One of the dreaded parts of pet ownership is dealing with pesky ecto and endo parasites that can rage war on our pets’ health- and yes, they are very real!
Although treatment of parasites is quite a different topic and story, I’m going to give you a few ways to incorporate taking a parasitic load off your pets, and even deter a heavy load in the first place.
It is true that germs are attracted to their terrain, so the real question should be on every pet guardians’ mind- ‘How can I get my pets health to the point and place where they don’t attract parasites?’
There is also a reason why in commercially prepared raw pet food you won’t find any intestines of the animal, most but not all parasites are found there. Make sure the raw pet food you buy is from a reputable source, and preferably not sold in bulk format.
Carnivores such as felines and canines have (or supposed to have) a very acidic digestive tract, this will ensure that whatever raw food they eat, will be broken down properly, and to rid of any unwanted bacteria or parasites.
In fact, feeding a diet that is high in starches and carbohydrates actually buffer the acidity in the digestive tract, thus changing the pH to making it less acidic, where more bacteria and parasites can be present and flourish. In fact, parasites love sugar, and that is what the body converts carbohydrates into, sugar (glucose) in the bloodstream!
Most kibble is made up of anywhere between 40-55% carbohydrates, which is very high in sugar content, making everything you don’t want to grow, grow.
2. The gut: Probiotics & enzymes:
Surprised that I bring up the gut again? It really is central to whole body health, both for them and for us. 80% of the immune system is in the gut.
Supplementing with these is a must to ensure your pet is equipped to deal with and handle parasites, we always want the good bacteria to outweigh the bad, and the enzymes are a catalyst for so many important functions in the body, including making the digestive tract functioning properly, and even potentially killing and properly eliminating worms.
3. Herbs & botanicals:
a) Black Cumin Seed oil (nigella sativa)
This miraculous and highly therapeutic oil is great for literally dozens of ailments, but why it made its way in this blog post is because of its evident anti-parasitic properties.
Below is the finding evidence based on a 2019 study;
“Nigella sativa seeds have shown schistosomicidal properties against Schistosoma mansoni (in vitro), through a strong biocidal effect against all stages of the parasite and an inhibitory effect on egg-laying of adult female worms [119, 120]. An ointment of N. sativa seed significantly contracted and inhibited the inflammatory reactions to cutaneous leishmaniasis produced experimentally in mice by a subcutaneous inoculation of Leishmania major at the abaxial base of the tail . N. sativa extract at a dose of 1.25 g/kg prominently lowered Plasmodium yoelii infection in mice by 94%; however, the effect of chloroquine was only 86% as compared to the untreated group. In addition, methanolic extract of N. sativa revealed higher parasite clearance and restoration of altered biochemical indicators by P. yoelii infection than chloroquine . Thus, considering N. sativa for future antiparasitic agents will have a very important input after conduction of further investigation of its curative, prophylactic and chemopreventive activity particularly in the era of emerging antimalarial drug resistance.”
Along with having anti-parasitic properties, Black Cumin Seed oil also has strong anti-viral, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-cancerous properties, and there are countless studies proving its benefits for overall health, including but not limited to; digestive health, respiratory health (great for allergies), hepatoprotective, cardiovascular health, metabolic health, and so much more.
Another very old remedy for parasites, garlic is a great staple to incorporate once in a while in your pets’ cuisines, to help ward of any unwanted bugs, and to keep their internal environment inhospitable to worms and parasites.
A natural anti-biotic, the active component in garlic is allicin. Allicin has been very extensively studied over the years, proving to treat various kinds of drug resistant bacterial infections, as well as treating fungal and viral infections. Due to its antihelminthic properties, garlic has shown to evoke a significant amount of worm load reduction.
It also works great from the inside out to ward off any pesky fleas and ticks!
4. Diatomaceous Earth- D.E:
D.E is a white powder you can sprinkle in your pets’ food, and this works in a mechanical way to help rid of internal and external parasites. What it actually is is fossilized remains of diatoms, which are very tiny aquatic organisms, their skeletons are made up of silica.
How it works is that once insects come into contact with it (both externally and internally) they literally dry out and die. The sharp edges of the microscopic silica speed up the process. Incorporating D.E in your pets’ diet once or twice a season is one way to keep unwanted parasites at bay and keeping from thriving.
Feel free to contact us for more information on any of the mentioned above! Dosing will vary per pet and situation. Always consult with your vet prior to introducing anything new to your pet.
Lucy is an avid pet mom; with dogs, cats, goats and horses to keep her busy! All of her pet 'kids' are fed a species appropriate diet with proper supplementation so she can watch them thrive. Her expertise and experience lie in nutraceutical supplementation and is a health advocate for proper diet and nutrition. Her other passions in life are schutzhund and equestrian riding.