Deworming in Dogs

Written By Wag! Staff
Published: 06/08/2017Updated: 03/19/2024
Veterinary reviewed by Michele K.
Deworming in Dogs
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What is Deworming?

There’s a high chance your dog will get worms during their lifetime. Using a dewormer for dogs not only treats your pet if they get worms, it also helps to prevent them from getting worms in the first place. This is why it’s very important that you are deworming your dog regularly. 

Read our guide to deworming dogs and you’ll learn:

  • Deworming helps to treat your dog if they get worms
  • Not all dogs get symptoms, which is why you should treat them for worms regularly 
  • One of the best dog dewormers is Drontal Plus 
  • The dosage is based on several factors including their weight 


What is deworming for dogs and how can it help them?

Deworming for dogs can help your pup in two ways. Firstly, do you suspect your furry friend has worms? Then a dog dewormer will be able to treat this. But, don’t wait until they already have them — regular deworming will also help to prevent worms in dogs, too. 

Internal parasites — which includes long worms (roundworms, hookworms and whipworms), tapeworms and heartworms — can affect your dog any time during their life, even before they’re born.  

Some dogs show symptoms, but not all will. These parasites pose a significant threat to a dog’s health, and certain types of parasites can be transferred to human family members as well. Which is why, in this case, prevention definitely is better than cure.

Need financial assistance with your dog's deworming medication? Most pet insurance companies offer wellness add-ons that cover the cost of preventative care, including deworming. Browse and compare the pet insurance plans to find the perfect option for your pup. 

Efficacy of deworming 

Deworming treatments start working within a few hours. Studies show deworming medications are 98% to 100% effective at eliminating parasites such as roundworms, which are often present in puppies at birth after being passed through the placenta or mother’s milk. 

Roundworms can quickly mature in a puppy and then be passed through their stool to contaminate the environment, which is why deworming regularly is essential.

To prevent reinfection from other types of worms, there are a few things you can do in addition to deworming. Scheduled flea prevention will protect your dog from tapeworms. Training your dog to stop eating poop can also protect them from whipworms.


How to deworm a dog

Your veterinarian can prescribe the safest deworming products. For dogs with intestinal parasites, a veterinarian may suggest an injection, topical treatment, or oral treatment. In some cases, more than one may be needed. 

Some dewormer medications will dissolve the worms in the dog’s intestinal system, while others will paralyze them. In those instances, the paralyzed worms will detach themselves from the intestinal tissue and may eventually be found in the dog’s vomit or stool.


Deworming medicine for dogs

Common dog dewormer medicines, include:

The best dewormer for dogs may be dependent on the type of worm they have. For example, Drontal Plus is a tapeworm dewormer for dogs but can also be used for roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. It acts against the different worms in different ways. 

How often should you deworm your dog? 

You know this treatment needs to be given regularly. Now you need to know how often to deworm dogs. This will differ quite significantly for puppies and older dogs. 

A dewormer for puppies needs to be given fairly regularly — every two to four weeks until around the age of 12 weeks. 

Once they’re 12 weeks old, they should receive treatments to eliminate and prevent the parasites once a month until they’re six months old. 

After six months, an adult dog should receive treatment every one to six months (or according to your veterinarian’s advice).

Can I deworm my dog myself?

Yes, you can deworm your dog yourself using an OTC dog dewormer — which just means over-the-counter medication that’s readily available. You may want to speak to your vet before you start.

As this is a regular treatment, you could also look into cost-effective ways of doing this first — such as signing up to a wellness plan. 

As well as regular deworming, a healthy and nutritious diet can help prevent your dog from getting worms. Check out our friends over at Dog Food Advisor for advice on the best fresh dog food and the best natural dog food.


Deworming dosage for dogs 

The dosage will be dependent on which form they have the dewormer in. Then, with over-the-counter tablets, for example, how many you give them will be based on their weight. It’s important to read the instructions carefully for these. 

You may also want to speak to your vet just to be sure. They will know the correct dosage for your dog based on their age, body weight, and current health status.


Side effects of deworming a dog

There are far more benefits to deworming your dog than there are side effects, However, after being dewormed, dogs and puppies may suffer some mild side effects, including:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Gastrointestinal upset
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

How much does deworming cost?

The cost of dewormer for dogs varies depending on which treatment is needed. Many deworming medications are available by prescription. Over-the-counter products are also available and may be less expensive. 

To give you an idea of what you can expect to pay, Drontal Plus and Panacur are both around $9 to $20, on average. 

Depending on your location, some animal clinics offer low-cost deworming products for those in need.

Deworming — safety considerations

A dog who has been dewormed is not automatically covered against re-infestation. You must administer the deworming medication exactly as directed for the full duration of treatment. You'll also need to clean and maintain your dog's environment and your home.

Always wash your hands after administering the deworming product, and teach children the importance of hygiene as well. Keep your yard and any area your pup frequents free of dog feces by picking up after them immediately.  


Deworming — frequently asked questions 

Deworming is safe for dogs and something you should be doing regularly. But, before you do, you’re likely to have some questions. We’ve got answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, but if there’s anything you’re worried about or need to know, you should always speak to your vet. 


How do dogs get worms?

You know you can help to prevent worms as well as treating them — but, how do dogs get them in the first place? 

Well, puppies can be born with worms if they’ve been passed on by the mother. 

For an older dog, worms could come from eating or sniffing poop or grass that contains the parasites. 

Can you prevent your dog from getting worms? 

As mentioned, dogs can get worms from a number of places including infected fleas, an infected dog's feces, and soil infested with parasite eggs. This is why worm infestations can’t always be prevented.

But, you can help to prevent it by giving them a regular deworming treatment. Likewise, maintaining your dog’s general health by ensuring they get a wholesome, nutritious diet and plenty of exercise will also protect them from parasite infections and other diseases.


Is there a natural dewormer for dogs?

There are foods and herbs that are believed to prevent and eliminate internal parasites. A few of these include apple cider vinegar, pumpkin seeds and carrots. However, this is unlikely to be as effective as medication — especially if your dog already has worms. 

It’s important to note that some of the natural remedies you may see suggested, such as garlic, are actually toxic to dogs, so not a safe option. 

However, you may want to incorporate some of the safe foods into their diet alongside the deworming treatment.  


Does dewormer cause diarrhea in dogs?

Yes, in some cases. It's not uncommon for your pup to experience some stomach upset after taking deworming medication as the dead worms pass through their system. Side effects are typically mild.


Can you get worms from your dog even after you deworm them?

Yes. Roundworms can spread from dogs to humans. If your dog has recently been dewormed, you should wear gloves when you pick up their feces. Then, always wash your hands well with soap and warm water.

How long will my dog poop worms after deworming?

Your dog's poop should be back to normal within a few days. Dead worms may be present in your dog's poop for up to a week after treatment. Just keep an eye on it and if you have any concerns, contact your vet. 

We know regular treatment can become costly but not doing it can come at a much higher cost. Sign up to a wellness plan and you’ll have peace of mind that your pet’s routine healthcare needs are covered. This includes everything from deworming to annual shots and boosters. 


Deworming Procedure in Dogs


Efficacy of Deworming in Dogs


Deworming Recovery in Dogs


Dog Deworming Considerations


Deworming Prevention in Dogs


Deworming Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Bernese Mountain Dog

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Four Months

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29 found this helpful

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29 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Threw up roundworms and she is just a puppy

Feb. 15, 2021

Answered by Dr. Sara O. DVM

29 Recommendations

Hello, you can get a roundworm medication at the pet store to treat these worms.

Feb. 15, 2021

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Jack Russell

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Four Months

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58 found this helpful

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58 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Little White Worms Biting Her Butt Area Scooting On Carpet Acts Like She Depressed
Can worms still come out a live after she been dewormed and what happens if she bitting at her butt and eats some? Also is it safe for puppy to still be sleeping in bed with me?

Jan. 2, 2021

Answered by Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

58 Recommendations

A good wormer should kill the worms and they are then excreted. If the worms are still alive she likely needs to be wormed again. Be sure it is a strong and broad acting product such as Fenbendazole. Yes, if you choose to sleep together that's fine. Ensure you practice good hygiene; sheet washing and hand washing to avoid spread.

Jan. 2, 2021

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