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Medication details

  • Medication type: Antiparasitic
  • Form: Topical, Chew
  • Prescription required? Yes
  • FDA approved? Yes
  • Brand names: Bravecto
  • Common names: Fluralaner
  • Available dosages: Chews: 45mg, 100mg, 112.5mg, 200mg, 250mg, 400mg, 500mg, 560mg, 1000mg, 1400mg; Topical: 112.5mg, 250mg, 500mg, 1000mg,1400mg
  • Expiration range: Varies based on product type; refer to package instructions

Flea and tick prevention is an essential part of keeping dogs healthy and happy. However, only 66 percent of pet parents actually use these products for their pets. [1] A variety of affordable and effective options are available for pet parents to choose from in coordination with a veterinarian. In this article, we will discuss Bravecto for dogs, how it works, and what to expect when using this medication. 

What Is Bravecto for Dogs?

Fluralaner, the active ingredient in Bravecto, is an antiparasitic drug. Its main purpose is to protect dogs from fleas and ticks. 

Bravecto products kill fleas and prevent flea infestations. Bravecto chews also kill black-legged, American dog, brown dog, and Asian longhorned ticks for 12 weeks, and lone star ticks for 8 weeks. Bravecto topical solution kills black-legged, American dog, and brown dog ticks for 12 weeks, and lone star ticks for 8 weeks.

Fluralaner is also effective for treatment of sarcoptic and demodectic mange, though this use is considered “off-label.” 

Fluralaner is currently only sold under the brand name Bravecto and is available by prescription through a primary care veterinarian.

What Does Bravecto Look Like?

Bravecto for dogs is available in both oral and topical products. The oral product (Bravecto chews) was approved by the FDA in May 2014 and is available in a one-month and three-month dose. The topical product was approved in July 2016 and only available in a three-month dose. 

The oral medication is a round, brown chewable pill. Topical Bravecto for dogs comes in a single use applicator tube that dispenses a clear, thin liquid medication. 

What Is Bravecto Used for in Dogs?

As previously mentioned, while Bravecto is used as a flea and tick preventative and treatment option for dogs, it can also be used in certain cases of mange if recommended by your veterinarian. It’s given once every one to three months, depending on the type of product used.

Flea and tick control is recommended year-round to keep dogs healthy and disease free. These parasites make dogs itchy and uncomfortable. Hair loss and skin infections can occur with longstanding flea problems, and fleas are incredibly difficult to get rid of once they’re in your home.

Not only are fleas and ticks extremely uncomfortable for dogs, they can also transmit various diseases, such as:

These diseases can make dogs very sick and require expensive treatment. 

How Does Bravecto Work?

In simple terms, Bravecto interferes with the normal functioning of the nervous systems of fleas and ticks. It does so by blocking specific receptors within the brain, nerves, and spinal cord that are responsible for regulating chloride. As a result, the fleas and ticks become paralyzed and die.  

How to Give Bravecto to Dogs

Bravecto chews for dogs are given orally with a meal, either once monthly or every three months. Most dogs readily take this medication because it has a tasty meat flavor; however, some dogs may require you to hide it in a pill pocket or a meatball of wet food to disguise it. 

If you are still having trouble getting your dog to take this medication, talk with your veterinarian about other options, which may include the topical form. 

Topical Bravecto is applied every three months to the skin in between the dog’s shoulder blades, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. 

Bravecto Reviews

Bravecto Chews
Bravecto 1 Month

Bravecto is a highly effective flea and tick preventative recommended by veterinarians. Because it is available in multiple forms, pet parents can choose the option that best suits their needs. Oral Bravecto may be preferred because it has no lasting residue on the dog’s coat like the topical version. This residue may be accidentally touched by children in the home, rubbed off by the dog, or licked off by other household pets. 

I have personally used this medication on my own dog, as well as prescribed it to many pets. I prefer the one-month option because it coincides with monthly heartworm preventative options and is therefore easier for me to track. However, the three-month dosing provides extended protection for pet parents who may not want to give medication each month. 

Pet parents often wonder how to choose between products and what the best option may be for a specific pet. These decisions should always be made in collaboration with your veterinarian. However, there are some key similarities and differences between a few products on the market:

Bravecto vs Nexgard

These products work similarly because they are made from the same drug class (isoxazoline) and have similar side effects. They are both given orally and are highly effective against fleas and ticks. Nexgard (afoxolaner) chewables are only available in a one-month dose and cover five types of ticks. A newer monthly oral product, NexGard Plus (afoxolaner, moxidectin, and pyrantel), guards against heartworm disease, hookworms, and roundworms, in addition to fleas and ticks.

Bravecto vs Simparica

These isoxazoline-class products also work similarly in dogs to prevent fleas and ticks. Simparica (sarolaner) chewables only come in a one-month dose and kill five types of ticks. Simparica Trio (sarolaner, moxidectin, and pyrantel) monthly chewables also protect dogs against heartworm disease and intestinal parasites (roundworms and hookworms). It may be a good option for pet parents looking for additional coverage beyond fleas and ticks. 

Bravecto vs Frontline

Both of these topical options are effective against fleas and ticks. Frontline also kills chewing lice, but it is not as commonly used by veterinarians due to the availability of newer products. A version called Frontline Shield also repels ticks and mosquitoes. Frontline does not come in an oral form like Bravecto. 

Bravecto Side Effects in Dogs

Bravecto is typically well-tolerated in most dogs. However, in some cases, side effects may include the following: 

In rare cases, Bravecto may lead to incoordination, tremors, or seizures, especially in dogs with a history of seizures. 

Reactions with Other Pet Medications

Bravecto should not be given with other monthly flea and tick control products. Although Bravecto is generally OK when given with most other medications used in veterinary medicine, pet parents should always discuss any medications and supplements with their veterinarian before use. 

Bravecto Dosage for Dogs

The dosage of Bravecto is based on the weight of the dog. Both the oral and topical forms come in several sizes to meet the needs of small and large dogs. Package dosage breakdown options include the following: 

  • 4.4-9.9 lbs
  • 9.9-22 lbs
  • 22-44 lbs
  • 44-88 lbs
  • 88-123 lbs

Bravecto’s three-month oral product and topical product can be used in puppies starting at 6 months of age, while the one-month dose can be given to puppies as young as 8 weeks of age. All puppies and dogs receiving Bravecto should weigh at least 4.4 pounds.  

Your veterinarian will prescribe the correct product based on the weight and age of your dog. Never administer more than the prescribed amount, and always follow your veterinarian’s instructions. 

Bravecto Cost

A one-month dose of oral Bravecto costs between $20-$25 per month, whereas the three-month dose of oral Bravecto costs around $70. Topical Bravecto is around $60 per dose. 

Sometimes veterinary hospitals offer incentives and reduced rates if pet parents buy during a promotional period or buy a certain amount at one time (such as a full year’s worth of protection). Companies may offer additional Bravecto rebates as well.

Bravecto Storage Instructions

Store Bravecto for dogs at room temperature in its original packaging. Keep it in a secure location out of reach of children and pets.


  1. “New Study by Merck Animal Health Reveals Many Pet Parents Unprepared for the Dangers Posed by Fleas and Ticks.” Merck Animal Health. (2019 May). Retrieved from: https://www.merck-animal-health-usa.com/newsroom/new-study-by-merck-animal-health-reveals-many-pet-parents-unprepared-for-the-dangers-posed-by-fleas-and-ticks