How to switch to natural worming products
28 CommentsMonday, 22 October 2018 | Kate
How to Make the Switch
At My Itchy Dog we are often asked "How can I deworm my dog naturally?" Well, the best way to switch over to natural worming products, for dogs or cats, is to overlap your last pharmaceutical wormer and flea treatment with your new natural routine. This is because natural parasite control (Four Seasons or Verm-X for worms, and Billy No Mates dry or tincture for flea, tick and mite repellent) takes from four to six weeks to become effective. This makes it crucial to treat your dog or cat for worms and fleas using a conventional method prescribed by your vet while you make the transition.
The overlap eradicates any parasites already present that may have already left the gut, eg. lungworm. If you don’t use veterinary wormers and flea treatments we strongly suggest you do a worm egg count when you start, especially for lungworm (see below).
Before you start – do a worm egg count
It’s important you’re working from a clean slate, so to speak, and that your dog or cat’s gut is as free from worms as possible. If there are round, tape, hook or whip worms present you need to up the amount of natural wormer you use to start with. See product pages for full instructions. If there is lungworm present that can ONLY be treated by your vet. Once your dog is clear from lungworm they can then go on to a natural wormer.
So do a worm egg count: a simple test of your dog’s faeces you collect with one of our kits and send FREEPOST to the lab. Results, with any suggestions for necessary treatment are sent to you via email.
There is nothing to stop you cracking on with your natural worming schedule for your dog while you wait.
Verm-X (crunchies, liquid or pellets) and Four Seasons works to create an environment within your dog's gut that is unattractive to parasites. They are specially formulated to gently usher these intruders out the back door (so to speak). Verm-X and Four Seasons target parasites when they enter through the mouth and eliminates them before they can migrate to other parts of the body. They’re both gentle on the gut too, so ideal for dogs with delicate tummies
Four Seasons is great for multiple pet households. Use it on dogs, cats, rabbits etc. Plus it’s really cost effective.
Billy No Mates is a herbal supplement that is formulated to repel all external parasites including fleas, ticks and mites; especially useful as a preventative against parasites that may be carrying worm eggs. It is used best used continuously throughout the year with only a short break from using it in very cold weather. Simply start up again in warmer weather. Again, it’s a gentle product, well tolerated by dogs and results in your dog getting a shiny, sleek coat as a side benefit.
Billy No Mates is a neem based flea repellent and comes as either a dry herbal mix or a liquid tincture, made of the same ingredients then steeped and bottled. Cats tolerate the tincture better and it works well when added to wet food.
How dogs and cats get worms.
In order to know how natural worming products work it’s important to understand how worms themselves operate. There are various types that infest dogs and cats, and they can pass them between each other. Which is nice!
All puppies and kittens will inherit worms from their mother too, making it vital to worm them with a veterinary wormer until they are at least three months old. After that they can slowly migrate over to natural worming and flea treatment.
Our pets pick worms up from other infected animals, eating the larvae or the eggs of worms, transferred from mother to infant during pregnancy, eating raw meat or dead animals you come across on a walk that have worms, or from infected parasites (immature fleas can carry tapeworm.)
The most common worms in the UK are:
They all live in the gut and enter via the mouth. Eggs then pass out through faeces and the whole process starts over.
With the exception of lungworm, which migrates from the gut into the bloodstream to sit next to the heart. It then releases thousands of eggs that penetrate the lungs and move up, to be coughed out.
Lungworm can be fatal which is why it’s key to make sure your dog is covered and why we always recommend you overlap with a veterinary worming treatment, and get a lungworm egg and a lungworm egg count done before you start moving over to herbal worming.