Frontline vs Advantage: Which Is Better To Keep Your Dog Flea Free?

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Frontline vs AdvantageFleas and ticks love to reside in pet’s fur (especially when it’s warm as they can’t live above freezing). Not only are these pesky parasites are a nuisance, they create health concerns too. Keep fleas and ticks from bothering your pup (and you) with a regular dose of medication. We’ve reviewed two of the most popular options on the market so you can compare and find which is a better fit your furry friend.

Frontline Plus

Frontline PlusView FrontLine Plus on Amazon

Frontline Plus, a Merial product, claims to kill 98-100% of fleas within 24 hours of topical application (though it doesn’t give a time frame for ticks). It not only treats adult fleas, but fleas in all stages, including eggs, larvae, flea allergy dermatitis, thereby breaking the flea cycle. It contains two tough killing ingredients:

  • Fipronil kills adult fleas and ticks by collecting in the oils of the hair follicle and releasing onto the skin and coat
  • (S)-methoprene kills flea eggs and larvae.

The formula also guards against sarcoptic mange and lice, is waterproof and protects your pup for up to 30 days. Plus, Frontline never expires so long as you store it according to package instructions. Frontline Plus is safe for puppies over eight weeks.

Popular Products

  • Orange – Dogs up to 22 lbs.- $34.99 for 3-Pack
  • Blue – Dogs 23-44 lbs. – $35.69 for 3-Pack
  • Purple – Dogs 45-88 lbs. – $36.99 for 3-Pack
  • Red – Dogs 89-132 lbs. – $37.19

Advantage II

Advantage IIView Advantage II on Amazon

Advantage II, a topical product by Bayer, claims to kill fleas within 12 hours. It treats fleas in all stages (adults, eggs and larvae), as well as flea allergy dermatitis and lice. Unlike Frontline, it does not kill ticks. The two main ingredients are:

  • Imidacloprid attacks the flea’s nervous system and ultimately kills it
  • Pyriproxyfen is an insect growth regulator (IGR) that kills fleas in the immature stages of their life cycle by mimicking the juvenile growth hormone of fleas.

Both ingredients work together to break the flea cycle. Advantage II is also waterproof and lasts up to 30 days. The product never expires so long as you store it to package specifications and is safe for puppies seven weeks and older.

Popular Products

  • Small dog, under 10 lbs. – $43.99 for 4-Pack
  • Medium dog, between 11-20 lbs. – $55.97 for 4-Pack
  • Large dog, between 21-55 lbs. – $46.00 for 4-Pack
  • Extra-large dog, over 55 lbs. – $45.29 for 4-Pack

Application

Both Frontline Plus and Advantage II are available in topical form and should be applied using the following steps:

  1. Open product carefully.
  2. Remove pet’s collar to aid in application.
  3. Part hair until the skin is showing on the nape of your dog’s neck, between the shoulder blades.
  4. Apply product on the neck (unless your dog is large or extra large, in which case you will repeat the part fur-and-apply method four times along your dogs back, finishing at the top of the tail).
  5. Though both products are waterproof, do not wash your dog for 24 hours after application to ensure full coverage has been reached.
  6. Wash your hands thoroughly after applying and discarding of the product.
  7. Give your pet a treat for being so good during their treatment!

Frontline vs Advantage: Which Is Better?

Frontline Plus is slightly cheaper than Advantage II and protects both against fleas (in their various stages) and ticks (whereas Advantage only treats fleas and is more expensive).

Advantage II clearly states that it kills fleas within 12 hours on its packaging, while Frontline Plus does not, but their website claims it terminates them in 24 hours.

What’s the verdict? While both products are similar in application and shelf life, Frontline Plus has the added value of killing both ticks and fleas. However, if you need more immediate results, you might be better off paying a little more for Advantage II.

Keep in mind that a product that works for one dog may not work as well for another. It is important to monitor your dog after application and also remember that these products work best as a preventative measure.

If you are interested in even more options, check out our in-depth flea and tick prevention reviews for some natural alternatives and other applications. If your dog already has fleas, you might also benefit from reading our article on Getting Rid of Fleas.

Have you ever used either of these products? Which do you prefer and why?

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Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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Sara is a writer for Canine Journal. She adores dogs and recently adopted a rescue pup named Beamer. Whole she may be adjusting to life with another being to care for, she needed no time to adjust to all the extra love.

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Bob
Adavantage II used to work great. But in late 2017 it seemed to be less effective. I suspect Bayer change to a cheaper formula. But I still bought it because I hoped I had only gotten some bad batches or maybe I didn’t apply it as well as I thought. So I bought more and was extremely careful about applying it to cats and it still didn’t work. So a month later I tried Frontline for the first time. It caused the fleas to aggravate the cats somehow but it did absolutely nothing.

And no, the fleas have not developed an immunity. That is an absurd excuse. Nor have the cats developed an immunity since a couple had it for the first time.

Deb M.
I made the mistake of switching from Frontline Plus Orange to Advantage 1 one time. Living in the Southern US I was immediately sorry as ticks became a serious issue. I checked with my Vet and as soon as was safe I applied Frontline Plus and my problem disappeared within 2 days. I’ll never switch again, Frontline Plus has my vote for effectiveness against fleas, ticks and to date no side effects after 20+ years and use on 3 dogs.
Jurgen
I used Frontline until Bravecto became available her (South Africa). Frontline seemed to be 100% effective against fleas but did only work to a certain extent against ticks. Ticks would still attach and feed but were killed before being able to transfer the potentially lethal Biliary. I still had to search and remove attached ticks to prevent skin infections. Bravecto works on the tick’s CNS and causes the ticks to release and run thereby almost entirely eliminating the chance of skin infections.
Jim G
I tried Frontline Plus on my Husky and it did absolutely nothing. Applied exactly according to directions for 3 months in a row. Time to try Advantage.
Paul Dixon
Frontline doesn’t work. Tried it with my cat and dog and didn’t work for either. Switched to Advantage and IT WORKS! Avoid Frontline, it smells very chemically bad and does nothing – the fleas are immune to it, just like mosquitos are getting immune to insect repellents and bacteria are getting immune to antibiotics. Advantage smells like marzipan (almonds) and stops my cat and dog itching within a day or two so I know it works so well!
Susan
I have purchased advantage 11. And it did nothing for the fleas in fact I have spent hundreds of dollars on flea prevention on my pets and nothing works what happened to the original advantage I used it for years it worked great.
carolyn henley
I used Advantage and found it had no effect on the fleas. I purchased early in the season when I noticed only 1 or 2 fleas on my dogs to catch them early. Now two weeks after using Advantage, and $180 poorer my dogs have a flea infestation. You should go onto the review page when you wrote the article, and see how many people are very dissatisfied with Advantage. Not good advice to give suggesting people throw money away on this product. I have not used Frontline in a long time, I did 10 years ago when I was vet nursing, and unless they have changed the ingredients it was ineffective then
K-9
I used Frontline all last year. It seems the fleas have become immune to the ingredients in the Frontline now. Making it not effective now.
CorgiLady
Same problem here. Advantage II works great!