods can be used to help deworm your pets naturally, like pumpkin seeds and garlic.
Learn which essential oils can act as a powerful natural dewormer for your pet.
Make sure to read on for a kitten and puppy dewormer essential oil recipe from Dr. Melissa Shelton - get all of the necessary essential oils here: https://bit.ly/theoilyvet
"When your pet has a healthy immune system and GI tract, they are less likely to have parasites, externally and internally."
Learn how to prevent internal parasites with an optimal diet for your dogs and cats.
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Imagine going outside to pick up the dog poop and there it is. A long white worm squirming around in your dog’s poop.
It’s horrifying because you know there are more in your dog. You may even panic and worry if your family can get them too.
Parasites are a common problem in dogs and cats, and they can lead to health problems. It’s important to know what they are and how they can affect your pets, but most importantly what you can do to keep your pets and family safe from intestinal parasites.
In this short video, I’m going to cover what you need to know about intestinal parasites and your dogs and cats. We’re going to cover what they are, how your pet can get them, natural remedies, and also how to help prevent your pet from getting parasites in the first place.
Hey pet parents, I’m Dr. Katie Woodley, founder of The Natural Pet Doctor. I’m a holistic veterinarian who’s on a mission to help pets thrive naturally by empowering pet parents like you. If you’re excited to learn more about how you can help your pets achieve optimal health, make sure you hit that subscribe button below. New videos post every Monday on our channel so make sure you hit the bell to receive notifications, so you never miss out on our new content.
What are intestinal parasites and why is this important?
Roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms. These are the most common internal parasites we see in our dogs and cats. Intestinal worms can be a serious problem for young dogs and cats. Hookworms can lead to life-threatening anemia and roundworms can lead to malabsorption issues and poor growth and development.
In adult dogs, intestinal parasites are occasionally life-threatening. Usually, animals that have a weakened immune system are more likely to experience severe intestinal parasitism and show clinical signs.
How does your dog or cat get intestinal parasites?
Ok, where are my poop eaters?
This unfortunately is the number one for your pet to become infected with roundworms and whipworms.
But roundworms can also be passed from the mother to the pup or kitten through the placenta or in the milk. This is one of the main reasons why the vet deworms your puppies and kittens so frequently when you first get them.
Other routes of transmission include fleas or eating mice, rabbits, or small rodents. So if you have an outdoor cat, you need to be checking stool samples frequently for intestinal parasites and the same with your dogs if you have a dog that is an avid hunter.
How do you know if your pet has intestinal parasites?
You may notice actual worms in the stool or “rice-like” segments on the stool or near the rectum. Your pet may look ill-thrifty or be licking their rectal area frequently. Also, if you have a pet that has recurring or chronic GI symptoms, like vomiting and diarrhea, that just won’t go away. If you haven’t checked for intestinal parasites, you need to check a stool sample, especially if you know your pet ate something they shouldn’t have, like a rabbit.
What are some natural treatments for intestinal parasites?
When you use natural remedies or dewormers in general, it’s often recommended to start your protocol on a full moon. Parasites are more active and accessible during these times. Parasites can be really difficult to get rid of, which is why it’s imperative to work with your vet and perform routine fecal testing to make sure your pet got rid of the parasites.
Keep in mind that each pet is different. There are numerous cases that didn’t respond to conventional dewormers and then respond to natural dewormers, but also vice versa.
Essential oils can be very powerful.
Young Living has a formula called ParaFree which combines the powerful cleansing and antiparasitic essential oils of cumin, anise, fennel, vetiver, Laurus nobilis, nutmeg, melaleuca, thyme, clove, and Idaho tansy along with Olive oil leaf extract and sesame seed oil. It comes in a capsule and is primarily used to kill internal parasites in animals.
Starting protocols for dogs with ParaFree include 1 capsule of ParaFree per 50 lbs of body weight twice a day. Most dogs will tolerate this being put in their food or directly into their mouth. Reduce dosages if soft stool occurs or they have a decrease in appetite.
Cats, kittens, and puppies can also tolerate this blend quite well.
Here’s a safe deworming cocktail recipe for your cats, kittens, and puppies:
In ½ oz (15ml) of NingXia Red, mix the following ingredients:
1 tsp of distilled water
1 capsule ParaFree (pop and squeeze contents out)
1 capsule MultiGreens (open and mixed in)
Mix well before use. Refrigerate any unused portions. Give 2-3ml of the solution to your pet twice a day, generally mixed with food.
DiGize is another Young Living essential oil blend that combines Tarragon, ginger, peppermint, juniper, fennel, lemongrass, anise, and patchouli. This is one of the most popular essential oil blends from Young Living because it can be used not only for intestinal parasites but is also used for diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, nausea, and car sickness.
When using this blend over the ParaFree, you want to dilute 10 drops of DiGize in 2 mls of carrier oil like olive oil (in a bottle). Then place 5-10 drops in a small gelatin capsule and give twice a day.
For dogs, 10 drops can be given per 20 lbs of body weight twice daily. Always start with less to see how your pet responds. Many dogs will respond to 1 drop per 20 lbs initially.
There are a lot of other natural remedies ranging from herbal medicines (Western to Chinese) to certain foods like garlic to even using diatomaceous earth.
Let’s start with garlic. But isn’t garlic toxic to pets?
Yes and no.
Garlic is safe when used in moderation and has many therapeutic properties. It has a history of killing parasites and also detoxifies while gently stimulating elimination. The main active component in garlic is allicin and these are the compounds that can kill amoebas and parasites, like hookworms. However, garlic is often misused. Allicin is not present in garlic in its natural state or when it’s found as a supplement. When garlic is chopped or otherwise damaged, the enzyme alliinase acts on the chemical alliin, converting it into allicin, which is the active component for killing parasites. Allicin is only beneficial when freshly chopped too.
So if you see garlic being used in supplements, it's mainly acting as a flavoring rather than the parasitic properties we want to use it for.
The dose you’d use for your dog is ¼ clove per 10lbs body weight per day. Remember to buy it fresh and chop about 15 minutes before adding it to the food. I do not recommend using it in cats because it can be toxic to them causing hemolytic anemia. Also, there are mixed results from scientific studies when looking at treating roundworm and hookworm infections.
Another commonly used herb for intestinal parasites is Wormwood (Artemesia spp). This herb has been shown to have anti-parasitic effects on all types of intestinal parasites, including tapeworms. However, the tannins that are present in Wormwood can be harsh on the GI tract and can affect the kidneys and liver, leading to diarrhea and adverse effects. If your pet already has kidney and liver issues, I do not recommend using products with this herb present.
Black walnut is another common anti-parasite treatment. This herb has been known to actually expel intestinal parasites and even heartworm. However, this herb can be toxic if the wrong dosage is used. The main issue with using black walnut is that moldy hulls and nuts can contain neurotoxic mycotoxins that can lead to adverse effects like hyperexcitability and muscle tremors. Higher dosages can also lead to GI upset and diarrhea. However, using veterinary products that have been formulated by veterinarians for short-term usage can be effective for expelling intestinal parasites.
Another commonly used anti-parasitic food is pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds contain cucurbitacin which has been shown to possess anti-parasitic activity since it has the ability to paralyze worms so they drop off of the intestinal walls. The pumpkin seeds need to be fresh and organic. They can be fed either as a treat or as part of the meal. You will want to grind them prior to putting in the food. The dosage is 1 tsp per 10lbs of your pet’s body weight per day.
And finally, diatomaceous earth. If you’re using this for pesticide control and as intestinal parasite treatment, you must use food-grade. The pool-grade version is toxic to your pets. By adding in 1/4 tsp per day into the food for a small dog and up to 1 tsp for dogs over 55lbs, this can help reduce the number of intestinal parasites. Studies have shown that free-range organic laying hens had reduced numbers of parasites present when fed food-grade diatomaceous earth.
Another key fact to remember is that diatomaceous earth can easily be inhaled and lead to adverse health effects. The shell remnants (or diatoms) are irritating to the outside of the worms and make them lose their grip on the intestinal wall. Make sure to protect yourself and your pets when using this product, and thoroughly mix it into wettened food, canned food, or a raw food diet when using this.
The above are great options for natural treatments, but what about preventing parasites in the first place?
Picking up your pet’s poop and cleaning the litter tray are very important, especially if you have a poop eater. This will reduce the life cycle of your pet ingesting infectious eggs that then turn into an intestinal worm infection.
Optimizing your pet’s diet. By feeding your fur family a biologically appropriate diet, like whole-food cooked, dehydrated raw, or even a raw diet, your pet’s immune system will be stronger.
Adding in foods like shredded raw carrots, fennel, and even papaya can create an adverse environment for intestinal parasites. Improving your pet’s microbiome health with digestive enzymes and probiotics will also create a healthier environment that is not conducive for parasites to thrive in.
Remember, when your dog and cat have a strong, healthy immune system and GI tract, they are less likely to have parasites, externally and internally. By feeding a biologically appropriate diet, reducing the number of chemicals and drugs you use on your pets, they will be healthier, happier, and live a longer and more vibrant life.
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*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet's medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.