As a new dog parent, you can be faced with some messy situations from time to time. This can include cleaning up dog hair to messy stains on the floor. However, there is one thing that can freak out new dog parents and that is worms. Yes, worms. Those dangly little or sometimes big things that move and wriggle. The mere sight of worms can turn the hardest of stomachs. The mere thought that your precious fur baby could have worms is unimaginable. Unfortunately, this could be the case.
The good news sorta is that it is quite a common thing for canines to be infected with worms at some stage in their lives. On many occasions, you may not even know your fur baby has a worm infestation as they sometimes show no symptoms. Adult dogs when compared to puppies are better equipped to handle worms due to a more developed immune system. However, adult dogs still need to be treated as they can also develop problems due to worm infestations.
Fortunately, there are now some very effective parasitic worm treatments available and we have listed our top picks for best dewormers below. Your veterinarian should be consulted as to the best course of action so as to rid your fur baby of these annoying and pesky parasitic worms.
Dewormers for Dogs
|Safeguard 4 Dewormer||Our Rating 4.6|
|Sentry Pet Care 7 Way De-Wormer||Our Rating 4.5|
|Bayer Chewable Quad Dewormer||Our Rating 4.5|
|Panacur C Canine Dewormer||Our Rating 4.5|
|Durvet Liquid Wormer||Our Rating 4.4|
Article Summary: 5 Best Dewormers for Dogs
|Roundworms & Dogs|
|Hookworms & Dogs|
|Whipworms & Dogs|
|Tapeworms & Dogs|
|Warning Signs Your Dog Has Worms|
|Top Picks for Best Dewormers for Dogs|
Top Picks: Best 5 Dewormers for Dogs
No 1. Safeguard 4 Canine Dewormer
Safeguard 4 Dewormer makes our top selection for dog dewormers as it covers all the main parasitic worms affecting dogs. These include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworm. The Safeguard Dewormer includes the active ingredient, fenbendazole. This is often used in prescription dog dewormers.
This product comes in convenient granules. These granules are easy to mix inot your dog’s food. If you are feeding your dog dry kibble then it might be good to add little water so that granules can dissolve over the food.
The good thing about this particular dewormer is that it can be used on pups from as young as 6 weeks of age. It can slow be used for pregnant dogs and also dogs infected with heartworm.
You will need to use and administer this product for 3 consecutive days so make sure you don’t miss a dose and choose the right size for your dog’s weight. Each package contains three 1 gram pouches. So for small dogs (10lbs) there will be 3 pouches in the package
It’s important to weigh your dog accurately before using the dewormer. Safe-Guard 4 Canine’s daily dose is 50 mg/kg (22.7 mg/lb) of body weight.
- 10 lbs – 1 gram /
- 11 lbs – 20 lbs – 2 gram
- 21 lbs – 30 lbs – 1 gram + 2 gram
- 31lbs – 40 lbs – 4 gram
With this dewormer, you can still feed your dog before and after treatment. This product can also be conveniently stored at room temperature around 68 – 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Covers all the main types of parasitic worms- roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworm.
- Convenient granules that can be mixed with food
- Can be stored at room temperature
Covers all main worms affecting dogs and the vast majority of users were happy to use this dewormer
Easy to use powder granules.
Some users found their dogs did not like the powder so best to mix it really well with food if this is the case.
No 2. Sentry Pet Care 7 Way De-Wormer
Sentry Pet Care 7 Way De-Wormer is specifically designed for medium to large-sized dogs over 25lbs. This dewormer covers the following parasitic worms.
- 2 Tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum & Taenia pisiformis)
- 2 Roundworms (Toxocara canis & Toxascaris leonina)
- 3 Hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma braziliense and Uncinaria stenocephala).
There are 2 active ingredients: pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel.
This product is available in chewable tablets that have been flavored. Each tablet contains 114 mg of pyrantel pamoate and 114 mg of praziquantel. The recommended dose for each drug is 2.27 mg per l of body weight (5 mg/kg).
When you are faced with the problem of your dog not taking a tablet then you can always try to disguise it in his food or you have a sniffing detective you may be left with no other choice but to make him swallow the pill. We have an article on tips on how to help give your dog a pill – hope this helps.
Whenever you are dosing your dog it is advisable to weigh your dog accurately so as to make sure you are giving the right dose per body weight. Again your veterinarian will be in a position to advise you on any parasitic control and elimination issues.
- Chewable tablets
- Suitable for medium to large-sized dogs over 25lbs.
- Covers roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.
Convenient chewable flavored tablets.
Does not cover whipworms
No 3. Bayer Chewable Quad Dewormer for Small Dogs
Bayer Chewable Quad Dewormer is suitable for small dogs from 2lbs to 25lbs. Each pack contains 4 chewable tablets that are beef-flavored so your dog should enjoy the taste. This dewormer works on all of the common worms affecting dogs, tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms and it can also be used on young puppies from 4 weeks of age.
Each chewable tablet contains:
- 22.7 mg praziquantel,
- 22.7 mg pyrantel base as pyrantel pamoate, and
- 113. mg febantel.
The active ingredient in this dewormer is Praziquantel and it can kill 4 types of tapeworms. Pyrantel Pamoate (or Embonate) kills roundworms. Febantel is a broad spectrum that kills whipworms, hookworms, and makes the other two ingredients work better.
Many users were very happy with this product. Some dogs after taking this medication ended up pooping out worms. It will work on removing the most common worms including the common tapeworms (Dipylidium caninum & Taenia piriformis), common hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala), common roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina), and remove whipworms (Trichuris vulpis).
- Chewable tablets
- Suitable for small to medium dogs from 2lbs to 25 lbs
- Treats Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms, and Tapeworms
- Safe to use on puppies from 4 weeks of age.
Tasty chewable tablets
Works on dogs 3lbs to 25lbs & puppies 4 weeks +
Some users experienced usual problems of trying to give a dog a tablet.
No 4. Panacur C Canine Dewormer
Panacur C Canine Dewormer is a dewormer for use in small to medium-sized dogs. The active ingredient is Fenbendazole Granules 22%(222 mg/g) and this works on the most common worms affecting dogs in the USA –
- Roundworms (Toxocara canis, Toxacaris leonina),
- Hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephala)
- Whipworms (Trichuris vulpisand an
- Tapeworms (Taerpisiformis)
This dewormer is safe for use in puppies over 6 weeks of age, adult dogs including pregnant dogs.
Each packet of Panacur C treats a 40 lbs dog as it contains three 4 gram packets of dewormer granules. It is important to weigh your dog to ensure you give the adequate dosage per weight. The active ingredient in each dosage unit is Fenbendazole Granules 22.2% (222 mg/g).
The product is made in Austria and the company is open about any adverse reactions and generally speaking it has a very good rate. Out of 240 dogs taking this dewormer, only 3 dogs experienced vomiting which works out at around 1%
There is a general dosing guideline, however, always check with your veterinarian. The daily dose of Panacur C is 50 mg/kg (222 mg/g). Newly weaned pups should be dewormed at 6, 8. 10, and 12 weeks along with the nursing mother. Dogs over 6 months of age should be dewormed at least 2 times every year. Each deworming will require 3 daily doses.
- 10 lbs – 1 gram
- 20 lbs – 2 gram
- 30 lbs – 1 gram + 2 grams
- 40 lbs – 4 gram
- Treats most common worms: Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms & Tapeworms
- Can be used on puppies over 6 weeks of age, adult dogs & pregnant dogs.
- Granular so easy to mix into wet food.
Works on the most common types of worms in dogs
Easy to use
Can use on puppies over 6 weeks
Low adverse reaction rate
N0 5. Durvet 2x LIquid Wormer
If you are looking for a dewormer that is safe for young puppies from as young as 2 weeks of age then Durvet Liquid Wormer could be the answer. This American-made product has a pleasant-tasting liquid dewormer that can be used on young puppies, lactating females after whelping and adult dogs to prevent re-infestation of Toxocara canis. The active ingredient is 4.54 mg pyrantel pamoate per mL
This dewormer is highly effective to prevent the re-infestation of Roundworm (Toxocara canis) and large roundworm, (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina) and hookworms, (Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala) in dogs and puppies.
With this dewormer, there is no need to withhold meals prior to dosing and it is very easy to administer this liquid. Please note before using this product it is important to know the weight of the dog before administering the dewormer. The recommended dosage is one full teaspoonful (5mL) for every 10 lbs of body weight.
- Suitable for young puppies from 2 weeks of age & Lactating females
- Easy to administer liquid that is highly palatable
- Works on Roundworms (Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina)
- Works on Hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum and Uncinaria stenocephala).
Works on young puppies from 2 weeks of age
Easy to use this liquid dewormer
No need to withhold food before dosing
Made in the USA
Not suitable for tapeworms or whipworms
It does not come with a measuring cup so either use teaspoon that holds 5 ml or you can buy a syringe or dropper from the local pharmacy
Dogs are mostly affected by 4 Types of Worms
1. Roundworms (Toxocara canis)
Roundworms can live in a dog’s stomach. Their name is derived from the tubular or round shape of the worm. Roundworms can vary in color from white to light brownish, resembling a string of spaghetti as they are capable of growing to a few inches in length.
The majority of dogs will be infected with this type of worm at some stage in their lives but it is more common with puppies. Unfortunately, puppies are more at risk from roundworms as they stunt their growth and development. These worms exist by surviving on partly digested food in the gut, thereby depriving your fur baby of essential nutrients that can result in malnourishment. One roundworm alone can produce over 85,00 eggs in one day so vital to eliminate these worms before it escalates into a serious infestation.
What Type of Roundworms Can Dogs Get?
There are 3 different types of roundworms that can affect dogs.
1. Toxocara Canis
Tocara canis is the most common type of roundworm that affects dogs and can be especially harmful to puppies. Puppies even before they are born can be infected with this worm. Even within 2/3 weeks after birth, puppies can pass these worm eggs. The particular type of roundworm is very resistant and can survive for long periods in contaminated soil.
2. Toxascaris Leonina
Toxascaris leonina is another common parasitic roundworm found in dogs, cats, and rodents. The good news here is that there is no transfer of this worm in the mother’s womb to the puppies. It is more commonly found in cats and the main method of infection is when the host either ingests the eggs or consumes an infected rodent.
3. Baylisascaris Procyonis
The Baylisacaris procyonis roundworm is found moostly in raccoons and consequently there is a low level of infection rate in dogs in comparison to other worms.
Dogs are mostly infected by this worm through soil that was infected where raccoons defecate. If your dog walks through an area that has been contaminated by racoon feces and then later cleans himself then unfortauntely he can ingest the worm eggs and the infection begins. The more raccoons in an area the higher the risk of infection.
The most prevalent rate of infection occurs in the Northeast and Midwest and the West Coast where it is estimated 70 to 100% of raccoons carry this roundworm. Lower rates are noticeable in the deep south and along the Carolinas and Florida. The consequences of infection with this particular parasite can be fatal. It is similar to rabies in that it can cause fatal neurological diseases in both humans and dogs.
How Do Dogs Get Roundworms
An article from the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health Pet roundworms and hookworms stresses the need to keep our guards up against these types of parasites. The major parasitic roundworm affecting dogs in the world is the Toxocara canis.
1. Pregnant / Nursing Dogs
One of the main ways puppies are infected with worms is through a pregnant or a lactating dog. Unborn puppies can be infected while still in the womb during the gestation period and also when they are born there can be worm eggs in the mother’s milk.
Once a dog has been infected with roundworm it can still retain somatic larvae. The larvae can spread to different parts of the body and can be reactivated in the last 2/4 weeks of a dog’s pregnancy and consequently infect the puppies through the colostrum and milk for up to 38 days from birth. It can even affect up to 3 consecutive litters. This is one of the main reasons why young puppies are de-wormed after the first 2/3 weeks of life. Unfortunately, if a puppy has a high infestation level there is a high risk of death just after birth.
When a dog has a worm infestation there will be microscopic roundworm eggs in its feces. So when he defecates and another dog comes along and either sniffs or licks the excrement this dog can also become infected with worms.
In addition, the soil where the poo sits can also be infected with these roundworm eggs. Consequently, this can then cause other animals such as earthworms, birds, and rodents to spread the eggs and help continue the cycle of infection.
Can Humans Get Roundworm?
Yes, unfortunately, humans can pick up roundworms too. If you think your dog has worms give your veterinarian a call to arrange an appointment. The vet will be able to determine what type of worm from analyzing a sample of his feces.
Unfortunately, humans can pick up roundworms from dogs and puppies that have been infected. It can be quite easy to pick up some of the microscopic eggs from contaminated areas or even when your dog shows his love for you by licking. The eggs enter the body and form into larvae that can then travel throughout the human body. Sometimes they can be referred to as wandering larvae. For the majority of cases, there are no ill effects and you may not even be aware that you have been infected. However, there can be very serious consequences for some infected people, especially young children. The larvae can travel around the body and can even end up in the eye that can affect eyesight and possibly result in blindness.
The hookworm species hookworm affecting dogs is officially called Ancylostoma caninum. These worms are found in the small intestine and their name derives from their teeth in their mouth that attach themselves to the intestinal wall.
Hookworms are normally grayish-white to pinkish in color. They are very small in size usually around 1/8 inch (2/3 mm). Hookworms survive and thrive by feeding on blood from very small blood vessels in the intestinal wall.
How Do Hookworms Affect Dogs?
As hookworms feed on small blood vessels they can cause two major problems
1. Inflammation of the Intestine.
This can lead to stomach pain, cramps, and digestive issues
2. These worms feed on blood thereby making them one of the most dangerous parasites and this is particularly concerning for puppies. If there is a large infestation then it can affect the blood supply and lead to blood loss (anemia)
The Ways Dogs Get Hookworms?
Dogs can pick up hookworms in a number of ways. Contaminated feces on the ground is probably the most common form of transmission. Unfortunately, all a dog needs to do to become infected is to sniff or lick feces that itself has been infected with worms. Another way your dog could end up ingesting these hookworms is by your dog self-grooming after walking over a contaminated spot. Dogs often clean themselves especially their paws and can accidentally ingest these worms.
Can Humans Get Hookworms?
Unfortunately yes, humans can get hookworms too.
According to the Center For Disease Control, the most likely way for humans to get hookworms is by walking over an area that has been contaminated with worms while barefoot. If a dog with hookworm has left his feces in either soil or sand that area can become infected as well. Consequently, if you are unfortunate to walk over that area while barefoot there is a chance that the larvae will burrow into your skin cuasing irritation and infection.
The best way to avoid hookworms is to wear shoes, sandals, boots, or whatever protects your feet. It is also best practice to remove any feces as soon as possible from any spaces so that the eggs do not hatch and lead to further contamination.
Now here’s the gross part. The irritating part of the skin will have red and raised tracks. These tracks on the skin follow the larvae’s movement within the body and they can change daily. Now the good news is that in the vast majority of cases the larvae will die after a few weeks and the body will return to normal. Only in rare will the larvae make it to the intestine and cause stomach cramps and pain along with diarrhea.
Whipworms live in the large intestine. Their name is derived from their shape as they resemble the appearance of a whip – thick at one end, the posterior and long and thin at the other end, the esophagus. The color for whipworms varies from yellow to brown and they can reach about 1/ inch (6mm) in length.
How Do Whipworms Affect Dogs?
The whipworm attaches to the intestinal wall and burrows with the long thin end. When this happens it can cause hemorrhage and discomfort and irritation in the intestine.
When dogs have low levels of whipworm infection they may not show any symptoms at all and would go undetected if not tested. However, at high levels, it can produce severe symptoms including stomach pain, diarrhea, blood in the stool, and on occasions the higher the rate of infestation of worms the more severe the symptoms. If the dog has a severe case of infestation of whipworm it can cause death.
How Do Dogs Get Whipworms?
As with other parasitic worms, dogs can get whipworms from licking or sniffing another dog’s feces that contains worms or else through soil that has been infected with worms due to dog feces lying on the soil or sand.
Can Humans Get Whipworm?
The good news on this front is that humans cannot get whipworms from their dogs.
Tapeworms live in the intestine of the dog and they have a ribbon-like shape and are whitish in color. They are made up of different segments and each segment is called proglottids. The official name for this dog tapeworm is Dipylidium caninum and can sometimes be more commonly referred to as the flea tapeworm.
How Do Tapeworms Affect Dogs?
The good news on tapeworms in dogs is that on most occasions they do not cause any serious problems and they can be treated quite easily. Tapeworms survive and thrive by burrowing into the walls of the intestine. They do this by using their hook-like suckers and then feed on food that has been consumed by the dog.
Now here’s the yucky part. Tapeworms can grow to very long lengths in your dog’s intestine from 4 to 28 inches! As they grow within the intestine, small segments (proglottids) of the worm, roughly about the size of a grain of rice break off.
These worm segments are not always passed in feces so it can make the task of identifying the issue more difficult for your veterinarian. However, sometimes these smaller segments of the worm can be seen even crawling around your dog’s anus or you may find dead ones in your dog’s bedding. I know it sounds nasty but it’s advisable to collect these worm segments so that your veterinarian will be able to analyze them. It’s not often you will see the adult tapeworm but it can happen on occasion.
If you ever notice your dog scooting along the floor on his backside it could be a warning sign that he has tapeworms. It can look comical but your fur baby is trying to get some relief from these pesky and annoying worms.
How Do Dogs Get Tapeworms?
The most common way for your dog to pick up tapeworms is by ingesting a flea that has itself been infected with tapeworm. When your dog ingests an infected flea the tapeworm can then grow in your dog’s intestine. Most dogs pick up tapeworm either from mixing with other dogs with infected fleas or when they are self-grooming themselves by licking.
Can Humans Get Tapeworm?
The good news is that you cannot get tapeworms directly from your dog. However, you can still get tapeworm if you come in contact with the larvae or eggs of the tapeworm. Normally the most common way for this to happen for adults is by walking barefoot through an infected area containing tapeworm eggs while out gardening. Children are the most vulnerable when playing in the garden or in a sandpit that has been infected with tapeworm eggs.
Many people who are infected with tapeworms don’t even realize it. There was recently a case where doctors removed a 6 foot long tapeworm from a man’s stomach. He was initially complaining of lethargy and an upset stomach. Only after an examination by doctors was he found to have this huge tapeworm inside his body. Yuck!
Warning Signs That Your Dog Has Worms
If you think your puppy or adult dog has parasitic worms you need to have a consultation with your veterinarian as to the best course of treatment.
If the worm infestation is moderate to high it can cause all types of problems. Unfortunately, there are different health issues for each worm type. Some worms can migrate through the body and can cause a cough, nasal discharge, pneumonia, and even blood loss. For puppies, roundworms as well as causing malnutrition can also stunt their development and lead to weight loss.
Some of the general warning signs for worms to watch out for include:
Weight Loss Leading to Malnutrition
For severe infections, your dog or puppy will suffer weight loss. This loss in weight will have a detrimental effect on his health as not enough nutrition is being made available. This will result in lethargy, weakness and your dog will have a dull coat and look unwell. In severe infestation of worms, it can even cause intestinal blockages.
Dogs can experience severe bouts of diarrhea and there will be worm eggs in the poo so make sure it is cleaned thoroughly.
Puppies with worms can also have swollen bellies.
In some cases of infection vomiting and retching can occur.
Before starting any course of treatment consult with your veterinarian to find out what particular worm is affecting your dog. Dewormers are used to treat active worm infestations. Normally they are effective with just one treatment but sometimes your dog can get reinfected so you may have to dose again around 3 weeks. The vet can advise on all these issues.
Our overall top pick for the best dog de-wormer is the Safeguard 4 Dewormer. This dog de-wormer covers all the main parasitic worms affecting dogs, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworm. This product also includes the active ingredient, fenbendazole, which is often used in prescription dog dewormers. Your veterinarian can advise you on what is best for your particular fur baby.
If you would like to find out more about the complete prevention and treatment of all types of parasites (external and internal), as well as a comprehensive guide to all aspects of dog health, take a look at The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health.
This book is an invaluable resource for the responsible dog owner, and will help you to ensure that your dog remains happy and healthy – just the way you want him to be!