Looking For The Best Dog Wormer For All Worms?
Here’s a look at our favorites, including our top pick – 8in1 Safe-Guard Canine De-wormer for Dogs, 3-Day Treatment.
Let’s start off by putting your mind at ease—you were probably horrified when the veterinarian told you that your dog has worms, but it’s important to understand that it’s no reflection on you. Dogs are highly susceptible to parasitic diseases, and roundworms and tapeworms are fairly common. In fact, you may be surprised to hear that some puppies are even born with tapeworms.
If you haven’t gone to the veterinarian yet but you’re concerned that your dog has worms, here are a few symptoms to watch out for:
- Bloated stomach – this is one of the more common signs in puppies who are born with worms (because their mother had worms and passed them along).
- Diarrhea and bloody stools – diarrhea is generally a sign that your dog is having digestive issues, though by itself it doesn’t necessarily mean your dog has worms. A bloody stool, however, is always a red flag. If you ever notice blood in your dog’s stool, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.
- Excessive scratching and rubbing – it’s a sign of worms when you see your dog scratching and rubbing their butt, whether it’s with their paws, on the ground, or on the furniture. You don’t need to call your vet every time it happens, but if the peculiar behavior persists you’ll want to go in for a checkup.
- Unusual appetite – worms steal food from your dog’s stomach, so your dog will usually eat much more when they have worms to make up for the lost food.
- Weight loss or weakness – on a similar note, food eaten by the worms results in malnutrition. Dogs with worms will usually appear a little weaker, and if the worms are bad enough they may begin to lose weight.
- Worms or eggs in feces and vomit – this is the most obvious symptom, and it usually accompanies one or more of the symptoms we’ve already discussed. Worms and eggs look like little grains of rice in your dog’s feces and vomit. You’ll want to collect some of the worms in a baggie that you can bring to your veterinarian.
What to look for in a dog wormer
While they’re incredibly common, untreated parasitic diseases and worms can lead to significant discomfort and health problems.
The good news is that worms and parasitic diseases are fairly simple to treat, and most treatments are 100% effective at removing the worms after a single treatment cycle. There are a number of over-the-counter medications that are just as effective as prescription medication but with a significantly lower price tag. If you’re looking for an over-the-counter solution, here are a few things to look for:
- Tablet versus granule – some medications come in the form of a chewable tablet, while others are a granule inside a packet that can be dissolved into your dog’s food. Granule packets are easier to administer, but they’ll usually require several doses to complete a single treatment cycle, whereas tablets are often effective with the first dose.
- Pyrantel pamoate – an active ingredient that’s commonly used to treat hookworms and roundworms.
- Praziquantel – an active ingredient that broadly treats parasitic infections by paralyzing the parasites.
- Fenbendazole – an active ingredient that kills tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. This is the primary active ingredient in many prescription de-worming medications.
The Safe-Guard Canine De-wormer uses fenbendazole—the same active ingredient in prescription canine de-wormers—to treat eight strains of whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. Each dose is a highly palatable granule that can easily mix into your dog’s food (which is much easier than trying to force down a tablet).
The pack comes with three packets, which is enough for a three-day treatment cycle for dogs that are less than 40 pounds. Three-day treatments last for up to six months. The Safe-Guard Canine De-wormer is safe to use with puppies as young as six weeks-old and pregnant dogs, and it is approved by the FDA.
Durvet Triple Wormer is a great broad spectrum de-wormer that kills seven strains of roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. The box comes with 12 easy-to-administer chewable tablets, which is more than enough to do several treatments for even the largest dogs (there’s enough to administer three doses to a dog that’s over 150 pounds).
Each dose contains 114 mg of pyrantel pamoate and 114 mg of praziquantel. Durvet is an over-the-counter medication, and it has been approved by the FDA. Note that the medication is intended for dogs who are 12 weeks or older, and it is not recommended for breeding or pregnant dogs.
If you have a small dog that weighs less than 10 pounds, you’ll want to get a very light de-wormer treatment that won’t harm their digestive system. This pack from Safe-Guard is the same 8-in-1 de-worming treatment discussed previously, only this time it comes in much smaller dosages that are intended for small dogs.
As with the medium-dog version it uses fenbendazole to treat roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and hookworms, and the medication is approved by the FDA.
The Panacur Canine Dewormer is another fenbendazole-based over-the-counter medication that’s proven to be effective against tapeworms, roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, and other parasites. Each pack comes with three packets of medication for a three-day treatment cycle, and you can get different sized packets depending on how large your dog is. The treatments are granulated, so they’re easy to mix with your dog’s food when administering the treatments.
Virbantel is an over-the-counter canine medication that treats and controls tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms. Like the Durvet de-wormer, the active ingredients in this medication are pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel.
The tablets aren’t as easy to administer as granulated doses that blend in with food, but the tablets are flavored to taste like a doggie treat so it’s not as bad as you’d think. Virbantel is safe to use on puppies that are at least 12-weeks-old, and it’s approved by the FDA.
If you suspect that your dog has intestinal parasites, you should take your dog to the veterinarian before administering a de-worming treatment. Nine times out of ten the vet will confirm the diagnosis and give you the green light to begin treatment with an over-the-counter de-wormer, but sometimes the symptoms that accompany worms are actually a sign of more serious health conditions.