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The Essential Active Ingredients in Dewormers for Dogs and Cats

Regular deworming is crucial for maintaining the health and well-being of your pets. Understanding the active ingredients in dewormers can help you choose the right product for your pet’s needs. Here are the top five active ingredients commonly found in dewormers for dogs and cats:

Pyrantel Pamoate

Pyrantel pamoate is a highly effective and safe ingredient used to treat roundworms and hookworms in dogs.

  • Mechanism: Pyrantel pamoate works by paralyzing the worms, causing them to release their grip on the intestines and pass out in the feces.

  • Dosage: To ensure complete elimination, dogs typically need to be dosed a second or third time, two to four weeks apart.

  • Example Product: This ingredient is found in many effective dewormers and is known for its ability to treat common intestinal parasites.


Piperazine is another effective ingredient used against roundworms in both dogs and cats.

  • Mechanism: Piperazine works by paralyzing the worms, making them easier to expel from the pet’s body.

  • Dosage: For maximum effectiveness, Piperazine should be administered at least twice, 10 to 14 days apart.

  • Considerations: While effective, Piperazine is less palatable than Pyrantel Pamoate, which might affect its acceptance by some pets.


Fenbendazole is a broad-spectrum anthelmintic used in both small and large animals. It is highly effective against a wide range of parasites.

  • Mechanism: Fenbendazole works by depleting the parasites’ energy reserves and impairing their ability to eliminate waste, leading to their death.

  • Coverage: Effective against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and giardia in dogs.

  • Dosage: Typically, fenbendazole is administered once a day for three consecutive days.

  • Example Product: Safeguard Canine Dewormer contains fenbendazole.


Praziquantel is the drug of choice for treating adult tapeworm infections in both dogs and cats.

  • Mechanism: Praziquantel eliminates the tapeworms’ ability to prevent digestion by your pet, causing the tapeworms to disintegrate and be absorbed into your pet’s body.

  • Considerations: While effective against adult tapeworms, it does not kill the tapeworm eggs, so there is potential for reinfection. Regular treatment is recommended to prevent this.


Ivermectin is widely used as a monthly preventative for heartworm in dogs and cats and is also effective against some external parasites.

  • Mechanism: At higher doses, ivermectin can treat external parasites such as lice, mange, and ear mites. It prevents heartworm by eliminating the larval stages of the parasite.

  • Considerations: Ivermectin can be toxic to certain dog breeds with the MDR1 gene, such as collies and Shelties. Alternative treatments like Bravecto for mange therapy and Sentinel for heartworm prevention may be safer for these breeds.

Choosing the Right Dewormers for Dogs

Selecting the right dewormer depends on your pet’s specific needs and the types of parasites they are exposed to. Regular consultations with your veterinarian can help determine the best deworming schedule and products for your pet.

For more information on deworming products and pet health tips, visit or call us at 800-658-5308. We are dedicated to providing high-quality products and expert advice to keep your pets healthy and parasite-free.

dog going poop
dog going poop


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