The short answer is , No!
Let me explain why….a lot of dog owners are using chemical worming medications for their dogs every month under veterinary guidance/advice, without a second thought as it’s just the “Norm”.
However if we spin the question and applied it to children, would they apply that same level of thinking?
Would we give our children chemicals every month to prevent worms “just in case” ? or would we only seek medical advice if worms become present in bowel movements?
My guess would be the latter, so why isn’t the same logic being applied to dogs?
With puppies it’s slightly different as puppies have a high chance of being born with worms but only if their mother has worms present. Puppies can get worms during gestation or by drinking their mothers milk.
This is why responsible breeders make sure their bitches are worm free. This removes the need to use such chemicals on puppies. I’d also ask a breeder to provide the bitches latest worm-count results or ask to see veterinary notes for the last course of worm medication administered, if they cannot do this then you have two options:
- Send off your puppies stool sample to somewhere like wormcount.com or The Irish Equine Centre near Naas (irishequinecentre.ie) which will tell you if worms or eggs are present. We wrote about our own experience here. If your puppy’s belly seems bloated, I’d opt for number 2.
- Speak to your veterinarian who may prescribe a course of medication for your pup “ just in case “ , I’ve seen puppies with severe infestations and it can be fatal.
The reason why you shouldn’t give medication unnecessarily is because they serve a purpose and if the purpose isn’t needed then you’re putting the body under undue stress for no reason as well as risking the side effects. (Excessive drooling, facial swelling, itchiness, hives, diarrhoea, seizures, or shock) If you’ve given such drugs to your dogs and they’ve experienced such responses, please speak to your Vet with utmost urgency.
Most chemical de-wormers work by paralysing the worms, which makes them easier for the body to expel, a high fibre diet would also assist with expelling them, so it begs the question, is there a natural way of deworming?
The answer is Yes! Now alone this isn’t 100% effective and usually takes a layered approach but the most cost effective way to deworm naturally is to add cucumber/pumpkin seeds into the diet. Cucumber and Pumpkin are part of the squash family and their seeds contain compounds called Cucurbitacin , These compounds also paralyse worms, the body then relies on bowel movements to expel them so adding in high insoluble fibre foods can help cleanse the intestines. The most appropriate way for dogs would be feathers and fur, such as rabbit ears or you could use Holistic Hounds ‘Worms Away”
If you want to know more about natural ways to prevent fleas and worms, check out our next article!