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Credelio for Dogs and Cats: Tick & Flea Protection

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Medication details

  • Medication type: Antiparasitic
  • Form: Tablet
  • Prescription required? Yes
  • FDA approved? Yes
  • Brand names: Credelio and Credelio CAT
  • Available dosages: Dog: 4.4-6.0 lbs: 56.25 mg (1 tablet); 6.1-12.0 lbs: 112.5 mg (1 tablet); 12.1-25 lbs: 225 mg (1 tablet); 25.1-50 lbs: 450 mg (1 tablet); 50.1-100 lbs: 900 mg (1 tablet) Cat: 2.0-4.0 lbs: 12 mg (1 tablet); 4.1-17.0 lbs: 48 mg (1 tablet)
  • Expiration range: Refer to the package insert for an expiration date.

Keeping your dog and cat free of fleas and ticks is not just a kind thing to do, it can potentially save them (and you!) from infectious diseases that fleas and ticks carry. Considering that fleas and ticks are active year round in many areas of the U.S., it is important to have a good flea and tick control strategy to protect you and your pets from these blood suckers. Credelio and Credelio CAT are highly effective products on the market that can protect dogs and cats. 

What Is Credelio for Dogs and Cats?

Lotilaner, the active ingredient in Credelio and Credelio CAT, is part of the isoxazoline class of parasiticides. It is deadly to ticks and fleas. It was approved for use in dogs by the FDA in 2018 and for use in cats in 2021 as the first oral flea and tick treatment for cats. Lotilaner is not available as generic, it is only available as brand name Credelio, made by Elanco. Credelio can be purchased from veterinarians and online pharmacies across the entire United States. 

What Does Credelio Look Like?

Credelio tablets are small, light brown tablets that come in blister packs. Credelio only comes in tablet form. 

What Is Credelio Used For in Dogs and Cats?

Credelio dog packaging

Credelio is an oral medication prescribed to kill fleas and ticks on dogs and cats. 

Credelio for dogs offers protection against four types of ticks—lone star tick, American dog tick, black-legged tick, and brown dog tick—and is suitable for dogs 8 weeks or older that weigh 4.4 pounds or more. It starts killing fleas and ticks (Ixodes ricinus species) on dogs within four hours. In a well-controlled U.S. study, Credelio killed 100 percent of fleas on dogs within 12 hours after administration and for up to 35 days after administration.

Credelio CAT starts killing fleas on cats (as young as 8 weeks weighing 2 or more pounds) within six hours. It also protects against black-legged ticks (deer ticks), the most prevalent tick species in cats in the U.S., in cats 6 months and older. 

Fleas and ticks are not just a nuisance, these parasites can carry diseases such as Lyme disease, plague, tapeworms, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Several of these diseases are also infectious to humans, making it doubly important to protect your pets against external parasites like fleas and ticks. In addition, some dogs and cats have flea bite allergies, and the bite of just one flea can cause them to feel itchy enough to tear their hair out and create hot spots

In addition to external parasites like fleas and ticks, pets are at risk for internal parasites, some of which can be transmitted to humans (like hookworms and roundworms). If you have a dog, Credelio can be paired with Interceptor Plus—which protects against five major worms—to provide broad-spectrum parasite protection for your pup. Your veterinarian may recommend using both of these products together.

How Does Credelio Work?

Credelio kills fleas and ticks by inhibiting specific receptors in their neurological system. These neurological receptors are different from receptors in dogs and cats. Credelio works fast because it is quickly absorbed into the blood. Because Credelio kills fleas before they have a chance to lay eggs (which takes anywhere between 20-24 hours after a female flea has her first blood meal), Credelio also prevents fleas from laying eggs. One of the perks of Credelio is that since it is an oral product and not topical, bathing your pet is not suspected to have any impact on its efficacy or how long it provides protection. 

How to Give Credelio to Dogs and Cats

Credelio for dogs is given by mouth and is formulated into a tasty beef-flavored tablet. 

Credelio for dogs is gluten free, however, the tablets contain flavoring made with pork liver, soy, barley, wheat, and lactose, so consult your veterinarian before giving to your pet if they have food allergies.

Credelio Cat packaging

Credelio CAT has a vanilla and yeast scent and flavor that is designed to be appealing to cats, and has been successfully administered by most cat owners in the U.S. 

The manufacturer does not recommend splitting the tablets for dosing, as they are not scored for splitting, and there are a wide range of dosages available for different pet weights.

Credelio must be given with food or given within 30 minutes of feeding to assure it is absorbed completely from the intestinal tract. If your pet won’t readily eat it, you can place the tablet in their mouth. Pets can chew it or swallow it whole. You can try offering the tablet wrapped in a pill pocket, stuffed in a piece of hot dog, or covered in a small amount of peanut butter, canned food, or spray cheese. There are no efficacy studies available for crushing the tablet or adding it to water, but many veterinary professionals have reported success with doing that with picky pets. 

Credelio Reviews

Credelio is widely used and accepted within the veterinary community as a safe, effective way to control fleas and ticks in dogs and cats. I have personally prescribed Credelio to my dog patients with success and client satisfaction. 

Credelio CAT is the only oral tick and flea medication for cats available on the market.

Many pet parents also ask how Credelio for dogs compares to other oral flea and tick products like Nexgard, Bravecto, and Simparica. Here is a comparison chart:

Active ingredientLotilanerAfoxolanerFluralanerSarolaner
FormBeef-flavored chewable tabletBeef-flavored chewFlavored chewLiver-flavored chewable tablet
Length of protection1 month1 month12 weeks (lone star tick only 8 weeks)35 days
Kills fleasYesYesYesYes
Kills ticksYes (lone star tick, American dog tick, black-legged tick, and brown dog tick)Yes (lone star tick, American dog tick, black-legged tick, and brown dog tick)Yes (black-legged tick, American dog tick, brown dog tick, lone star tick) Yes (lone star tick, American dog tick, black-legged tick, brown dog tick and Gulf Coast tick)
EffectivenessBegins to kill ticks* and fleas within 4 hours (*Ixodes ricinusKills fleas within 8 hours and ticks within 48 hoursStarts killing fleas within 2 hours and kills ticks (Ixodes ricinus) within 12 hoursStarts killing fleas within 3 hours and ticks within 8 hours

Credelio Side Effects

Credelio contains lotilaner, an isoxazoline class of drug. This drug class has been associated with neurologic adverse reactions in a few animals that include tremors, incoordination, and seizures. Even with the reported reactions, the FDA attests that approved isoxazoline products are considered safe and effective for dogs and cats, and that there is a slight chance for adverse effects, as with any drug. 

Credelio should be used with caution in dogs with a history of seizures or other neurological problems. In general, the most frequently reported adverse reactions of Credelio in dogs include weight loss, increased urination, elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels, and diarrhea.

If you have a dog with medical conditions or are concerned, ask your veterinarian if Credelio is right for your dog. 

Credelio CAT should be used with caution in cats with a history of neurological disorders. In general, the most frequently reported adverse reactions of Credelio in cats include weight loss, rapid breathing, and vomiting.

If you have a cat with medical conditions or are concerned, ask your veterinarian if Credelio CAT is right for your pet.

Credelio Dosage for Dogs and Cats

Credelio is given orally once a month according to your dog’s weight: 

  • 4.4-6.0 lbs: 56.25 mg (1 tablet)
  • 6.1-12.0 lbs: 112.5 mg (1 tablet)
  • 12.1-25 lbs: 225 mg (1 tablet)
  • 25.1-50 lbs: 450 mg (1 tablet)
  • 50.1-100 lbs: 900 mg (1 tablet)
  • Greater than 100 pounds: Administer the appropriate combination of chewable tablets

Credelio CAT is given orally once a month according to your cat’s weight: 

  • 2.0-4.0 lbs: 12 mg (1 tablet)
  • 4.1-17.0 lbs: 48 mg (1 tablet)
  • Over 17 lbs: Administer the appropriate combination of chewable tablets

Credelio can be used in dogs 8 weeks of age and older that weigh 4.4 pounds or more. Credelio CAT can be used in cats 8 weeks of age and older that weigh 2 pounds or more. (However, the effectiveness of Credelio CAT against black-legged ticks in kittens less than 6 months old has not been evaluated.) Credelio has not been studied for use in breeding animals. If your pet is pregnant or nursing, talk to your veterinarian before administering. 

Cost of Credelio

The cost of Credelio depends on your pet’s weight, your geographical location, and if you are purchasing through your local veterinary clinic. In general, Credelio is $15-$20 per month for dogs, and $8-$10 per month for cats. 

Credelio Storage Instructions

According to the label, Credelio tablets must be stored at 59-77 degrees Fahrenheit. Temporary periods of time outside of this range, 41-104 degrees Fahrenheit, are permitted. Store out of reach of pets to prevent accidental overdose.

Where to Buy Credelio

Interested in purchasing Credelio for dogs or cats? Check to see if this medication is available on your veterinarian’s online pharmacy.