Greatest Flea Therapies for Cats and Canines 2021

Photo: Bravecto

Our choice

Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs (22 to 44 pounds)

Bravecto lasts for three months, so you may use it less frequently than any other topical treatment we recommend (and it’s chewed on dogs with sensitive skin too). But it does require a prescription. For doses used to treat smaller or larger dogs, see below.

Bravecto topical solution for cats (6.2 to 13.8 pounds)

Bravecto topical solution for cats (6.2 to 13.8 pounds)

Bravecto for cats also lasts three months and is one of the few brands that offers a version for protection against heartworms. But Bravecto needs a prescription. Below are links to cans that are suitable for cats that are outside of the weight specifications.

Who should use this: Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs and Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats are ideal if you like the concept of passing three months between treatments and your main concerns are fleas, American dog ticks, black-legged ticks and brown dog ticks (in dogs) or fleas and black-legged ones Ticks (in cats). If you have a dog who is happier to swallow a chew than to be treated on the neck, Bravecto also comes in oral form. Bravecto protects against these pests in a 12-week cycle and also combats solitary star ticks (in dogs) and American dog ticks (in cats), but only for eight weeks each. This gives you a four week window that your dog or cat may be exposed.

What it handles: Our veterinary experts agreed that Bravecto is one of their favorite flea and tick treatments for cats and dogs. It’s also the only brand we recommend that sells a single dose that lasts three months between uses. However, if you live in an area where individual star ticks are common, including the East, Southeast, and South-Central states, you should opt for a monthly treatment like Frontline Plus. Bravecto only protects against solitary star ticks for up to eight weeks (as opposed to its 12-week protection against other types of ticks). This means your pet can remain unprotected against single star ticks for a month between Bravecto treatments – or you will have to use it more frequently (PDF).

Bravecto is also one of two picks that offer a formula for protecting cats from heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms. (Revolution also protects cats from some parasitic worms.) There is no cure for heartworm disease in cats, notes the American Heartworm Society, so you need to protect your cat from getting them in the first place.

Bravecto Chew and Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs protect against fleas, black-legged ticks, American dog ticks and brown dog ticks for 12 weeks, and against solitary star ticks for eight weeks. But they don’t protect against heartworms. The formula is convenient because you don’t have to put dirty goose bumps on your pet’s fur. When using this formulation, an insect will have to bite your pet in order to come into contact with the pesticide. In comparison, the issues are spread out in your pet’s fur and oil glands. So if a pest comes in contact with the fur, it’s toast. (If your pet is particularly sensitive to insect bites and not to a medicated ointment, choose an updated product instead.)

Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats will defend itself against fleas and black-legged ticks for 12 weeks and against American dog ticks for eight weeks. Bravecto Plus for cats protects against fleas, black-legged ticks, heartworms, roundworms and hookworms for eight weeks.

Effective ingredients: Fluralaner (Bravecto Chew and Bravecto Topical Solution); Fluralaner and Moxidectin (Bravecto Plus)

Uses / Frequency: 12 weeks chew or topical solution for dogs; eight or twelve week topical solution for cats

Known side effects: neurological side effects, including ataxia (lack of coordination), seizures, and tremors; other known side effects – vomiting, hair loss, rash, lethargy, diarrhea, decreased appetite, dry skin and itching

Prescription required: Yes

Variants: Bravecto Chew for Dogs 4.4 to 9.9 pounds, 9.9 to 22 pounds, 22 to 44 pounds, 44 to 88 pounds, 88 to 123 pounds; Bravecto Topical Solution for Dogs 4.4 to 9.9 pounds, 9.9 to 22 pounds, 22 to 44 pounds, 44 to 88 pounds, 88 to 123 pounds; Bravecto Topical Solution for Cats 2.6 to 6.2 pounds, 6.2 to 13.8 pounds, 13.8 to 27.5 pounds; Bravecto Plus for Cats 2.6 to 6.2 pounds, 6.2 to 13.8 pounds, 13.8 to 27.5 pounds