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Best worming tablets for dogs: Chews and other treatments to treat and prevent worms

Jane Hoskyn
15 Jun 2022
best worming tablets for dogs
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Spare your beloved pooch the misery of worms with our pick of the best worming tablets, chews, granules and syrups for dogs and puppies

Intestinal worms make life miserable for your dog, but they're easily treated and prevented. In most cases, the best worming treatments only need to be given once every three months to keep your canine pal free of roundworms and tapeworms, even if he or she is a determined adventurer with a taste for eating poop.

You'll need to treat a little more often if your dog is infected, or if he or she is lucky enough to live with children, since roundworms can be passed to humans. Weaned puppies should also be wormed more frequently. Thankfully, treatment is easy to administer at home using over-the-counter (OTC) worming tablets that you can buy online without a vet's prescription. However, worming treatments are not "one size fits all", so it pays to know the pros and cons of different types of tablet before buying.

Read on and our buying guide will help you choose the best treatment to cure and prevent worms in your pet. If you already know what you're looking for, scroll down the page for our recommended best worming tablets for dogs.

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Best worming tablets for dogs: At a glance


How to choose the best worming tablets for your dog

Why do I have to give my dog worming tablets?

Worms are nutrition-stealing parasites that live inside your dog's body. As dramatic as that sounds, your dog could have worms without you knowing it, because they are easy to contract and dogs don't always exhibit symptoms. Once the wriggly invaders have set up shop in your pet's gut, they can seriously affect your dog's health and energy levels.

The revolting little critters don't just affect dogs, either. Left untreated, worms (especially roundworms) can spread throughout your pets and your family, and cause nasty conditions such as toxocariasis. They can be particularly dangerous for children and pregnant women, causing birth defects and blindness.

So, an occasional worming tablet is a vital part of your dog's diet. The tablets contain chemicals that are safe for your dog (at the recommended dose) but highly toxic to worms throughout their life cycle. An infestation of worms should be treated by your vet, but prevention is better and cheaper than cure, and one tablet every three months is usually enough to prevent infection. If your dog has been treated for an infestation of worms, you'll normally need to give a repeat dose after two weeks, but speak to your vet first.

If your dog won't tolerate or swallow tablets, there are variations such as flavoured chews, granules and even syrup that might make the treatment process more enjoyable for all involved. Well, except the worms.

For more information on worming your pets, check out this explainer from VetHelp Direct

What types of worms might affect my dog?

The two main types of intestinal worm treated by worming tablets are roundworms and tapeworms. Both types live in the small intestine of dogs, cats and humans.

Roundworms can be picked up by adult dogs while out and about on walks, especially if other dog owners haven't been careful about picking up poop. Puppies commonly contract roundworms from their parents. In both adults and puppies, a mild infestation may go unnoticed for weeks until the poor pooch starts to suffer diarrhoea, and you might start to see live worms in their poop.

Most worming treatments also kill hookworms and whipworms, which are types of roundworm.

Tapeworms shed segments that look like grains of rice in faeces and may be visible around your dog's bottom and tail. Tapeworms can be passed to your pet by fleas, so it's important to keep up your flea treatment regime as well as worming.

What are the active ingredients in worming tablets for dogs?

  • Fenbendazole is a safe, gentle wormer that kills roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. It works by diminishing the parasites' energy reserves and preventing them from eliminating waste, eventually killing them.
  • Febantel is metabolised into fenbendazole shortly after your dog ingests the tablet, with or without food. So, after a bit of digestion, it's basically the same thing.
  • Pyrantel kills roundworms and pinworms, but again not tapeworms.
  • Praziquantel kills tapeworms. Most OTC dog worming tablets contain this ingredient along with febantel, to ensure that all the major types of worm are dealt with.
  • Nitroscanate is a relatively gentle dewormer that appears in lots of supermarket worming tablets, and kills tapeworms as well as roundworms. It's fairly effective but notoriously toxic in high doses, so be extra careful to give your dog the smallest appropriate dose for his or her weight.
  • Milbemycin oxime is a strong worming medication that kills all kinds of intestinal worms at any stage of their life cycle. It's only available on prescription in the UK, so you'll need to get a script from your vet to buy it.

How can I ensure I don't give my dog an overdose?

Know your dog's weight, and only give him or her the appropriate worming dosage for their size. Most of our recommended best worming tablets for dogs come in different dosages for different size dogs, and they all have feeding instructions on the packet. It's always worth having a chat with your vet if you're unsure.

How much will I need to spend?

Dog worming tablets are less expensive than flea treatments. For prevention, you can get away with spending under £2 on one tablet every three months for a small to medium adult dog. If you need a prescription-only product, the vet's prescription may well cost more than the tablet itself, but it will still add up to much less than buying worming tablets direct from your vet.

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The best worming tablets for dogs in 2022

1. Drontal Dog Tasty Bone: Best all-round worming tablets for dogs

Price: £1.69 for one tablet | Buy now from Pet Drugs Online

Drontal is a name well known to owners of dogs and cats, because their treatments (including a worming spot-on liquid) are recommended by vets and target both main types of worm: roundworm and tapeworm. They can treat infestations as well as prevent them, killing worms within around 24 hours.

Like most worming tablets, Drontal Tasty Bone tablets have a meaty flavour to make them more palatable for your pooch. You can break them up for easier feeding, and they don't have to be taken on an empty stomach, so you can hide them in your pup's food (or inside a tasty treat) to help the medicine go down.

Like many of our recommended best worming tablets for dogs, Drontal and all its variants are available at good prices from Pet Drugs Online, a UK site with free delivery if you spend over £29. You can also buy pet food and prescription medicine here (if you have a prescription, of course), so it's easy to reach the free delivery spend. In fact, Drontal Tasty Bone are available in package sizes of one or – if you want to stock up – 102 (£170.48), so you can get a lifetime's supply with free delivery.

Key details – Format: Tablet; Flavour: Beef; Active ingredients: Febantel, pyrantel, praziquantel; Suitable for: Small to medium adult dogs

Buy now from Pet Drugs Online


2. Veloxa XL Chewable Dog Wormer: Best chewable worming tablets for large dogs

Price: £17.04 for four tablets | Buy now from Pet Drugs Online

These beef-flavoured chewable tablets from the makers of Frontline flea treatment are a great option if your dog struggles to swallow tablets. Most dogs will be happy to munch the chew without the need to hide it in food, and you don't have to starve your dog beforehand as with some worming treatments. You can also buy Veloxa (not XL) for smaller dogs, or simply break an XL chew in half for a smaller pooch. Don’t feed a whole XL tablet to a small dog, though, or they'll suffer an upset tummy or worse.

Key details – Format: Chewable tablet; Flavour: Beef; Active ingredients: Febantel, pyrantel, praziquantel; Suitable for: Adult dogs 17.5kg-35kg (can break tablet for smaller dogs)

Buy now from Pet Drugs Online


3. Cazitel Plus Tablets for Dogs: Best value worming tablets for dogs

Price: £1.48 for one tablet | Buy now from Pet Drugs Online

Budget buy Cazitel has the same active ingredients as Drontal, but they taste a bit different (pork versus beef), so it comes down to which ones your dog prefers. And you do save a few pennies per tablet, although Drontal is already excellent value. If you're prepared to stump up for a box of 104 Cazitel tablets you'll pay just £150, which is fantastic value for a dog's lifetime supply.

Key details – Format: Tablet; Flavour: Pork; Active ingredients: Febantel, pyrantel, praziquantel; Suitable for: Adult dogs up to 10kg

Buy now from Pet Drugs Online


4. Panacur Wormer Granules for Dogs & Cats: Best worming granules for elderly dogs and sensitive stomachs

Price: From £1.14 per 1g sachet | Buy now from VioVet

Drontal and Veloxa contain febantel, which metabolises in your dog's stomach to turn into worm-killing fenbendazole. Panacur skips the middleman and contains metabolised fenbendazole, so the flavourless granules are mild (albeit lethal to worms) and may be easier on sensitive stomachs than tablets. They're really easy to serve, too, even to elderly dogs: just mix them into their food.

The main catch is that fenbendazole alone kills roundworms but not tapeworms. Tapeworms are less likely to infect your dog and other family members than roundworms are, but you may still want to give pooch an occasional tapeworm worming tablet to be on the safe side.

The other catch is working out how much to feed. Panacur's cheapest yellow sachet contains just one gram of granules, which treats around 2kg body weight as a single three-monthly dose to prevent worms. That's a pretty tiny pooch. For most small dogs weighing 2-4.4kg, you'll need a 1.8g (blue) sachet. For 5kg and up, it's the red 4.5g sachet. For dogs weighing in at 10kg or more, you'll need multiple larger sachets. The product page at VioVet has full details.

Key details – Format: Granules; Flavour: None; Active ingredients: Fenbendazole; Suitable for: Adult dogs from 1.1kg

Buy now from VioVet


5. Droncit Tablet Tapewormer for Cats and Dogs: Best worming tablet to kill tapeworms in dogs

Price: £1.39 for one tablet | Buy now from Pet Drugs Online

Droncit is a great backup tablet to buy if you're using a gentle fenbendazole-based wormer to treat your dog. The fenbendazole kills roundworms, and Droncit's active ingredient of praziquantel gets to work on tapeworms, which it kills at all stages of their development. The main downside with this tablet is that it tastes nasty if you break it (even worse if you crush it up), so if your dog weighs less than 10kg and you need to split the tablet, you may have to bury it deep in beef paste and cheese to mask the bitterness.

Key details – Format: Tablet; Flavour: Pork; Active ingredients: Praziquantel; Suitable for: Adult dogs (one tablet per 10kg)

Buy now from Pet Drugs Online


6. Milbemax Chewy Tabs 125mg for Dogs: Best prescription worming tablets for dogs

Price: £3.62 for one tablet | Buy now from Pet Drugs Online

This chewable chicken-flavour tablet kills all types of intestinal worms, and is the go-to treatment for clearing up mixed infections. Unlike non-prescription tablets, it also targets lungworm, which is rare but a growing problem in some parts of the UK. It's serious stuff, so you will need a prescription from your vet to buy it. That'll cost you, but the price of a vet's prescription plus buying Milbemax online is much cheaper than buying it direct from your vet.

What about the tablets themselves? Dogs love them, apparently. A Novartis lab study found that 94% of dogs will take the tablet straight from your hand. Seems you can't beat a chicken chewy. If you have a small dog weighing between 1 and 5kg, go for Milbemax Chewy Tabs 25mg for Small Dogs and Puppies.

Key details – Format: Chewable tablet; Flavour: Chicken; Active ingredient: Milbemycin oxime, praziquantel; Suitable for: Adult dogs from 5kg

Buy now from Pet Drugs Online


7. Beaphar Worming Syrup: Best worming treatment for puppies and nursing mums

Price: £14 for 2x 45ml | Buy now from Amazon

Chocolate is toxic to dogs, but this chocolate-flavoured syrup isn't – it's just lethal to worms, and your dog will love it. It comes in an easy-to-use pump dispenser that helps you dispense the right amount without mess. This multi-pack contains enough syrup to treat a mum and her litter. It's also a great worming treatment for elderly dogs and others who struggle with tablets. As with Panacur, Beaphar contains fenbendazole, which is easy to digest but kills roundworms and not tapeworms, so you'll need to supplement it with a tapeworm-killer such as Droncit.

Key details – Format: Syrup; Flavour: Chocolate; Active ingredient: Fenbendazole; Suitable for: Puppies, adult dogs, lactating mothers

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