How many tablets of deworming should I give my dog?

Quick Answers

The number of deworming tablets you should give your dog depends on several factors:

  • The weight of your dog – dosage is based on body weight
  • The type of dewormer – different active ingredients require different dosages
  • Whether your dog has a current worm infestation or you are doing routine prevention
  • The formulation of the dewormer – tablets, chewables, topicals, injections etc.

Always consult your veterinarian and follow the label instructions for the specific deworming product you are using. Do not under-dose or overdose deworming medications.

Calculating Dosage Based on Weight

Deworming products will provide dosing guidelines based on weight bands. For example, a typical guideline would be:

2-10 lbs: 1/2 tablet
11-25 lbs: 1 tablet
26-50 lbs: 2 tablets
51-100 lbs: 3 tablets

So if your dog weighs 35 lbs, you would give 2 tablets. Always double check the dosing instructions for the specific product, as they can vary.

Types of Dewormers

There are several different classes of deworming medications for dogs:

  • Fenbendazole – A common active ingredient in many broad spectrum dewormers effective against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms.
  • Praziquantel – Used to treat tapeworm infections.
  • Pyrantel pamoate – Effective against hookworms and roundworms.
  • Milbemycin oxime – Used against hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and heartworm prevention.
  • Ivermectin – Broad spectrum dewormer that treats roundworms, hookworms and whipworms.

Each medication has specific dosing recommendations. For example, praziquantel is dosed at 5-10 mg per kg of body weight. Always check dosage for the particular deworming product.

Treating Current Worm Infections

If your dog has symptoms of a worm infection or you have diagnosed worms through a fecal test, a vet may prescribe a higher, therapeutic dosage of dewormer to clear the infection. Follow their recommendations closely.

For existing infections, you typically have to give deworming medication over a span of days or weeks to fully eliminate worms. Your vet will provide complete dosing instructions tailored to your dog.

Routine Deworming Prevention

For dogs without active worm infections, most vets recommend giving dewormers routinely as a preventative measure. The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) provides general guidelines:

  • Puppies should be dewormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then monthly until 6 months old.
  • Adult dogs should receive year-round monthly heartworm prevention containing dewormers for intestinal parasites.
  • Breeding dogs should be dewormed 2-4 times per year.
  • Deworming 1-4 times per year for adults based on exposure risk and veterinary advice.

Check with your vet on the optimal deworming schedule for your particular dog.

Formulations and Administration

Deworming medications come in several forms that affect dosage and administration:

  • Tablets – Given orally. Available in scored tablets that can be broken into fractions.
  • Chewables – Flavored chewable tablets. Easier to give but may not have divisible doses.
  • Topicals – Applied to skin on the back of the neck. Provide consistent dosing.
  • Injections – Administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly. Allow precise dosing based on weight.

Tablets or chewables allow flexibility but require careful dosing calculations. Topicals and injections provide more precision but have to be administered by a vet.

Key Dosing Tips

Follow these tips to safely and effectively deworm your dog:

  • Weigh your dog accurately before dosing.
  • Carefully calculate tablet fractions if needed.
  • Never give more than the label recommended dose.
  • Supervise your dog after dosing to ensure they swallow the medication.
  • Mark the calendar to keep track of dosing schedule.
  • Have a fecal test done periodically to check for effectiveness.
  • Rotate deworming medications for best results.

Speak With Your Veterinarian

Your veterinarian is your best resource for determining the optimal deworming regimen for your dog. Be sure to:

  • Discuss your dog’s individual risk factors for worms.
  • Have an annual fecal test done.
  • Follow their recommendations for deworming type, dosage and frequency.
  • Get refills of deworming medications directly from your vet.
  • Notify them if you suspect a deworming product is not working.
  • Immediately contact them if your dog has a bad reaction to a dewormer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I deworm my dog?

Adult dogs should receive deworming at least 1-4 times per year based on risk factors. Puppies require more frequent deworming, starting at 2 weeks old then continuing monthly until 6 months old. Check with your vet for tailor recommendations.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a scheduled deworming dose, give it as soon as you remember and then get back on your regular dosing schedule. Do not double up doses to try to compensate for a missed dose.

How long do dewormers take to work?

Most deworming medications begin working quickly, within 24 hours. However, it can take 3-4 weeks to fully eliminate an existing worm infestation. You may need multiple follow up doses over a span of time.

How do I know if deworming worked?

Have your vet run a follow up fecal test 2-4 weeks after deworming to check for parasite eggs. You can also watch for resolution of symptoms like abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting, or presence of worms in stool.

What if a dose is vomited?

If a dog vomits shortly after receiving an oral deworming dose, it is unlikely the medication was fully absorbed. You should re-dose after the dog has fully settled down, perhaps dividing the dose across two administrations.

Can I deworm a pregnant or nursing dog?

You should not deworm a pregnant dog, especially in the first 45 days of pregnancy. Deworming should be done 2 weeks before breeding or after weaning. Some dewormers are safe for nursing dogs, but first check with your vet.


Deworming your dog requires using the right product at the right dosage based on their weight, age, and health status. Work closely with your vet to implement an effective deworming schedule. Be diligent with follow up fecal tests to confirm your dog remains parasite-free.

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