Advocate for Dogs (also sold as “Advantage Multi” and both manufactured by Bayer) is a topical product that is designed to prevent heartworms, fleas and other internal and external parasitic infestations in dogs. Just like any other product, there are pros and cons to Advocate. Before choosing which flea or heartworm product is right for your dog, you’ll have to examine the different aspects of the product and how it applies to you and your dog’s situation.
Bayer Advocate for dogs is a once-monthly topical treatment. The product is packaged in separate tubes that are pre-measured for the right amount to put on your dog each month depending on its weight. Advocate is a liquid and you have to put it on the skin of the dog for it to be effective. Advocate is the combination of moxidectin and imidacloprid.
The Pros of Advocate for Dogs
Advocate flea treatment for dogs combines two monthly products – flea treatment plus heartworm medicine for dogs, into one. Typically a dog owner would have to buy and administer two different products every month to accomplish the same thing as using Advocate. This allows for a potential for money savings and also less stress for the dog and owner.
In addition to heartworm prevention and also flea and lice treatment and infestation prevention, Advocate can also prevent and treat other parasites. The list of possibility includes lungworms, ear mites and demodex mites. Also, roundworms and hookworms which humans can catch if not prevented in dogs. Advocate also treats and prevents whipworms which can be difficult to get rid of if they infest the dog or dog’s environment. This is one of the biggest pros for this product – the ability to treat and prevent so many different internal and external parasites without having to administer several products to accomplish the same result.
Another benefit to this product could be to those dogs that have allergies. Dogs that have dog food allergies are typically on a hypoallergenic dog food that has minimal ingredients to lessen the possibilities of the dog food containing an ingredient that the dog is allergic to. Some people don’t think of the monthly heartworm chewable pill containing ingredients that the dog may be allergic to. Heartworm medicine for dogs that is in the form of a chewable pill such as Heartgard or Interceptor contains ingredients such as beef flavoring that some sensitive dogs may be allergic to. When on a minimal diet, it is easy to overlook this type of thing and trigger the allergies without thinking about it. Since Advocate is a topical instead of an oral product, it has the potential to eliminate a possibility for an allergy problem.
Advocate can also be helpful to those who have dog that are picky eaters. Some dogs just don’t want to take the monthly heartworm pill. Advocate can be beneficial in this situation because it is a topical – on-the-skin, treatment instead of oral.
Cons to Using Advocate
One of the cons to using any medication is the potential for side-effects and a negative reaction to the product itself. Some dogs may develop irritation at the site of the application. On the other hand, there is also the possibility that, although rare, a hypersensitive dog can have a neurological reaction. It is important to take the time to discuss this and all medications with your veterinarian before administering them and to make yourself aware of any possible side effects and their symptoms.
Another downside is that you cannot buy Advocate for dogs without a prescription. Since this product contains the heartworm prevention medicine, it is dangerous to give this to your dog without a negative heartworm test. Therefore, you will have to get a prescription from your veterinarian before you can purchase Advocate online or elsewhere.
A third negative to this product is that although it protects against fleas, it does not protect against ticks. Dogs that live in rural areas or those places where ticks are more prevalent may be better off to use another product that includes tick prevention. Alternately, you could add a different product like a tick collar to prevent the ticks. Be sure to discuss adding any other product with your Vet in order to avoid any problems with multiple product combinations.
One final potential con to Advocate for dogs is the price of the product. Because Advocate is the combination of 2 major and several minor products, it will be higher in price than any one of them. However, when the prices of the 2 major products in it (flea and heartworm) are added together, Advocate will likely be much cheaper than if you were to purchase the other two products separately.
In summary, Advocate (or Advantage Multi) can be great for many dogs and not-so-great for others. It just depends on each individual dog and their unique situation. The best thing is to talk to your veterinarian to get advice and other dog owners to get reviews on what they think about using Advocate.