Bravecto for Dogs: Its Efficacy Against Fleas

As a pet owner, one of your most important responsibilities is to protect your furry friend from harmful parasites such as fleas. Various products promise to help in this mission, but not all are created equal. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the effectiveness of one such popular product, Bravecto, and assess whether it indeed lives up to its claims of offering superior flea protection.

What is Bravecto?

Bravecto is an FDA-approved treatment for fleas and ticks in dogs and cats, and it comes in both a chewable and topical formulation. Its active ingredient, Fluralaner, provides systemic action to kill parasites. Unlike many other flea and tick treatments, Bravecto boasts a long-lasting effectiveness of up to 12 weeks.

Bravecto’s Action on Fleas

When discussing the efficacy of Bravecto, it is essential to understand how it works. The active ingredient, Fluralaner, works systemically. When ingested or absorbed through the skin, it distributes across your pet’s body in the bloodstream. When fleas bite your pet, they ingest the Fluralaner and are subsequently killed.

Is Bravecto Instantly Effective?

Bravecto does not claim to offer instant kill of fleas. However, clinical trials indicate that it begins to work within just two hours of administration and achieves over 98% effectiveness within twelve hours. This rapid action is a significant advantage, especially during peak flea season when immediate relief is crucial.

Breaking the Flea Life Cycle with Bravecto

One of the primary challenges in effective flea control is breaking the flea life cycle. Adult fleas on your pet represent only about 5% of the total flea population in your home. The rest are in various life stages – eggs, larvae, and pupae – lurking in your pet’s environment.

While Bravecto does not kill flea eggs directly, it effectively breaks the flea life cycle by killing adult fleas before they can lay eggs. This characteristic contributes to its effectiveness in flea control.

Persistent Fleas Post-Bravecto Treatment: Understanding the Scenario

While Bravecto is generally effective, you may still find fleas on your dog post-treatment. Remember that no product repels fleas, so new ones can still jump on your dog and bite. However, these new fleas will ingest the active ingredient and die off quickly.

Furthermore, if your pet’s environment – your home and yard – is heavily infested, you may still see fleas even after treating your pet. In such cases, it’s vital to combine pet treatment with environmental control measures.


In conclusion, Bravecto is a highly effective product in controlling and preventing flea infestations. Its long-lasting action, rapid effectiveness, and ability to break the flea life cycle make it a reliable choice for pet owners. However, always consult your vet before starting any new treatment and remember that controlling a heavy infestation requires an integrated approach, including treating your pet and its environment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bravecto

1. Can Bravecto Be Used on Puppies or Kittens?

Bravecto is safe to use on puppies and kittens, but there are certain age and weight restrictions. The chewable tablets are suitable for puppies six months or older and weighing at least 4.4 lbs. The topical solution can be used on puppies and kittens as young as 12 weeks and weighing at least 4.4 lbs. Always consult your veterinarian before administering any new medication to your young pets.

2. Does Bravecto Also Protect Against Ticks?

Absolutely! Apart from fleas, Bravecto also provides effective protection against various species of ticks. It kills ticks within 12 hours and provides ongoing protection for up to 12 weeks. However, ticks must bite and start feeding on your pet’s blood to ingest Bravecto and subsequently be killed.

3. Can I Bathe My Pet After Administering Bravecto?

Yes, you can bathe your pet or let them swim after administering Bravecto. It’s a water-resistant treatment, whether ingested orally or applied topically, and will not lose its effectiveness. However, it’s recommended to avoid bathing or swimming within 48 hours of application for the topical solution.

4. Can Bravecto Be Used for Other Parasites Like Mites?

Bravecto chewables for dogs have proven to be effective against demodectic mange (caused by Demodex spp. mites), sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei), and ear mites (Otodectes cynotis). However, it’s always recommended to consult your veterinarian for the appropriate treatment for these conditions.

5. What Should I Do If My Pet Experiences Side Effects?

While most pets tolerate Bravecto well, some may experience side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, or lethargy. If your pet shows any adverse reaction after taking Bravecto, consult your vet immediately.

6. Can Bravecto Be Used Alongside Other Medications?

Bravecto is deemed safe to use in conjunction with other medications. Nonetheless, always check with your vet before mixing treatments, as certain combinations might lead to negative interactions.

7. How Often Should Bravecto Be Administered?

One of Bravecto’s main benefits is its extended protection period. Depending on the formulation (chewable or topical), it can offer flea and tick protection for up to 8-12 weeks. However, the exact duration and timing should be based on your vet’s advice, considering your pet’s health condition and the local parasite threat.

8. What If My Pet Is Pregnant or Lactating?

Bravecto is considered safe for use in breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs. However, no such data exists for cats. As always, consult your veterinarian before administering Bravecto or any other medication to pregnant or lactating pets.

9. Does Bravecto Provide Immediate Protection Against Fleas?

While Bravecto is not an instant killer, it starts killing fleas within 2 hours after administration and achieves a 100% success rate within 12 hours for existing fleas. For new infestations, fleas that re-infest are killed within 2 hours with 98.7% efficacy. This swift action helps relieve your pet’s discomfort and prevent the spread of infestation.

10. Will My Pet Get Fleas or Ticks While On Bravecto?

Fleas and ticks can still land on your pet while they’re on Bravecto, but they will not survive for long. Fleas start dying within 2 hours, and ticks are eliminated within 12 hours. However, this does not prevent fleas or ticks from targeting your pet in the first place.

11. What Should I Do If My Pet Spits Out Bravecto Chewable?

If your pet spits out the Bravecto chewable or vomits shortly after administration, it’s best to offer another dose. This is because the full amount of the drug may not have been absorbed into your pet’s system, reducing its effectiveness against fleas and ticks.

12. Is There a Possibility of Resistance Developing to Bravecto?

Although resistance is always a possibility with any flea or tick product, no known resistance to Bravecto has been identified. The key to minimizing resistance is ensuring that the medication is administered as recommended, ensuring that all pets in the household are treated, and regular treatments are maintained year-round.

13. Is Bravecto Safe for Cats and Dogs of All Sizes?

Yes, Bravecto is formulated to be safe for both small and large breeds of dogs and cats, with different dosage sizes based on the animal’s weight. However, always adhere to the weight and age guidelines provided by the manufacturer and confirm with your vet.

14. Can Bravecto Treat Fleas in My Home Environment?

While Bravecto kills fleas on your pet, it doesn’t directly treat the fleas in your home environment. Fleas in different life stages (eggs, larvae, and pupae) can hide in carpets, furniture, and bedding, which requires separate treatment. However, any new fleas that jump onto your pet from the environment will be killed off, interrupting the life cycle and aiding in the overall control of the infestation.

15. If My Pet is on Bravecto, Do I Still Need to Worry About Flea Allergies?

While Bravecto eliminates fleas and thus reduces the risk of Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD), it doesn’t prevent fleas from biting before they die. So, if your pet is highly allergic to flea bites, they may still have a reaction. In such cases, you should discuss additional treatments or preventive measures with your vet.

16. Can I Give My Pet a Bath After Administering Bravecto Chew?

Yes, bathing your pet after giving them a Bravecto chew doesn’t affect its efficacy, as the active ingredient fluralaner is stored in your pet’s oil glands beneath the skin, from where it is gradually released over time. However, it’s recommended to wait for at least 72 hours before bathing your pet, allowing the medication ample time to be absorbed.

17. Does Bravecto Have Any Side Effects?

While generally well-tolerated, some pets may experience side effects. These can include decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, excessive thirst, and skin irritation. If these symptoms persist or worsen, it’s important to consult your veterinarian.

18. Is Bravecto Safe for Pregnant or Lactating Pets?

Bravecto is approved for use in breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs and cats, making it a safe option for pets at all stages of life. However, as with all medications, consult your vet before administering Bravecto to a pregnant or lactating pet.

19. Does Bravecto Protect Against Other Parasites?

Bravecto primarily protects against fleas and ticks. However, Bravecto Plus, a related product, also includes protection against heartworms and intestinal worms in cats. It’s crucial to consult with your vet to establish the right parasite prevention strategy for your pet.

20. How Does Bravecto Interact with Other Medications?

There are no known contraindications with other common veterinary medicinal products. However, if your pet is on any medication, it’s important to discuss this with your veterinarian before administering Bravecto. They will be able to advise you on any potential interactions and adjust dosages if needed.

21. Does Bravecto Kill Mange Mites?

Yes, Bravecto has been shown to be effective against Demodex spp. mites, which are a common cause of mange in dogs. It’s important to note that mange is a serious condition that requires veterinary supervision. If you suspect your pet has mange, consult your vet for a diagnosis and treatment plan.

22. How Do I Store Bravecto?

Store Bravecto in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight. It should be kept out of reach of children and pets to avoid accidental ingestion. The product does not need to be refrigerated. Always check the expiration date before administering Bravecto.

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