photo of beagle with caption heartworm prevention in dogs

11 Home Remedies for Heartworm Prevention in Dogs

Mosquitoes are not only an annoying pest, but they can also carry a potentially deadly disease that they pass along to your dog. That deadly disease is most commonly referred to as heartworms and it can be prevented. We’ll point you toward 11 home remedies for heartworm prevention in dogs with this article, but let’s look at what causes this disease first.

The infestation of a parasitic nematode known as dirofilaria immitis in your dog is what causes this disease. It is contracted when your dog is bitten by a mosquito which is carrying the parasite. The disease’s severity depends upon how many worms present in the body of the host, how long he host has been infected, and the ability of the host to ward off infection.

According to Dr. Jeanette (Jeannie) Thomason:

65% of adverse drug reactions and 48% of all reported deaths resulting from drug reactions are caused by heartworm preventatives.

Therefore, many people seek natural home remedies instead of running this high risk with their pets.

Heartworm prevention can be achieved through these 11 remedies, but they are not entirely inclusive. In severe cases, consult your veterinarian care provider.

11 Home Remedies for Heartworm Prevention in Dogs

1.Wormwood/Artemisia

We’ll start off with this remedy because it is one that needs to be used with extreme caution. Wormwood has been used for centuries as a means to get rid of all sorts of parasites.

What to do:

  • Use 1/8 tsp of wormwood tincture per 30 pounds of your dog’s weight within their food.
  • Do not treat your dog with wormwood for more than 3 days.

How it works:
Put simply, wormwood is toxic to parasitic nematodes (roundworms) and kills them.

2. Coconut Oil

Heartworm prevention can also be accomplished through regularly feeding your dog coconut oil. Besides being extremely safe, it has a number of nutritional benefits besides getting rid of parasites.

What to do:

  • Give you dog 1 tsp of coconut oil for every 10 pounds of body weight in its food.
  • Alternatively, you can give your dog coconut milk in the amount of 1 oz. for every 10 pounds of body weight mixed into its meals.

How it works:
Coconut oil is known to both repel and expel parasites.

3. Carrots

This remedy is a typical staple in most homes. Besides being entirely safe and providing excellent vitamins and minerals, carrots are a popular heartworm prevention treatment.

What to do:

  • Finely grate 1 oz. of carrots for every 10 pounds of weight.
  • Mix grated carrots into your dog’s regular food with every feeding.

How it works:
Carrots produce anti-parasitic compounds which are a safe and effective way of killing heartworms and avoiding their spread.

little boy holding his dog

4. Black Walnut Extract

Heartworm prevention without the use of risky drug reactions tend to point toward black walnut extract as one of the most potent home remedies.

What to do:

  • Add one drop of black walnut extract per every 10 pounds of weight once daily within your dog’s food.
  • For smaller dogs, the dosage is typically 1 drop the first week, 1 drop every 3rd day in the second week and then 1 drop every other day after that.

How it works:
Black walnut kills heartworm larvae before they can mature. It is also a cleansing agent which helps the dog’s metabolism and boosts its immunity.

5. Cloves

Another item which is probably present in the spice rack of every home is cloves. Cloves are a very safe alternative home remedy for heartworm prevention in your dog.

What to do:

  • Crush 2 to 3 whole cloves and add to your dog’s food daily.
  • You can use powdered cloves, but be sure that there is nothing else added.

How it works:
Cloves work in a similar way to black walnut in that they kill or prevent the growth of heartworm larvae.

6. Garlic

Not only is garlic a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory herb, but it also has anti-parasitic properties and insect repellent potential. Garlic is safe for dogs to consume up to 50 cloves a day, but what herb wouldn’t be toxic at that level.

What to do:

  • Crush 1 fresh garlic clove per each 10 pounds of weight and mix into food at least 5 times per week.
  • If you make use of dehydrated, minced garlic, be sure to read the label to determine what amount of minced garlic is equal to one clove.

How it works:
Garlic serves two functions in heartworm prevention. It repels mosquitoes and it cleanses the larvae of the parasite from the blood stream.

7. Hawthorn and Dandelion Tincture

Heartworm prevention is boosted when your dog’s heart is stronger. Hawthorn and dandelion tincture helps to strengthen and support your dog's heart muscle, improve its circulation and works as a diuretic to help flush the parasite out of its system.

What to do:

  • Add two drops of a commercial hawthorn and dandelion tincture for every 3 pounds of body weight daily.
  • Make your own hawthorn berry tincture and dandelion tincture, mix the two and use as suggested above.

How it works:
Working as a team, hawthorn increases circulation, which makes the heart’s job easier and dandelion helps to flush the toxins out of the body.

owner and dog hugging in a field

8. Medicinal Mushrooms

First of all, keep your dog away from wild mushrooms, 9 times out of 10 they are toxic, so don’t even risk it. The cool thing is that dogs will typically woof them down as treats.

What to do:

  • Give a ¼ tsp of a commercial medicinal mushroom formula for every 15 pounds of weight daily.
  • Alternatively, give your dog 1 to 3 button type, store bought mushrooms as treats each day.

How it works:
Heartworm prevention is aided by boosting your dog’s immune response to all pathogens and parasites mushrooms help provide that immunity boost.

9. Geranium and Lemongrass Spray

A great way to prevent heartworms, which can only be passed on to your dog via mosquitoes, is to keep mosquitoes from biting your dog. By spraying a mixture of geranium and lemongrass oils on your dog before you take it outdoors, you can go a long way in preventing heartworms.

What to do:

  • Mix 2 Tbsp of witch hazel with 2 Tbsp of olive or coconut oil as the base.
  • Add 50 drops each of geranium oil and lemongrass oil to the base.
  • Place in a container with a spray handle.
  • Spray your dog each time you take it outside.

How it works:
Both of these oils repel fleas, ticks, biting flies and mosquitoes. Used in combination they are extremely effective at keeping mosquitoes off of your dog.

10. Coenzyme Q10

This supplement, though not specifically a home remedy, might already be in your own pantry. Humans typically use CoQ10 as a natural means of controlling blood pressure, macular degeneration, asthma and more, but it can also be given to your dog to help with heartworm prevention.

What to do:

  • Give 100 mg per day to a medium to large dog and half that much to a smaller dog.
  • Can be obtained in capsules that can easily be added into your dog’s food.

How it works:
Coenzyme Q10 works on the same principal as hawthorn and mushrooms. By using this supplement, you can boost your dog’s immunity and strengthen its heart at the same time.

11. Diet

Heartworm prevention is best accomplished through good nutrition. If your dog has a healthy immune system, it is far more likely to be able to eliminate the heartworm parasite before it has a chance to do its damage.

What to do:

  • Stay away from dog foods with chemical additives, colorings, hormones and artificial flavorings.
  • Your dog’s diet should consist of 56% protein, 30% fats and 14% carbohydrates.
  • Add grated raw carrots, fennel, shredded coconut and papaya to your dog’s diet to create an inhospitable environment for parasites.
  • Give 1 tsp for each 10 pounds of weight of raw pumpkin seeds to your dog’s food to help them expel parasites.

How it works:
Your dog’s immune system was designed thousands of years ago. By feeding it a diet that more closely resembles its natural diet, adding a few supplements and staying away from unnatural chemicals, your dog can probably ward off a heartworm infection on its own.

little girl holding her dog tightly

Final Thoughts

Heartworms can be dangerous and potentially fatal, because of this fact, it is often easy to be convinced that the pharmaceutical option is the best option, but given the risks involved in their use, they may not be the best thing for your dog. Heartworm prevention can be accomplished in a variety of ways at home through the use of natural, alternative remedies.

Images taken from depositphotos.com.

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