Bravecto For Dogs Flea Solution Review: Bravo, Bravecto!

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Fleas and ticks. Gross, nasty, parasitic, and wholly unwelcome. Chances are you don’t like them, and neither does your doggy. Over the years, there have been many proposed solutions for fleas, ticks, and related issues. Some were better than others. The more modern methods are proving to be highly effective, and this article is focusing one of them.

In May of 2014, the Food and Drug Administration approved a new type of drug which goes by the name of Bravecto. There has been some controversy regarding this drug, but this is my personal take on it. Your mileage may vary.

What Is Bravecto For Dogs?

I own a small-ish terrier mutt. No, scratch that. I share my house with a small-ish terrier mutt. I say this because I try not to think of animals like that. They are not my property. Well, this should give you an idea of how much I care for my pooch. At any rate, this article is about Bravecto. I can gush about my dog another time. In fact, I plan on doing so!

Bravecto is the trade name of the drug Fluralaner, and it is basically a flea and tick killer. It goes to work on the insects’ nervous system and shuts it down, effectively killing them. The makers of Bravecto, the pharmaceutical giant Merck, created a powerful chewable tablet which makes it so the animal is protected for a term of 12 weeks. When compared to the standard 1-month treatments like NexGard or Frontline, Bravecto has a clear advantage, time-wise.

Bravecto treats different types of fleas and ticks, like the black legged tick, the American dog tick, lone star tick, and the brown dog tick. The exception here is the lone star tick, for which there is a protection of 8 weeks, not 12. If your dog is suspected of having an lone star infestation, you can administer another dose, preferably under veterinary authority and supervision.

What Ingredients Does Bravecto Use? Is Bravecto Safe For Dogs?

Do scratching ear.

Bravecto For Your Scratching Dog.

Fluralaner is the sole active ingredient in Bravecto, and its safety is a matter of some controversy. While Merck maintain that adverse effects are seen on .01 percent of the treated canine population, the FDA has amassed reports of suspected adverse effects ranging from lethargy to death, with a plethora of conditions in between.

That being said, there has been no concrete evidence that Bravecto is the catalyst nor cause of such conditions. Nowadays, the controversy rages on. Now, let’s be real here and put the cards on the table. These medications are not exactly essential oil spa treatments. These are ingredients which are meant to eliminate other life forms, so obviously there is going to be some kind of negative stuff involved. I don’t mean to say that Bravecto is poison. Far from it. It most certainly is not, as far as I am concerned.

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Asking the all-encompassing question “is Bravecto safe for dogs?” is somewhat misleading. Even the safest ingredients on the planet can be fatal in certain doses, including water! So, to me, it seems such a treatment should also be looked at on a case-by-case basis. I feel that Bravecto has been perfectly safe for my dog, but that doesn’t mean that yours won’t be in the unlucky group who experiences some side-effects. I can’t tell you the stats from the global side of things, but I can my own experiences with it, and I will do so now.

Bravecto Before & After Results For My Dog

Dog with paws on couch.

Happy Dog After Using Bravecto.

One of the advantages of having a small mutt is that they are known for their good health. They don’t get sick often, they don’t have hereditary conditions, and they tend to live long, full lives.

In the past, I have given my dog Frontline, NexGard, and recently Bravecto. There was never a negative reaction with any one of these. Every time I bought or otherwise used some kind of treatment (usually in the summer months aka flea season), I was warned there could be side-effects. I knew that going in. So, I paid close attention to my doggy, and I never saw anything coming close to adverse effects. As always, I try to provide my pup with only the best -- including homemade DIY dog shampoo.

In that sense, the “before and after” isn’t too dramatic. Well, no. There was something kind of dramatic. One chew -- that’s it. That is a dramatic reduction of tablet or drop administration. Instead of having to remember to do it throughout the summer, I gave her a chew at the beginning of July, and that’s it. Now, I could forget about it and rest easy, knowing she was protected. I had read some of the literature, looked at the studies which Merck conducted, saw the Facebook page dedicated to reports of side effects after Bravecto, and I knew the risks. Truthfully, I don’t know if I would do it without having gone through similar treatments before. That’s your call. In my case, however, I knew that she could handle it.

What Is A Safe Dosage of Bravecto For Your Dog?

As for dosage, always follow your vet’s instructions. There are chews for dogs of all sizes, and you can combine different chews to reach the appropriate dosage for larger dogs: (Table taken from

Body Weight Ranges (lb)Fluralaner Content (mg)Chews Administered
4.4 -- 9.9112.5One
>9.9 -- 22.0250One
>22.0 -- 44.0500One
>44.0 -- 88.01000One
>88.0 -- 123.0*1400One

*Dogs over 123.0 lb should be administered the appropriate combination of chews.

Natural Flea Treatment For Dogs DIY Recipe

Looking to treat fleas in a more natural way? There are ways of doing that. As with commercially-available products, there are no absolutes. You could be using the gentlest and most effective ingredients around, and still, something could happen.

Here is one recipe for a quick and easy way to treat fleas. Are you ready? There is only one ingredient: apple cider vinegar. You can add some to your Fido’s water bowl, or alternatively mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar in a squirt bottle and use it on his coat. This takes time and some additional effort in the shape of a flea comb, since this is not a magical solution. The vinegar will not make the fleas disappear, but it will make it easier to rid your dog and home of them.

Natural Flea Repellent For Dogs DIY Recipe

As for repelling fleas, again there are many natural DIY solutions, and this is but one of them: a lemon bandana. Usually keeps them right off, since lemon has a very distinct scent and vibe which insects don’t like. How do you do it? Easy!

  • Juice two lemons.
  • Soak a cotton bandana in the lemon juice for a few minutes.
  • Soak out the extra juice on a paper towel.
  • Using the bandana like a collar, place it around your dog’s neck.
  • CAUTION -- check for adverse reactions after 30-60 minutes.


Bravecto works. It kills fleas and ticks and stops them from coming back. It does what it claims to do, and in that sense it is a useful and effective product.

Now, it takes a lot of heat from certain pet owners, and I won’t pretend that there isn’t some sort of a risk factor when you put an insecticide on or in your dog. But to be honest, that is true to almost any commercially -- available topical or chewable remedy. I doubt that Bravecto is doing something incredibly different, but I am no authority on the matter.

So, if you feel your dog is sensitive -- based on previous experiences or simply gut feeling -- don’t do it. It isn’t worth it. Not everyone is like me or my dog, and there is nothing wrong with using other methods.

The thing is this: even though there is some controversy, the overwhelming majority of dogs who have been treated with Bravecto are just fine, and are walking around free of pests. I don’t feel that Merck is lying when it claims to have administered a very large amount of chews since 2014. So when you take the raw data into account, I suppose what they say is true -- the number of adverse effects really is in the .01% vicinity.

If your dog has undergone similar treatments in the past, there is a good chance this will be exactly the same, but the positive effects will last significantly longer. Fleas and ticks are harmful parasites, and you need to do what you can to rid your dog, your home, and your own self of their tyranny!

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