We spent over 40 hours over a 30 day period researching and testing more than 10 different types of dog dewormers and found that effectiveness, types of worms eliminated, and value for the money were the most important factors for consumers that were shopping for dog dewormers. Excel 8in1 Safe-Guard Canine Dewormer scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. Excel is a broad spectrum dewormer that is effective at eliminating whipworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and roundworms. The convenient dosage schedule of giving the medicine for three days in a row every six months is one of the many things dog owners love about this dewormer.
Dog Dewormer Buying Guide
Part of being a good, responsible dog owner is taking care of all aspects of your dog’s health. Making sure your dog doesn’t have worms and treating them if they do is one of the most important things you can do for your dog’s health. Since untreated worm infestations can cause a lot of potentially serious health problems this is something that you will need to do throughout your dog’s life.
Dogs can get a lot of parasitic infestations from fleas to mites to worms. Some of the parasites are external and reside in the dog’s fur or on their skin; others, like worms, reside in the intestinal tract and can cause bigger problems. Worms can affect your dog’s colon.
Dogs can get worms from ingesting the eggs that are present on the dog’s outdoor surroundings. Worm eggs can survive for as long as two years after the feces have been left. Most of the worms are taken in from eating but hookworms can enter the dog’s system through its paws. Puppies are often born with worms that they get from the mother and from her milk.
However your dog has gotten worms, the most important thing is to get rid of them in a timely manner to reduce the ill effects that worms can cause.
Types of Worms
There are many different types of worms that a puppy or dog can have. Below we have provided you with a list of the different worms along with some valuable information about each including the symptoms that the dog may exhibit with that particular type of parasitic worm.
- Tapeworms – Tapeworms are one of the most common worms a dog can get. Most of the dewormers on the market include tapeworms in the list of worms eliminated but be sure to look in the description of the dewormer to make sure. Some products are only for tapeworms so if that is the only worms your dog has, you could opt for a dewormer that focuses on those. Some of the symptoms you will see if your dog has tapeworms include pieces of tapeworm segments in the dog’s feces; your dog will scoot its rear end along the floor, excessive biting or licking of the anal area, seeing tapeworms under the tail or on the dog’s anus.
- Hookworms – These small, thin worms hook inside the intestinal wall. You can’t always see hookworms so the stool may need to be tested by a vet. Many offices will do fecal checks for a reasonable amount and not charge an office visit. Symptoms that may be present when your dog has hookworms include bloody stools, itchy feet, anemia, poor appetite, coughing if the dog’s lungs have hookworms, overall malaise, diarrhea, and other similar symptoms.
- Roundworms – roundworms can live inside your dog’s intestines for a very long time. Some, when left untreated, can grow as long as 6 inches. Round worms resemble noodles and can cause bloating and swelling of the stomach. Some of the symptoms of roundworm infestation include vomiting, potbelly, visible worms in the dog’s stool, diarrhea, lethargy, weight loss, poor nursing of puppies, and more.
- Whipworms – Whipworms are very hard to get rid of and impossible to see in the dog’s feces. The only way to diagnose whipworms is through a vet. Treatment for whipworms is possible and they may be easier to prevent than eliminate but if you get a broad spectrum dewormer, you can cover these worms too.
Things to Look for in a Dewormer
There are several different types of dewormers on the market to choose from. When you are looking for the right one for your needs, there are things you want to look for. We have listed these things below.
- Price – Budget is important but you should not choose a dewormer based on price alone. Never look for the cheapest dewormer you can find. You want to focus on brand reputation and reliability more than price. If you’re only looking for cheap, you’ll get substandard results that won’t necessarily take care of the worms your dog has.
- Safety – It is important to choose the safest dewormer you can get for your dog. If your pup has a lot of allergies you don’t want to give them a dewormer that can cause a problem for them.
- Mode of Administration – There is several different ways a dog can take a dewormer. Some are tablets, some are granules, liquid-based and more. Think about which way is easiest for your dog to take his or her wormer and choose a dewormer that offers that type of application.
- Type of worms – We can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what kind of worms your dog is dealing with. This information is crucial to choosing the right dewormer. If you just are not sure or can’t get a definitive answer, choose a general dewormer that takes care of all types of worms to be safe.
- Size and weight – You also need to know the size and weight of your dog before you purchase a dewormer. Some dewormers are not suitable for dogs under or over a certain weight or age and you can make them sick if they are given this dewormer. If you are dealing with young puppies that have worms you will be better off taking the litter to the vet and letting the vet treat them unless they are over the minimum age requirement that the dewormer states on the package.
- Pregnant or nursing dogs – If your dog is pregnant or nursing puppies it is important that you choose a dewormer that is possible for them to take safely. There are many dewormers on the market that are safe for pregnant and nursing dogs including a couple of the selections we have reviewed above.
Keeping your dog free of intestinal parasites is one of the most important things you can do for their health. Fortunately it is not super difficult to take care of these pesky parasites. With all of the different dewormers on the market, once you know what type of worms your dog has, it can be easy to choose one if you have all the right information.
Dog wormers are not overly complicated. Most of the products on the market are designed to be user-friendly and even come flavored so the dog will enjoy taking them. Some granule style dewormers can be added to the food they eat each day as well.
With all of the different applications possible there is no reason for your dog to have to hate being dewormed. It is much more cost effective to treat your dog’s worms with over the counter medications and if you catch them early enough you won’t need a vet’s consultation or help.
The three top-rated dewormers we have featured above are great examples of the kind of quality deworming products there are on the market. If you are looking for a broad spectrum dewormer that will cover many types of worms, one of these top-rated dewormers will be the perfect choice.
The information you have been given in the buying guide will be a huge help in sorting through the different types of dewormers on the market so you can find the best match for your dog’s age, weight, type of worms, and application preference.
There is no reason why finding a dewormer has to be complicated or stressful. As long as you know what kind of worms your dog has and you follow the dosage instructions and also pay attention to the warnings (such as do not give to pregnant dogs, etc.) then you will be able to get rid of and prevent worm infestations in your dog.