How to Safely Deworm a Dog at Home Without Going to The Vet

Every dog owner cringes at the thought of their furry friend having worms. While a vet is the safest way to deal with this, sometimes, circumstances might not allow for that immediate visit. Here’s how you can help your dog in the meantime.

Contents hide
FAQs on Deworming Dogs at Home

1. Understand the Different Types of Worms

Before you can effectively treat worms, you should know the different types that might infest your dog:

  • Tapeworms: Visible as rice-like grains in the dog’s stool.
  • Roundworms: Look like spaghetti and can sometimes be seen in vomit or feces.
  • Hookworms: Can cause dark or bloody stools.
  • Whipworms: Less commonly seen, but cause bloody diarrhea.

2. Over-the-counter (OTC) Dewormers: What You Need to Know

While it’s recommended to visit the vet, certain OTC medications like Drontal can be effective. However, make sure you buy from a trusted source and strictly follow the dosage instructions. Remember:

  • Correct Dosage is Crucial: Overdosing can be harmful.
  • Not All Medicines Treat All Worms: Make sure the medicine you choose treats the specific worm your dog has.

3. Natural Remedies: Are They Effective?

Natural remedies can offer some support but might not always be as effective as medicines.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV): While some claim ACV can help in deworming, it’s crucial to mix it correctly with water, so it doesn’t harm your dog’s gut.
  • Carrots: They can help expel worms due to their abrasive nature when chewed and can be a good preventive measure.

4. Maintaining a Clean Environment

One of the best ways to prevent worms is maintaining cleanliness.

  • Regularly Clean Bedding: Ensures any worm eggs are eliminated.
  • Prompt Poop Clean-Up: Removes potential worm sources from your yard.
  • Regular Bathing: Keeps your dog clean and reduces chances of infection.

5. Diet and Nutrition

Ensuring your dog has a balanced diet can boost their immune system, making them less susceptible to worms. Include:

  • Probiotics: Supports gut health.
  • Garlic (in small amounts): Acts as a natural deterrent for some parasites.

6. Prevention is Better Than Cure

After treating your dog, it’s essential to keep them worm-free. Consider:

  • Monthly Preventatives: Products like IVERHART MAX® offer protection against multiple worms.
  • Routine Check-ups: Even if you treat at home, regular vet check-ups ensure your dog is worm-free.

7. When to Visit the Vet

If you notice any of the following, it’s time for a vet visit:

  • Severe Weight Loss
  • Persistent Diarrhea or Vomiting
  • Lethargy or Lack of Appetite


While home treatments can provide temporary relief, they should never fully replace professional veterinary care. Remember that the health and comfort of your furry friend should always be a priority. Safe treatments and a clean environment can ensure your dog remains happy, healthy, and worm-free!

FAQs on Deworming Dogs at Home

Q: Can a dog pass worms to humans?

A: Yes, certain worms, like hookworms and roundworms, are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted from animals to humans. Proper hygiene, like washing hands after handling dog feces and regular deworming of pets, can help in reducing the risk.

Q: What are the signs that my dog might have worms?

A: Symptoms vary depending on the type of worm. Common signs include:

  • Scratching or rubbing their rear against the ground
  • Visible worms or worm segments in their feces or fur
  • Bloated stomach or belly
  • Increased appetite without weight gain
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or both

Q: Is it true that puppies are born with worms?

A: Puppies can indeed contract worms while still in utero. This means a mother with worms can pass them to her offspring before they’re even born. This is why early and regular deworming for puppies is crucial.

Q: How often should I deworm my adult dog?

A: For adult dogs, deworming frequency depends on their lifestyle and where you live. Dogs that are more outdoorsy and have a higher exposure risk may require more frequent treatments, often every three months. However, for dogs living mostly indoors, twice a year might suffice. Always consult with a vet for a personalized schedule.

Q: Are there any side effects of over-the-counter dewormers?

A: While OTC dewormers are generally safe when used as directed, some dogs might experience side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy. If these symptoms persist or are severe, consult a vet immediately.

Q: Can I use human deworming tablets for my dog?

A: No. Human and canine physiologies are different. Using human medication on dogs can lead to overdosing, underdosing, or adverse reactions. Always use products specifically designed for dogs.

Q: Are there any natural foods that can prevent worm infestations in dogs?

A: While not a complete solution, certain foods can help deter worms:

  • Pumpkin Seeds: They contain an amino acid called cucurbitacin, which can paralyze and eliminate worms.
  • Turmeric: Its anti-inflammatory properties can help in boosting a dog’s immune system.
  • Fermented Vegetables: Rich in probiotics, they can support gut health, making it less hospitable for worms.

Q: Can all worms be treated the same way?

A: No, different worms require specific treatments. For example, tapeworms often need a drug like praziquantel, while roundworms might be treated with piperazine. This underlines the importance of identifying the type of worm before selecting a treatment.

Q: Do all dogs eventually get worms?

A: Not necessarily. While many dogs will have worms at some point in their life, with proper preventive measures, regular check-ups, and a clean environment, it’s entirely possible for a dog to remain worm-free throughout its life.

Q: Can worms impact my dog’s long-term health?

A: If left untreated, a severe worm infestation can lead to critical health issues, including malnutrition, intestinal blockages, and anemia. Therefore, timely detection and treatment are essential for maintaining your dog’s health.

Q: Can my dog get re-infested after successful deworming?

A: Absolutely. Just because a dog has been successfully dewormed doesn’t grant immunity against future infestations. Factors like environment, exposure to infected animals, and lifestyle play pivotal roles in re-infestation risks.

Q: Are certain breeds more susceptible to worm infestations?

A: While any dog can get worms, some breeds with hereditary immune issues may be more prone to infestations. However, lifestyle and exposure play a more significant role than breed alone.

Q: Does regular grooming help in worm prevention?

A: Regular grooming can help in early detection, especially for worms like fleas which can lead to tapeworms. A well-groomed pet also has fewer chances of ingesting worm eggs while cleaning themselves.

Q: How do I clean my home after a worm infestation in my dog?

A: Start by deep-cleaning your dog’s living spaces. Vacuum thoroughly, especially carpets and furniture. Clean and disinfect dog toys, bedding, and feeding dishes. Ensure proper disposal of feces and consider treating your yard for parasites.

Q: What’s the risk of sharing a bed with a dog that has worms?

A: Some worms are zoonotic, so there’s potential risk. It’s advisable to treat your dog and ensure they’re worm-free before allowing them on your bed. Regular hygiene practices like washing your hands and bedding can minimize risks.

Q: If one pet has worms, should I treat all my pets?

A: It’s a prudent move. If one pet has been diagnosed with worms, especially in a multi-pet household, there’s a high chance others may get infected. Treating all pets ensures a comprehensive approach to eradication.

Q: Can a change in diet help with worm prevention?

A: A balanced diet boosts overall health and immunity. While it won’t directly prevent worms, a well-fed dog with a strong immune system can better fend off infestations and recover faster if they do get worms.

Q: How soon can puppies be treated for worms?

A: Puppies can start deworming as early as two weeks old, depending on the worm type and product. Because they’re especially vulnerable, establishing a deworming regimen early is essential.

Q: Can my dog get worms from swimming in natural waters?

A: Natural bodies of water can harbor parasites. If a dog drinks contaminated water or swims in it, they might ingest larvae or eggs, leading to an infestation. Always provide clean drinking water during outings and monitor where your dog swims.

Q: Are there any vaccines against worms for dogs?

A: While there’s no vaccine specifically for worms, routine vaccinations can bolster a dog’s overall immunity, indirectly helping fend off certain parasites. Some heartworm preventatives, though not vaccines, can act prophylactically against infestations.

Q: What signs indicate an unsuccessful deworming?

A: If post-treatment, your dog still exhibits symptoms like weight loss, scooting, visible worms in feces, and lethargy, it could suggest incomplete deworming or re-infestation. A vet consultation would be prudent in such cases.

Q: Can environmental factors contribute to worm infestations?

A: Certainly. Damp, unhygienic conditions, or exposure to areas with high animal traffic, increase the risk of worm infestations. It’s essential to maintain cleanliness and limit exposure to high-risk zones.

Q: Can my dog’s worms infect humans, especially children?

A: Some parasites, like certain roundworms and hookworms, are zoonotic, meaning they can transfer from pets to humans. Children, given their play habits and developing immune systems, are particularly vulnerable. Maintaining good hygiene practices can mitigate risks.

Q: Do indoor dogs have a lower risk of worm infestations?

A: While indoor dogs might have reduced exposure to certain environmental risks, they aren’t completely immune. They can still get worms through contaminated items, other infested pets, or occasional outdoor excursions.

Q: How do over-the-counter deworming medicines compare to vet-prescribed treatments?

A: Vet-prescribed treatments are usually tailored to your dog’s specific needs, considering factors like weight, age, and type of worm. Over-the-counter medications might not be as precise, which can affect their efficacy.

Q: Are there any side effects post-deworming?

A: Some dogs might experience temporary symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy post-deworming. It’s the body’s way of expelling the dead worms. However, severe or prolonged symptoms warrant veterinary attention.

Q: Can frequent deworming lead to worm resistance?

A: Overuse or incorrect use of deworming medicines can potentially lead to resistance in worms, making treatments less effective. It underscores the importance of following correct dosages and schedules.

Q: How do I differentiate between different worm infestations in my dog?

A: The type of worm can sometimes be discerned from visible symptoms. For instance, rice grain-like segments near the rear end might indicate tapeworms. However, accurate identification usually requires a fecal test.

Q: Can certain natural remedies like pumpkin seeds or diatomaceous earth aid in deworming?

A: Some natural remedies are believed to assist in deworming, though their efficacy isn’t as proven as conventional treatments. If considering natural remedies, it’s always good to discuss with a vet for guidance.

Q: How often should I clean or replace my dog’s bedding during a worm infestation?

A: During an active infestation, it’s ideal to clean the bedding every day or two, and after the infestation has cleared, a thorough cleaning or replacement is recommended to ensure all worm remnants are eradicated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top