Lipomas in Dog: Fatty Tumors in Dogs What They Mean for your Pet

Lipoma in dogs is a common condition. Dog owners are alarmed each time they feel a lump or a fatty cyst on dog just under their skin and fur. Panic usually causes many of them to think that it is cancer.

Lipoma is also known as a benign fatty tumor. It is treatable and preventable. Dog owners should just make sure they work with their attending vet to ensure their pet’s optimal health.

What is Lipoma in Dogs?

Lipomas are knots of fatty tissues that are usually found just below the skin . Here are their main traits:

  • Movable when it is palpated
  • Soft
  • Sizes range from small to larger than a regulation tennis ball
  • Usually found on the neck, chest, flanks, and legs
The lipoma’s movable characteristic is the what sets it apart from liposarcoma, which is a cancerous or malignant tumor in adipose tissues. Liposarcomas do not move underneath the skin at all.

It is fortunate that these fatty tumors in dogs is rare. Generally, lipomas are not painful at all unless they grow in an area rich in nerves. These benign tumors are infiltrative.

They thrive in the fascia, endocrine system, and muscle tissue. Lipomas can cause pain and immobility if they are invasive. These tumors need surgical intervention.

Early detection is key to fighting lipomas. Dog owners should groom their dogs weekly to make this possible. Many pet parents resort to holistic treatments in softening and even dissolving lipomas.

These methods also help the body absorb the lipoma’s contents, thereby shrinking them until they disappear.

How Common is Lipoma in Dogs?

Lipomas can appear almost immediately in dogs in the form of single or multiple lipomas. They are usually seen in overweight or older dogs.

These benign fatty tumors are also common in Doberman Pinchers, Golden Retrievers, Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, mixed-breeds, and Mini-Schnauzers.

What Causes Lipoma in Dogs?

Dog owners should be aware of the following causes of lipoma in canines:
Over Vaccination
From my past experience, vaccines have caused more harm than good to my pets.

We vaccinate our pets too often and with that level of vaccination
(in too many combinations) is harmful to the health of susceptible animals.

Just a few baby shots and nothing more.
Tap Water
Never give your dog a tap water as pets are highly sensitive to chemicals in water like flouride.

This can upset his endocrine system and damage his thyroid.

Get a lead-free bowl and use chemical-free flea treatment.
These benign fatty lumps are very common in certain dog breeds such as Doberman Pinchers, Weimaraners, Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Schnauzers, and even mixed breeds.
Lack of Physical Activity
Elimination of waste from the body requires good circulation.

A dog’s lymphatic system doesn’t have a natural pump like the heart. It merely needs good movement to work optimally. 

Dog owners should engage their dog in a good amount of exercise and give them proper exposure to fresh air daily.

Walking is good for maintaining good circulation and digestion.
Toxin Build-up
The formation of lipomas in dogs is known as a sign that the body’s nutrients are not flowing the way they should be.

The immune system blocks the fat and toxins as it eliminates the impurities out of the body, so that it can sustain and protect the organ systems. 

The blockage causes impeded circulation, leading to diseases such as lipomas. This waste build-up is often referred known as “toxic load” in dogs.

Common toxins are pharmaceuticals, vaccines, fluoride, chlorine, glyphosphates, flea medicine, herbicides, pesticides, harsh shampoos, tick medicine, and heavy metals.
Increased Fat Deposits in the Body
Many people believe that too much fat in the dog’s body equates to the formation of fatty tumor, but this is not possible if the body breaks down adipose tissue.

The issue is the type of fat present in the dog’s body. Organic treats and kibble are sources of oxidized and rancid oils such as canola oil, vegetable oil, animal fats, and GMO soy.

The dog’s body starts defending itself once it senses the undigested oils. This manifests in the lipoma, which is like an organic wall of toxins and fat.

Probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and filtered water help dogs get better digestion.
Poor Diet + Processed Food
Kibbles are processed dog food or dry dog food which are bad for dogs and can cause lots of issues, lipomas are one of them.

Kibbles mostly consist of at least 60% carbohydrates, low-quality protein, and very little moisture. 

They are being processed in high temperature and pressure that leaves almost no nutritional value in the food.

And too much carbohydrates (like grains) are not good for dogs as it raises the production of insulin in the dog's body which leads to storing lots of fat.

Eating starchy food can eventually lead to diabetes. 

Important: Avoid Tap Water if possible as the chlorine or fluoride can damage your dog’s thyroid and upset his endocrine system.

How Big are Lipomas in Dogs?

Take note that lipomas appear in various sizes from the smallest bump, to a size bigger than a standard tennis ball. How big lipomas get depend on the amount of fat stored in them.

It is possible for them to grow even to the size of a dog’s head. Larger lipomas tend to develop in overweight dogs. If the dog loses weight, the benign tumor may decrease in size.

Can Lipomas in Dogs be Prevented?

The first thing you can do to help treat your dogs with lipomas is to stop supplementing the toxins by avoiding the above mentioned things that cause lipomas in dogs.

By then, you can help by removing any existing toxins present in your dog's system by giving filtered water, feeding raw food (or natural diet), avoid drugs, herbicides or vaccines.
As with any disease, prevention is always better than cure.

Here are Some Ways to Prevent Lipomas from Developing in Dogs:
Improve the Dog’s Diet
Some experts say that there are fewer lymphomas in raw fed dogs because this kind of diet is low in carbohydrates.

Kibble and dehydrated food items have significant amounts of starch or grains that are bad for dogs.
Be Mindful of Vet Treatments
Avoid chemical based tick and flea preventatives. Also stop over vaccinating dogs.
Change Supplements
CBD hemp oil has been proven to help several conditions in dogs. It significantly decreases the size of lipomas down to half their size.

Dog owners give their dogs CBD hemp oil two times a day with raw feeding. Turmeric, omega-3 fatty acids, and other helpful herbs can also help eliminate lipoma in dogs.
Groom Properly
Daily grooming helps stimulate the oil glands underneath the dog’s skin and coat.

Bathing and brushing help prevent the formation of additional lipomas.
Use Organic Topical Treatments
Tick and flea topical preventatives are usually filled with chemicals.

It is best to use all-natural, non-toxic topical medications to keep external parasites away.
Below are some helpful food items to the dog’s diet:
  • Dandelion, burdock, and milk thistle. These support proper elimination, circulation, and liver function of the dog’s body.
  • Phytoplankton for essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Apple cider vinegar (organic and unfiltered) treats and prevents lipomas
    • 1 teaspoon (dogs 15 lbs. and below)
    • 2 teaspoons (dogs 15 to 30 lbs.)
    • 1 tablespoon (dogs up to 80 lbs.)
    • 2 tablespoons (giant dog breeds)
  • Amino acids and antioxidants to support cell heath and the process of elimination

4 Herbs Remedies that Reduce Lipomas in Dog 

The first thing you can do to help treat your dogs with lipomas is to stop supplementing the toxins.


The Chickweed moves fluids through the body and brings down inflammations throughout the entire system. It clears toxins out of the tissues with the help of the kidneys and liver.

Used internally and externally, Chickweed helps dissolve lipomas and break up clumped fatty tissue. Diuretic in nature, it helps export toxins through the kidneys especially when combined with a lymphatic stimulant like cleavers (Galium aparine).

  • Give as a tincture, 5 drops for every 30 pounds twice a day. Check the chickweed tincture recipe here.

      Chamomile & Dandelion

These bitter herbs can help break down fats in the body by stimulating the digestive system. Dandelion and chamomile help clear heat (inflammation) from the body and decrease stagnation of fluids and energy.

Dandelion increases circulation by thinning fluids and supports the linings of the gut by decreasing permeability. It stimulates the release of bile by the gallbladder to help digest fats. Dandelion is a potent lipoma fighter due to its ability to facilitate the removal of toxins through the kidneys and liver.

  • You can add dandelions to your dog’s diet or use a tincture of dandelion ( click for recipe here) giving 1/2 drop of tincture for every pound of weight twice daily. Chamomile makes an effective infusion (a tea steeped 20-30 minutes) added to your dog’s food. Add 1 Tablespoon for every 30 pounds of body weight.


Turmeric A popular anti-inflammatory increases blood flow with its warming nature. It improves digestion and soothes intestinal muscles while protecting the liver as well as stimulating bile secretions from the gallbladder.

Turmeric for dog

Turmeric should be used cautiously with dogs that can’t control their body temperature.

  • Give 150 mg per 30 pounds of your dog’s weight twice a day.

        Burdock Root

Burdock is one of the safest herbs you can use for internal treatment that cleanses the blood and helps liver function. Like Dandelion Root, it is especially good for dogs with liver issues. (re-wrote)

Turmeric for dog

Burdock can be purchased in many forms, from natural root, capsule, tincture, dried or even teas and they are generally available at your local health stores.

  • Dosage for Tonic (recipe here): Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon for every 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight to his food daily.

Burdock could interfere with medications being given to a diabetic dog.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are for informational and educational purposes only.

Causes of Blood in Dog Stool and Steps on How to Treat Bloody Diarrhea Naturally

Basically, as a pet owner, I dread bloody diarrhea in dogs. But we knew that dogs are scavengers by nature and always get into things they’re not supposed to and because of their curiosity, they often get hurt directly or indirectly. 

blood in dog stool
Diarrhea signals that the body is in a state of imbalance or needs to cleanse. One of the familiar issues we see in the veterinary clinics is Gastrointestinal (GI) upset or diarrhea. 

I could understand how quickly pet parents panic and will rush their dogs to the clinic due to some loose stool but it isn't a serious problem. Perhaps partly because they don't want to clean up the mess or maybe they are truly worried that the cause may be something life-threatening.

Causes Of Diarrhea in Dogs?

So what causes diarrhea in dogs? Are there natural approaches for diarrhea in dogs before you see a vet? When should you worry and consult your doctor? 

There are lots of causes of diarrhea, numerous of these are harmless but some of them can be fatal.  As per my experience, there's no need to panic if your dog has a bloody stool (fresh blood) as this may be a symptom of hemorrhagic colitis which can be remedied by changing the dog's diet. But there are some cases that are life threatening as well.

Our job as pet parents is to recognize the changes in their behaviour and to read the signs as soon as we suspect that something is wrong.

However, for the causes of diarrhea, there would be a long list but we'll mention the top ones here.
Blood in dog stool

Blood in Dog Stool : What to Look For?

The first thing you need to look for is the color of the blood, is it bright red  or dark, tarry color?

The next thing to do is to check the dog's tail or the anus. Rectal injury or an infection near the anal area can also lead to streaks of fresh blood.

Thirdly, check the stool if it is normal in consistency (firm not loose), recognize if your dog is acting or eating in a normal energy level. If yes, you can wait the next day to pursue medical action.

Some pet owners basically assume their dogs have hemorrhoids the moment they notice fresh blood on dog stool. But unlike humans, dogs don't get hemorrhoids but are more susceptible to anal gland infections. 

This is due to the anal gland in the rectum herniates through the side of the anal sphincter as a result of an infection or impaction.

Note: If your dog is young or still a puppy and experiencing diarrhea
combined with lethargy and lack of appetite, bring your dog to the veterinarian immediately as this could be a sign of parvo infection.
The blood in dog stool is medically known as Hematochezia or Melena. But it all depends on whether the rectal bleeding comes from the dog's upper or lower digestive system. 
blood in dog stool
Dog Hematochezia vs. Melena - Check the Difference
Fresh blood
Digested blood
Bright, red, raw blood in stool
Black, tarry stool
Derives from colon or rectum
Derives from esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestine
a.) Hematochezia is the presence of bright red, raw blood present in your dog’s feces.  In humans, such a sign tells doctors that the person is suffering from hemorrhoids.

In dogs, it is highly likely that the blood comes from the colon or rectal area. Once the dog owner spots blood in stool, the vet should be notified immediately. Hematochezia is a serious condition.

b.) While Melena is black, smelly, and tarry stool where old blood which has been digested is passed, basically from the effect of bleeding in the upper digestive tract.

1.) Causes of Hematochezia 

Common Causes
Drastic changes such as staying in a kennel, a new dog in the house, or moving to a new place can all trigger stress, hence can cause blood in the stool.

The dog usually develops colitis, accompanied by diarrhea with mucus and blood.
This pathogen is usually found in Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and other black and tan breeds.

Both puppies and adults can contract this virus, but puppies suffer more because of their immature immune systems.

Vets should treat unvaccinated adult dogs and puppies to prevent fatal outcomes.
Rectal Polyps
If the poop is coated with blood, the dog could have rectal polyps, which could protrude from the dog’s anus. These polyps bleed easily.

The vet could feel them when they perform rectal examination. Polyps could also be internal, confirmed by an endoscopy. These polyps may be cancerous.
Dietary Indiscretion or Diet Change
Diet indiscretion including overeating can irritate the colon. This causes the dog to have bloody stools with mucus and diarrhea.
If you also change the dog’s diet abruptly, they'll have similar results, along with vomiting.

It is best to change the food gradually over several days. 
Human food, allergies, and spoiled foods can also cause this and colon inflammation.
Rectal Injuries
A dog may ingest a sharp object such as a stick or a bone. The said object may scrape the rectum or the lining of the lower part of the colon as it joins the feces.

It may protrude from the feces once the dog defecates. Once the object is out, the bleeding stops eventually. 

Look for any protrusions, swelling, or injuries around the anus or anal glands.
These are the most common causes of hematochezia. Coccidia (protozoan), roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms usually cause blood in the stool.

Once the vet identifies the right parasite, the proper de-wormer can help eliminate these organisms.
Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE)
This condition manifests through abundant amounts of blood in the stool, accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting.

The vet would treat the dog with proper medications and intravenous therapy.
Food Allergies
Dogs develop allergies to proteins as they become older. Colitis manifests when the allergies become severe.

The inflammation usually leads to the damage of the intestinal tract, resulting in hematochezia. The dog owner should consult the vet to resolve this health issue.
Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia
This is an uncommon disease, which can be fatal if not addressed early on. The dog’s immune system eats up the platelets responsible for proper clotting.

This then brings forth profuse bleeding. Other cases result in the consumption of the red blood cells, leading to anemia.

The gums of the dog usually appear pale and not pink. The dog owner should seek vet care immediately.

2.) Causes of Melena 

This type of blood in stool is usually described as coffee grounds. The blood may come from the upper part of the small intestine, lungs, esophagus, pharynx, or the stomach.
Common Causes
Post-Surgery Complications
Black colored stool within 72 hours after surgery means that there could be internal bleeding.

The dog owner should bring the canine patient back to the vet immediately.
Pepto Bismol
Giving Pepto-Bismol can make your dog’s stool tarry temporarily.

Gastric bleeding is a common side effect of this medication. As soon as the dog stops taking it, the stool color returns to normal.
NSAIDs (Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) like aspirin can develop ulcers along the dog’s digestive tract.

Bleeding ulcers are manifested by black stools. 

Blood has already been digested and has gone through the dog’s stomach. The dog owner should bring the dog to the vet immediately.
Ingestion of Blood
Licking some blood from a wound or eating blood stew can make a dog’s stool appear tarry.

It is always best to bring the dog to the vet to be certain of the real cause.
Blood Clotting Disorder
When the dog suffers from blood clotting disorders, the tarry stools may be accompanied by purplish skin.

The color change indicates bleeding underneath the skin. 

A common cause of clotting disorders in dogs is the accidental ingestion of rat poison. If this is the case, bring the dog to the vet immediately.
Tumors / Cancer
This is common in senior dogs. Once the dog owner spots dark stools coming from their pet, they should see the vet right away. This is to rule out bleeding polyps or even the possibility of cancer.

Other Causes of Dark, Tarry Stool

  • Bacterial Infections caused by Clostridium perfringens or Campylobacter
  • Intestinal Blockages
  • Trauma
  • Fissures

Natural Remedy for Dogs Diarrhea and Bloody Stool

This natural remedy is for dogs that have suffered from diarrhea not longer than 48 hours combined with lethargic or deficient of energy and alertness.
  • 1.) Subject your dog to a 12 - 24-hour fasting, and then you can gradually introduce food like boiled mashed butternut squash or pumpkin or chicken broth for 24 to 48 hours (with 1 to 2 meals a day). By then, you can change your dog's meal to lean meat and vegetable blend ( fish or poultry is the best) for a day or two before giving regular food.
  • 2.) How to cook the mashed Butternut squash or Pumpkin? Boil or steam butternut squash (you can also use yams or pumpkin). Mash them and add chicken/vegetable broth to enhance the flavor and to create consistency.
  • 3.) Make sure your dog is well hydrated while it also helps feeding him adequate levels of “good” bacteria (like non-dairy Probiotic food) in his intestines to counteract the bad bacteria as well as to replenish the intestinal flora.
Here's the Recipe for Non-Dairy Probiotics Foods for Dogs:

1.) Coconut Kefir

blood in dog stool
You may have seen or bought kefir made with cow's milk or goat's milk however, it's possible to create your own coconut kefir (or water kefir) at home which is non-dairy and gluten-free.
For Coconut Kefir: 
  • 4 to 5 Fresh young coconut water (or little brown coconut water)
  • 1 pack Kefir Starter (or Activated Water Kefir Grains) you can buy this at  Amazon
  • Warm (low heat) the fresh coconut water into the container making sure it just touches 92° in body temperature (hotter than this will kill the bacteria and it won't ferment).
  • Pour the Kefir starter in the coconut water and wake the bacteria up by stirring and dispersing them evenly using a wooden spoon.
  • Pour the mixture in a glass container and let it sit or store in a cupboard (70°-75° environment) within 3 days.  Note: No further cooler or hotter than this temperature otherwise, the bacteria will fall asleep or go dormant and will go bad.
  • It will look like milky white when it's done.

2.) Slippery Elm Bark

As dog owners, we always look for a good organic solution for many canine health issues. Fortunately, slippery elm bark exists to meet their needs. This natural remedy treats hematochezia, especially when it’s associated with colitis.

You should observe the pet if it stayed in a kennel for a while. Stress colitis can manifest with stools with blood.

GastroElm Plus is a product that has 80% slippery elm bark powder.
This is often used for gastrointestinal issues (diarrhea and vomiting) in animals including ulcers in horses and pancreatitis in canines.

This product is not exotic, meaning it is manufactured in the United States, utilizing only the highest quality human grade ingredients.
bloody diarrhea in dogs

Benefits of Using Slippery Elm Bark on Dogs

  • Emollient—it protects and soothes the skin
  • Astringent—it dries, binds, and constricts
  • Nutritive—it provides special nutrients
  • Tonic—promotes the healthy function of various organ systems
  • Demulcent—it forms mucilage and comforts
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
The mucilage the bark produces coats the damaged, irritated, or inflamed tissues inside the dog’s body, thereby creating a barrier.

Outside the dog’s body, the bark can serve as a poultice to eliminate infection and heals wounds more quickly.

Slippery elm bark is excellent in treating colitis, inflamed bowels, stomach ulcers, and gastritis. It also helps treat constipation, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, mouth ulcers, arthritis, tonsillitis, asthma, bronchitis, cystitis, and kidney diseases.

Feeding Directions:

  • Give 1 tsp of powdered herb per 20 lbs of body weight, 3 or 4x a day.
  • Mix the powder with water and give it as a liquid with a dropper.

Pointers in Providing Care for Dogs at Home:

The presence of blood in a dog’s stool is a serious condition. If your pet has blood in his or her stool, here are some of the things you should do:
  • Keep an eye on the dog’s stool, if there’s an improvement or if it is worsening.
  • Administer the prescribed medications at home properly.  Observe the dog’s appetite and activities.
  • Follow the dietary changes. Notify the veterinarian about any changes.
Pathogens, parasites, and harmful objects will always surround dogs. We, as pet owners are responsible for our dog’s health and safety. Bloody diarrhea in dogs should be addressed quickly so that dogs can have longer lives and optimal health.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are for informational and educational purposes only.

How to Get Rid of Worms in a Dog Without Going to the Vet

Symptoms of worms in dogs vary, based on the type of worm and the dog’s general health. A dog’s health depends on the lifestyle and the diet provided by the human primary caregiver.

Yet, no matter how prudent the dog owner is, dog worm infestations are common as they will always go to places and eat things they are not supposed to. In doing so, they expose themselves to numerous types of external and internal parasites.

Symptoms of worms in dogs

Between the two, internal parasites or worms are more difficult to detect. A dedicated dog owner should know the essentials of worm infestation in dogs. In doing so, proper treatment and prevention are sure to follow.

Types of Worms in Dogs

It is often frightening for dog owners to even think that there are worms inside their beloved pets. Yet, worms do find their way into dogs, especially those who frequent the outdoors.

Some of them reside in the tissue and others in the intestines. There are worms that stay alive inside a dog but doesn’t cause harm. Others can often be tolerated when they are in small numbers.

But when their populations explode, therein lies the problem.

Common Worms a Dog can Acquire:

1.) Roundworms

These worms are also known as ascarids. They are white worms that resemble white noodles. Roundworms reside in a dog’s intestines and can grow up to 20 centimeters or eight inches long.

These worms consume the food in the dog’s intestines. As long as there is food for them, they will continue to lay eggs. 

symptoms of worms in dogs
Below are more facts about roundworms that any dog owner should consider:

  • How Does it Spread?.  Once ingested by the dog, roundworms travel via the bloodstream, straight toward the lungs. When they reach the lungs, the body tries to expel them by coughing them out.  When they reach the oral cavity, they are swallowed again. The larval stage of the worm travel through the dog’s liver and brain.
  • Manifestations. Dog owners may never notice their pets having these worms until the worms show up in the dog’s excrement.  Roundworms cause vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea. The dog also tends to be hungry all the time and while voracious at first, would then suddenly stop eating.
  • Level of danger to dogs and humans. Untreated puppies acquire roundworms from their mothers. The roundworms could migrate to the womb or to the teats.  When untreated, the worms could rupture their bowels. Pregnant dogs are usually treated for roundworms.

These intestinal worms are detrimental to children. That is why dogs should never be allowed to defecate in play areas for children, particularly in the sandbox.

Roundworms can stay dormant in a sandbox for years. The moment they enter the child’s body, they migrate to the brain, liver, eyes, or lungs. They become encysted there permanently.

2.) Tapeworm

It is called a tapeworm mainly because of how it looks like. Its structure consists of a series of white segments linked together like pieces of tape.

Tapeworms keep joining together until they reach several feet in length. Then, they drop off strategically to reproduce. Each segment that falls off contains eggs that look like rice grains that wriggle.

They look like pieces of rice in the dog’s stool. Sometimes, they stick to the dog’s anus like tiny clusters of white eggs. 

symptoms of worms in dogs
  • How Does it Spread?. Many varieties of tapeworms exist. Some hitch a ride on fleas, so if the dog is infested with fleas, it is likely that tapeworms are also in the dog’s body.  People can acquire tapeworms if they ingest a flea from a dog. Swallowing a flea is possible, since it is almost invisible. It effortlessly makes its way to a plate or a hand that holds a chip.
  • Level of danger to dogs and humans. Tapeworms are not detrimental to a dog. It is often referred to as a smart endoparasite. However, it is dangerous to people because they can cause liver disease.

3.) HookWorm

This parasitic worm resembles a hookworm, but it has hook-like teeth at its anterior end. The six teeth grab onto the dog’s intestines so that it can suck its blood.

Here are more things about hookworms a dog owner should know:

Symptoms of worms in dogs
  • Level of danger to dogs.  A hookworm changes its attachment point several times a day. Because they consume a lot of blood from the dog’s body, the host experiences iron-deficiency and anemia. 
Hookworms can kill an older dog, but it can kill a puppy more quickly. Puppies become infested through their mother’s milk. Deaths in a young litter of pups might be caused by hookworms. Anemia in puppies can indicate hookworm infestation as well.

4.) Heartworm

These six-inch long worms live in the large blood vessels and in the heart. The following are more details about heartworms:

Symptoms of dogs in worm
  • Mode of transmission. Spread by tree-hole mosquitoes that breed in oak trees, these worms are highly likely to be present in areas where there are oaks. Heartworms are not easily detected. The dog remains asymptomatic until the infestation reaches its advanced stage.

5.) Whipworm

These intestinal parasites can only be diagnosed by vets through diagnostic tests.

symptoms of worms in dogs

Whipworms are small parasites which measure about 2 inches long and tapered at one end, like a whip. They commonly inhabit attach the colons of dogs and feed on dog’s blood. 

You won’t be able to see them, unless your dog passes them in a clump in his stool. Signs of whipworms include diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.

Your dog can pick up whipworms by swallowing the eggs in soil, water or other places that may contain dog feces.

How Do Dogs Get Worms?

It is common for a dog to get worms through ingestion. 
The dog ingests an organism that serves as the primary host to the worm (a flea).

This usually happens during grooming another pet or self-grooming. Rodents, birds, or rabbits can transmit eggs as well.

When the tapeworm eggs finally settle in the dog’s small intestine, it starts to develop into a mature tapeworm.

A mature tapeworm is made of numerous segments (proglottids). They can grow up to 28 inches long.

The tapeworm’s segments fall off, settling in the stool. The segments harbor the tapeworm’s eggs. When the dog defecates, the tapeworm’s eggs will be scattered, waiting for a flea to inhabit. The cycle continues.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), proglottids are usually seen crawling on fresh feces or near the anus of dogs.

These tapeworm eggs are then released into the surrounding environment once the segment dries. Sometimes, the dried proglottids can even stick to the dog’s fur.

Symptoms of Worms in Dogs

Common Clues Your Dog Has a Parasite Infection:

Weight Loss
Vomiting (worms may be present)
Scruffy Fur or Dull Coat
Intermittent or Frequent Diarrhea (with Mucus or Blood in Feces) 
Excessive Itching or Scooting, particularly near the anus
Bloated Belly
Loss of  Appetite
Skin Irritations
Swollen Abdomen
Weakness / Lethargic

Some worms are not visible to the naked eyes. In case your dogs  are showing these kinds of symptoms,  get a fecal test analyzed by your vet  to confirm a diagnosis of worms. 

White Worms in a Dog’s Feces

If the dog’s feces have been left for some time and the dog owner finds white worms in it, the dog owner should not conclude right away that the dog has worms.

Those white worms could be maggots from flies that colonized the feces while they were still fresh. Checking the dog’s stool regularly helps identify what the dog’s health needs.

When the dog owner sees white worms in the dog’s fresh feces, it is a sign of a tapeworm infestation.

Kibble-fed dogs are much more susceptible to worms than raw fed dogs because parasites love the starch and sugars in kibble.

How To Prevent Worms in Dogs

  • Avoid feces become infested with worm larvaeClean your dog's living area  to remove feces and other waste materials at least once a week. Doing this will remarkably lower the risk of worm infestations in your pets. Also, wash and sanitize dog's bedding every week to prevent fleas from breeding.
  • Check your dog’s fur, anus, or stool for fleas regularly and seek de-wormer treatment  immediately. Not all worms can be seen by our naked eye, by doing this check up periodically can help prevent a more serious infection and keep your dog healthy.
  • Clean the Dog's AreaTo prevent hookworms, dog's play area or kennel run needs to be cleaned regularly.  Hookworms live in soil and may either get into a dog through the skin on his feet or get ingested by the dog while he is grooming his feet.
  • Dispose any stagnant water outdoor to avoid mosquito breeding. Dogs can easily get heartworms through bites from infected mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes pick up heartworms when they bite an infected dog, coyote or fox,  hence they transmit the heartworms to the next dog  they can bite.
  • Get rid of slugs and snails Snails and slugs can infect your dog with lungworms so its better to keep these pesky  molluscs away from your backyard. They leave slime trails on dog toys which can cause your dogs to get infected once they eat them.

Lungworms are difficult to diagnose, but if your dog has trouble breathing or frequent coughing, or experiences weight loss, have your vet check your dog for lungworms.

How to Get Rid of Worms in a Dog without Going to the Vet 

Dog owners should de-worm their dogs regularly to keep the dog and the surrounding people or animals healthy and safe. 

If left unchecked, the worms can cause terrible suffering or death. Some parasitic worms in canines can even jump from pets to other animals or to people.

You can take appropriate steps to get rid of worms once you know for sure that your dog is infected, this process is called deworming

Basically, treatments include a lot of chemicals and may contain elements that are hazardous for your pet and can lead to negative side effects.
But instead, you can try the natural route by starting out a healthy diet to help your dogs build strong immune system while keeping them worm-free. And raw meat based diet or whole foods is the best option.

Food as Natural Dewormer for Dogs

Good thing there are some natural ways to get rid of  worms. If you don't feel like feeding harsh, synthetic de-wormers to your pets, here are some of the known organic solutions to get rid of or keep away intestinal parasites:

  • Kefir. This is a fermented food item, non-dairy is best for dogs which can be in the form of raw goat milk or coconut milk. You can make your own or you can purchase these non-dairy kefir products from the local health food shops or grocery stores. 
natural dewormer for dogs
Feeding Directions:
  • Add the kefir to your dog meal or give it as a special treat.
Size of Dog
1 tsp to 1 tbsp a day
1 to 2 tbsp a day
2 to 3 tablespoons a day

  • Unsalted Pumpkin Seeds. These potent vermifuge have been traditionally used as an anthelmintic (a substance that helps expel intestinal parasites) in both pets and humans.  They contain high levels of amino acid known as "cucurbitin"  that helps paralyze and eliminate the worms. This prevents the worms  from holding on to the intestinal walls hence can be easily expelled from the body during a bowel movement.  
symptoms of worms in dogs
Feeding Directions (for 2 weeks):
  • Grind the seeds using a coffee grinder or a blender and sprinkle it in your dog’s food. ( Note: only use raw, organic unsalted pumpkin seeds).
  • Give 1/2 teaspoon per 10 pounds of your dog’s weight once a day.
  • Feed the appropriate amount daily to eliminate worms in 2 weeks.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV).  This raw, organic, unfiltered vinegar is known as a natural food that kills parasites.  This is very popular remedy to eliminate worms because of its powerful antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.    It’s natural and safe for your dog to digest.
symptoms of worms in dogs
Feeding Directions:
  • Start by adding 1/4 of a tsp  or 1 tsp of ACV to  your dog food or water once a day.  Doing this will create a more alkaline digestive system which is less attractive to parasites. 
  • Only use raw, organic , unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar to see good results. 

  • GARLIC.  Seemed like conventional vets panic when they hear that you're feeding garlic to your dog.  I can vouch that feeding garlic to your dog isn't toxic at all. I fed it to my dogs for about 15 years and they live longer than expected.  In fact feeding your Fido in moderate quantities, garlic can help deworm your dog and human.  It helps remove mucus from your dog’s stomach lining, making it hard for the worms to thrive and attach.  However, like most things that are otherwise good for us, it should be used in MODERATION, all you need is to know how to use it safely.  Besides, garlic is something that has been used as an effective home remedy for centuries by pet owners with no side effects.
garlic for dogs
Feeding Directions:
  • Peel the garlic and chop, mince or grate.  Let it sit for about 10-12 minutes before adding them to your dog food. NoteChopping or mincing garlic will release or activate the compound called "allicin" - a pungent, oily liquid with anti-bacterial properties found in garlic.
  • Allicin degrades quickly, so feed the garlic right away after the "sitting" period to maximize the benefits.
  • Use a level measuring spoon to determine the right amount of garlic according to your dog's weight for  consistency and exact dosing.

How Much Garlic Should You Give to your Dog?

Size of Dog
Dosage Per Day
5 lbs
1/6 tsp 
10 lbs
1/3 tsp 
15 lbs
1/2 tsp 
20 lbs
2/3 tsp 
30 lbs
1 tsp

Refrain from feeding garlic if your dog is  taking these  medications.

High Blood Pressure
Chemotherapy meds
Heart Medications
Blood Thinners
Blood Thinners
Immune Suppresant

Cautio​n for Puppies and Pregnant/Nursing Dogs

  • Pregnant Dogs -  Be cautious when feeding garlic to your pregnant dogs. It is recommended to consult your vet when administering garlic to them. Moreover,  no garlic for nursing dogs as it can change the taste of their breast milk.
  • Puppies -  Never try feeding garlic if your puppy is under 6 months old. Basically, puppies don't produce new red blood cells while they are young like about 8 week or less.
  • 6 Months to 1 year old Puppies - Take precaution and just feed half of the regular dose.

  • Unsweetened Dried Coconut Flakes/Meat.  Coconut flakes or meat can act as a  vermifuge and is highly effective (about 90%) in expelling tapeworm from the body. Besides, it also has a pleasant smell and taste for your dog to enjoy it with their food.
symptoms of worms in dogs
Feeding Directions:
  • Sprinkle unsweetened dried coconut meat into your dog food. 
  • Repeat 2x a day for 10 days
Size of Dog
Dosage Per Day
Small dog
1 tsp 
Medium dog
2 tsp 
Large dog
1 tbsp

Fruits Or Veggies for Dogs

Fruits or vegetables that are rich in vitamin A are efficient natural remedies that help slow down or eliminate parasitic worms.  

Just follow the proper dosage when feeding your dogs and don't go overboard because they can upset their digestive system especially when you first introduce them into their diet.

symptoms of worms in dogs
Feeding Directions:
  • Start slow to get your dog accustomed with fruits and veggies. Feed them 1/2  a teaspoon of fruits or vegetables for every 10 pounds of body weight daily (at least a week ) until they get used to them.  After that, you can increase the dosage to 1/2 a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight twice a day at mealtimes. 
Fruits and vegetables that have high levels of vitamin A include:
Papaya fruit
Grated Raw Carrots
Green Veggies (like spinach, kale etc.)
Green Peas

Chelsea is a qualified veterinarian with background in animal care and training services. She loves dogs and at personal level, understands the powerful, emotional connection that dogs and humans have with each other.

Chelsea Moore / DVM

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and are for informational and educational purposes only.