Dog Dewormers: 4 OTC Active Ingredients You Must Know About!

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Sadly it’s not uncommon for dogs to become infested with roundworms, tapeworms, coccidia, giardia and various other parasites.

You obviously want to address this unpleasant problem ASAP. Thankfully the right dewormer will resolve such a sobering situation.

Can I give my dog dewormer?Are you planning to go it alone with an over-the-counter product?

Without your vet’s help, you should familiarize yourself with the active ingredients.

Pyrantel Pamoate is a Safe And Practical Dog Dewormer Ingredient

But, to make a fully informed decision, keep reading to learn about the other OTC anthelmintics AKA antiparasitic drugs.

The good news is that, more often than not, nonprescription dog dewormers are fairly good at killing off the vast majority of worms.

With that being said…

A Professional’s Prescription May Be Necessary

Have you already attempted to exterminate an infestation without success?

If so, it is probably time to involve a veterinarian. They will diagnose your dog’s problem and, based on test results, prescribe the most appropriate dewormer.

Getting your dog properly checked out is totally worth it. It’s how you can to be totally sure of the correct treatment based on the specific type of worm infestation.

Your clinic can look for intestinal and stomach parasites as well as Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm).

How it works is feces will be collected and analysed using a microscope. A blood sample should be taken to check for heart worms.

Now let’s turn our attention to over-the-counter active ingredients…

Pyrantel Pamoate With Praziquantel

Your standard safe and effective dog dewormer is a combination of Pyrantel Pamoate and Praziquantel. Side effects are rare!

Pyrantel is a safe treatment for eliminating roundworms and hookworms due to the fact that it is poorly absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract.

There is also little to no risk for pregnant dogs, and Pyrantel Pamoate/Praziquantel can be taken with or without food.

Furthermore, this treatment is affordable. We recommend the following two dewormers:

One downside is that Pyrantel products (especially those without Praziquantel) are not effective against all parasites including tapeworms and whipworms.


Another active ingredient in dog dewormers is Piperazine.

Medications containing this organic compound are typically administered at least twice over a period of around 2 weeks or so.

Durvet’s WormEze is a well-regarded dewormer that contains liquid Piperazine.

What’s especially great about this choice is that most dogs find it pleasant tasting. You can simply add WormEze to your pet’s water supply. 

Piperazine has a long track record for vanquishing parasites, though it cannot eradicate all roundworms. In particular, you will need to look for a different kind of dewormer if your dog has hookworms. 


This active ingredient is used in many dog dewormers including the super popular Safe-Guard Canine Dewormer.

As a broad spectrum benzimidazole, Fenbendazole can kill a wide variety of parasites but not all types!

It won’t work for Dipylidium caninum (Flea or Cucumber tapeworms). Instead, a specialized pure Praziquantel prescription would be most effective.

Caution: Dewormers containing Fenbendazole should be given with food to reduce a likelihood of your dog experiencing gastro upset.

The Bottom Line

4 active ingredients comprise the vast majority of OTC dog dewormers.

Pyrantel Pamoate along side Praziquantel as well as Piperazine and Fenbendazole can usually eliminate a precious pet’s parasites.

Nevertheless, for your dog’s sake, it is best to involve a vet in order to ensure a first attempt positive deworming result.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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One thought on “Dog Dewormers: 4 OTC Active Ingredients You Must Know About!”

  1. My 16 year old Chihuahua has become skinny over the past couple of years. My husband is convinced that he has worms. Tommy has a complete checkup every year but is currently just maintaining his skinny frame at around 4-4.5 pounds.

    Is it dangerous to give a OTC dewormer without knowing if he actually has worms? Like I said, he started thinning up as he got older and does not eat as much as he used to eat. Thank you!

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