Bravecto vs. Comfortis : 2019 Comparison and Key Differences

Spot-on flea and tick treatments have some competition. Treatments in the form of once monthly (and sometimes fewer) pills offer pet owners a way to treat those pesky biting insects without smearing medicine all over pets.

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If you’ve never used a pill treatment before, you’ve got some catching up to do. Not all pills are created equal and not all offer results for the same type of situation. We’re comparing two commonly prescribed treatments for fleas and ticks, Bravecto and Comfortis, to see which one the best option for your pet companion might be. Let’s take a look.

Which is Better Bravecto or Comfortis for Dogs?

Bravecto has the advantage of offering tick coverage. We aren’t sure why Comfortis doesn’t add this to their formulation, but it certainly makes us feel better about our dog’s treatment plan. Even if your dog is an indoor pet, it still benefits from the added tick protection because there’s always the chance you could bring one home.

The one advantage Comfortis has is the speed of effectiveness. It kills fleas within one hour of use compared to Bravecto’s 24 hours. That may not make a difference to most of you, but if you need a speedy recovery, Comfortis is a better bet.

We recommend Bravecto for dogs because of the tick coverage and because there are only a handful of instances where we couldn’t wait 24 hours to see results.

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Which is Better Bravecto or Comfortis for Cats?

Bravecto doesn’t have a chewable option for Cats, only a spot-on, so here, we’d recommend Comfortis. It’s easier to administer for animals notorious for hating spot-on treatments.

If you’re worried about ticks, Bravecto’s spot on treatment may be worth the hassle. For outdoor cats, ticks can be especially problematic, so we think that outdoor cats should receive the Bravecto system because of its wider coverage. Plus, at three months, you only have to fight with your outdoor cat every few months.

Indoor cats may find more relief with Comfortis, and it saves you the trouble of tricking your cat into sitting still for a spot-on treatment for at least a month. Overall, we think that the chewable system is a better option for indoor cats and Bravecto is better for outdoor.

Our Review of Bravecto and Comfortis

Bravecto and Comfortis rely on neurotoxins to interrupt feeding and breeding cycles of fleas (and ticks in Bravecto’s case). Fleas and ticks bite your pet and ingest the neurotoxin causing death in a matter of hours or a few days.

It doesn’t repel ticks or fleas the way spot-on treatments will, so your pet is still at risk of blood-borne diseases. However, the methods are fast acting and relatively fuss-free. They mimic pet treats with flavors your dog (and with Comfortis, your cat) should like.

Both will require a prescription from your veterinarian to get started, so make sure you consider that in your cost analysis and your long-term treatment plans.

Key Differences Between Bravecto and Comfortis

Let’s go over a few significant differences.

Period of Coverage

Bravecto’s single dose protects your pet for three months before beginning to wear off. This includes Bravecto’s spot-on treatments for cats as well. The primary ingredient is a slow release toxin that affects small biting insects without affecting your pet.

Comfortis lasts for a month. The type of ingredient in Comfortis begins to wear off at the one-month mark for both cats and dogs.

Method of Delivery

Bravecto and Comfortis both offer a chewable tablet flavored in something your dog should find pleasing. They use things like beef flavoring to entice your dog and cover any treatment taste.

Unfortunately, Bravecto doesn’t have a tablet for cats although Comfortis does. You can still get the same three-month treatment for your cat, but you’ll have to apply it to the coat.

Insect Coverage

Comfortis is exclusively for controlling flea populations. It doesn’t repel fleas or kill eggs, but it does begin to kill adult fleas within 30 minutes, interrupting the life cycle and putting a stop to infestations.

Bravecto covers ticks on top of controlling flea populations. This includes both the chewable for dogs and the spot-on treatment for cats.

Age Limitations

Comfortis can be given to puppies as young as 14 weeks, provided they’re over the 5-pound mark. That weight limit includes adult dogs. For cats, appropriate age limits are 14 weeks as well, but a smaller weight limit of 4.1 pounds.

Bravecto has to wait until six months before it’s available for your dog. Adult dogs need to weigh over the 4.4-pound mark to be eligible for the treatment. For the spot-on treatment, cats must be at least six months as well with a weight of at least 2.6 pounds.

Bravecto and Comfortis Active Ingredients Comparison

Both rely on a neurotoxin, but the specific type is different.

Bravecto: Fluralaner

Fluralaner is a neurotoxin that interrupts the life cycle of adult fleas, preventing them from feeding or completing the breeding cycle. It’s not suitable for repelling fleas or ticks, so biting insects must ingest your pet’s blood to come in contact with the treatment. In areas where blood-borne illnesses are issues, it may not be the best treatment.

It paralyzes insects who come in contact with it. They starve and fall off your pet. It doesn’t affect your pet’s nervous system, but common side effects of the medication include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach issues, and lethargy.

Comfortis: Spinosad

Spinosad is a naturally occurring substance found in the soil and isolated for use in your pet’s treatment. It causes neurological spasms, preventing insects from eating, and eventually causing paralysis and death.

It’s less toxic to the environment, but you’re unlikely to come into contact with enough quantities to harm you or the environment around you. Common side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach issues, and lethargy.

Which Treatment is the Best Priced?

Bravecto is slightly more expensive, hovering around $60 give or take for a single treatment. Remember that you’re covered for three months, making it roughly $20 per month.

Comfortis is about $90 for six treatments. That’s about $15 each month for your flea treatments.

Since both require a prescription, the cost of the veterinarian visit is a wash. You will get the extra coverage for ticks if you choose Bravecto, so we’re going to give Bravecto the winning vote for the best price.

Which Do We Recommend?

We recommend Bravecto. It covers both fleas and ticks for your pets in a really convenient chewable. You only have to administer it every three months, so it’s great for those of you who often forget your monthly treatments.

The only reason to choose Comfortis would be if your dog is younger and needs protection between the ages of 14 weeks and six months. The slight difference in price doesn’t concern us so much because we can add ticks to the list with Bravecto. We think it’s more effective and covers a better range of biting insects.

For cats, we’d still recommend Bravecto spot-on treatments for cats that spend time outdoors because you can handle ticks as well. Both fleas and ticks are so common, we’d worry about using a treatment that didn’t address the ticks issue. Again, use Comfortis if your cat is younger, but switch to the more straightforward Bravecto treatment at six months.

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7 Treatment Application Tips

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you go through your treatments.

For Dogs:

  1. If your dog doesn’t like the chewable, it’s not the end of the road. You could always try the sandwich method to give the treatment. Take two of your dog’s favorite treats and let it smell them. Give one treat, then the chewable, and finally the second treat. Your dog may scarf down the chewable in anticipation of receiving the final treat, especially if you allow your dog to know that another is coming along.
  1. Treat your environment as well. Since neither chewable will repel fleas or ticks, you may need to supplement by spraying your house or your yard if fleas continue to be an issue. It takes a few hours for fleas to die and only after they actually bite. It could take some environment treatments to help if you’re still seeing fleas.
  1. Set reminders if three months is a long time to keep up with dosing. For some of you, the ease of a three-month treatment is awesome…and forgettable. Make sure to put the dosing on your calendar so you don’t let that month three milestone go by and risk lowering the effectiveness of your treatment plan. It can also help if your vet offers reminders. Sign up for their messaging system to be notified.

For Cats:

  1. Cats are a total loss. Just kidding, but we know cats aren’t quite as people pleasing as dogs. If your cat doesn’t like a chewable, there may not be much you can do about it. Use fish oil to help with the taste. If you take up your cat’s food every day and can expect it to eat everything, you might try cutting the chewable into tiny pieces and mixing with food. Make sure your cat doesn’t leave food behind, so you know the entire dose has been ingested.
  1. If you’re doing a spot-on treatment, you could make sure to exercise your cat well before giving the treatment. Spend at least 30 minutes playing your cat’s favorite game or (if your cat is the type) going on a walk. Once your cat is calm, it may be more amenable to sitting still for a spot-on treatment.
  1. Some cats are a lot calmer if their eyes are covered. You don’t have to fashion a blindfold, however. Cat muzzles are devices meant to cover your cat’s eyes without interfering with breathing. It might be just what your cat needs to stay calm during the entire treatment. Some cat muzzles are reasonably priced and could make a lot of things easier for you.
  1. Don’t be tempted to lapse your flea and tick treatment just because your cat is indoors. There’s always the chance that your cat could pick up insects that you’ve brought in the house. Indoor cats may not go outside (ever), but the outdoors can still find its way to your indoor cat. Treat them and be safe.

Final Thoughts

Bravecto’s three-month treatment period and coverage of ticks make it our top pick this time. Comfortis is an excellent option, but we’re still on board with Bravecto. Make sure you talk to your veterinarian if this is the first time you’re treating your pet, not only because you need a prescription to use Bravecto, but you also need the guidance of your vet to choose the right treatment plan and make sure everything works the way it should.

Have you developed any little tricks to get your dog or cat to complete the treatment without fussing? Let us know your best chewable and spot on methods in the comments below.

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Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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1 comment

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  • Bravecto causes an odor on my dogs that Comfortis did not. Even bathing daily (which is not good for my dogs skin) does not get rid of the odor. It is very foul and smells my house and my car. I cannot get rid of the odor. Has anyone else had this problem? The vet cannot find a skin issue, parasite, etc. so he is of the thinking it must be the Bravecto. That’s a vet bill I didn’t need!

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