Interceptor vs. Interceptor Plus

When it comes to safeguarding our furry friends from parasites, Interceptor and Interceptor Plus are two well-regarded options in the veterinary world. But what sets them apart, and which one is the right choice for your pet?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Overview of Interceptor and Interceptor Plus

Interceptor is a monthly tablet designed to prevent heartworm disease while controlling adult hookworm and removing and controlling adult roundworm and whipworm infections.

On the other hand, Interceptor Plus encompasses all the benefits of Interceptor and adds a robust protection against tapeworms.

Both products are praised for their palatability, ensuring ease of administration to pets.

Side-by-Side Comparison: What’s the Difference?

Criteria Interceptor Interceptor Plus
Heartworm Prevention ✔️ ✔️
Hookworm Control ✔️ ✔️
Roundworm Control ✔️ ✔️
Whipworm Control ✔️ ✔️
Tapeworm Control ✔️
Monthly Administration ✔️ ✔️
Palatability Highly palatable Highly palatable

Key Takeaways


  • Best suited for pet owners primarily concerned with the most common parasites.
  • Slightly more affordable than Interceptor Plus.
  • A time-tested option trusted by veterinarians worldwide.

Interceptor Plus:

  • Provides all-encompassing protection, including tapeworms.
  • Ideal for regions where tapeworms are prevalent.
  • Slightly higher price point, but offers comprehensive coverage.

Real World Experiences and Veterinary Recommendations

In numerous threads on platforms like Reddit (e.g., r/puppy101, r/AskVet), pet owners and veterinarians alike have shared their experiences and insights. A consensus leans towards Interceptor Plus for its comprehensive coverage, especially in areas where tapeworms are a concern.

Studies and articles sourced from reputable sites like and corroborate the efficacy of both products, but also highlight the additional protection against tapeworms provided by Interceptor Plus.

Conclusion: Making the Right Choice for Your Pet

In conclusion, both Interceptor and Interceptor Plus stand as robust options for parasite prevention in pets. The choice ultimately boils down to the specific needs of your pet and the parasitic threats prevalent in your area. Consulting with a veterinarian will provide tailored advice, ensuring your furry companion receives the best possible protection.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the active ingredient difference between Interceptor and Interceptor Plus?

Interceptor primarily contains Milbemycin Oxime, which is potent against heartworm larvae, adult hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. Interceptor Plus combines Milbemycin Oxime with Praziquantel, an additional agent effective against tapeworms.

Can I switch from Interceptor to Interceptor Plus without a vet consultation?

While both products are safe, transitioning from one heartworm preventative to another should always be done under veterinary supervision. This ensures continuity in protection and addresses any potential health concerns that could arise from switching products.

How do environmental factors influence the choice between Interceptor and Interceptor Plus?

In regions where tapeworms, transmitted by fleas or ingested through prey animals, are prevalent, Interceptor Plus would offer a broader spectrum of protection. In contrast, for areas where tapeworms are less of a threat, Interceptor might be deemed sufficient.

Are there any breed-specific considerations when choosing between Interceptor and Interceptor Plus?

Certain breeds have genetic sensitivities to medications, including those in the heartworm preventative category. While both Interceptor and Interceptor Plus are generally safe across various breeds, it is crucial to consult with your veterinarian, ensuring that the product selected is safe for your specific breed.

Can I use Interceptor or Interceptor Plus alongside other flea and tick preventatives?

Yes, both Interceptor and Interceptor Plus can be used in conjunction with other flea and tick preventatives. However, it is essential to discuss with your veterinarian to ensure compatibility and safety with the particular brand or type of flea and tick preventative you plan to use.

How do I choose between Interceptor and Interceptor Plus for a puppy?

Puppies, like adult dogs, require protection against parasites. Both Interceptor and Interceptor Plus are safe for puppies, but the choice will depend on the puppy’s exposure risk to various parasites, including tapeworms. A veterinarian will assess the puppy’s environment, lifestyle, and health status to recommend the most suitable product.

If my dog has a history of gastrointestinal issues, is one product preferable over the other?

Both Interceptor and Interceptor Plus have the potential to cause gastrointestinal upset in sensitive individuals. If your dog has a history of gastrointestinal issues, your veterinarian may recommend starting with a lower dose under close supervision or may explore alternative preventative options.

How do the costs of Interceptor and Interceptor Plus compare, and does the price reflect the value?

Interceptor is generally less expensive than Interceptor Plus. The price difference reflects the added protection against tapeworms that Interceptor Plus provides. When evaluating cost, it is crucial to consider the broader perspective of potential veterinary bills and the health implications of a parasitic infection, weighing these against the preventative investment.

Are there any known resistance issues with the ingredients in Interceptor or Interceptor Plus?

To date, there is no widespread evidence of resistance to the ingredients in Interceptor or Interceptor Plus. However, resistance is a complex issue influenced by various factors, and ongoing vigilance and research are essential. Veterinarians play a crucial role in monitoring efficacy and recommending the most effective preventative strategies.

How do real-world effectiveness and controlled study results compare for these products?

Interceptor and Interceptor Plus have both demonstrated high efficacy in controlled studies, with Interceptor Plus showing 100% effectiveness against induced heartworm infections when administered monthly. Real-world effectiveness can vary due to factors such as missed doses, incorrect administration, and individual pet variations, underscoring the importance of proper usage and veterinary guidance.

How does the seasonality of parasites affect the decision between Interceptor and Interceptor Plus?

The prevalence of parasites varies with seasons, and this variation plays a pivotal role in deciding the appropriate heartworm and intestinal parasite preventative. In areas where parasites are endemic year-round, a broad-spectrum product like Interceptor Plus is generally recommended to ensure continuous protection against a variety of parasites, including tapeworms. For regions with distinct parasite-free seasons, some veterinarians might find Interceptor to be sufficient, particularly when tapeworm exposure is minimal. However, it’s crucial to maintain consistent prevention throughout the year to avoid lapses in protection, and this decision should always be personalized based on a thorough discussion with your veterinarian.

What are the storage requirements for Interceptor and Interceptor Plus, and why are they important?

Both Interceptor and Interceptor Plus should be stored at controlled room temperature, away from moisture and direct sunlight. Maintaining the integrity of these medications is paramount to ensure their efficacy. Exposure to extreme temperatures or humidity can degrade the active ingredients, potentially diminishing the product’s effectiveness. Always store these medications in their original packaging and check the expiration date before use.

Are there any contraindications or specific health conditions where Interceptor or Interceptor Plus should be avoided?

Interceptor and Interceptor Plus are generally considered safe for most dogs when administered as directed. However, dogs that are sick, debilitated, underweight, or have a history of seizures should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to determine the safety of using these products. Additionally, these medications should be used with caution in herding breeds or mixed breeds with herding lineage due to a potential genetic mutation (MDR1) that can lead to increased sensitivity to the active ingredients.

How do I know if my dog has parasites, and how would that influence the choice between Interceptor and Interceptor Plus?

Common signs of parasitic infections in dogs include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, a distended abdomen, and visible worms in the feces or around the anus. However, some parasitic infections can be asymptomatic, especially in the early stages. Regular fecal examinations and blood tests for heartworm are crucial for early detection and to guide the appropriate choice of preventative. If tapeworm segments are observed, a product like Interceptor Plus that targets tapeworms would be a preferable option.

How does the dog’s lifestyle and exposure risk influence the decision between these two products?

A dog’s lifestyle, including its living environment, exposure to wildlife, travel history, and interaction with other pets, directly impacts its risk of parasitic infections. Dogs with higher exposure to potential sources of tapeworms, such as fleas or rodents, might benefit more from the broader protection offered by Interceptor Plus. On the other hand, dogs with minimal exposure risk and living in well-controlled environments may find adequate protection with Interceptor. A thorough evaluation of the dog’s lifestyle is essential to tailor the preventative strategy to its specific needs.

Is there a preference for Interceptor or Interceptor Plus in multi-pet households?

In households with multiple pets, the risk of parasite transmission between animals can be higher, making it imperative to have an effective preventative strategy in place for all pets. Interceptor Plus, with its broader spectrum of activity, might be preferred in these situations to minimize the risk of tapeworm transmission, especially if fleas are a concern. Additionally, ensuring that all pets are on an appropriate preventative helps to create a safer environment and reduces the risk of parasitic infections.

What are the potential side effects of Interceptor and Interceptor Plus, and how do I monitor for them?

Both Interceptor and Interceptor Plus are well-tolerated by most dogs. However, as with any medication, there is a potential for side effects. Common side effects may include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. More severe reactions, although rare, could include seizures and hypersensitivity reactions. Monitoring your dog closely after administration, particularly if it’s their first time receiving the medication, is vital. Any signs of adverse reactions should be promptly reported to your veterinarian.

How do I properly administer Interceptor or Interceptor Plus to ensure maximum effectiveness?

Interceptor and Interceptor Plus are oral medications that should be given with food or immediately after feeding to ensure optimal absorption. The tablet can be offered as a treat or hidden in a small amount of food. Ensuring that the dog consumes the entire dose is crucial for the medication’s effectiveness. If the dog spits out the tablet or vomits shortly after administration, consult your veterinarian to determine if an additional dose is necessary.

How do I transition from a different heartworm preventative to Interceptor or Interceptor Plus?

Transitioning from one heartworm preventative to another should always be done under veterinary supervision. Your veterinarian will guide the transition process to ensure there is no lapse in protection. Generally, the new preventative is started when the next dose of the previous medication is due. However, in some cases, additional testing or a different protocol may be required, depending on the previous medication and the dog’s health status.

What should I do if I miss a dose of Interceptor or Interceptor Plus?

If a dose is missed, administer the medication as soon as you remember and resume the regular monthly dosing schedule. If it has been more than 30 days since the last dose, consult your veterinarian before administering the next dose, as there may be an increased risk of heartworm infection. Your veterinarian may recommend a heartworm test before resuming the medication and will guide the best course of action to ensure your dog’s protection.

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