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How to Switch to Natural Worming Products

26 CommentsTuesday, 7 January 2014  |  Kate

In order to know how worming products work it’s best to understand how worms themselves operate internally and externally. There are various types of worms that can infest your pets; both dogs and cats can get worms and pass them between each other. It’s important to implement a regular worming programme for your pets so they can maintain a healthy inside. There are types of worms that are even known to spread disease between humans.

Cats and dogs can pick worms up in different ways: from other infected animals, eating the larvae or the eggs of worms, transferred from mother to infant during pregnancy, eating prey that have worms, consuming raw meat, or from infected parasites (tapeworm eggs can be found on fleas).


As the name suggests, these worms make their home in the lungs and also the windpipe. Lungworms create bumps in the windpipe in which they lay their eggs. It's no surprise that these worms can cause serious respiratory problems if left untreated. Problems caused by Lungworms do not become serious until a significant build-up of the worms has occurred but they should be treated at any stage regardless. Dogs pick up Lungworms by drinking food or water that carries the worms in their larval stage, eating common garden slugs is one way. Once ingested these larvae then make their way from the intestines to the lungs and windpipe through the bloodstream.

Once nested in the lungs the worms mature into the adult stage and lay their eggs. These eggs are then expelled from the body through the stool or coughing them up where they can be ingested by other animals and the cycle starts over. There are a number of tests your vet can do to determine whether your pet has lungworm including x-rays and checking the stool. Take your pet to the vet if you suspect they have been infested with lungworm. Fortunately a lungworm infestation doesn't last that long in most cases.


Heartworm is a double edged sword: there is only one way pets can get them but if they do then they are extremely difficult to get rid of. How animals become infected with heartworm is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Heartworm parasites are targeted to only affect cats and dogs and other similar animals so it is extremely unlikely that humans will become infected if bitten by a mosquito carrying them. When a dog becomes infected with heartworm the worms grow to their adult stage and move into the heart and lungs as well as nearby blood vessels. There they reproduce and can live from five to seven years. Unfortunately, it is impossible to know if a mosquito has heartworm which is why prevention becomes the key issue here.


Roundworm Test to see if your dog has worms

Rundworm is the most common type of worm found in our dogs and cats. They typically inhabit the stomach and intestines and females lay somewhere in the vicinity of 200,000 eggs in a single day. Dogs can become infested with roundworm in four ways but the most common way is for larvae to be transferred from mother to puppy during pregnancy. It's not uncommone for a bitches milk can also pass on the larvae to her puppies. Roundworm can also be picked up by dogs eating prey that is infected with the worms or by eating soil that contains them. These worms generally aren’t known to show any symptoms in adult dogs however but you can identify them in stool as they are white and look like thin earthworms.


So called because they are thin in appearance with one end being slightly thicker, they attach themselves to the lining of the intestines. These worms inhabit both the large and small intestines usually either side of where they meet at the ileocecal valve. Female whipworms produce comparatively fewer eggs than other species of worm and they cannot be seen in the stool by the naked eye so even repeated veterinary examinations may be inconclusive.

How to Make the Switch

The best way to switch over to natural worming products is to overlap their usage. While your dog or cat is still undergoing a prescribed treatment from the vet start them on Billy No Mates and Verm-X, or Four Seasons at the same time. Because natural wormers work from the gut it's crucial to get your pet wormed using a conventional method prescribed by your vet before you move over to Verm-X, to eradicate any parasites already present that may have already left the gut, ie. lungworm. This will give the Billy No Mates and Verm-X time to become effective. Once they're off the vet's medication then they won't have to adapt to another as they'll already be taking it.

Verm-X works to create an environment within your dog's digestive system that is unattractive to parasites. It is specially formulated to exterminate these intruders, it targets parasites when they have been ingested and eliminates them before they can migrate to other parts of the body. Billy No Mates is a herbal supplement (available as a wet or dry mix) 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, only stop using it in very cold weather, starting up again in warmer weather.

Susan Redshaw
Monday, 10 February 2014  |  10:48

My dogs don't like Billy No Mates, especially my Lab bitch who can't believe that I have ruined her food for her! I haven't tried Verm-X. I expect she'd be equally aggrieved If I poured that on her food. Any suggestions? Sue

Monday, 10 February 2014  |  14:10

Hi Sue

I think you will be fine with the VermX treats and stay away from the liquid.

As for external parasites you can use the Skinny shampoo and spray. Wash the dog once then spray before a walk at the base of the tail and neck with the spray. Job done and no BNM on their food.

Hope that helps

Tuesday, 11 February 2014  |  18:28

I would like to start my dog on Billy No Mates and Verm-x. She last had Advocate on 27 January and Milbemax on 19 January (she has this every three months for tapeworm). Should I wait to start the Billy No Mates and the Verm-x until she has her next dose of Advocate at the end of Februrary? Thank you for your help!

Monday, 24 March 2014  |  11:49

Hi Tara

You need to overlap the two so start as you give the last lot of Advocate.


Rebecca Mann
Thursday, 5 June 2014  |  18:53

what good does Verm X do please?

Sunday, 10 August 2014  |  17:28

I wormed my jack Russell two weeks ago but his symptoms are back.

Is there a natural product that's safe to give him please?

Friday, 15 August 2014  |  10:29

Hi Henry

You can give him VermX or Four Seasons. If you think he has worms I would also recommend a vet check as that's very fast to see symptoms again. Also you can try a worm egg count at

Sia Rad
Friday, 8 May 2015  |  12:16

Interested to know about this as my dog is suffering.

Pauline Townsend
Tuesday, 30 September 2014  |  19:04

I have recently adopted a rescue dog, who is due to be wormed and flea treated, I would like to use this an alternative treatment,
When do you suggest I can start to use it.
Would appreciate and further advice

Wednesday, 1 October 2014  |  11:03

Hi Pauline

Make sure your rescue dog is treated conventionally for fleas and worms and checked by your vet. When you get the all clear just start using it straight away. Then, when the current flea and worm treatment is finished you have cover from the Billy No Mates and Verm-X or Four Seasons.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015  |  14:30

My dog does not like any of the prescribed wormers and its quite traumatising to get her to take any. so it's been awhile since she's been wormed, can I not just start her straight onto the natural wormers?


Jill Sutcliffe
Tuesday, 14 February 2017  |  18:50

Hi, I currently use Billy No Mates, VermX and DE for my three year old dog. Our new pup is 10 weeks and is having two weekly chemical wormers at present. When can I swap her to a more natural regime and is the DE required as well as BNM and VermX?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017  |  14:43

Hi Jill

Your dog can have Four Seasons wormer so can the pup. Give 1ml per month to her and .5ml for the pup until three months.

Or Verm-X from three months at half a dose then a full dose from six months.

Billy can be given from three months.

Csilla James
Sunday, 19 March 2017  |  22:15

Hello there,
Can you please advice me about Four Seasons Anti-Parasitic Tincture for Dogs & Cats. Our dog is expecting a litter soon. I would like to use natural anti parasitic product for her and her puppies.How can I use this product for a lactating bitch and for her 2 , 4, 8 weeks old puppies ?

Wednesday, 26 July 2017  |  14:41

Hi Csilla

You can give Four Seasons to bitches in whelp at 1ml per month and puppies at .5ml per month until they're 3 months old.

Yolanda Veloso
Friday, 24 November 2017  |  21:18

Can you give dogs the four seasons tincture once a month and still give them the worm x treats or can the 2 not be mixed? Thanks!

Monday, 27 November 2017  |  9:45

Hi Yolanda

You don't need both. Use either the My Itchy Dog Four Seasons or the Verm-X Treats.


Sandra Appleton
Tuesday, 23 January 2018  |  18:18

Dear Kate
My 14 1/2 yr old cavalier has been doing really well. Gave him milbemax on Saturday and he has had awful diarrhoea. He was diagnosed with colitis when he was young but not bothered him much.
Used to give him billy no mates but he has been v picky with food. What would you suggest as an alternative to both.
Many thanks

Tuesday, 6 February 2018  |  11:26

Hi Sandra

Sorry to hear about the Milbamax incident. You can give either Verm-X treats daily for worms, or Four Seasons 1ml per month for worms. For fleas you could try Skinny Spray and/or Skinny Shampoo. You can get them all from My Itchy Dog.

It's true that older dogs can get more flea outbreaks as their immune system weakens but a spritz of spray would probably do the trick.


Clair Ramsdale
Thursday, 1 February 2018  |  21:35


Does the Four Seasons work against heart worm?

E Rowlinson
Thursday, 5 July 2018  |  8:29

What flea and wormer do you recommend for my dog who is epileptic and cannot have conventional treatments?

Thursday, 5 July 2018  |  8:58


We recommend Billy No Mates and Four Seasons from for fleas and worms.


Sunday, 29 July 2018  |  18:42

Can I ask if these natural treatments need to be given every day or do you give for so long then have a break ?

Monday, 6 August 2018  |  11:34

Hi Amy

The Four Seasons and Verm-X wormers are given continuously. Four Seasons once a month, Verm-X depending on if you give the treats, pellets or liquids.

The Billy you need to have a break during the cold spell in winter but that's about it.


Thursday, 9 August 2018  |  17:06

I have misplaced dosage instructions for Billy No Mates for my Saint Bernard who is 74 kgs. Also, can I just confirm that Verm X would treat all worms including Lungworm please?

Tuesday, 14 August 2018  |  11:57

Hi Wakelin

For a large dog it's 2 scoops per day of the dry Billy No Mates flea mix. Or 8ml for the tincture.

Verm-X will work on anything coming in to the gut via the mouth. So if you've been on Verm-X when the lungworm eggs came into the gut you should be covered. Once the lungworm eggs have left the gut and gone in to the blood Verm-X can't help with that. So if you were covered with the VX before you're fine but if you're in any doubt do a conventional veterinary treatment for lungworm, and do a worm egg count which you can get from us at My Itchy Dog.