Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
Safe-Guard for Dogs
Deworming your dog is part of being a responsible dog owner. Whether you own a puppy or adult dog, a purebred 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 deworming products on the market: Safe-Guard liquid for canine companions.
What Is Safe-Guard and How Does It Work?
Safe-Guard is an FDA-approved anthelmintic, which is basically a drug used to kill 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, as to prevent the mother from passing the parasites on to the pups. New puppy owners may deworm 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 one. Consult with your vet about using Safe-Guard. For a list of its side effects, check out this helpful guide from Veterinary Place.
The Different Formulations of Safe-Guard
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 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 Safe-Guard 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 using Safe-Guard liquid for dogs, follow their dosage instructions carefully. Afterward, you must find a good way to ensure you administer it correctly.
How to Administer Liquid Safe-Guard 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Prepare the suspension according to package directions and dose the Safe-Guard as per your vet's instructions using a dropper or oral syringe.
- 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
- Prepare the Safe-Guard liquid for dogs as directed by package instructions. Dose using the dropper or oral syringe.
- Call your dog in a happy, but calm tone of voice.
- Use a wall for your convenience so your dog cannot back up.
- 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.
- Administer the medication slowly. If you go too fast, your dog may choke on it or vomit it back up.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 dewormer accordingly. Your vet will also be the best source for determining the best dosage of liquid dewormer for your pet.
- 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
Read More From Pethelpful
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
Question: Is the dosage of 25mg per pound of Safeguard too high? Shouldn't it read 0.25 per pound?
Answer: I verified all my sources and must confirm that the dosage of fenbendazole (Panacur Granules 22.2%) is 25 mg per pound. According to Dawn Ruben of Pet Place: "For dogs and cats, 25 mg per pound (50 mg/kg) daily for three consecutive days is usually effective." To be extra exact, Merck Animal Health posted on the product label "50 mg/kg (22.7 mg/lb) daily for 3 consecutive days for the removal of ascarids (Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina), hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Uncinaria stenocephaia), whipworms (Trichuris vulpis), and tapeworms (Taenia pisiformis)".
Please visit the following sources for more information: https://www.petplace.com/article/drug-library/drug... and https://merckusa.cvpservice.com/product/basic/view...
As always, follow your veterinarian's dosing directions to play it safe. A vet should always be consulted before giving a dog medications.
WOODROW on May 11, 2019:
We use Ivermec 1% topical solution for heart worm prevention.
It can be bought OTC, and reasonably priced.
Lacey on October 30, 2018:
Ivermectin for heartworms...google it
Melisa on October 13, 2018:
It appears SafeGard does not kill the tapeworm that comes from fleas (Dipylidium caninum), only the one that comes from rodents (TAENIA Worm). Is this what you have found?
Mari on September 24, 2018:
Hi i want to no can i still deworm my pregnant dog she around 55 days
Jean Smith on February 08, 2018:
Question . I have never had a puppy bleed after taking a de-wormer until now. Is this normal ?
Adrienne Farricelli (author) on July 07, 2016:
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.
Brandi on July 07, 2016:
I didn't see heart worms listed. I have 2 dogs with them and am looking for affordable treatment.