How does Heartgard Plus compare to the generic Iverhart Plus?

Help choosing a heartworm preventative

It is a high priority for most pet guardians to make sure their dog is protected from heartworm disease and other nasty parasites. However, during these difficult economic times, it is also important to be budget-conscious. Heartgard Plus, one of the most popular heartworm preventatives on the market, has a generic equivalent called Iverhart Plus. Since there is a significant cost savings to selecting Iverhart Plus instead of Heartgard Plus, you might wonder if the protection is the same.  Here is a comparison of the two products:

Heartgard Plus vs. Iverhart Plus: Similarities

  • Same active ingredients. The active ingredients in both Heartgard Plus and Iverhart Plus are Ivermectin and Pyrantel, and they are in the exact same strengths in both products.
  • Provides the same protection. Both the brand name and the generic equivalent protect your dog against heartworms, and treat and control roundworms and hookworms.
  • Both products are classified as prescription medications.
  • Same dosing schedule. Whether you choose Heartgard Plus or Iverhart Plus, give one chewable tablet once per month.
  • Same weight breakdowns. Both products are available in doses for dogs 1-25 pounds, 26-50 pounds, and 51-100 pounds.
  • Same guarantee! The brand name and generic equivalent carry the same unconditional product guarantee, and are also backed by the PetMeds heartworm guarantee.

Differences between Heartgard Plus and Iverhart Plus

  • Form: Heartgard Plus is a moist, soft chew, whereas Iverhart Plus is a crunchy chewable tablet.
  • Flavor: Heartgard Plus is beef-flavored and Iverhart Plus has a pork-liver flavor.
  • Customer Ratings: Heartgard Plus received an overall rating of 4.8, while Iverhart Plus was rated 4.4 out of 5.
  • How to Use: One of the most important differences is in how you administer these two different products. Heartgard Plus should not be swallowed whole; you can either feed it as a treat for your dog to chew, or crumble and mix with food.  Iverhart Plus may be fed to your dog as a treat, crumbled and mixed with food, or placed in the back of your dog’s mouth for forced swallowing.
  • Price: The generic heartworm preventative, Iverhart Plus, costs significantly less than Heartgard Plus. While the cost will vary depending upon the weight of the dog and the number of doses you purchase, you can save approximately 20-30% by selecting the generic alternative.

Sometimes it comes down to a matter of your pet’s preference, and your veterinarian’s recommendation. It won’t help to save money purchasing a generic if your dog won’t take it. Whichever product works best for your dog and your budget, you can rest assured that your dog will receive the same protection with either Heartgard Plus or Iverhart Plus.

What has been your experience with generic pet medications?

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  1. HeartGuard is much easier to give to your pet as it seems like a treat whereas Iverhart has to be disguised inside of something in order for your dog to be tricked into taking it!

  2. I’m so frustrated with Heartgusrd – I’d love to find an alternative but so far I don’t see one except the generic pill form. Every month I have to try to disguise it in hamburger and now one of my dogs senses it and won’t eat it, no matter how hungry. They do not like the taste and do not consider them “treats”.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. We live in the PNW on the river which they swim in and drink from regularly. My Vet recommends Heartguard.

    Thank you,

  3. Hi Peggy. This article on Choosing the Best Heartworm & Flea Prevention might be helpful. Of course, we always recommend consulting with your vet who will be able to help you choose the option that’s best for your dog.
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

  4. If my vet wrote the rx for heartgard can the prescription be filled for the iverhart since it is the generic?

  5. On the Rx pad, there should be an option for “Generics Allowed”, and technically a pharmacist is required to provide the generic unless it is medically necessary for the brand name. This has to do with affordability of medications and is written into pharmacy law. I would think that asking for something specific (generic) because it is more affordable or in your price range would be acceptable if you encounter an issue… unless there is a medical reason for you to purchase the more costly alternative. Some people just prefer name brand to be completely honest. Always talk with your veterinarian! Open communication is great!

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