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Best Dewormer For Dogs And Puppies: Tips To Treat & Prevent

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Last Updated: May 23, 2024 | 8 min read | Leave a Comment

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Most dogs will contract one or more types of intestinal worms in their lifetime. Deworming medications help break down and kill worms to eliminate them from your dog’s body. However, worms in dogs are so common that veterinarians recommend giving your dog a regular dewormer to help prevent worm infestations. We’ll help you decide which dewormers are best for your pup and how to spot the signs if your dog gets worms.

OverallPuppiesValue
Panacur CBayer QuadSentry WormX Plus
Panacur CBayerSentry

What Kinds Of Worms Do Dogs Get?

The most common types of worms that dogs get are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and heartworms. All are intestinal parasites except for heartworms, which affect the heart and lungs. Dog dewormers are medications targeted toward eliminating and preventing intestinal worms, but they aren’t effective for heartworms. Heartworms require a different treatment.

Dogs can get hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms by ingesting eggs or larvae in feces, soil, or contaminated surfaces. Dogs usually contract tapeworms by eating fleas that feed on tapeworm eggs or eating animals infected with tapeworms. Then, the worm larvae attach to your dog’s intestinal wall and grow into adult worms.

Symptoms Of Intestinal Worms

Puppy at the veterinary doctor to receive heartworm medication held by healthcare professional hand in a syringe.

All four of the most common types of intestinal worms (roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms) can cause very similar symptoms, including:

  1. Changes in appetite
  2. Weight loss
  3. Diarrhea or other changes in your dog’s stool
  4. Nausea
  5. Coughing
  6. Low energy
  7. Bloated belly
  8. Scooting the rear along the ground
  9. Excessive anal licking
  10. Dull coat
  11. Itchy skin
  12. Visible worms in feces or around the anus

Best Dewormers For Dogs & Puppies

We’ve researched and picked the best over-the-counter (OTC) dewormers for dogs. These products kill active infestations and can also be used as a preventative medication, typically once per month. We’ve based our rankings on the medicine’s efficacy, ease of administration, price, customer reviews, and more.

Contact The Vet First

You should always see your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis of worms to ensure your pup is getting the most effective treatment possible. 

Best Dog Dewormer Overall: Panacur C Review

Panacur C

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Many veterinarians recommend Panacur C, which contains fenbendazole as the active ingredient. It is a top dewormer for dogs without a vet prescription. It’s effective against the most common species of hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms.

It’s safe for dogs six weeks and older and pregnant and lactating pups. This medication is a powder that you sprinkle onto your dog’s food once a day for three consecutive days. If your dog eats dry dog food, you should moisten it before adding Panacur C.

It comes in one, two, and four-gram packets. Each box contains three packets. You’ll need to choose the correct packet size(s) per their dosing guideline, which essentially is one gram of powder for every ten pounds of your dog’s weight. For example, a 50-pound dog needs a five-gram dose each day.

ProsCons
Recommended by many veterinariansMust give for 3 consecutive days
Kills 4 types of worms (6 species)Not safe for young puppies under 6 weeks old
Safe for lactating and pregnant dogs

Price

Best Dewormer For Puppies: Bayer Quad Dewormer Review

Best Dewormer For Puppies: Bayer Quad Dewormer Review

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Bayer Quad Dewormer by Elanco Animal Health is a broad-spectrum chewable tablet puppy dewormer that is effective against hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. The active ingredients, praziquantel, pyrantel pamoate, and febantel, are the same as in Drontal Plus, a common vet-prescribed dewormer. But you don’t need a prescription for this product.

Bayer Quad is our pick for the best dewormer for puppies because it’s safe for dogs three weeks of age and older. Many other brands aren’t safe for puppies until they’re six weeks old or older. But it’s an excellent solution for dogs of all ages. It also only requires a single dose. You can give it as a chewable or break it up and sprinkle it onto your dog’s food. Many pet parents say it’s extremely effective; however, a few people report vomiting as a side effect.

ProsCons
Same active ingredients as vet-prescribed Drontal PlusNot safe for pregnant and lactating dogs
Kills 4 types of worms (7 species)A bit on the pricey side
Only requires a single doseA few reports of vomiting
Safe for puppies 3 weeks and older

Price

Best Value: Sentry WormX Plus Review

Sentry WormX Plus Review

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Sentry WormX Plus is a flavored chewable tablet that’s effective against hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms (but not whipworms). The active ingredients, praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate, are found in vet-prescribed brands (and our overall pick). This product is recommended for dogs 12 weeks of age and older.

Each package contains two tablets — just follow the dosing guidelines based on your dog’s weight. Dogs over 100 pounds will require more than one package. Some customers complain that the tablets are too large and not very chewable, and there were a few reports of vomiting.

ProsCons
Excellent valueNot safe for puppies under 12 weeks old or pregnant/lactating pups
Kills 3 types of worms (7 species)Not effective for whipworms
Only requires a single doseA few reports of vomiting
Some complain that the tablets are too large

Price

Each package contains two tablets.

Best Natural Dewormer For Dogs: HomeoPet Worm Clear Review

HomeoPet Worm Clear

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If you’re a holistic pet parent who prefers to use all-natural ingredients, many customers say that HomeoPet Worm Clear is an effective homeopathic alternative to traditional medications. This liquid is formulated to remove and prevent hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms.

HomeoPet uses only naturally grown raw materials in its formula, including pumpkin seeds, pomegranate root bark, kamala, thyme camphor, and several other 100% natural ingredients. (Just keep in mind that this and other natural dewormers haven’t been proven effective in scientific studies.)

ProsCons
All-natural ingredientsMust give 3 times per day for 14 days for an infestation
Kills 4 types of wormsSome reports that it doesn’t work
For dogs and cats
Cruelty-free research

Price

What About Durvet & Safe-Guard OTC Dewormers?

Although they didn’t make our top picks, the following over-the-counter dewormers also get excellent reviews for being effective and well-tolerated in most dogs.

Durvet Liquid Wormer 2X Review

Durvet Liquid Wormer 2X

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Durvet’s liquid dewormer comes in an easy-to-administer liquid formula and is safe to use on puppies as young as two weeks old. The active ingredient, pyrantel pamoate, helps eliminate both hookworms and large roundworms. Please note that Durvet isn’t a broad-spectrum solution like some other products we review here.

A lot of people use this for young puppies, who are often born with roundworms. It’s safe to use every two weeks as part of a puppy deworming schedule.

ProsCons
Safe for puppies as young as 2 weeks oldOnly effective against large roundworms and hookworms
Good for a puppy deworming protocol (safe to give every 2 weeks)Doesn’t come with a syringe
Easy-to-administer liquid formula

Price

Safe-Guard Canine Dewormer Review

Safe-Guard Canine Dewormer

View on Amazon | View on Chewy

The Safe-Guard dewormer by Merck Animal Health is an affordable alternative to Panacur C, with the same active ingredient, fenbendazole. It’s also effective against hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms and is safe for dogs six weeks and older and pregnant and lactating pups. The dosing for the packets of powder is identical to Panacur C.

ProsCons
Affordable alternative to Panacur C (our #1 pick)Must give for 3 consecutive days
Kills 4 types of worms (6 species)Not safe for young puppies under 6 weeks old
Safe for pregnant and lactating dogs

Price

  • Pricing starts at

Prescription Worm Medicine For Dogs

Veterinarians commonly prescribe Drontal Plus, Interceptor, and Sentinel for worm infestations. And you need to make sure you’re giving your pup a heartworm preventative (available by prescription only) to prevent this life-threatening disease.

There are also some excellent prescription meds* you may want to talk to your veterinarian about that can help to treat and prevent a host of parasites. Some include:

  1. Trifexis (spinosad+milbemycin oxime) is a chewable tablet you give your pup once a month. It treats and controls hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms, prevents heartworm infections, and kills adult fleas. It’s safe for dogs eight weeks and older and over five pounds and typically has no side effects.
  2. Bayer Multi-Advantage (imidacloprid+moxidectin) is a topical solution you apply once a month to the skin between your pup’s shoulder blades. It treats and controls hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms, prevents heartworm infections, kills adult fleas, and treats and prevents sarcoptic mange. It’s safe for dogs seven weeks and older and over three pounds.

*You can often find these on Chewy’s website for less than what your vet will charge, but they still require a prescription.

How To Deworm A Puppy (Video)

Check out this three-minute video, which has some valuable tips on administering different types of deworming medicine to your pup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we often see from our readers about deworming dogs and puppies. If I didn’t get to yours, let me know in the comments.

How Long Does Dewormer Take To Work?

As long as your dog has consumed all of the deworming medication, it should start to kill worms rapidly within two to six hours. After that time, you should see your dog begin to pass worms in his next bowel movement.

How Long Will My Puppy Poop Worms After Deworming?

Puppies usually poop worms for two to three days after deworming, but it can take up to a week, especially if the infestation is severe. You may see changes in your dog’s stool consistency due to deworming.

It’s typically recommended that puppies be dewormed at two, four, six, eight, ten, and 12 weeks of age, then monthly until they’re six months old. Then, puppies can move on to the recommended schedule for adult dogs, which ideally is once every three months.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Parasitic Prevention?

No, accident and illness pet insurance policies don’t cover parasitic prevention medication. Parasitic prevention, such as flea, tick, and heartworm prevention, is considered a routine expense, which aligns with a wellness plan. Wellness plans are not insurance products but are offered as policy add-ons by many insurers to reimburse routine care costs, such as annual exams, dental cleanings, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, and more. You can learn more about pet wellness plans, including what companies offer them and what is included.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Deworming?

Most pet insurance does not cover diseases preventable by vaccines and prophylactic medications, including heartworms, internal parasites, and fleas. However, there are rare stories of dogs on heartworm preventatives that still contract the disease. Because of this, some pet insurance companies may offer coverage in these instances; however, we wouldn’t bank on this coverage.

Worm Preventatives

Preventing worms in your dog is preferable to treating a worm infestation. Taking precautions like disinfecting food and water bowls regularly can help. You can also periodically wash and disinfect your pup’s bedding and clothing. Along with that, clean up your pup’s poop and make sure they don’t eat any other animal’s feces when outside. Your veterinarian can also prescribe a heartworm prevention medication.

Could My Dog Have Another Type Of Intestinal Parasite?

Although not as common in dogs as worms, a couple of other types of intestinal parasites can cause similar symptoms. These include Giardia, a protozoan parasite, and Coccidia, a parasitic bacteria. Dogs can contract infections both from eating infected dog feces and from contaminated surfaces.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Sally has over 20 years of experience in human health sciences communications, including 10 years as an expert on pet health conditions and treatment. She’s part of a team of dedicated canine professionals and long-time dog owners at Canine Journal. We test and research the best pet products, not only for our own pups but for all of our readers.

Vet doctor holding test tubes with vaccine near cute little mongrel dog in clinic

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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