Info on Bravecto for Dogs. Is it SAFE?

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What is Bravecto for Dogs?

The old idiom goes: If you lie with dogs, you get up with fleas. The deeper meaning aside, that was the case for centuries, but with Bravecto for dogs, it’s a new time for dogs and owners alike!

Bravecto chews, also called Bravecto pills for dogs, is the brand name for a medication containing Fluralaner, a type of drug that is effective against fleas and ticks often found on dogs. 

But what are the Bravecto for side effects, and is there anything else you should know about Bravecto flea medicine for dogs? Keep reading to find out! 

Pet owner giving his dog a pill

How to Give Bravecto to Dogs

There are two types of Bravecto for dogs: Bravecto chews for dogs and Bravecto spot-on. Each with its own merits. 

If you own a Labrador or another food-loving dog, it should be easy just to give your furry friend the chewy pill and get on with your day. If your dog is a little pickier with its food, it might be necessary for a little more encouragement – just remember that the chewy tablet should not be broken apart or squashed. At least not before your dog is chewing on it. 

If you would rather use the topical Bravecto for dogs, you should place the full tube directly on the skin between the should blades of the dog. Remember to part the hairs before depositing the spot-on treatment if you have a very furry dog. 

The Bravecto Range

As you can choose between two different types of Bravecto for dogs, you can select the one that works best for you, and luckily there’s a Bravecto for almost any kind of dog! 

The Bravecto pills/tablets are a favorite for many dog owners and veterinarians as it has a delicious taste of pork that most dogs enjoy and are happy to eat as a lovely treat. The topical solution is, on the other hand, a lot easier if your dog is not keen on eating pills or if there are other reasons tablets may not be the way forward for you and your dog. 

Both types should, however, not be used in puppies less than eight weeks old or for dogs weighing less than 6.5lb (3kg) without the clear guidance of a veterinarian. Bravecto for puppies is a safe tick and flea treatment, but they should be at least eight weeks old. 

The range of Bravecto chews and topical Bravecto for dogs are in different categories depending on the dog’s weight, meaning there’s Bravecto for small dogs and Bravecto for large dogs – and it’s essential to get the suitable range for your unique dog. 

The different ranges include:  

  • Toy dogs: Bravecto tablet for dogs 4 – 10lb (2 – 4,5kg)
  • Small dogs: Bravecto tablet for dogs 10 – 22lb (4,5 – 10kg)
  • Medium dogs: Bravecto tablet for dogs 22 – 44lb (10- 20kg
  • Large dogs: Bracecto tablet for dogs 44 – 88lb (20 – 40kg)
  • Giant dogs: Bravecto tablet for dogs 88 – 123lb (40 – 56kg)

Dogs must receive the right tablet size, dependent on their size, to ensure that enough of the drug makes it into the dog to have the intended effect. Even if the dog is very close to the bottom limit, it should receive the upper range tablet. 

If you’re planning on treating a dog weighing more than 123lb (56kg), you can add tablets and spot-on treatments to ensure the dog receives the correct dosage. 

Benefits of Canine Bravecto

The efficacy of Bravecto against fleas and ticks is well documented in both laboratory and field studies, meaning it is a safe and effective way to keep fleas and ticks away. Even better, the effect is long-lasting, with studies showing that Bravecto for dogs will keep fleas and ticks away for up to twelve weeks! 

As an extra bonus, a single treatment of Bravecto is not helpful for only fleas and ticks; it can also assist the treatment of sarcoptic and demodectic mange in dogs and limit the secondary risk of infection with Babesia Canis. 

Bravecto for Dogs -Side Effects

Side effects when using Bravecto are luckily rare, with statistics showing that approximately 1.6% of dogs experience some type of side effect. Most of these were very mild and included: 

With the spot-on solution, some owners reported a temporary loss of hair near the application site between the shoulders, which may affect one in 100 animals. 

It is also important to note that Fluralaner, the active ingredient in Bravecto, belongs to the drug category called “Isoxazoline products,” which can affect the central nervous system in a few dogs. 

Therefore, Bravecto should not be administered to dogs with known epilepsy as seizures and tremors are possible in some dogs. Especially those known to suffer from neurological diseases and dogs with no history of issues. 

These cases have been widely reported on social media and other places, causing some to shy away from Bravecto and other flea and tick treatments. 

Therefore, it may need to be said: No medication is perfect and without side effects. Statistically, Bravecto is just as safe as any other treatment. Still, it is always advisable to keep up to date with the newest studies and information – something your veterinarian should do. 

For the vast majority of dogs, Bravecto is a perfectly safe drug to ensure your dog stays clear of ticks and fleas but remember to always consult your veterinarian before administering any type of medication. 

What to Expect When Using Bravecto

Bravecto for dogs contains the drug “Fluralaner,” a type of ectoparasiticide – a type of drug that kills parasites that live within or on the skin of furry animals. 

Fluralaner primarily affects ticks (Ixodes species and Dermacentor species) and fleas (Ctenocephalides species). It kills the ectoparasites by inhibiting their nervous system, causing them to fall off and die when they ingest the drug.

As the fleas and ticks will need to bite the dog to ingest the drug, it does not work as a parasite repellant, but luckily the effect happens quickly, meaning you will very rarely notice a flea or tick on your dog. The drug will affect fleas within 8 hours and ticks within 12 hours once they ingest the drug. 

Once your dog receives the Bravecto pill, the effect should last from 8 to 12 weeks, with most veterinarians recommending that you repeat the treatment every third month to ensure the long-term protection of your dog against fleas and ticks. 

Bravecto for dogs minimizes the risk of babesia and other vector-borne diseases transferred by parasites; it does not entirely negate the risk. To be killed, the parasites will need to feed on the dog, which means there is still a little chance of diseases transferring from the parasite (fleas and ticks) to the dog. 

Therefore, you should keep an eye on your dog and familiarize yourself with some of the symptoms related to vector-borne diseases. 

Lastly, some dogs with severe flea infestation may seem to be itching a lot more right after receiving the treatment, which is perfectly normal. When the fleas die, their movements become uncoordinated and may increase the itching sensation significantly for a short while. Within eight hours, the itching should subside. 

Considerations to Take Before Administering Bravecto for Dogs

Reactions in Humans

You should note that some people have reportedly experienced allergic reactions to chewy tablets. Albeit mild symptoms, the official drug regulations recommend that you always wash your hands with soap and water after handling the product, especially before eating. 

For the spot-on solution, a few people have reportedly experienced skin rashes and a tingling sense once they came into contact with the product. If you experience this, you should wash your hands thoroughly. 

If the skin reaction persists, you should seek medical advice and bring the package leaflet. 

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of anti-parasitic drugs is frequently discussed on social media and within the veterinary community. Bravecto, and other Fluralaner drugs, can function within the environment; that is true. However, there is currently no evidence of any ecotoxic reaction – meaning there’s no proof of a severe environmental impact. 

There is, therefore, currently insufficient evidence to support the idea that the environment suffers from the use of parasiticides in companion animals. Although we never know whether this may change in the future. 

giving pills to dog

Can You Get Bravecto Without Vet Prescription?

Bravecto for dogs is a prescription-only type of medication. 

As we’ve already covered, there are some side effects associated with the medication, some of them severe if they do occur. Therefore, you should never buy Bravecto for dogs without consulting a veterinarian and receiving the proper prescriptions.  

Is Bravecto Safe for Pregnant Dogs?

There’s currently no evidence of any untoward reactions after using Bravecto in breeding pregnant or lactating female dogs. Nor in male dogs that are part of a breeding program.

In one official study, dogs received up to three times the recommended dosage of Bravecto at eight-week intervals before mating, during pregnancy, and until the puppies were weaned, with no untoward reactions reported.  

If you are, however, worried about whether your dog should receive Bravecto before breeding or during pregnancy, you should consult your veterinary health care provider. 

How to Store Bravecto for Dogs

Bravecto should be stored in its original packaging at room temperature and away from sunlight. If the package breaks or opens, the chewy tablet can be taken out and placed in another closed container. 

The chewy tablet should be brown, with a smooth surface and a circular shape. Some speckles may be present on the surface; this is entirely normal. 

Accidental Bravecto Overdoses

Bravecto for dogs is luckily a very well-tolerated medication for most dogs. In recently made studies, dogs received one, three, and five times the recommended dosage with no significant increase in side effects. The researchers found no product-related effects at all. 

However, the chances of some side effects increase with the dosage received, which is why you should not exceed the recommended dosage. 

If your dog mistakenly receives an overdose of Bravecto, you should contact your veterinary care provider. If it is within 2 hours of receiving the overdose, your veterinarian will likely induce vomiting to prevent any excess side effects. If it’s been more than that, the main goal of treatment is to provide symptomatic care for your furry friend. 

The prognosis for Bravecto overdose is quite good. 


Where can I buy Bravecto? 

Bravecto will need to be prescribed by your veterinarian, and most will also be able it to you at the consultation. If not, most pharmacies should have Bravecto available for pick-up. 

Can I use Bravecto all year? 

Yes, four chewy tablets or spot-on treatments will keep your dog flea and tick-free for the entire year. With fleas possibly being an issue year-round, it’s a good idea always to keep Bravecto at hand at home! 

Can I give Bravecto to my cat? 

Bravecto for dogs is unsuitable for administration to cats. There are other fleas- and tick treatments available for cats. If in doubt, you should contact your veterinarian. 

Can my dog swim after receiving the Bravecto spot-on treatment? 

Bathing, shampooing, or brushing should not affect how Bravecto works at all. As long as you ensure the whole tube gets on the skin, there should be no issue. 

I found a dead tick on my dog. Is that normal? 

Yes, the ticks will need to bite your dog for the drug to take effect. Therefore you may sometimes find a dead tick attached to your dog’s skin. A dead tick is easily removed and should fall off itself soon after. 

Looking for a tick on a dog

The Final Say

No one likes seeing parasites on their best friend, and let’s be honest; no one wants fleas or ticks inside their home! Bravecto for dogs is a great and relatively very safe product to ensure both you and your dog stay happy, healthy, and itch-free! 

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With a veterinary master's degree from the University of Copenhagen in 2023, this accomplished writer's academic journey culminated in a thesis focused on the "Feasibility of using ultrasound of the abdomen for early diagnosis of necrotizing enterocolitis in neonatal pigs." Additionally, their dissertation delved into the intriguing topic of "Mercury accumulation in Greenlandic sleddogs." Beyond her academic achievements, her passion for animal health seamlessly merges with her love for writing. She excels in harmonizing clinical precision with literary expression, crafting articles that resonate with the heartbeat of her veterinary profession.