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How Does Heartgard Plus Compare to the Generic Iverhart Plus?
Posted by Abby Rosenberg on May 21, 2012
Filed under PetMeds Spotlight

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 out of 5 based on 586 customer reviews, while Iverhart Plus was rated 4.4 out of 5 based upon 594 reviews.
  • 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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22 Responses to “How Does Heartgard Plus Compare to the Generic Iverhart Plus?”

  1. Pam Gitzen on 23 May 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Shelby is my little rescue boy. When I got him, he came with a supply of Heart Guard Plus. When it was time for him to go to the vet to get a check up (which came back heart worm free) I got a new RX for the Heart Guard Plus. When I went to the 1-800 Pet Meds web site, an option appeared on the screen for Iverhart Plus. With that I called my Vet who told me it was just as good and a lot cheaper. So, I ordered it. That has been 3 years ago and now my little Shelby boy gets his monthly does without fail. Although he really liked the Heart Guard Plus, he had absolutely no problem when I switched it over. He knows these tables as his special treat and he is quite thrilled when he is presented with one…eats it right up and feels very proud to have gotten his monthly \special treat\. He remains heart worm free. Thanks to 1-800 Pet Meds for giving me the option of a product that I did not even know existed.

  2. Abby PetMeds Pro on 23 May 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Pam, thank you so much for your great feedback! We’re glad Shelby is doing well, and it sounds like you are a wonderful pet guardian to Shelby.

  3. Lisa Savage on 24 May 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Hi, Please return an answer if you will as I have one dog that is really suffering with flea’s and 4 cats that are in the same shape. I really can’t afford a Veternarian office fee, shots and then products. You know what I’m talking about.

    I was so excited to find you and commercials say that you can buy products without a Vet. I went on your site and wanted to purchase “Revolution”, my favorite, and your site says I cannot purchase it without a Vet’s okay? This goes against everything you stand for. I don’t understand at all. If you won’t let me buy that, would you at least let me buy the absolute best flea and tick, larva, heartworm for my dog etc (Grace) and 4 of the best flea killers for 4 cars.They all weigh the same.

    Please help me. My animals are suffering and I am poor but can’t let them suffer anymore.!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lisa Savage

  4. Abby PetMeds Pro on 24 May 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    Hi Lisa. If a product is labeled as a prescription medication, then we cannot dispense it without an authorization from you veterinarian. Once you place your order for a prescription medication, our pharmacy will contact your vet to obtain the prescription approval for you. Revolution, and any heartworm preventative, is classified as a prescription medication.

    However, there are a number of flea and tick products which are classified as over-the-counter and do not require a prescription, such as Frontline Plus or Advantage.

  5. alysse on 01 Jun 2012 at 7:22 pm #


    My puppy had the same problem the frontline did not help. What you can do is take your dog to the vet for a fee (probably around $30) and ask for a prescription flea and tick shampoo. The one I use is called Ovitrol Plus and costs $25. It works for fleas and ticks and is safe for cats and dogs. A bath once a week will kill the fleas and ticks and prevent remaining eggs from hatching. It has helped my puppy a lot, along with a flea collar I bought from Petsmart for $6.

    This problem needs to be taken care of right away because these bugs can make your pets sick. Buy raid foggers for fleas and ticks from Home Depot. Two or three of these in the house should do the trick. Just make sure to leave the house and take your pets with you for a couple hours when you treat your home.

    Vacuum your home every day. Specially if you have carpet and dont allow your pets on any furniture (beds, couches, chairs, etc). Wash ALL of their stuff (beds, toys, clothes, blankets) before you give it back to them. Also, try not to let them on the grass anymore if you live in a neighborhood with a lot of animals. Try to walk your puppy on the sidewalk instead of grass.

    If you really cannot afford to take your pets to the vet you should consider finding them better homes where they can be happy and have all their needs taken care of.
    Hope I helped!

  6. Jo on 26 Oct 2012 at 11:55 am #

    I have to agree with alysse about re-homeing @ least some of your pets. Being a pet owner is a huge responsiblity and expense. If you can not afford to take care of them properly you should not have them.

    I understand how hard it would be for you to part with them but you must consider what is best for their well being and not what is best for your feelings.

    I pray you find a quick solution and put a speedy end to your pets’ suffering.
    If nothing else buy a can of flea powder for goodness sake.

  7. DebbievdH on 02 Jan 2013 at 11:10 am #

    We switched to Iverhart this past year after using HeartGuard for many years. I just took my dog into the vet for his annual exam today, and found out he tested positive for roundworms. I will not continue iverhart….and wonder if it connected (how could it not be?) and I also wonder if I need to report this, and how. What do you recommend?

  8. Abby Rosenberg on 02 Jan 2013 at 11:28 am #

    Hi Debbie. Iverhart is the generic equivalent of Heartgard and both have the same active ingredients in the same doses. We have a 100% Happy guarantee, so we’d be happy to issue you a refund for the Iverhart if you purchased it through us.
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

  9. Ramira on 15 Feb 2013 at 11:46 am #


    I currently have my babies on heartgard but im running low. While on your website i was given the option to switch to Iverhart however, i am a bit hesitant. One of my dogs is a very picky eater. On the other hand i would like to save some money while i provide them what they nee. So my question is if i purchase this Iverhart and they dont like it will i be able to return it? Thank you.

  10. Ann on 06 Mar 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    My lab was switched from Heartguard Plus to Iverhart Max. He got vertigo right after a dose of it. Could it be the przaiquantel in it. Heartguard Plus must not have it. I do not see it listed in the ingredients. Has anyone else experienced a dog that has been switched?

  11. Abby Rosenberg on 06 Mar 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    Ann, both Heartgard Plus and Iverhart Plus contain Ivermectin and Pyrantel in the same doses. However, Iverhart Max does have the added ingredient Praziquantel to treat tapeworms.
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

  12. dan on 23 Mar 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    I have used them all. I see no difference in the dogs preference. As long as its same ingredients and workds the same, this is all any of us car about, and to be able t save 7-10 bucks per 6 month doseage, that pretty good if they are indeed the same. Im on mont one and he tested negative since hes been indoor dog indian river east coast florida now were west coast, spring hill, mosquitoes everywhere unlike before so we got him tested and he was negative and I bought the 6 month supply iverheart and hope it works as well as heartfgueard and interceptor ive used before and suppose to be as good in fact identical ingredients.

  13. Lisa on 20 Apr 2013 at 11:08 pm #

    Is Heartguard Plus still available, not the generic Iverhart, but the original Heartguard Plus? I ask because my vet ‘no longer dispenses’ Heartguard Plus, that the patent has expired, yada-yada-yada. The new heartworm meds they prescribe are pill-form and VERY expensive. I’m just wondering if the original Heartguard Plus is still manufactured, or is it no longer available? I ask because my vet’s office depends heavily on revenue from the sale of prescription meds, so I’m wondering if they just \won’t\ dispense Heartguard anymore because it’s not profitable enough for them–or the pharma companies. Thank you!

  14. Abby Rosenberg on 22 Apr 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    Hi Lisa. Are you talking about the chewables? We do carry Heartgard Plus chewables: http://www.1800petmeds.com/Heartgard+Plus+Chewables-prod10002.html
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

  15. Don Bruemmer on 05 May 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    I just switched from Interceptor to Iverhart Plus chewables for 51-100 lb. dogs.
    About the same time my dog has been going down hill. X-rays show a reduction in liver and heart size.
    The Iverhart Plus is from lot #121242, exp. 10/2014.
    I’ve discovered that Iverhart has had recalls for this product.
    Although ingredients are the same as other products there’s
    a possibility of careless manufacturing causing contamination and errors in dosing amounts.
    Has anybody had this experience or comments.

  16. marta on 05 Jun 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    Abby Rosenberg…I wish you would address this comment about contamination from Mr bruemmer. You answered every other query…except this one. I wanted to order the product from your website but now I’m reluctant to do so.

  17. Abby Rosenberg on 06 Jun 2013 at 9:09 am #

    Hi Don. Your product was not from one of the recalled lots. The manufacturer, Virbac, did have a limited recall of 6 lots of Iverhart Plus in April due to “stability concerns” because a lack of stability can reduce the efficacy of a medication. We did confirm that PetMeds had none of the affected lots which were:
    Large dogs (51 to 100 pounds): lots 120076, 120086 and 120856.
    Medium dogs (26 to 50 pounds): lot 120202.
    Small dogs (up to 25 pounds): lots 120196 and 120844.

    We hope your dog is feeling better soon!
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

  18. Abby Rosenberg on 06 Jun 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Thanks, Marta. Please see above for the answer to Mr. Brummer’s inquiry.
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

  19. Cindy on 07 Jun 2013 at 7:51 am #

    I understand Iverheart has had some recalls. What were they for? And has the problem been fixed?

  20. Abby Rosenberg on 07 Jun 2013 at 1:27 pm #

    Hi James. Virbac had a limited recall of 6 lots of Iverhart Plus in April due to “stability concerns.” A lack of stability can reduce the efficacy of a medication. PetMeds had none of the 6 affected lots which were:
    Large dogs (51 to 100 pounds): lots 120076, 120086 and 120856.
    Medium dogs (26 to 50 pounds): lot 120202.
    Small dogs (up to 25 pounds): lots 120196 and 120844.
    ~ Abby, PetMeds Pro

  21. Rachel W. on 16 Jul 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    Hello! I adopted my 13 yr. old ShihTzu/Maltese mix two years ago. At that time his vet prescribed Interceptor, until they discontinued carrying the product in their office. Heartguard Plus was then prescribed and until January, 2013 I didn’t know a generic form existed. AJ has successfully taken Iverhart Max with no problems since the beginning of the year. Personally, I like the added ingredient that treats tapeworms. We live in a large apartment complex that is extremely pet friendly. Unfortunately, not all pet owners clean up after their animals, so I like the added protection Iverhart offers. Much more budget friendly, too!

  22. Shelby on 08 Apr 2015 at 10:40 pm #

    How ignorant is someone to tell this girl to get better homes for her pets!? She obviously is good with them. Vets are often ridiculous on their prices. I have had many pets. I rescued cats for years. I got them shots and had them spayed and neutered. I no longer have the money to continue that; but I never was concerned about the people having money when I found homes for the cats. I did keep contact with anyone who took a cat. I only took back one cat out of maybe 40. I also was insistent that they keep them in the house if I gave them to someone. If you check on line, there are sometimes traveling vets who will help you with cheaper rates for things like shots and spay/neuter. I had a vet who made his own version of heartgard and frontline. It was a fraction of the price. He retired last year and I am searching for someone new. As for the flea situation; surely your vet will sell you the shampoo without a vet visit or you have a crappy vet. Also, when I had that happen about 40 years ago; it was back when people let animals run outside more. I do not think that animals should run around outside because they pick up insects and disease and can get injured or killed. But, back when I had to deal with fleas; I had a small child and did not want to use poison spray. We had carpet. I actually contacted an exterminator and he wanted to come over several times because the eggs hatch and then there are new fleas. He wanted a small fortune for his services. So, instead, I bought Lysol and sprayed mopboards and furniture 2 or 3 times a day while the baby was in a different room. It killed all of the fleas. I used a flea bath for our cat…I think 2 times according to the directions of how often. It was the only time that I had to battle that…it cost me very little…no vet bill. There are many alternatives for things that you get from vets; just like anything else you buy.
    The cat that I took back years ago; I had for over 20 years, I had his mother over for 20 years, as well. I lost them both to cancer of the mouth. But, I still have one cat from that litter. She is about 22. I have 6 other cats and a lab. Most of my cats are old. I don’t run to a vet unless it is really necessary-like for shots. But, for things like fleas…my cats are not allowed out. So, I give that type of protection to the dog; I have never had to worry about that except the one time. They don’t bother the lab because he is treated, so we don’t get them in the house. It is such bunk that people think that you should give up a pet if you don’t have them to vets all the time. Animals, like people, need to be in a loving environment. Many times, people with more money are not necessarily the ones that provide better homes.

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