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Fleas and ticks love to reside in pet’s fur (especially when it’s warm as they can’t live below 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, 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.
- Orange – Dogs up to 22 lbs.- for 3-Pack
- Blue – Dogs 23-44 lbs. – for 3-Pack
- Purple – Dogs 45-88 lbs. – for 3-Pack
- Red – Dogs 89-132 lbs. –
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.
- Small dog, under 10 lbs. – for 4-Pack
- Medium dog, between 11-20 lbs. – for 4-Pack
- Large dog, between 21-55 lbs. – for 4-Pack
- Extra-large dog, over 55 lbs. – for 4-Pack
Both Frontline Plus and Advantage II are available in topical form and should be applied using the following steps:
- Open product carefully.
- Remove pet’s collar to aid in application.
- Part hair until the skin is showing on the nape of your dog’s neck, between the shoulder blades.
- 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).
- Though both products are waterproof, do not wash your dog for 24 hours after application to ensure full coverage has been reached.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after applying and discarding of the product.
- 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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