How to Deworm your Dog With Safeguard

Updated on April 23, 2016

Learn How and When to Deworm Your Dog With Safeguard

Liquid safeguard may be cost-effective for owners with many dogs.
Liquid safeguard may be cost-effective for owners with many dogs. | Source

The Benefits of Using Safeguard To Deworm Adult Dogs, Puppies and Pregnant Dogs

De-worming your dog is part of being a responsible dog owner. Whether you own a puppy or adult dog, a purebred dog or a mutt, you know the threat of pesky parasites is always there. Keep your dog and your family safe by administering one of the most effective broad spectrum de-worming products on the market: Safeguard liquid for canine companions.

Safe guard is an FDA-approved anthelmintic, basically a drug used to kills worms. Its main active ingredient is ''fenbendazole'' which is effective against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and certain tapeworms. Two of these parasites, in particular, roundworms and hookworms, also pose health risks for humans.

Safe guard works by basically disrupting the worm's energy metabolism and because it attacks primarily the parasites and not the dog’s tissue, it is very safe to use. You may, or may not find dead worms in the dog's stool after using this product.

Safe guard is often used once or twice a year in adult dogs to prevent worms, but there are different guidelines to follow depending on your dog's age and circumstances. For instance, breeders like to treat their dogs every other month and before breeding, so to prevent the mother from passing the parasites on to the pups. New puppy owners may worm their puppies as per their vet's recommendations at 6, 8, 10 and 12 weeks of age and then at least every six months after the age of six months. Consult with your vet so to use this drug at its best. For a list of Safeguard side effects read here.

Fenbendazole comes in different formulations: fenbendazole granules, fenbendazole liquid suspension and fenbendazole paste. The most common formulation of Safe guard on the market appears to be the Safe guard granules, offered in convenient packets.

The liquid and paste formulations, on the other hand, are mostly marketed for large animals, but are also used in dogs and cats by following a veterinarian's dosage instructions. The most common version of Safe guard liquid is the Safe-Guard 10% suspension horse/cattle dewormer which comes in a 1000 ml bottle and contains 100 mg per ml of the active ingredient fenbendazole. This may be a cost effective product for people owning multiple dogs or a large kennel.

According to Susan Stack, (see reference below) a veterinarian practicing in Yuma, Arizona, cattle Safeguard is exactly the same product as horse Panacur suspension (10% Fenbendazole), and both are also made by the same manufacturer (Hoechst). The canine dose of the horse Panacur suspension is 1 cc per 4 pounds given daily for three days. This means a 60 pound greyhound gets 15 cc, whereas an 80 pound dog gets 20 cc daily for three days. If your veterinarian recommended you to use Safe guard liquid for dogs, follow his/her dosage instructions carefully. Afterward, you must find a good way to ensure you administer it correctly.

Over the Counter Safeguard/Panacur for dogs (much cheaper than the vet's!)

8in1 Safe-Guard Canine Dewormer for Large Dogs, 3 Day Treatment
8in1 Safe-Guard Canine Dewormer for Large Dogs, 3 Day Treatment

Effective treatment against tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms.

Safe for pups over the age of 6 weeks and pregnant female dogs.


How To Administer Liquid Safeguard to Dogs

Once your vet has supplied you with the correct dosage of Safe guard liquid for dogs based upon your dog's weight, you are ready to administer it to your dog. This can be the tricky part. Some dogs will gulp down liquid medications readily, but many may categorically refuse anything that has a suspicious smell they do not trust. If you own a dog of the latter category, what tricks can you use to fool your dog into swallowing the medicine? There are many tricks of the trade.

Method 1: Mixing with Food

  1. If your dog is not on any dietary restrictions, your best bet is to administer the liquid fenbendazole directly on food. A good trick is to invest in some canned dog food. Most dogs, especially those fed dry food most of the time, find canned food irresistible.
  2. Offer your dog a little bit of canned dog food with no medication in it. This will help lower your dog's suspicion index, suggests the Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department for Drs. Foster & Smith.
  3. Prepare the suspension according to package directions and dose the Safe guard as per your vet's instructions using a dropper or oral syringe.
  4. Mix the liquid suspension thoroughly in your dog's canned food. Do not give an entire meal or you may risk your dog leaving some. Make a small portion that your dog will eagerly eat. If your dog refuses the food, try the next method.

Method 2: Administering by Mouth

  1. Prepare the Safe guard liquid for dogs as directed by package instructions. Dose using the dropper or oral syringe.
  2. Call your dog in a happy, but calm tone of voice.
  3. Use a wall for your convenience so your dog cannot back up.
  4. Ask your dog to sit and gently grasp your dog's muzzle with one hand tilting it upward while with the other hand you insert the eyedropper or oral syringe into the pocket between your dog's cheek and back teeth.
  5. Administer the medication slowly. If you go too fast, your dog may choke on it or vomit it back up.
  6. Keep the mouth shut for a bit and encourage swallowing by blowing into your dog's nostrils or gently rubbing the dog's throat until you feel the swallowing reflex.
  7. If your dog spits out the medication, do not administer a second dose unless you are absolutely certain your dog spit out the entire dose.
  8. Always remember to reward your dog for its cooperation with a tasty treat.

Important Consideration About Using Fenbendazole

Fenbendazole (brand name Safe guard or Panacur) is most likely not effective given as a one time treatment, even at higher dosages. Generally, in order to be effective, fenbendazole must be given once a day for several consecutive days, with the most common dosage in dogs and cats, being 25 mg per pound (50 mg/kg) given daily for three consecutive days. Even if your dog seems to be feeling better, the whole course should be completed to avoid relapse.

While Safe Guard liquid for dogs can be found over the counter, it is recommended to administer it under the strict guidance of a veterinarian. The best course of action is to submit a fresh fecal sample to your vet, so he or she can determine exactly what parasites are found and therefore prescribe the most effective de-wormer accordingly. Your vet will also be the best source for determining the best dosage of liquid wormer for your pet.


Always consult with your veterinarian before administering any medications to your dog, even when over the counter. Your veterinarian is the best source for diagnosis, treatment and dosage instructions of medications.


Pet Place, Dawn Ruben DVM: Fenbendazole -

Susan Stack DVM: Cheap Panacur for Dogs -

Intervet: Safe Guard for Dogs -

Vet Info: Treating Canine Parasites with Fenbendazole for Dogs -

Pet Education: Veterinary and Aquatic Services Department Drs. Foster &Smith - How to Give Liquid Medication to Dogs -

Do you use over the counter or prescription de-wormers for your dog?

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Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Jean Smith 2 months ago

        Question . I have never had a puppy bleed after taking a de-wormer until now. Is this normal ?

      • alexadry profile image

        Adrienne Janet Farricelli 21 months ago from USA

        Brandi, You won't find any products against heart worms over the counter. To prevent heart worms, you will need a prescription from your vet after having blood work done if you haven't given it monthly.

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        Brandi 21 months ago

        I didn't see heart worms listed. I have 2 dogs with them and am looking for affordable treatment.