Bravecto vs. Simparica: A Comprehensive Review

When it comes to protecting our furry friends from ticks and fleas, choosing the right preventative medication is crucial. In the world of veterinary medicine, Bravecto and Simparica have established themselves as reliable options. However, pet owners often find themselves pondering – which one is the best fit for my pet?

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Bravecto – Long-Lasting Protection

Overview: Bravecto is a well-known oral flea and tick preventative that comes in a chewable form. It is designed to provide long-lasting protection, ensuring your pet is safeguarded for an extended period.

Key Features:

  • Duration of Effectiveness: Bravecto offers up to 12 weeks of protection against fleas and ticks.
  • Active Ingredient: The primary active ingredient in Bravecto is Fluralaner, a potent insecticide and acaricide.


  • Extended Protection: Ideal for pet owners who prefer not to administer medication monthly.
  • Convenience: The chewable form is easy to administer, and its palatability ensures pets take it willingly.
  • Efficacy: Provides consistent and strong protection against fleas and various tick species.


  • Price: May be more expensive upfront compared to monthly options.
  • Less Frequent Dosing: While convenient, it requires accurate planning to ensure timely re-administration every three months.

Simparica – Consistent Monthly Protection

Overview: Simparica stands out as a monthly oral flea and tick preventative. It guarantees consistent protection with its regular dosing schedule.

Key Features:

  • Duration of Effectiveness: Provides protection for one month.
  • Active Ingredient: The primary active ingredient is Sarolaner, a member of the isoxazoline class.


  • Consistent Protection: Monthly dosing ensures a constant level of protection.
  • Flexibility: Easier to switch products or stop usage if necessary.
  • Fast Acting: Begins killing fleas within 3 hours and ticks within 8 hours.


  • Monthly Administration: Requires pet owners to remember monthly dosing.
  • Potential for Missed Doses: Consistent protection relies on not missing a dose.

Comparative Table

Feature Bravecto Simparica
Duration of Effectiveness 12 weeks 1 month
Active Ingredient Fluralaner Sarolaner
Form of Medication Chewable Chewable
Price $$$ $$
Convenience Administer every 3 months Monthly dosing
Efficacy Highly effective against fleas and ticks Highly effective against fleas and ticks

Making the Right Choice for Your Pet

When deciding between Bravecto and Simparica, consider your pet’s lifestyle, your ability to maintain a dosing schedule, and any budget constraints. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the best option tailored to your pet’s specific needs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Personal Preference and Lifestyle: Choose a product that fits seamlessly into your and your pet’s routine.
  • Consult with a Vet: Always consult with a veterinarian before starting any flea and tick preventative.
  • Monitor for Side Effects: Keep an eye out for any adverse reactions, and report them to your veterinarian immediately.


Q1: Can Bravecto and Simparica be used in conjunction with other medications?

A1: It is essential to consult your veterinarian before combining Bravecto or Simparica with any other medications. Both are generally considered safe, but certain drug interactions could potentially occur, especially with medications that are processed through the liver. Your vet will evaluate your pet’s overall health status and the necessity of concurrent medications to ensure safe usage.

Q2: Are there any breeds that should avoid using Bravecto or Simparica?

A2: Both medications are deemed safe for most breeds when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. However, dogs with a history of seizures or neurological disorders should be closely monitored, as the isoxazoline class of drugs has been associated with adverse neurological effects. It is paramount to discuss your pet’s medical history with a veterinarian to ascertain the safest option.

Q3: How quickly do Bravecto and Simparica start working after administration?

A3: Simparica has a rapid onset of action, beginning to kill fleas within 3 hours and ticks within 8 hours of administration. Bravecto, while taking slightly longer to reach its full efficacy, starts killing fleas within 2 hours and ticks within 12 hours. This swift action helps reduce the chance of disease transmission from ticks to your pet.

Q4: Are there any age or weight restrictions for these medications?

A4: Both Bravecto and Simparica are approved for use in dogs aged 6 months and older. However, they do have weight restrictions. Bravecto is safe for dogs weighing at least 4.4 pounds, while Simparica is approved for dogs weighing 2.8 pounds or more. Accurate dosing is crucial, so use the appropriate product based on your dog’s current weight.

Q5: How do environmental factors influence the effectiveness of these medications?

A5: Bravecto and Simparica remain highly effective regardless of environmental conditions. They are both administered orally, meaning their efficacy is not diminished by bathing, swimming, or exposure to sunlight. This ensures consistent protection for your pet, even in areas with high flea and tick populations.

Q6: What should I do if I miss a dose?

A6: If a dose is missed, administer the medication as soon as possible and adjust the dosing schedule accordingly. For Bravecto, this means the next dose should be given three months from the new administration date. For Simparica, resume the monthly dosing schedule from the date the missed dose was given. Consistency is key for maintaining optimal protection against fleas and ticks.

Q7: How do Bravecto and Simparica impact the environment?

A7: Both medications are excreted from the pet’s body over time, potentially entering the environment. While the environmental impact is generally considered low, it’s an aspect that is continually monitored. Choosing a medication with a longer duration of action, such as Bravecto, can reduce the frequency of doses required and, consequently, the potential environmental load.

Q8: What is the cost comparison between Bravecto and Simparica?

A8: While Bravecto’s upfront cost is typically higher due to its extended duration of protection, when broken down per month, the cost difference between the two becomes marginal. It is vital to consider both the upfront cost and the overall value when making your decision, keeping in mind the convenience and protection each option offers.

Q9: Can cats be treated with Bravecto or Simparica?

A9: Bravecto is available in a topical form for cats, providing 12 weeks of flea and tick protection. Simparica, however, is currently not approved for use in cats. If you have both dogs and cats in your household, it’s important to use species-specific medications to ensure safety and efficacy.

Q10: What are the common side effects associated with Bravecto and Simparica?

A10: Both medications are generally well-tolerated, but they can cause side effects in some dogs. Common side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and decreased appetite. In rare cases, neurological effects such as tremors, seizures, or ataxia may occur. If you observe any adverse effects after administration, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Q11: How do Bravecto and Simparica perform in regions with drug-resistant parasites?

A11: The active ingredients in Bravecto (fluralaner) and Simparica (sarolaner) belong to the isoxazoline class, which has shown effectiveness even in areas where parasites have developed resistance to older classes of flea and tick preventatives. However, resistance is a complex issue influenced by many factors, and ongoing monitoring and research are essential to ensure these medications retain their efficacy.

Q12: Can pregnant or lactating dogs safely use Bravecto or Simparica?

A12: The safety of Bravecto and Simparica in pregnant, breeding, or lactating dogs has not been definitively established. If your dog is pregnant or nursing, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian to evaluate the risks and benefits and determine the most appropriate course of action.

Q13: Is there a risk of overdosage with these medications, and what should I do if it occurs?

A13: While Bravecto and Simparica have wide safety margins, overdosage can still occur, particularly if the medication is not administered according to the label instructions. Signs of overdosage may include increased salivation, tremors, or loss of coordination. If you suspect your pet has ingested an excessive amount of medication, seek immediate veterinary attention.

Q14: How should Bravecto and Simparica be stored to maintain their effectiveness?

A14: Store both medications in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and out of reach of children and pets. Ensure the packaging is intact and sealed properly to preserve the medication’s efficacy. Do not use the product beyond its expiration date, as this can compromise its effectiveness.

Q15: What are the differences in the modes of action between Bravecto and Simparica?

A15: Both medications work by interfering with the nervous system of fleas and ticks, leading to their death. However, they target different chloride channels. Fluralaner (Bravecto) affects the arthropod gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-gated chloride channels, while sarolaner (Simparica) primarily affects glutamate-gated chloride channels. This subtle difference does not significantly impact their effectiveness but reflects the variation in their chemical structures.

Q16: Can these medications be used in conjunction with natural flea and tick preventatives?

A16: Some pet owners opt to use natural flea and tick preventatives alongside pharmaceutical options. While some natural methods may offer additional protection, their efficacy can vary significantly. It is paramount to discuss any additional preventatives with your veterinarian to ensure they will not interfere with the efficacy of Bravecto or Simparica and to ascertain that they are safe for use.

Q17: How do Bravecto and Simparica impact non-target organisms?

A17: While these medications are highly selective for parasites, there is potential for impact on non-target organisms, particularly aquatic species. The active ingredients can enter waterways through various routes, including bathing or excretion. Therefore, responsible disposal of unused medication and consideration of environmental impacts are essential.

Q18: Are there any lifestyle or health conditions that could influence the choice between Bravecto and Simparica?

A18: Pets with specific lifestyle factors or health conditions may be better suited to one medication over the other. For example, dogs that are frequently exposed to water may benefit from Bravecto’s extended duration and reduced dosing frequency. Conversely, dogs with a history of seizures may require careful assessment and monitoring, regardless of the chosen medication.

Q19: What steps should be taken if a dose is vomited up shortly after administration?

A19: If your pet vomits shortly after receiving an oral dose of Bravecto or Simparica, it can be challenging to determine if the medication was absorbed properly. Contact your veterinarian promptly; they may recommend re-dosing or observing for signs of flea or tick infestation to assess if the medication was effective.

Q20: Can Bravecto and Simparica be used year-round, or should they be administered seasonally?

A20: Fleas and ticks can pose risks to pets year-round, though the level of risk can vary depending on geographic location and climate. Year-round protection is generally recommended to ensure consistent prevention, particularly in regions where fleas and ticks are prevalent throughout multiple seasons.

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