Herbal Options For Your Dog’s Worms
Guest Post: Dogs Naturally
Signs of worm infestation in your dog
can include squiggly worms or “rice bodies” in his stool, a thrifty looking appearance, scooting and licking his rear, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Luckily your don’t have to fear worms because there are foods and herbs that can help keep intestinal populations in check and encourage their expulsion. Keeping your yard clean and free of rodents and fleas will also help.
There are many less invasive and more natural alternatives to conventional veterinary products that you might want to try. Here is a list of natural dewormers, from the safest to the harshest. It’s important to remember that some herbal substances can still be harsh on the body, so consult with a good holistic vet or herbalist if using the herbs that come with warnings.
Dog Friendly, Natural Dewormers
The starting point for preventing and treating worms is always a healthy immune system. A balanced intestinal environment prevents disease, including parasite infestations. Recent research has linked gut bacteria to many health conditions and the type and balance of bacteria in the gut can actually influence the lifespan of intestinal worms. Avoiding antibiotics and processed commercial foods – and adding dietary probiotics like Lactobacillus sporogenes – will help maintain the delicate ecosystem in your dog’s gut, making it less habitable for worms.
When fed in moderation, garlic can boost the immune system and help fight worms and giardia. A recent scientific study found garlic to be just as effective as the veterinary dewormer, Ivermectin. (Ayaz et al, Recent Pat Antiinfect Drug Discov. 2008 Jun) Give a half clove to two cloves daily, depending on the size of your dog.
Fruits and Vegetables
Adding some of the following fresh foods to your dog’s diet can also help make his intestinal tract less attractive to worms: grated raw carrots, fennel, shredded coconut and papaya.
Raw, organic pumpkin seed can help prevent or expel worms. You can feed them as a treat or grind them and place them in his dish. Give a teaspoon per ten pounds of your dog’s weight.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
It bears stating that you must feed a food grade DE to your dog; pool grade DE is dangerous for him. DE can reduce the number of worms in your dog although it may not be too effective for tapeworm. Feed small dogs a teaspoon per day and dogs over 55 pounds up to a tablespoon per day. Make sure it’s well mixed in his food as inhaling DE can irritate your dog’s lungs.
This herb and its cousin pineapple weed can work to prevent and expel both roundworms and whipworms.
This herb is not only anti-parasitic, it’s also a very effective antibiotic and liver tonic. Give Oregon grape as a tincture, using 12 drops per 20 pounds. Oregon grape also works with giardia. This herb shouldn’t be used in dogs with liver disease or in pregnant dams.
This herb can expel intestinal worms and even heartworms. Although it’s safer than conventional veterinary dewormers, black walnut can be toxic to your dog if given at the wrong dose. Black walnut might be best used if the above options fail – but it’s important to note that if pumpkin seed and garlic don’t help your dog keep parasites at bay, it’s a reflection of your dog’s intestinal health. In this case, it’s best to address his immune system and to seek the expertise of a holistic vet before using black walnut. The strong tannins and alkaloid ingredients in black walnut can cause vomiting, diarrhea and gastritis.
This classic worming herb works on all types of worms including tapeworms. Like black walnut, wormwood’s tannins can be hard on your dog and irritating to his liver and kidneys. The FDA lists wormwood as unsafe for internal use. It should never be used in dogs who suffer from seizures, kidney problems or liver disease and should not be used in pregnant or lactating dams. Wormwood should be given only for a few days at a time and preferably with the expertise of a holistic veterinarian.
If you need to resort to Oregon grape, black walnut or wormwood, it’s important to understand that they can be harsh on the liver. Giving milk thistle seed at the same time can help protect the liver from their toxic effects. Milk thistle is best given in a tincture, starting at a 1/4 teaspoon per 20 pounds of body weight.
January 19, 2015 | dogsinvancouver
Guest Post: PetMD
Keeping your furry family members safe during the holidays can be a difficult task. There are the ornaments, plants, presents, lights — oh, and who could forget the Christmas tree (if do you decide to put one up this year)? Let’s take a look at some simple steps that will allow your pets to join in the holiday fun this year, while avoiding any trips to the animal emergency room.
Christmas Tree Tips:
1. Place your Christmas tree in a corner, blocked off from your pet’s wanting eyes. If this doesn’t keep your dog or cat from attempting to jump onto the tree, you can place aluminum foil, a plastic drink bottle filled with knick knacks, or anything else that creates noise on the tree’s bottom limbs to warn you of an impending tree disaster.
2. Tinsel can add a nice sparkling touch to the tree, but make sure you hang it up out of your pet’s reach. Ingesting the tinsel can potentially block their intestines, which is generally only remedied through surgical means.
3. Do not put lights on the tree’s lower branches. Not only can your pet get tangled up in the lights, they are a burning hazard. Additionally, your dog or cat may inadvertently get shocked by biting through the wire.
4. Ornaments need to be kept out of reach, too. In addition to being a choking andintestinal blockage hazard, shards from broken ornaments may injure paws, mouths, or other parts of your pet’s body.
5. For those buying a live Christmas trees this year, keep the area free and clear of pine needles. While they may not seem dangerous, the needles can puncture your pet’s intestines if ingested.
Other Great Holiday Item Tips:
1. Did you know holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia plants are poisonous to dogs or cats? If you normally use these plants to decorate your home, they should be kept in an area your pet cannot reach.
2. Edible tree decorations — whether they be ornaments, or cranberry or popcorn strings — are like time bombs waiting to happen. These goodies are just too enticing and your pet will surely tug at them, knocking down your wonderfully decorated spruce.
3. Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantels, out of your pet’s way — there’s no telling where a wagging tail may end up. Homes with fireplaces should use screens to avoid accidental burns.
4. To prevent any accidental electrocutions, any exposed indoor or outdoor wires should be taped to the wall or the sides of the house.
5. When gift wrapping, be sure to keep your pet away. Wrapping paper, string, plastic, or cloth could cause intestinal blockages. Scissors are another hazard, and they should be kept off floors or low tables.
December 4, 2014 | dogsinvancouver
Guest Post: PetMD
Halloween can be a festive and fun time for children and families. But for pets? Let’s face it, it can be a downright nightmare. Forgo the stress and dangers this year by following these 10 easy tips.
1. Trick-or-treat candies are not for pets.
All forms of chocolate — especially baking or dark chocolate — can be dangerous, even lethal, for dogs and cats. Symptoms of chocolate poisoning may include vomiting,diarrhea, rapid breathing, increased heart rate, and seizures. Halloween candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also be poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and subsequent loss of coordination and seizures. And while xylitol toxicity in cats has yet to be established, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Don’t leave pets out in the yard on Halloween.
Surprisingly, vicious pranksters have been known to tease, injure, steal, and even kill pets on Halloween night. Inexcusable? Yes! But preventable nonetheless.
3. Keep pets confined and away from the door.
Not only will your door be constantly opening and closing on Halloween, but strangers will be dressed in unusual costumes and yelling loudly for their candy. This, of course, is scary for our furry friends. Dogs are especially territorial and may become anxiousand growl at innocent trick-or-treaters. Putting your dog or cat in a secure room away from the front door will also prevent them from darting outside into the night … a night when no one wants to be searching for a lost loved one.
4. Keep your outdoor cats inside several days before and several days after Halloween.
Black cats are especially at risk from pranks or other cruelty-related incidents. In fact, many shelters do not adopt out black cats during the month of October as a safety precaution.
5. Keep Halloween plants such as pumpkins and corn out of reach.
Although they are relatively nontoxic, such plants can induce gastrointestinal upset should your pets ingest them in large quantities. Intestinal blockage can even occur if large pieces are swallowed. And speaking of pumpkins …
6. Don’t keep lit pumpkins around pets.
Should they get too close, they run the risk of burning themselves or knocking it over and causing a fire.
7. Keep wires and electric light cords out of reach.
If chewed, your pet could cut himself or herself on shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.
8. Don’t dress your pet in a costume unless you know they’ll love it.
If you do decide that Fido or Kitty needs a costume, make sure it isn’t annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict movement, hearing, or the ability to breathe or bark and meow.
9. Try on pet costumes before the big night.
If they seem distressed, allergic, or show abnormal behavior, consider letting them go in their “birthday suit”. Festive bandanas usually work for party poopers, too.
10. IDs, please!
If your dog or cat should escape and become lost, having the proper identification will increase the chances that they will be returned. Just make sure the information is up-to-date, even if your pet does have one of those fancy-schmancy embedded microchips.
October 20, 2014 | dogsinvancouver
Emma Paulsen, the dog walker alleged to have dumped the bodies of six dogs in a ditch in Abbotsford, B.C., has been charged with six animal cruelty-related counts in connection with their deaths.
On Sunday, the B.C. SPCA said that Paulsen has been charged under the Criminal Code with killing or injuring an animal, causing unnecessary pain and suffering to an animal, failing to provide the necessities of life to an animal and falsely reporting an offence.
August 19, 2014 | dogsinvancouver
Source: Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
Four out of five pet owners now consider their pet a member of the family, and consumers are shifting their priorities when it comes to purchasing food for their pets accordingly (Mintel, Pet Food, 2013).
In the July issue of Food Technology Magazine, published by the Institute of Food Technologists, Contributing Editor A. Elizabeth Sloan writes about recent trends in gourmet pet food.
July 28, 2014 | dogsinvancouver