11 Ways To Spot a Fake Seresto Collar – Is Yours Real?

There really isn’t a better hiking buddy than a cheerful dog, but one thing you’ll always have to watch out for when taking your pup outdoors is ticks.

Among the best ways to repel ticks from dogs is the Seresto collar, a tick-preventing collar that can be bought without a prescription.

In recent years, however, people have begun to discover fake Seresto collars, most commonly online. These counterfeits can actually make your pets sick, so how can you spot a fake Seresto collar?

There are several obvious ways to instantly spot a fake Seresto collar:

  • Check the packaging for an expiration date. If there is an expiration date printed on the container, the collar is counterfeit (Seresto collars expire 8 months after opening).
  • The serial number printed on the collar should match the number on the container. You can also verify the serial number by calling Elanco directly (which I recommend if you're concerned).
  • A real Seresto collar will be odorless with a white powdery residue apparent when opening.
  • The price is also a good way to tell if your collar is real or not. If it seems extremely cheap and has a price that is too good to be true…it probably is

While these are some of the most obvious ways to spot a knockoff Seresto collar, there are many other telltale signs that a collar is fake.

While some can be pretty obvious (and some are honestly laughable), you’ll want to keep reading to make sure that your collar checks each box. 

The fakes seem to be getting better and better and look a lot like the real thing. You don't want to wait until your dog gets sick or is riddled with ticks before you realize you've got a fake. Use the below methods to test the authenticity of your Seresto collar.

1. Expiration Date

Left: Fake Seresto | Right: Real Seresto | Source: Reddit

Real Seresto collars will never have an expiration date printed on the front or back of the packaging itself.

You can actually see in this comparison post the differences on the back of the packaging. The fake Seresto collar (on the left) has an expiration date while the real Seresto collar doesn't. This is one way to tell it's counterfeit.

Seresto collars are set to expire 8 months after opening (the length of effectiveness), which means they technically have no set expiration date.

2. Blurry/Low-Quality Images

Left: Fake Seresto | Right: Real Seresto | Source: Reddit

Another obvious distinction of knockoff Seresto collars is the images on the packaging. This post does a good job of demonstrating the difference between the quality of images on a real Seresto collar vs a fake. 

While it's tricky to see in the photo apparently in real life it's a lot easier to tell.

The picture on the left is fuzzy and looks like a photocopy of the real one. On second look it’s harder to appreciate in pictures. But trust me, if a client handed it to you you’d be able to tell.

Reddit: KittyOnaLeash

On a fake, the pet images will likely be a bit fuzzy or blurry, almost like they’ve been photocopied from a real Seresto collar’s packaging. It might be a little bit harder to spot if you don’t have a real package to compare it to, so you might want to check all of the other signs just to be sure.

3. Serial Number and Logo (Call Elanco To Check)

On any legitimate Seresto collar, there will be a Bayer/Elanco logo and serial number printed on BOTH the collar and the packaging. Whereas, often fake Seresto collars will lack to logo and serial number on the collar itself.

NOTE: Bayer was the original owner Seresto but the product is now manufactured by Elanco Animal Health. The product was purchase by Elanco Animal Health in 2020 so products manufactured before 2020 will show the Bayer logo while products manufactured after 2020 will show the Elanco logo.

The serial number found on the collar should match up with the tin, as explained in the video below.

If either of these engravings is missing, the collar is definitely counterfeit.

Fakes will still have a serial number printed on the packaging and some of the fakes can even have the collar with a printed serial number (these counterfeit companies are pretty sneaky).

If you're concerned at all about your collar potentially being a fake then you should give Elanco Animal Health a call and they can verify or confirm the collar's authenticity to you over the phone.

You can also verify a collar using the serial number through Bayer, which is probably the truest way to confirm a collar's legitimacy. If they cant find the number in their system then you most likely have a fake.

4. Where You Bought It From

Where you buy your Seresto collar from matters. Seresto collars are sold through vets, pet shops, on Amazon and through authorized retailers.

If you're purchasing your collar from an unknown website then you're increasing your chances of getting a fake.

I highly recommended purchasing your collars from a local business as they are much more likely to have reputable suppliers. If you want to save money then many stores do price match so you could save some money this way.

You can purchase authentic Seresto collars from Amazon.

5. What Price You Paid

Seresto collar aren't cheap and counterfeit manufacturers prey on this by offering their fake Seresto collars for a fraction of the price of a real Seresto collar.

Most Seresto collars seem to retail around the $60-$80 mark but even just a quick Google search for “buy Seresto collar” will show results with prices as low as $27.

This price is too good to be true and when the price is too good to be true it almost always is and you're likely getting a fake.

When I click on the link it takes me to an unknown website that to my well trained eye does look a bit dodgy.

If you're ever concerned search for reviews for the website in question. You'll often find reviews on places like TrustPilot and if the store has a poor rating then you should stay away.

You can get some black Friday deals or special sales on Seresto collars that can save you money. But rarely will it be more than half price and always you should still buy from a reputable selling that you know and can trust.

6. No Powder Residue

A real Seresto collar will be coated in a powdery white residue after being opened, as this is the residue of the tick-repellent formula.

Many pet owners have noticed that counterfeit collars typically do not have such apparent residue after opening, and you can see a comparison in the video below.

7. Collar has an Odor

Seresto collars are completely odorless, which is another reason why they’re one of the best tick-repellent solutions for dogs.

If you notice any weird smell coming from the container or collar after opening, it’s likely that your collar is counterfeit.

This could also be a sign that the collar contains any number of random chemicals that could harm your dog or make them sick, so make sure to keep the collar off your pup if there’s any odor.

8. Poor Lettering and other Print

Most of the obvious signs of a fake Seresto collar come from the packaging, and I’d suggest taking a very close look at the print and lettering on the front and back to determine if a collar is real or not.

You can actually see in this video that the lettering on the side is a bit off, where it says ‘Seresto Large Dog’.

The actual size of the collar printed all the way around is a bit stretched as well, which you might not catch if you don’t have an authentic container to compare it to. 

If you inspect the print and feel like anything is slightly off or funky looking, I’d definitely recommend calling Elanco to confirm the serial number of the collar.

9. Check Dimensions As Well As The Feel of The Collar

This document explains many signs of a fake Seresto collar, and on the top of that list is dimensions.

A real Seresto collar tin will measure 12cm in diameter, and the collar itself will measure 70cm for large dogs, and 38cm for cats and small dogs.

Any other measurements will be a surefire sign of a counterfeit collar.

Many fakes are larger in size with labeling that doesn’t quite fit, and vets explain that while the fakes come pretty darn close in comparison to the real thing, you’ll notice that they’re less malleable and feel a bit off compared to a real collar.

10. Lot Number and Address

Each authentic Bayer/Elanco tin should have the lot number and U.S. address printed on the bottom of the tin.

Elanco will actually ask for this lot number if you call to confirm, so it can be an obvious sign of a fake. 

A printed lot number isn’t an instant confirmation of a real collar, however, and I’ve actually noticed that this is one of the only things that the fakes seem to get consistently correct.

You can see in comparisons that the printed lot numbers of the fakes versus the real tins actually look extremely identical, so I’d always recommend giving Elanco a call to be sure.

11. Buckle Instead of Safety Release

All Seresto collars are made with a safety release mechanism to put the collar on your pet.

No buckles, hooks, or any other mechanisms should be on the collar, so if you notice anything that doesn’t look like the safety release in this video, the collar is definitely counterfeit.