Is Bravecto Safe for Golden Retrievers? (Explained!)

As a dog owner, dealing with fleas and ticks can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, these pests are not only harmful to your golden retriever, but they can also transmit diseases to you and your family, so protecting your dog against fleas and ticks is paramount. Bravecto is one drug that promises to offer protection against fleas and ticks, but is it safe for Golden Retrievers to use? 

Bravecto is safe for golden retrievers. Vets recommend the chewable tablet as a flea and tick solution due to its effectiveness, safety, and ease of use. It has been approved by the FDA and has gone through testing to ensure that its benefits outweigh any risks or disadvantages.

Read on to learn more about Bravecto, what it contains, how it works, and why some people are skeptical about using Bravecto on their dogs. 

Golden retriever at the vet.

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What Is Bravecto?

Bravecto is one of the highly-reviewed prescription-strength medications for flea and tick prevention. It’s available in topical and oral formulations. 

The product is labeled for dogs six months of age or older and promises to provide protection against fleas and ticks for 12 weeks. Bravecto’s active ingredient, known as fluralaner, belongs to the isoxazoline drug class. The medication is considered safe for breeding, pregnant, and lactating dogs. 

The product protects against four tick species and delivers 12 weeks of flea and tick protection in one treatment. A veterinarian prescribes the right amount of Bravecto based on your dog’s weight to ensure he/she gets the right dosage. The heavier your dog, the higher the concentration of fluralaner. 

A study conducted in 2015 on shelter dogs with demodicosis (Demodex mites) found that oral use of Bravecto was effective against skin mites. It’s also been shown to help dogs with Otodectes mites and Sarcoptes mites.

If you have a golden retriever that hates taking pills or has a history of food allergies, the topical version of Bravecto works perfectly fine as well. However, if your dog doesn’t mind taking something chewable, you can opt for oral Bravecto, which doesn’t affect grooming habits (bathing, brushing, etc). Nonetheless, it would be best if you gave the tablets with food to avoid stomach upset. 

Dog owners love how Bravecto is easy to use, especially the tablets that your furry friend will gobble down without issues. Moreover, the dosing lasts for three months or 12 full weeks, saving you money and time as you don’t have to provide a dose every month. 

On the downside, Bravecto cannot be given to puppies younger than six months and is only available through your veterinarian or with a prescription. This medication also works for Lone Star ticks (indigenous to the eastern U.S.) but only works on this variety of ticks for up to 8 weeks. Bravecto is not suggested for use on dogs with a history of seizures.

How Does Bravecto Kill Fleas and Ticks?

Once you give Bravecto to your dog, it gets to the tissue fluids under the dog’s skin. Once the ticks and fleas feed on the fluid, the ingestion kills them instantly. If you wonder how quickly Bravecto works, you’ll be happy to know that topically applied Bravecto kills fleas within two hours and gets rid of ticks within 12 hours. 

Overall, Bravecto reduces fleas by up to 99% within 48 hours and protects post-infestation for up to 12 weeks.

This video shows how Bravecto works to kill fleas and ticks on your dog.

Is Bravecto Safe for Your Dog?

Bravecto uses fluralaner, which is the active ingredient that kills juvenile and adult fleas. It also eliminates different tick species like Lone Star, American dog, brown dog, and black-legged ticks. 

You’ll find that most other fleas and tick medications, whether topical or oral, are formulated to stop these pests’ from reproducing instead of killing them outright.

Bravecto is a prescription medication and it requires a vet’s approval. Most veterinarians recommend Bravecto because of its effectiveness, ease of use, and overall safety for use with dogs. 

Bravecto Chew is approved for use in pregnant, breeding, and lactating dogs. It’s also approved for puppies that are six months or older that weigh at least four pounds. 

Bravecto is approved by the FDA. That means the medication has gone through rigorous testing and has met all the required standards to show that its benefits outweigh any risks when used as prescribed.

Nevertheless, the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA) posted a related warning in September 2018. They warned about potential neurological reactions that could occur in dogs related to the use of these drugs. 

The FDA noted that possible reactions could include seizures, lack of balance or ataxia, and muscle tremors. The warning stated that dog owners and veterinarians needed to be aware of these possible adverse neurological effects in dogs when treated with drugs in the isoxazoline class.

The Food and Drug Administration reported more reactions and stated that they are working with isoxazoline product manufacturers to include new label information to highlight neurological events because that was a trend across this class of products. 

Isoxazoline products are supposed to inhibit the pests’ nervous system, and they are not supposed to interfere with the dog’s nervous system. The common side effects reported with the use of Bravecto include lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, flatulence, and reduced appetite. 

The Independent Science Journal and Animal Poison Control found no evidence to determine that isoxazolines caused severe side effects. 

Is the FDA Warning Relevant?

The FDA hardly ever issues warnings on veterinary medications. That’s why it’s essential for veterinarians to understand your dog’s medical history, any pre-existing conditions, and if your dog experiences seizures after taking other drugs. 

Having an honest discussion about the benefits and drawbacks of this medication is critical. Knowing this information beforehand will help the vet decide if Bravecto is safe to use for your golden retriever. 

Is Bravecto safe for your dog?

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Bravecto should not be prescribed to a dog with any pre-existing neurological condition. If your dog has previously experienced a neurological event or seizures, avoid using this medication. Also, if you happen to give your pet Bravecto and you notice a reaction, stop using it and contact your veterinarian for other options available. 

Where Can You Get Bravecto?

A vet’s prescription is required for you to buy Bravecto. The medication is available for purchase through your vet, or you can get it via a specialty pet retailer like Note that Bravecto may be highly-priced compared to other non-prescription flea and tick medication on the market.

Nonetheless, this is understandable because a dosage is good for 12 weeks and doesn’t require dosing each week or month. With time, this will be a cost-effective option compared to buying medications monthly. The best part is that online retailers offer discounts, which means you could end up paying less than what is advertised. 

The manufacturer promotes a ‘Pay as You Go Policy,’ where you’ll be reminded and billed quarterly. That translates to splitting the cost of four pills over a year. 


Bravecto is a flea and tick medication that is simple to administer, gives a 12-week dose, and is convenient to use compared to other options. This FDA-approved drug has some potential side effects, which is expected for any drug. 

It’s best to talk to your veterinarian about your dog’s medical history and any drug interactions your pet may have had in the past. Bravecto may not be an excellent choice if your dog has had a history of seizures.

Nonetheless, the medication is effective and safe to use for getting rid of ticks and fleas on golden retrievers. Talk to your vet to determine if Bravecto will work for you. 

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Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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