NexGard For Dogs Review: Are There NexGard Side Effects?

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Let’s just cut to the chase. Obviously, dogs of certain breeds will attract more flea-related issues than others, but even then there are ways of preventing your pooch from being attacked in the first place. Some methods are more natural than others, but in this scenario, I feel you really should put the emphasis on the end result. Natural is great, but sometimes you just want a simple fix, and there is nothing wrong with that. Enter NexGard.  

Before we talk about NexGard’s ability to prevent and treat the problem, let’s see what causes these infestations to begin with.

What Causes Ticks & Fleas In Dogs?

The primary cause of flea and tick infestations in dogs is their warm skin and comfy fur. Fleas are known as Ctenocephalides felis and C. canis. The common American tick is known as Dermacentor variabilis, but there are others which NexGard is also effective at treating. 

These nasty parasites wait – sometimes for months – for a suitable host to pass by, and then they proceed to latch on, feast on its blood, and lay many, many eggs, which keep that cycle going ad nauseum.

Ticks and fleas alike are drawn to warmth and blood and are more common during the spring/summer months. When our pets are outdoors, especially in the tall grass, shrubs, and wooded areas, there is a chance that fleas and ticks will roll around and attach themselves to your doggy, and quite possibly to you as well. Not fun, to say the very least. 

What Is NexGard?

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NexGard, by Merial Ltd. (now part of the Boehringer Ingelheim group, Germany), is a monthly parasitic treatment for dogs that has become popular around the world. The primary function of this treatment is killing adult fleas and ticks before they lay their eggs. It is a product designed by the makers of FRONTLINE, which has enjoyed a long history of eliminating fleas and ticks, and making dogs (and cats) a lot happier and healthier. 

The company states that since the 1970’s, billions of FRONTLINE doses have been administered to pets all over the world. You can’t argue with those numbers, right? Any way you look at it, that’s called success. Once the FDA approved NexGard chewable tablets for use in September of 2013, NexGard has been the go-to product for countless pet owners. It’s also worth knowing that the popular pet medication is also recommended by vets everywhere.

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

Afoxolaner is the single active ingredient of NexGard. In clinical studies conducted during 2014, published in the journal Parasite, Afoxolaner was found to be highly effective, and furthermore – with the exception of a single incident of diarrhea – no adverse effects were observed on any of the 16 dogs who participated in the treatment group.

In other words, it is a proven safe substance when administered in accordance with the weight class. However, like many other types of medication, improper use could lead to harmful consequences. 

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NexGard Before & After Results For My Dog

This thing works like a charm. I used FRONTLINE on my pets for many years, so when my vet suggested I switch to NexGard, I gladly agreed. I took my doggy in for routine vaccinations and picked up some antiparasitic treatment considering summer was fast approaching.

I was used to administering drops topically, and the switch to oral dosing was seamless. It made no difference to me or my doggy. I put it in her food bowl, wrapped in something yummy, and she ate it up along with the rest of her supper that evening. 

There is no real “before and after” situation here since she did not have fleas or ticks before that. But, in lieu of that, I will provide the succinct conclusions of the study conducted by/for the FDA on NexGard, in 2013:

This study confirmed the 30-day effectiveness of a single monthly dose of NEXGARD for the treatment of adult C. felis infestations on dogs 24 hours post-infestation. Because the study demonstrated 81.1% effectiveness 12 hours post-infestation on Day 28, the study did not confirm 30-day effectiveness at 12 hours post-infestation.

The study also confirmed that for new flea infestations, NEXGARD killed adult fleas before they can lay eggs, thus contributing to the prevention of flea infestations. NEXGARD was >97% effective against adult D. variabilis, when measured 48 hours after infestation, for 30 days. The increased number of dead ticks and the reduction of live ticks support the treatment and control indication for D. variabilis, respectively.

The FDA is known for its high standards, so you can rest easy knowing that this is an effective and safe antiparasitic solution.

NexGard For Dogs Price & Where To Buy

Like any pet-related product or service, prices vary depending on location, availability, and – in this case – dosage. The average price tag on NexGard (for 4-10 lbs size dog) is:

  • 3 months – $72.20
  • 6 months – $112.40
  • 12 months – $204.88

These are just average list prices, and you can find them for a lot cheaper online and in some stores. Note that this is prescription-only veterinary medication, so you may not be able to obtain NexGard online or at a random pet store. Talk to your doggy doctor about getting and administering it.

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There are all kinds of companies manufacturing antiparasitic products for pets. NexGard is a brand aimed specifically at dogs, and it has the backing of the FDA, plus the reputation of its predecessor, FRONTLINE, which is still a very well-known and implicitly trusted brand. My experience with NexGard has been successful, and I plan to continue using it. At least, until they come up with something newer, better, and cheaper!

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