Switching Your Dog on to Natural Flea and Worming

57 CommentsThursday, 7 July 2016  |  Kate

How To Switch To Natural Flea and Worming Treatments

It is perfectly possible to move away from pharmaceutical parasite control and keep your dog safe from fleas, ticks, mites and worms by using well established supplements added to food, and the occasional worm egg count.

It’s very simple to switch over, we’ll walk you through it and suggest some natural, healthy products, which really work. 

Why do dog owners switch? 

In most cases we’ve found that pet owners are looking to make the switch for one of three reasons: 

  1. Their dog has had a poor reaction to a spot-on treatment in the past 
  2. They’re finding that some pharmaceutical treatments are no longer as effective as they once were (especially Frontline, according to my vet) 
  3. Or they simply prefer the natural route to keeping their pets free of parasites

That’s me! How do I get started?

It’s dead simple. To maintain continuous protection, simply give your dog their last conventional flea and worming treatment, and start on the natural products at the same time. This way, once the Advocate, Drontal, Advantage, Milbamax or whatever has worn off the new products will have taken over. Because our products are food supplements they take time to build up in the system, hence the need for an overlap. Neither product will interfere with the other.

What products do I need?

Only two, Billy No Mates for external parasites and either Verm-X or Four Seasons for internal parasites.

How do they work?

Herbal treatments predate pharmaceutical treatments, which have only been around since the 1930’s, whereas herbs have been used to repel parasites for way longer.

Verm-X and Four Seasons work by making the gut an unattractive environment for internal parasites so that they just pass through the system and out the other end. Billy No Mates works in much the same way except the effects are released through the skin, hence their flea, tick and mite repelling power. 

Billy No Mates contains a blend of mint, seaweed, fenugreek, neem and lemon balm. Neem is a compound derived from the neem tree and is widely accepted to be a powerful insect repellent. 

Verm-X contains, among others, cinnamon, thyme, peppermint, garlic, quassia, cayenne, fennel, cleavers, nettle and slippery elm.

Four Seasons has a homeopathic element added with Filix-mas, Cina, Ferrum-met, Sulphur, Abrotanium, Teucrium-mar as well as the herbs Hibiscus, Thyme, Ginger Root, Cloves, Natural salts and Organic Bitter Apple

What if my dog already has worms? 

Simply double the Verm-X for 14 days if feeding the daily treats, or double it for the first three days if feeding the liquid. With Four Seasons give it every day for 10 days, then every week for a month and once a month from then on. 

Worm egg counting

We also recommend doing a worm egg count and a lungworm test up to four times a year. To be honest it’s worth getting done whichever way you choose to treat your dog. A worm egg count will give you an accurate picture of the worm egg burden your dog is currently carrying. It’s an excellent and cost effective way to keep eye on your dog’s gut health.

You get a kit in the post, collect a sample, post it back to the lab and the test results will be emailed to you in a few days. 

A note about lungworm.

Our products work well on any lungworm eggs entering the gut via the mouth, but they won’t work if the eggs have already left your dog’s gut and entered the bloodstream. The best way to find out if your dog has a lungworm infection is to do a lungworm test as mentioned above, or see your vet. You can get your worm count kits from us at www.myitchydog.co.uk

More information is available at My Itchy Dog for Billy No Mates, Verm-X, Four Seasons and Wormcount, and in my book Top Dog by Kate Bendix. Buy it now on Amazon, at My Itchy Dog, Waterstones and independent bookshops.



Rrobin Fenn
Wednesday, 19 November 2014  |  7:13

I have given my cocker spaniel a oral flea tablet purchased from the vet.My storage heaters are now giving off terrible fumes giving us running eyes land sore throats. If l bought your products would this happen too?

Friday, 4 December 2015  |  10:23

Hi Robin

So sorry for the year long wait for a reply. Just had a shower of blog comments rain on my inbox which got lost in the ether.

No it won't happen with our products but I can't see how storage heaters would be affected by a flea tablet your dog ate. I hope it's sorted by now.

Beverley Edmunds
Monday, 1 December 2014  |  16:37

I would like to get a small sample of billy no mates, Just to see if she will eat it on her food.
Could you put me in the right direction

Friday, 4 December 2015  |  10:26

Hi Beverley

I'm afraid we don't do samples of supplements, and most of the producers don't either, they're just so expensive to produce.

I would recommend the BNM tincture though as it's very palatable and you can hide it easier!

Sheila Rawson
Friday, 18 March 2016  |  13:53

My Bichon Bella never refused it from the 1st dayand it has a I e smell

Shirley Stafford
Sunday, 7 December 2014  |  18:16

I have gone over the BNM for my 10 cats. They love it and are flea free. I use a flea comb on them once a week and haven't found any fleas on any of them for weeks now... Very pleased not to be putting chemicals on them and the difference in the cost is enormous. Thanks to BNM.

Friday, 4 December 2015  |  10:27

Hi Shirley

Sorry for the year late reply, we lost a load of comments. Thanks for this though, I'm so glad you're happy with the product, especially with 10 cats to treat.

Monday, 6 April 2015  |  20:11

I was wondering if anyone of you has purchased products from www.dermapaw.com before and whether you could recommend them? My dog suffers from allergies and itching and I am not quite sure what to do. A diet change and Benadryl haven't helped so far. Any input would really help! Thanks in advance.

Margaret Sherlock
Friday, 9 September 2016  |  13:26

Try ditching any Commercial Foods and go for
Raw Feeding using good quality meats/veg/some fruits/eggs/meaty bones.
Your pet will love this change too.

Saturday, 31 March 2018  |  21:21

My JR cross some years ago had a terrible excema rash across her face which no conventional or complementary treatment would budge. Our holistic vet used acupuncture, herbalism, homoeopathy and we changed her diet (though not to the raw food one which these days I would definitely do.) In the end I forgot her annual booster injection, and the rash cleared up and never returned, because I didn't do the boosters ever again. She lived to 16 and was physically very healthy. unfortunately she got the equivalent of canine senile dementia and completely lost her zest for life, enjoyment in walks, games or food. In the end I took the difficult decision and the vet came to the house and she died in my arms ..... I was heartbroken but relieved because she was so miserable, but nothing physically wrong.

Monday, 13 April 2015  |  11:22

Hi Stephan

No we haven't so I can't recommend them I'm afraid.

Have you been to the vet?

It could be fungal, parasitic or environmental, or even stress. Give me a call on 01903 256373 for a chat and we can try and work it out between us.

Monday, 13 April 2015  |  21:54

Hi Kate,

We are just in the 'crossover' period of switching our 10 year old Westie over to a natural flea and worm treatment (Billy No Mates and Verm-X) and wondered if we could get your opinion?

Our Westie started the new treatments 3 days ago but we are already noticing that he is starting to smell quite a lot, and also he's stools are very runny... is that normal and is it likely to settle down the longer he's stays on them?

He currently has 1 teaspoon of Billy No Mates and 2 Verm-X crunchies per day as instructed on the packaging.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015  |  9:23

Hi Chris

When you say 1tsp of Billy are you talking about the tincture? If so you're giving too much. It's 1ml for every 10kg of bodyweight, and I doubt you have a 50kg Westie. If you do I'd like to see a photo!

I haven't heard of a dog getting an upset tummy because of the switch but give me a call on 01903 256373 if you need more information.

Kerstin Van Eckert
Saturday, 18 April 2015  |  12:02

Hi Kate,
I want to switch to natural worm treatment and have purchased VermX treats and the Four Seasons tincture. I got the recommendation from the ladies at worm count.
To date we have used Drontal and advocate. If I understand correctly, than we have to overlap the two treatments? Could you please advise on how to best proceed and how much to give to our beloved black labrador, 15 months old, 35kg?
Thanks a lot in advance and have a lovely weekend,

Monday, 20 April 2015  |  9:26

Hi Kerstin

Give your last Drontal/Advocate and give a 1ml dose of Four Seasons at the same time. Then 1ml per month from then on.

You don't neew VermX and Four Seasons though, just the one. So you could give the VermX treats instead of the Four Seasons until they're gone and move over to the Four Seasons after that.


Sunday, 23 August 2015  |  22:34

I have just found my dog is allergic to insecticides and want to switch him to natural treatment for fleas tucks worm etc. I do not want to give him advocate again, last given one month ago. Drontal also a month ago. Will that work alright?

Tuesday, 25 August 2015  |  14:21

Hi there

Use Billy No Mates for fleas, ticks and mites then Four Seasons or Verm-X for worms.

We recommend doing a worm egg count every three months too.

Liz Huggins
Friday, 4 December 2015  |  8:52

Can I start to change my dog over to bills no mates and verm-x at this time of year or do I gave to wait until spring

Friday, 4 December 2015  |  10:34

Hi Liz

You can switch over now, especially the wormer as that's an all year round thing. You can leave the Billy 'til the weather warms up if you like and not worry about flea treatment. Having said that, if you live in a very warm house then start the Billy now.

Emccd Image Sensors
Friday, 18 December 2015  |  11:32

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Machine Vision
Tuesday, 29 December 2015  |  9:51

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Friday, 18 March 2016  |  23:25

I want a atrial worker and flea treatment for my dog but I'm concerned that I have to start it with vet bought products. Last time I gave him advocate he had really bad diarrhoea. Yes raw Fed so not sure if that had anything to do with it? Anyway...a way forward would be great. Thank you.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016  |  13:16

Hi Sarah

Use Billy No Mates. No squits and very good! Find it on www.myitchydog.co.uk


Wednesday, 29 June 2016  |  6:05

I'm not a fan of chemical products and would like to try our 3 cats ( the 2 kittens will be a year old in August) and 2 French Lop rabbits on natural flea treatments and wormers. The rabbits don't appear to have fleas or worms but should we just treat them as a matter of course. Please recommend how to go about administering this to all my pets. I'm on a pet plan at the vets and I have to admit that I've not been giving my cats their flea and worm treatments as required because I'm not happy with inflicting them with the chemicals. They hate having the drops put on them.

Thursday, 7 July 2016  |  13:10

Hi Tracey, use Verm-X or Four Seasons for all your animals worms. Four Seasons will do all of them, Verm-X will need a formulation for each type of pet. For fleas use Billy No Mates Tincture on all of them at 1ml per animal for the cats and rabbits, per day.

Thursday, 28 July 2016  |  21:32

Please can you advise me urgently; I'm giving cats and dog the 'worm burden' amount of the 4 Seasons anti-parsitic tincture as my cats have caught/eaten an enormous amount of mice/rabbits and we live in an area where deer/badger roam and flees/ticks are in abundance. However, we're on the 5th day of 0.5ml as instructed but my poor little cat (4.5kg) is now suffering terribly - she's urinating every 10 mins or so when she's awake, my bigger male cat is suffering to a lesser extent.
The dog seems fine (22.5kg) on it.
Secondly this may be exacerbated by the fact we're on the 3rd month of the Billy No Mates liquid. I feel that all the vinegar is the problem but can I reduce the dose, especially for the female? I've not given her the Billy liquid for 2 days as I'm worried about her.
Secondly, I'm still finding ticks on my dog (despite Ekoneem oil and Skinny sprays. Most are a bit withered but the last one was very fat and juicy.
I hope you can help.
Thank you
Amy (and her dog and cats)

Monday, 8 August 2016  |  14:34

Hi Amy

Apologies that your comment has not been replied to sooner, blog posts do not get monitored everyday so if you ever need detailed advice quickly then please email contact@myitchydog.co.uk.

You may have already sorted this as it was two weeks ago but If you still have any concerns or questions relating to this matter then please feel free to email me and I can help you.

Best wishes


Monday, 1 August 2016  |  17:06

Mydog refuses his food when I give him Billy No Mates. I may be giving him too much. He is 11 kg. and I find it hard to squeeze 1ml out, any tips. He used to accept the sprinkle on Billy but won't eat that now, I give him half a scoop.

Thursday, 11 August 2016  |  11:04

Hi Carolann

As your dog is 11KG we always recommending rounding up with the BNM Tincture so to provide full coverage you want to be giving him between 1.5ml-2ml a day.
We find that the Tincture is much more palatable to fussy eaters but some dogs can still turn there nose up so we suggest giving it in smaller amounts spread across more than one meal.
For example if you feed two meals a day then give half the amount for breakfast and half the amount for dinner. If he has more meals than two then split between all of those.

Eventually you should be able to sneak in the full amount in one go. As long as he has had the correct amount by the end of each day then how it is divided does not matter. Try adding something tasty to his meals for the next few weeks like some chicken or sweet potato which might catch his interest and help to hide the tincture, also ensure it is mixed in well and has soaked in.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes


Jane Derbyshire-Heal
Monday, 19 September 2016  |  11:47

I am thinking about switching to your products for my Italian Greyhounds, Affenpinscher and Podenco. /the Italians get very dirty teeth, (they are fed raw) so I give them Plaque Off. Are your products compatible?

Tuesday, 20 September 2016  |  10:11

Hi Jane

Yes they are fine to use alongside.

Best wishes


Jacqueline Cater
Wednesday, 28 September 2016  |  18:03

My brother has a 7 month old child else crested puppy and he is months old. He has been ill for a week after a worm tablet. I want to switch him to Verm x like my scottie Amy as there are no side effects no ill effects. He is tiny weight less then 5kg. What dose age shall I give him of Verm x please. Would appreciate a answer so I know the correct dose age to give him. Just ordered a 500mg bottle of the Verm X for both our dogs.

Thursday, 29 September 2016  |  11:58

Hi Jacqueline

I believe I have already emailed you but just in case you haven't seen it the amount to give for puppies is:

Puppies - Puppies should not be given Verm-X before they're 3 months old and then only require 1/2 the amount. At 6 months they can go on to a full amount of either Verm-X liquid or Verm-X Herbal Crunchies. Puppies also require a full course of conventional worming treatment as prescribed by your vet before they go onto Verm-X completely.

And the correct amount to give is based on the size of the dog, see below:

Add to your dog's food for 3 consecutive days each month:
Small breeds: 5ml per day for the 3 days
Medium breeds: 10ml per day for the 3 days
Large breeds: 15ml per day for the 3 days

If there is anything else I can help you with then please feel free to ask.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016  |  10:05

Hi, just to let anyone out there who is debating whether or not to give natural products to their furry members of the family: stop dithering and do it! It works. I started using Billy No Mates and Vermex when my Beagle was a puppy and she has never had fleas or worms despite eating a raw diet and going for off lead treks in the woods and along the beach where she eats God knows what... we have a constant stream of glistening snail trails in our garden and she mixes with loads of dogs all the time. Tell me, how can administering chemicals to our pets be helping them live long and healthy lives?
I had a worm count done and she has the lowest possible reading... meaning she is worm free, and when my dog gets under the covers with me in the morning I am completely confident in knowing she is flea free (else there'd be no way!!!)
I hope this helps anyone who is undecided :)

Thursday, 13 October 2016  |  14:37

Hi Angie

Thank you for your lovely comment.

We believe in these products so much and it is lovely to hear that you do too.

Best wishes


Heather Martin
Sunday, 29 October 2017  |  10:33

Hello. Thanks for the review. We are trying to decide whether to go over to a natural system and your comments are giving us confidence to try.

Monday, 30 October 2017  |  9:34

Thanks, Heather

I've sent you a reply below about how to start.


Julie Wait
Wednesday, 26 October 2016  |  15:42

I have a 14 week old puppy and two weeks ago he was given a worming tablet by the vet along with his final injection. He was really poorly for 4 days after - loose stools, vomiting and generally off his food.
I would like to start him on verm-x crunchies but was wondering if he is able to. The vet did not mention when I need to give him another worming tablet, so unsure as to whether he has had all his puppy treatment. Obviously I do not fancy giving him the tablet if I can help it.
Thank you.

Thursday, 27 October 2016  |  14:25

Hi Julie

Poor little thing. Sounds like herbal is the way forward for him if he had a bad reaction.

You can use Verm-x Crunchies (must be given everyday, no breaks, so ensure not to run out) Verm-x Liquid (given 3 consecutive days each month) or Four Seasons (given once a month on the same date every month). Any one of these will work. They all take about 4 weeks to get into the system and become effective, we always recommended a cross over period so now would be a great time to start as you have just wormed and he is currently protected.

Also have a look at Billy No Mates for fleas, ticks and mites. Given on food everyday it also helps skin & coat, its great.

I hope he is on the mend now and try start the herbal wormer as soon as possible to maintain protection.


Friday, 18 November 2016  |  15:21

Hi, my dogs missed their last chemical wormer so may have a worm load. Can I just start straight on the Verm-x without using a chemical wormer first? Really dislike using chemicals on them. Also, can I give them an extra dose after the first dose, just to make sure they've had enough. Thank you... :-)

Kate Bendix
Tuesday, 22 November 2016  |  11:50

Hi Debbie

You can do a couple of things: Give them one more vet wormer and crack on with the Verm-X at the same time to create an overlap of protection. Or you can follow the directions for administering Verm-X on the container (depending on which you go for; liquid, crunchies or pellets) if you think there may be a burden there. Also do a worm egg count which is a faecal test available on here by the end of November.

Morgan Williams
Tuesday, 15 August 2017  |  16:14

Hi I have a 2 year old french bulldog who is a very itchy lady when she is not on apoquel.

She is allergic to spot on flea treatments I have tried all the big brands and am now giving up on them and would like to go onto natural remedies for flea ticks and worms.
What products to you recommend she is fairly fussy and skips meals so something I can disguise eaisily.

Also do you have a supplement that helps with itching she has dermatitis and while she is on aproquel she is not itching as it blocks the itch receptors but when's she's off it she itches which causes skin irretation. She is a all year round itcher but it does get worse seasonal and has itched since i got her at 10weeks. Would like to come off the meds as they not good long term as I have heard they lower the immune system.

P.s I am going to try a raw diet after I got the flea treatment sorted, but she had always eaten top quality wet food, dry food e.f no meat deriative or I home cook her chicken and rice with vegs, she also eats fruit well cry's untill I share my apples and bananas with her lol

Anything you can recommend will be much appreciated

Tuesday, 22 August 2017  |  20:52

Hi Morgan

I'd go for Billy No Mates Tincture and Four Seasons for fleas and worms.

Then Keepers Mix along with the raw and Yumega Itchy Dog in food.

Also try Itch-Eeze. All available on www.myitchydog.co.uk

Heather Martin
Sunday, 29 October 2017  |  10:30

I have two borzoi dogs and one has quite a sensitive stomach. I don't like using chemicals for them and have just seen your website. We have just used Droncit and advocate. Can we just start using your products now? What do you recommend and how much to feed. One dog is 40 kg. and the other 27 kg (?). A difference, I know but they seem to sustain these weights no matter what we feed them. We feed a raw diet. Thanks.

Monday, 30 October 2017  |  9:33

Hi Heather

Use the Billy No Mates tincture and give 1ml per 10kg of bodyweight per day and round up to the nearest 10kg. That would mean 3ml for a 27kg dog, for instance.

Then us 1ml per month of Four Seasons wormer on both of them. Do a worm egg count test 4 times a year if you can to test for worms.

And that's it. No need for veterinary treatments after that.

Sunday, 29 October 2017  |  14:30

I have been using your herbal flea treatment for a few years now with success. However I have recently noticed my dog seems to have fleas and is scratching a lot, despite daily herbal treatment and using the spray! help!

Monday, 30 October 2017  |  9:30

Hi Annie

They should only be sick fleas if you find any that drop off quickly. Use the spray on any bites to kill any dermatitis itch.

Has your dog been in contact with new places or animals?


Friday, 3 November 2017  |  7:58

we have a cat and he often spends the day wtih a group of other dogs with his dog sitter. He is a collie cross so has really dense, thick fur too so it is really difficult to get a good coverage of spray.... I am reluctantly at the point of thinking I might need to go back to a vets treatment as he is constantly scratching and red. I have pulled off a couple of fleas too!

Friday, 3 November 2017  |  8:20

Hi Annie

Have you tried our Billy No Mates? Add it to food every day, take up to six weeks to get properly to work but then you're protected against fleas, ticks and mites.


Sunday, 29 April 2018  |  17:25

I changed Reggie (15kg jackapoo) to Billy no mates on Tuesday. Since Friday he's had serious diarrhoea, like I've never seen. Could it be the tincture?

Monday, 30 April 2018  |  11:39

Hi Emma

I'd be surprised if he's been on it three days and then had diarrhoea. Dogs sometimes get a little 'loose' to start with but that soon passes. How is Reggie today?


Joy Fraser
Sunday, 9 September 2018  |  19:03

I have 2 and often 3 dogs all eating at the same time and sharing bowls. As Frontline is not working I want to go natural but how do I make sure each dog gets a recommended dose?

Tuesday, 11 September 2018  |  14:00

Hi Joy

I'd just add a little more than normal and mix it in thoroughly. It's not an exact science and if you don't see any fleas you're covered.


Joy Fraser
Thursday, 13 September 2018  |  20:41

Thanks Kate

Helen Rowe
Thursday, 28 February 2019  |  23:55

Hi, my beagle has epilepsy and I want to steer away from chemicals . Can you advise if Verm-x or four seasons is safe to use with epilepsy and if so which one would you recommend? Many thanks

Friday, 1 March 2019  |  14:38

Hi Helen

Both suppliers have said that they believe it to be fine however, with enquiries regarding epilepsy, you should always run by your vet. We don't recommend doing anything for epilepsy without the vet's consent.