Dogs have a habit of eating anything and everything – they also like to roll in things they shouldn’t. Unfortunately, this often means that your dog is eating things that aren’t good for him and rolling in things that can make him sick. He simply doesn’t know any better.
One of the most common ailments that dogs can pick up from eating or coming into contact with something outside is worms. The word “worms” is usually used to describe the kind of parasite that can infect your dog’s digestive tract.
There are five different types of worms known to affect dogs and parasite infections can cause some pretty nasty symptoms.
If you’re concerned that your dog has worms, take him to the veterinarian to determine what kind then try one of our top-rated dog dewormers reviewed below to deal with the problem.
You’ll find dewormers for all five types of worms as well as broad-spectrum treatments.
Here are our top 10 picks for the best Dog Dewormers:
#10 Sentinel Spectrum Chewable Tablets for Dogs
This high-end dewormer for dogs helps to protect them from heartworm and other parasites, and administering the chewable tablet is easy.
This is because it has a pleasant scent as well as a popular taste to ensure your dog gets protection over roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and hookworms. They recommend treating all the cats and dogs in your household so fleas don’t become a problem.
Store it at room temperature and rest easy knowing you have a six month supply in your home that is both effective and offers a broad range of protection.
Pros: Pleasant scent, available in different formulas for different breeds, six month supply, popular taste
#9 Bayer Quad Dewormer for Dogs
If you aren’t sure what type of intestinal parasite your dog has, or if he has multiple types of worms, a broad-spectrum dewormer might be the best option. In this case, try Bayer Quad Dewormer for Dogs. This dewormer is safe for puppies and dogs as small as 2 pounds and there are three different formulations for dogs 2 to 25 pounds, 26 to 60 pounds, and 45 pounds and greater.
This product is made with the active ingredients praziquantel, pyrantel pamoate, and febantel, all of which are FDA-approved and proven effective against worms in dogs. Bayer Quad Dewormer for Dogs comes in tablet form so you can administer it whole or crush it up and add it to your dog’s food. In testing, this product has been shown to produce results in as little as 8 hours.
Pros: Effective against four type of worms, made with three active ingredients, easy to administer chewable tablets, tablets can be crushed and added to food, three formulas for dogs of different sizes
Cons: Separate formulas for dogs of different size, may cause mild side effects, dosing instructions could be clearer
#8 PetArmor Sure Shot 2x Liquid Wormer
For dogs who have trouble taking tablets, you may want to try a liquid dewormer like PetArmor Sure Shot 2x Liquid Wormer. This dewormer is designed for puppies and dogs up to 120 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about buying a small- or large-breed formula.
It is made with the active ingredient pyrantel pamoate which is effective against both hookworms and large roundworms. This dewormer is FDA-approved for use in dogs and it is proven effective against two species of each type of worm.
It safe for dogs of all breeds and sizes, even puppies as young as 2 weeks. In fact, you can use it every two weeks in puppies to protect them against re-infestation.
Pros: Effective against 4 strains of hookworm and roundworm, safe for all breeds and sizes, liquid form is easy to administer, pleasant flavor
Cons: Exact dosing may be tricky, may cause mild side effects, repeated doses may be needed
#7 Sentry 7-Way Dewormer for Dogs
When you want to make sure all of your bases are covered in terms of killing intestinal parasites, a broad-spectrum dewormer is the way to go. This Sentry 7-Way Dewormer for Dogs is a 7-way dewormer that is effective against two species of tapeworm, two species of roundworm, and three species of hookworms.
It is safe for use in both dogs and puppies as small as 6 pounds, though there is also a formulation for large breeds.
Sentry 7-Way Dewormer for Dogs is made with the active ingredients pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel, so it provides a fast and effective solution for intestinal parasites.
It comes in tablet form, so you can feed the tablet to your dog whole or crush it up and add it to his food. Dosing instructions are simple to follow and the risk for side effects is low.
Pros: Made with the active ingredients pyrantel pamoate and praziquantel, effective against 7 species of worms, easy to administer tablet, safe for puppies as small as 6 pounds
Cons: Not for puppies or dogs under 6 pounds, no intermediate dosing, low risk for side effects
#6 Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer
Many dog dewormers are effective against hookworms and roundworms but if your dog has tapeworms, you’ll need to buy a different product like Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer.
This tapeworm dewormer is safe for dogs as young as 4 weeks and it comes in an easy to administer tablet form that can be fed whole or crushed and added to your dog’s food.
This tapeworm dewormer is made with the active ingredient praziquantel and each tablet contains 34mg of the active ingredient.
Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer comes in a pack of 5 tablets, so you may be able to get multiple doses if needed. There is a low risk for side effects, but they are generally mild and temporary.
Pros: Contains the active ingredient praziquantel, easy to administer tablet, safe for dogs over 4 weeks, low risk for side effects, effective against all types of tapeworm
Cons: Some risk for side effects, not for puppies under 4 weeks
#5 Sentinel Flavor Tablets for Dogs
Ideal for large dog breeds it is another with a 6 month supply and known to be effective at protecting against heartworm. It can be taken all year round, and it is better to give it to your dog on the same day every month.
With a month’s worth of protection in every chewable tablet of a convenient size. It stops the development of flea eggs, stopping them before they become a problem and although it is a little more expensive than some of the other dewormers for dogs, it does offer high quality and a popular taste.
Available in several formulas that are appropriate for different sized breeds, it is possible to protect all the dogs in your home at the same time.
Pros: Six months supply, stopes flea eggs developing, chewable tablet
Cons: On the pricey side
#4 Interceptor Plus Chewable Tablets for Dogs
This is one of the best dewormers for dogs so if you are concerned about heartworm, roundworm, whipworm, tapeworm, and other nasties, it is an excellent option. One of the most effective, it comes in a chewable tablet that must be tasty since dogs can’t help but wolf it down.
This version is tailored towards large breeds although it is also available in other sizes including 2 to 8 lbs, 8.1 to 25 lbs, and 25.1 to 50 lbs. With a six month supply, there is plenty to keep your dog healthy for a long time.
Because it’s chicken flavored, the scent alone will entice your pooch and it has a strong reputation for being effective. That means you can enjoy the best of the outdoors with your dog, knowing they are protected against some of the worst parasites going.
Pros: Kills various parasites, available in different formulas, chicken flavored
Cons: Smells strong
#3 Tri-Heart Plus Chewable Tablets for Dogs
For dogs of 51 – 100lbs, this is one of the best dewormers for dogs of a large breed and only requires administration once a month. It is also a chewable dewormer so you can either give it to your pooch as a treat or mix it into their regular meal.
As is common with these types of products, it comes as a six month supply so it is easy to protect your dog for long periods between purchases.
It protects your dog against several parasites, most notably heartworm and it works by killing larvae before they reach your dog’s heart.
Available in many sizes so all dog breeds can be protected including up to 25lbs, and 25-50 lbs. It is also effective at controlling and treating adult hookworms and roundworms.
Pros: Six months supply, ideal for large breeds, lasts a month
Cons: Not everyone wants a six month supply
#2 Trifexis Chewable Tablets for Dogs
This is the best dog dewormer for breeds that are on the extra-large side. Because it is fine for breeds of 60 – 120 lbs, it is a bit more expensive, but that is probably because it offers so much protection. That is because it not only protects against heartworm but fleas and infestations as well as intestinal worms.
You get six treatments and tasty chew that is beef flavored. We like it because it works fast, taking only 30 minutes to start offering protection. Within 4 hours it will have killed all adult fleas.
There are plenty of options available for different sized breeds so if you have multiple dogs in your house, you can protect them all. With 10.1 to 20 lbs, 20.1 to 40 lbs, and 40.1 to 60 lbs all available, all your four-legged friends can be safe for a month at a time.
Pros: Ideal for extra large breeds, lasts a month, beef flavored, fast acting
Cons: More expensive than a lot of the competition
#1 Heartgard Plus Chewable Tablets for Dogs
A heartworm preventative that treats and kills existing pests, suitable for dogs of 51 to 100 lbs. You only need to give it to your pooch once a month and because it is a chewable product, it is one of the easiest to administer.
A beef flavored product, it kills parasites and gives your furry friend a layer of protection that lasts a month. It is a good value option that gives you the confidence to take your dog to the park again, safe in the knowledge that they are protected.
It is also available in other sizes including up to 25 lbs, and 26 – 50 lbs. With a size month supply, there is plenty enough for you to take your dog anywhere knowing they are safe from heartworm.
Pros: Beef flavored, lasts a month, available in different formulas for different breeds, easy to get a dog to consume
The word “worm” alone is enough to make your skin crawl, so try not to think about all those tiny worms filling your dog’s digestive tract. As unpleasant as it may be to even think about worms inside your dog, it is not a problem you can just ignore – it needs to be treated.
Before you can treat your dog’s parasite infection, you need to know what kind of worms he has. The best way to find out is to take him to the vet and have him tested. From there, your veterinarian will recommend a course of treatment.
Keep reading to learn about the different types of worms in dogs, how dogs get worms, and how you can treat your dog for worms and prevent him from getting them again.
What Types of Worms Affect Dogs?
There are five different types of worms known to affect dogs and all of them are parasites that can spread quickly inside his system.
Parasites come in a variety of different forms, but most of those that affect dogs are intestinal parasites – heartworms are the only exception. Here are the five different types of worms known to affect dogs:
Roundworms – These are the most common intestinal parasite seen in dogs and there are two kinds, one more common in puppies.
Tapeworms – Dogs often get this type of intestinal parasite by eating flies or wild animals that have been infested with tapeworms or fleas that carry them.
Whipworms – This type of worm lives in the cecum and passes its eggs in the dog’s feces – the eggs can survive for up to 5 years in the right environment.
Hookworms – These worms can cause anemia in dogs which can be very dangerous, even fatal, in puppies if left untreated.
Heartworms – Transmitted by mosquitoes, heartworms are an extremely dangerous but preventable parasite that grow and multiply in the dog’s heart.
When your dog has a parasite infection, he won’t always show outward symptoms. In some cases, the only sign you’ll see is eggs or segments passed in his stool.
It is your job as a dog owner to pay attention to your dog’s condition so you can catch the early warning signs of a problem.
How Do Dogs Get Worms?
Dogs can get different worms in different ways. For roundworms, many puppies are born with them or adult dogs can get them through contact with an intermediate host like birds or rodents.
Tapeworms are usually transmitted through ingesting an infected insect and hookworms come from ingesting the larvae from the dog’s environment (usually outdoors).
Your dog can get whipworms by swallowing the eggs in soil or contaminated feces and heartworms come from mosquitos that are carrying the eggs and transmit it to the dog by biting him.
Not all worm infections show outward symptoms or, if they do, not until the infestation has spread to a significant degree.
Here are some of the signs of worms in dogs:
• Abdomnia pain
• Bloody stool
• Weight loss
• Poor coat condition
• Pot belly
These are the primary symptoms of intestinal parasite infections. In puppies, some worms may also cause severe anemia, poor growth, and even death.
Heartworms are an entirely different type of worm because they don’t infest the digestive system – they grow in the heart.
Symptoms of heartworms are primarily respiratory, including things like coughing, weak pulse, low exercise tolerance, and weight loss.
In addition to these symptoms, you may actually see worms in your dog’s stool or coming out of his anus.
Hookworms and whipworms are usually too small to notice in the stool, but if your dog has a tapeworm you’ll find segments in his feces. To help diagnose your dog with worms, and to determine which type he has, your veterinarian will need a stool sample.
How Do You Treat a Dog for Worms?
The best way to treat your dog for worms is to choose a dog dewormer designed to kill the type of parasite he has.
As you’ve already learned, there are five different types of worms known to affect dogs, so choose a dewormer that contains ingredients specifically chosen to kill the type infecting your dog.
You may also use a broad-spectrum dewormer as long as it is effective against the type of worm your dog has. If you aren’t sure, ask your veterinarian for a recommendation.
In addition to using a dog dewormer, there are certain foods you can feed your dog to help rebuild his immune system and repair his digestion.
Fermented foods like fermented vegetables and kefir are a great option, as are fresh grated veggies, ground pumpkin seeds, pineapple, garlic, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and parsley.
When treating your dog for worms, you need to be very careful because they can be transmitted to humans and sometimes the effects are very serious.
For example, if hookworm larvae penetrate human skin, they can cause serious inflammation called cutaneous larval migrans which can be scarring.
Roundworms eggs, if swallowed by a human, can lead to a condition known as visceral larval migrans in which the worms migrate through the walls of the intestines and into the body.
Children are particularly at-risk for transmitting intestinal parasites from dogs, so keep your kids away from animal feces because it could be infected with parasites.
Once you’ve gone through the trouble of treating your dog for worms, you want to make sure that he isn’t going to get them again.
Fortunately, parasite infections are completely preventable, and prevention is easier than you might imagine.
All you need is a monthly parasite preventive as recommended by your veterinarian. You should also keep your dog away from wild animals and their feces – you should also clean up after your dog when he is outside to avoid accidental spread of worms.
Now that you know everything you need to know about worms in dogs, you’re ready to start treatment.
Talk to your veterinarian to receive a correct diagnosis for the type of worm infecting your dog then choose the appropriate dog dewormer from the reviews above.
Remember, different worms respond to different active ingredients, so be sure you choose a product that is proven effective for the type of worm your dog has.
You can also try a broad-spectrum formula but, if you know the specific type of worm, it may be worth it to just buy a species-specific dewormer just to be sure it works. Good luck!