Attention Pit Bull Owner: 1 trick that will save you $1597.06

If you’re currently using Heartgard as a heartworm preventative, there is a much cheaper alternative that contains the same ingredient (Ivermectin).

The cheaper alternative is a product called IVOMEC. On average, pit bull owners will save $99.81 a year by using IVOMEC as an alternative to Heartgard.

That’s a savings of $1597.06 over your dog’s lifetime!

Cost of IVOMEC VS Cost of Heartgard

3 Year Supply of Heartgard: $335.94 (Can only treat 1 dog for 3 year)

3 Year Supply of Ivomec 1% Solution (50ml  bottle): $36.49 (Can treat an average of 3 dogs for 3 years)

What is IVOMEC?

Ivomec (Ivermectin) is a drug used to treat and control roundworms, lungworms, grubs, sucking lice, and mange mites in cattle and swine.

Pit Bull breeders and owners have been using Ivermectin as a heartworm preventative since 1981.

The benefits of Ivomec

Ivomec (Ivermecitin) prevents heartworm disease, and also treats parasites such as roundworms & hookworms.

How do I give it to my dog?

Extract the Ivomec liquid from the bottle using a syringe with a needle attached. Ivomec is administered by mouth using a syringe (with the needle removed).

You can also inject Ivomec into a piece of bread and feed it to your dog. DO NOT inject Ivomec into your dog’s skin.

ivermectin dosage chart for dogsHow much do I give my dog?

  • Dogs require 0.1 cc per 10 pounds of weight.
  • cc = mL (a cc and a mL are the same thing)
  • Have a friend or family member double check the dosage. This will decrease the chances of giving your dog the incorrect dose.

How often do you give your dog Ivomec?

Ivomec should be used once a month.

How many dogs can I treat with 1 bottle?

1 bottle (50 ml) of IVOMEC 1% Can treat up to 3 dogs for 3 years.

Storage and shelf-life of Ivomec

Ivomec is to be stored in a cool place, protected from light and moisture.  The shelf-life is 3 years.

 Shopping list:

  1. IVOMEC 1% Injection for Cattle and Swine (Can be purchased at most feed stores including tractor supply plus). You can also find in online: Ivomec on Google Shopping. Average cost: $36.49
  2. A 3cc (3 ml) syringe with a needle (May be purchased at your local feed store including tractor supply plus). Average cost $1.50


  • PRIOR TO USING IVERMECTIN, YOU MUST TEST YOUR DOG FOR ADULT HEARTWORMS. Ivomec is not intended to treat adult heartworms. Giving a heartworm preventive to a dog that has an adult heartworm infection may be harmful or deadly.
  • DO NOT USE IVOMEC PLUS. Ivomec plus & other Ivomec products with added benefits can contain ingredients that are harmful to your dog.
  • HIGH DOSAGE WARNING: Ivermectin in high doses can be dangerous, even fatal, to dogs, especially to those with the MDR1 mutation. 

The breeds most affected by the MDR1 mutation are: Herding Breed Cross (10% frequency), German Shepherds (10% frequency), Shetland Sheepdogs (15% frequency), English Shepherds (15% frequency), McNab Cattle Dogs (30% frequency),  Silken Windhounds (30% frequency), Australian Shepherds, & Mini Australian Shepherds (50% frequency), Long-haired Whippets (65% frequency), Collies (70% frequency).

  • HOW TO TEST YOUR DOG FOR THE MDR1 MUTATION: The Washington State University offers testing for the MDR1 mutation. If you would like to get your dog tested for this mutation, you can get started by visiting the follow URL:
  • DISCLOSURE: The information provided on this website is to help dog owners save money. If you choose to use this information, you are doing so at your own risk, and at the risk of your dog. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has any adverse reactions. These may include but are not limited to: Depression, loss of appetite (anorexia), excessive drooling, vomiting, dilated pupils, lethargy, disorientation, tremors/seizures, inability to stand, difficulty controlling voluntary movement, blindness, slow heartbeat, coma, or respiratory distress.
  • Darrian Holmes

    Just added ivomec to the shopping list

    • Jimmy Zhang

      same here!

  • Cynthia Close

    Thanks for providing this information. You’re right about the substantial savings and I’m always up for saving money. I’m glad I found your blog, and will keep reading.

  • Abbey Borsom

    Ivermactin can cause reactions in collies and certain herding breeds, So always be carefull when using ivermactin, and make sure your breed doesnt have a sensitivity

    • Concordium

      ^^^ 100% correct. Collies, German Shepherds, etc. It is caused by the MDR1 gene. There are DNA tests available in order to determine if your dog has the MDR1 gene defect or not. If they do not, then they are fine to receive Ivermectin. I had my German Shepherd tested by a university animal lab. She tested negative for the MDR1 defect and has been receiving Ivermectin treatment every month for over a year. She is doing great!

  • Matthew Ambrosi

    Gave my rescue APBT his first dose of ivomec today. They had given him everything at the shelter, and then our vet gave us a free trial dose of heartworm and flea and tic meds. He is doing perfectly fine. No reason to pay so much more for the EXACT SAME chemical in other heartworm meds.

  • Jared

    Hey, this a great cost saving method I would just like to say don’t cut your vet completely out of the picture. There has been some resistance to ivermectin in heart worms. So it is highly recommended to test your dog for heart worms annually. I have seen plenty of dog on monthly heart worm preventative come down with a patent heart worm infection!

  • Dianne

    Warning! The dosage listed here is too high. Remember, this is a cattle wormer! The 1% solution needs to be diluted down before giving to your dog for monthly heartworm prevention. 9:1 dilution w/glycerin or vegitable oil
    (9 parts oil to 1 part Ivermectin) I give my 50lb dog 0.2ml (two tenths of a ml) of the DILUTED solution.

    • Concordium

      Yep! My wife and I buy 1% solution as well and titrate it down even further. I don’t know the math exactly, since my wife is the former BSL Microbe lab veteran and thus handles all of the titration. But I think what we give our dogs is very similar to what you listed in your post. The numbers look familiar. So I think your numbers are far closer to being correct than the numbers in the article.

      Also, we dilute ours down with propylene glycol. It tastes like butthole……but it is food grade and, at that dosage level, is safe for the dogs.

  • Playingwithfire

    I’m all for saving money; however, you guys are risking your pet’s health by using ivermectin designed for CATTLE. The above dosing is giving your dog 36x more ivermectin than what is in Heartgard. For a 50lb dog the above dose supplies 5000mcg of ivermectin while the Heartgard dose supplies only 136mcg. More is not better! For a normal (MDR1 neg) dog this may not cause any noticeable side effects. However, this EXCEDES the toxic dose for MDR1 positive dogs. Please please, please, seek veterinary advice from a veterinarian and not Dr. Google!
    Also, the ivermectin is not treating roundworms and hookworms as stated. Why do you think Heartgard adds Pyrantel to their tablets??

  • Janet Williams

    Doggy Dan’s dog training course at http://WWW.TRAININGCANINES.INFO is so easy to follow and it has worked SO well on my dog! The way he describes what to do and why, and the videos enforce those instructions, leaving nothing to chance. His website is very complete, covering every nearly every subject of dog training. I highly recommend Doggy Dan to all dog owners!

  • Nutbush dreamer

    How often would you give a dog ivomec for mange