Simparica vs. Bravecto : Comparison and Key Differences

If your pet’s itching is driving you crazy and you can’t stand the thought of squeezing out a tube of solution and fighting with your pet during the application process, you might think about switching to a chewable solution. Dogs love treats, and that might be a way for you to alleviate your pet’s discomfort without all the to-do of a spot-on treatment.

Chewables come in different flavors and tablets, but one exciting development is the introduction of a tablet that gives three months of protection. Bravecto professes to protect pets better and longer than other leading tablets on the market but can it compete with Simparica’s effectiveness? We’ll break it all down in our comparison. Let’s take a look.

Which is Better Simparica or Bravecto for Dogs?

Bravecto’s efficacy for three months gets us all excited. We love simplifying our dog’s flea and tick treatments and having a dose good for three months is really all we need. Flea populations continue to show signs of disruption even up to the end, so we’re confident that this method can really work well.

Both are part of the same class of neurotoxin, so they are very effective in all regards. If it worries you to give your pet something that stays in its system for that long, we could see sticking to Simparica, or if you need the routine of once-monthly doses.

However, many vets will send reminders, or you could set a reminder yourself, so you don’t have to do it all the time. Go with Bravecto.

Which is Better Simparica or Bravecto for Cats?

Bravecto is the only option for cats, but it’s a topical solution. It still has a three-month effectiveness rating and allows your pet to go longer between. Simparica isn’t safe for cats, and there is no feline alternative here. Bravecto is your only choice.

Our Review of Simparica and Bravecto

Both are part of a class of neurotoxins affectionately known as the “laners.” They stem from the isoxazoline group and interrupt the nervous system of the pest causing tremors and seizures. The insect eventually dies before completing the breeding cycle.

They both require a prescription, and for dogs, both come in chewable tablets. They have the same age of efficacy, and the cost is comparable.

Key Differences Between Simparica and Bravecto

There are a couple of differences, however. Let’s take a look.

Species

Simparica isn’t safe for cats at all. There’s no option or feline formula so you’ll have to find an alternative. Bravecto is available for cats as a spot-on treatment only. If you were hoping for a chewable option for your cat, you’ll have to go elsewhere.

Effective Range

Bravecto protects your dogs and cats for a period of up to three months. Cats need time for the solution to become waterproof, so if you don’t pay attention, it could reduce the range of effectiveness.

Simparica is good for 35 days, so you have a little leeway right at the end of the monthly dosing before compromising your prevention. It’s good for those who need a schedule to remember.
Tablet

Flavor

Simparica might have the edge over Bravecto because liver flavor has been shown to be very useful with dogs. Bravecto’s is just called a “tasty chew” and should mimic the generic taste of most dog treats. It’s still very pleasing to most dogs, but if your dog is particularly picky, you do have different flavor options here.

Simparica and Bravecto Active Ingredients Comparison

As we said, these are the same class of neurotoxin, but there are some slight differences.

Simparica: Sarolaner

Sarolaner is a class of neurotoxin that affects flea and tick populations as well as a few other types of biting insects including mites that cause mange. It works by interrupting neurological signals and preventing the insect from feeding or completing the breeding cycle. It’s effective for 35 days.

Side effects are rare but usually involve lethargy, loss of appetite, and stomach issues including diarrhea. Make sure you consult your veterinarian if you notice anything out of the ordinary.

Bravecto: Fluralaner

Fluralaner is a comparable neurotoxin that also acts on the neurological system of a biting insect. It interrupts the feeding and breeding cycle of both ticks and fleas, and it goes one step further by killing newly emerged fleas before they can lay eggs. It’s effective for three months.

Similar side effects as sarolaner include lethargy and loss of appetite as well as stomach issues, but these are few and far between. In rare cases, dogs with a history of seizures are affected as well.

Which Treatment is the Best Priced?

Bravctecto is good for three months and also covers newly emerged fleas, so we think it’s a better value for the money. Both are comparably priced with a package of six Simparica tablets and a package of three Bravecto tablets going for about the same price. That gets you roughly the same amount of coverage.

Since both require a visit to the vet, we don’t see any extra cost to associate with one and not the other.

Which Do We Recommend?

We recommend Bravecto because it’s just easier. One tablet every three months means you don’t have to fight with your picky pet as often and you don’t have to keep it on your schedule. It also deals with newly emerged fleas, so the treatment begins working more efficiently on more significant infestations.

The only reason to switch to Simparica is if you really need the schedule of once a month benchmarks to keep yourself on track. However, overall, the effectiveness of Bravecto is excellent and begins to kill fleas within hours.

With cats, the hassle of applying a spot-on treatment is lessened because you only have to do it every three months or so. It’s an excellent way to decrease your own stress and keep your cat protected. We think you’ll be pleased with the Bravecto family.

7 Treatment Application Tips

Treatments that are supposed to be comfortable can always hit a snag. If you find that even easy treatments don’t quite work as planned, here are a few things to keep in mind to help everything go more smoothly.

For dogs

  1. Don’t feed your dog anything new for a few days before and after the treatment. If your dog has a reaction to the tablet, it can be difficult to know if it’s actually the tablet or if it’s something else your dog ate. Eliminating anything new makes it easier to know how your dog reacts to the tablet itself. It also prevents issues with foods causing the dog to reject the pill next time. If all dogs remember is discomfort, it won’t matter if the pill is the cause or not. You’ll have a tough time with your next dose.2. If your dog hates the flavor, there can be a few ways to help. Dogs use their sense of smell to determine if the treatment is worth eating or not. Disguising the treat in something that smells really good, such as a piece of cheese, can fool your dog into thinking that it’s something good. If your dog has a favorite treat, you could also try to wrap the chewable in that treat as well.3. You can play into your dog’s natural sense of playfulness. Tossing treats to your dog can cause your dog to eat quickly whatever is in the air before analyzing if it’s something desirable. Toss a few real treats and then toss the chewable. Chances are, your dog won’t even notice that it’s not something it likes.

    4. Dogs also love to feel like they’ve gotten something they weren’t supposed to. Something we like to do is use our dog’s natural need to find bits of food fallen on the floor during meal time or meal preparation. IF your dog is waiting under your feet for an unexpected treat, you could try “accidentally” dropping the chewable on the floor. Your dog may scarf it up before realizing it isn’t a part of your tasty meal. Problem solved. Be sure not to do this if you have food aggressive dogs or can’t separate your dogs.

Cats

  1. Putting a spot-on treatment can be difficult for some cats. One place to start is exercising your cat thoroughly before applying the treatment. Play your cat’s favorite game or take your cat on a long walk (if your cat is into that) and when your cat seems fatigued, that’s the time to act. Your cat is more likely to lay still and allow it to happen because you’ve spent a lot of their energy already.6. For some reason, cats become calmer when their eyes are covered. We aren’t sure why this is, but if you have a cat that hates the treatment, it’s worth trying. Kitty Muzzles fit over your cat’s face to block out all light, but they don’t interfere with breathing. It might be just the thing your cat needs to stay calm and still until your treatment is over. Since Bravecto is once every three months, you won’t have to deal with it nearly as often as a once a month treatment.7. Purely indoor cats still need treatments. Fleas and ticks can make their way into any building anywhere and cause massive issues if the infestation isn’t caught quickly enough. If you want to protect your pet completely and not worry about accidental infestations, it’s essential to have your pet on a prevention plan. If this is your first plan, watch your cat carefully for signs of irritation or other side effects. Otherwise, get your cat on a prevention method and stop worrying.

Final Thoughts

Your pet needs a flea prevention plan, and a great place to start is the new class of chewables. They offer you simple solutions to messy topical treatments. You don’t have to worry about keeping your pets separated for a period of time after the application. You don’t have to worry about your children touching the solution. It’s all around an easier option.

Bravecto’s three-month solution is excellent for those who don’t want to have to remember the medication all the time. If you set reminders or have your vet send them (if that’s an option), it can really make your life a lot easier. Since they’re priced about the same, simplify your pet’s medication schedule.

Talk to your vet before starting any kind of treatment plan, including Bravecto’s topical treatment for cats, because your vet can help you decide the best course of action and prevent poor interactions from multiple medications. Get your pet’s scratching under control today and quit worrying about whether that feeling on your leg is just a tickle or a stray flea.

What’s your plan for prevention? Are you on board with once every three months or do you need a regimented schedule? Let us know in the comments below.

Sean Green

Sean Green, a leading developer of several pet-related websites and devoted pet owner. Sean is supported by a knowledgeable team of pet-loving writers who work together to provide you with a wealth of information about training and caring for your pets.

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