You are sitting in your living room and you notice your dog starts scratching intensively! You come closer and see hair loss (around the neck especially) or maybe a red, irritated skin with scrabs. You realize that the dog has fleas or ticks and you know that you need to do something about it immediately.
We have all been there! So, the next thing you do is head to the shops.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a shop staring at a myriad of fleas and tick medications and wondering which one to choose and how do they differ? What makes one product better than the other?!
Well, we certainly have, more than a dozen times for sure.
Or, maybe you have already tried many of the fleas and tick products before, but none seems to function as it is supposed.
The good news: We have researched for you and limited the choice to the two most recommended medications against flea and tick by vets and FDA: Bravecto and NexGard. Although there are many brands on the market besides these two such as Frontline, Credelio, Advantix and few over the counter, according to the many users they have done wonders for their puppies.
Still not convinced?
To help you choose which product might be the right choice for you we have done detailed research of the two.
Interested in the results?! If your answer is yes, make sure you read out article.
Aren’t they the same?
One of the first questions that we ask the vet is When can we expect the first results? How long does the treatment take to work? We would say that each of the products takes different marketing strategy and in the case of Bravecto, it is said that it starts killing the fleas in 2 hours while Nexgard advertises itself that it kills fleas 100% in 8 hours. This comes to 12 hours regarding ticks (Bravecto) and 48 hours (Nexgard). What is also very important is that each product kills fleas before they lay eggs as well as adult fleas. However, taking the time into consideration, this one goes to Bravecto for faster action.
Then, the next question usually is How long will the treatment last? Again, we have to pronounce Bravecto for a winner in this category too because one chew is at every 12 weeks, which makes it once in 3 months while if you opt for Nexgard you will have to remember to apply it every month.
One of the things to be aware of is the answer to the question: Can we use both of the products to all dogs regardless of age? The simple answer is no. Bravecto is used for dogs not younger than 6 months while Nexgard is recommended for 8 weeks puppies. So, this is one criterion that can be an easy deciding factor.
However, if your puppy belongs to the group where both of the products can be used the very next thing we look at is the method of application. Nexgard comes only in a form of chewable with beef flavor that puppies love and can be consumed with or without a meal. If your dog has previously had flea treatment and maybe shown some adverse reactions to chewable medicaments you can try Bravecto as it comes in two forms: Bravecto chews but also topically or one can apply it on the coat directly. In their range of products they also have the Bravecto Spot-On.
Which Active Ingredients do these products contain?
Most of the ingredients are very similar and common for both of the products. The major difference is in two ingredients. Fluralaner is the active ingredient used in Bravecto, while Afoxolaner is used by Nexgard.
Both of them approved by FDA but also for both of the products in 2018 FDA issued warning for containing isoxazoline products for flea treatment- fluralaner for cats and dogs (Bravecto®), Afoxolaner for dogs (Nexgard®), as well as Saroloner (Simparica®). All the active ingredients function similarly – in this case, these ingredients inhibit the arthropods’ nervous system and kill in this case fleas and ticks fast.
Needless to say, this leads to the next sets of questions about the safety of the dogs and their health.
How safe are these products for the dogs?
When the FDA approves the products and labels them as safe this means that the benefits are larger for the animals than the potential risks. Both of the products are relatively safe for your dogs, and as every medicament, they do have side effects.
Things to be aware
Another very important thing that we should have in mind is that we should strictly follow the prescribed dosage, method of application taken into account the age and the weight of the dogs.
Besides, once you have flea control you should continue with the tick treatment and flea treatment according to the instructions given on the corresponding product.
Some Side Effects
Some of the side effects that more or less are common for both of the products are vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and a decrease or lack of appetite.
What is worth mentioning is that Bravecto has been tested and proved secure for lactating dogs, breeding and pregnant puppies. On the other hand, NexGard had not been subjected to this kind of test and you should be careful with it when it comes to dogs with a neurological problem.
As these are only general adverse effects and refer generally to all breeds of dogs, in case of concerns, make sure you consult your vet about his/her recommendation and the best practice about your puppy.
Before we go any further let’s discuss some other things that matter when we choose which product to buy!
Well, if we are honest, besides the quality one of the first things that we are interested to find out is the price and the value.
Which is more affordable?
Based on the research we did on the sites and stores regarding the price the answer to this question is Nexgard. Although the price difference is not significant, still you can save a few bucks if you opt for Nexgard.
When you first look at the price tag the one of Nexgard is much cheaper but taking into account that one dose of Bravecto covers 3 months and for this period we need 1 dose per month or in total 3 doses from Nexgard, the gap between the prices becomes not that wide.
Are both of the products available for purchase?
The first thing to be aware of is that even if you want to purchase the product online you still need a vet’s prescription for the medicament. Both of the products can be purchased online by entering the dog’s prescription number or other information requested by the store and most of them offer home delivery, which is very convenient.
However, if you like to take a walk with your dog and visit some of the stores you will be able to find both of the products equally available on the shelves, they are even sold in some of the bigger supermarkets.
So, overall in this category, we would say that this is a win-win situation.
Are they equally effective when it comes to tick and flea treatment?
When you come to the point to choose between these two products, we are sure you realized that the puppy has fleas or ticks.
But here is the catch – Which type? And we know that you will be puzzled at this question and maybe wonder why is this important.
Here is the answer – How do you know that the product you purchase is effective against that type?
Well, this is why we chose Bravecto as a winner in this category as compared to Nexgard because it covers a larger number of kinds of ticks – Lone Star Tick, American Dog Tick, Brown Dog Tick, and Black-Legged Tick.
American Dog Tick is only covered by Bravecto. It kills ticks in just 2 hours and protects against ticks for up to 12 weeks for all kinds of ticks and 8 weeks for Lone Star ticks after you have gained tick control.
What is worth mentioning is that both of the products do not prevent bites from the ticks but are effective at their extinction and spreading of diseases such as Lyme disease.
Both are effective at the treatments just NexGard kills fleas before they lay flea eggs, while Bravecto can kill the newly-emerged fleas immediately after their emerging from the egg.
What about flea treatment?
Bravecto vs Nexgard works faster and more effectively in the flea treatment.
One thing worth remembering is that these products do not act as a flea repellent. What this means is that they fight against the already settled fleas and their reproduction but do not prevent settling of the fleas on your puppies.
Overall, the winner in this category is Bravecto as it covers a greater number of ticks, it is equally efficient at the treatment of both flea infestations and tick infestations, it is faster in its reaction and lasts longer in the protection.
By now, you are all aware of it, but let’s repeat
In addition, although both of the products are a tasty chew and come as chewable tablets with beef flavor, Bravecto is found in a tube and can be applied directly to the puppies’ skin. The advantage in this is that you can be sure that it is applied well unlike the chewable tablets that if mixed with food might be or might not be consumed entirely.
Let’s rewind and summarize in short
Which are the biggest perks and cons of each of the product
- extremely powerful and efficient – kills fleas in 2 hours and kills ticks in 12 hours
- covers treatment against 4 types of ticks
- great for dogs with gastric problems and picky eaters
- approved for lactating, pregnant and breeding dogs
- field study shows that 93% had no issues in consuming it in chewable form
- Applied once in 3 months
- More pricey than Nexgard
- few cases of seizures reported
- Vomiting is the most common side effect
- should not be applied to young puppies
- Ideal for young puppies
- covers treatment against 3 types of ticks
- Prevents Lyme disease
- dogs can consume it with or without meals
- Affordable price
- effective 4 weeks after application
- it does not work against American dog ticks
- reacts slower than Bravecto
- comes only in a chewable tablet form
- Known most common adverse events: diarrhea and vomiting
Based on the research we conducted and the comparison we made we can say the following:
If you are a pet owner to a puppy younger than 6 months or 24 weeks of age or your dog has been known to have a history of seizures and tremors you should definitely choose Nexgard for the treatment. Nextgard is a registered trademark of Merial.
For all other cases, we can recommend the use of Bravecto, a product that belongs or is registered by Merck. Why?
It is easy to administer, it is applied less often, you have an option to use it topically, it kills ticks as efficiently as fleas and covers more different types of ticks. Based on the studies it is shown that the risk for side effects is lower and is safe to use on pregnant and lactating dogs.
Now that you are aware of all the differences and similarities between the two products it is up to you to make the decision. We strongly encourage you to make your own choice based on the information we provided, consultation with your vet and the particular need of your dog.
We hope we helped and you are ready to make the right choice.