Advantage vs. Frontline: Our 2019 In-Depth Comparison

Fleas are a pet owners’ worst nightmare. The parasitic pest is nearly microscopic, easy to contract and can spread from pet, to surface, to human in no time at all.

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Frontline and Advantage flea treatments are one way to prevent fleas from infesting your pet and your home.

Pets, especially dogs and outdoor cats are susceptible to parasitic bloodsuckers like fleas and ticks.

It’s bad enough that fleas make your pet uncomfortable, but it’s worse that fleas can infest your entire home and everyone who lives inside it.

Frontline Key Features

  • Safe for use on cats & dogs.
  • Dosage is applied topically. (applicator included)
  • Eliminates infesting fleas & ticks. Destroys eggs & larva.
  • Prevents sarcoptic mange & lice.
  • Prevents future infestation.
  • Key ingredients: fipronil & methoprene.

Advantage Key Features

  • Eliminates fleas in all life stages.
  • Kills fleas on contact.
  • Starts working with 12 hours. Remains effective for up to 4 weeks.
  • Prevents re-infestation.
  • Waterproof formula
  • Key ingredients: Imidacloprid & Pyriproxyfen

What Are Fleas?

Ctenocephalides Canis, more commonly known as the Dog Flea is a species of flea that feeds on the blood of mammals.

Dog fleas are particularly troublesome because they can easily spread diseases like Dipylidium caninum, a dangerous tapeworm that affects dogs and humans.

How Does My Dog Get Fleas?

Unfortunately, it’s very easy for your dog to contract fleas. Fleas transfer hosts by jumping from one mammal carrier to another, including common rodents like mice, rats, and squirrels.

Simple exposure to an infected animal is enough for your dog to contract fleas. Your dog can also contract fleas by coming in contact with flea-infested furniture, bedding, and even clothing.

What Are Ticks?

The American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis) is a rather colorful species of tick that, like fleas feed on the blood of mammals and can easily infest your dog.

How Does My Dog Get a Tick?

Your dog can acquire ticks from exposure to highly wooded and long grass areas populated with dense shrubbery where ticks like to reside.

Ticks latch on to your pets by burrowing their head beneath its skin and lodging in place. From there it begins to drain the dog’s blood until eventually falling off.

Even though ticks will eventually fall off, they are still dangerous to your dog, and you.

Ticks spread debilitating diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, and tick paralysis.

How Do I Know If My Pet Has Fleas/Ticks?

Fleas and ticks can drastically reduce your dog’s quality of life, compromise its immune system and spread diseases.

Pet owners should be on the lookout for symptoms and contact their veterinarian if they see any of the following.

Symptoms of Flea & Tick Infestation

Excessive Scratching, Nipping & Head Shaking – Fleas bite and crawl over your dog’s skin causing your dog to excessively scratch at its body to relieve the itch.

Ticks, on the other hand, seek out the damp, dark areas of your pet’s body like the armpit, groin, and ears.

Dogs who begin excessively shaking their head may be doing so in an attempt to dislodge a troublesome tick inside its ear canal.

Irritated Skin – Fleas and ticks bite the skin causing irritation and characteristic bite marks.

If you notice redness, puffiness, bumps or a bullseye-shaped bruise your pet may have contracted fleas or a tick.

Hair/Fur Loss – Pets infested with fleas or ticks often lose fur in infested areas as a result of excessive scratching and biting.

Pale Gums – Pets with uncharacteristically pale gums are exhibiting signs of blood loss as a result of severe flea or tick infestation.

If you notice that your pet has pale gums, we recommend bringing them to the vet immediately.

Flea Dirt – Fleas are very small and hard to see, but they leave gross traces of their presence in the form of flea dirt.

Flea dirt is actually flea feces, and it is a sure sign of flea infestation. Flea dirt can show on your dog’s fur as well as infested homes.

Fever – Pets infested with ticks and fleas often exhibit signs of fever, including weakness, loss of appetite, shivering and heavy panting.

Scabs & Bumps – Fleas leave bites that quickly scab over, and ticks feel like small bumps on your pet’s skin. Both can be detected by parting your pet’s coat and searching over their skin.

Are Flea & Tick Treatments Different for Cats & Dogs?

The short answer is, yes. Dogs and cats react differently to flea and tick treatments. Flea and tick treatments designed for dogs also utilize different active ingredients than those intended for cats.

Since dogs are often larger than cats, the dosage level will vary as well. For these reasons, it is essential that you consult your vet before administering any treatment.

Which is Better Advantage or Frontline for Dogs?

When it comes to flea treatment for Fido, Frontline provides protection from ticks, sarcoptic mange, and lice, which Advantage does not.

If there’s one thing in Advantage’s corner, it’s that it begins killing fleas within 12 hours compared to Frontline, which takes twice as long.

That being said, it’s not enough to make up the difference, and we’re choosing Frontline.

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Which is Better Advantage or Frontline for Cats?

Though cats like to think they rule over the dogs in the family they still need protection from ticks, fleas and lice.

So, whether your kitty reigns over an indoor kingdom or an outdoor kingdom its important to inoculate them from all three forms of parasitic blood suckers. That is why we recommend Frontline flea treatment over Advantage.

Our Review of Advantage and Frontline

Frontline Plus is manufactured by Merial and is designed to kill 100% of fleas and ticks within 24 hours.

The treatment is applied topically to the skin between your pets’ shoulder blades and provides extended protection for from fleas and ticks in all stages of their life cycle, thereby preventing re-infestation for 30 days per treatment.

Frontline is waterproof, safe for puppies and also protects from sarcoptic mange and lice, which many would agree makes it worth the slightly higher price tag.

For budget focused, indoor pet owners Advantage flea treatment is a great choice to provide extended protection from flea infestation.

Advantage is a veterinarian-recommended flea treatment engineered to kill dog fleas in every stage of their life cycle and provide extended protection from re-infestation.

The Advantage waterproof formula is applied topically to the skin between your pets’ shoulder blades and is safe for use on puppies as young as 7 weeks.

Key Differences Between Advantage and Frontline

Frontline and Advantage are very similar products and offer a fair amount of protection for both dogs and cats. However, the treatments vary in three significant ways.

Level of Protection – Advantage only protects from fleas, whereas Frontline prevents fleas, ticks, lice, and sarcoptic mange.

Price Range – Advantage is considered more affordable than Frontline.

Active Ingredients – Advantage utilizes a combination of Imidacloprid and Pyriproxyfen, whereas Frontline utilizes a combination of Fipronil and Methoprene.

Advantage and Frontline Active Ingredients Comparison

Advantage utilizes a combination of Imidacloprid and Pyriproxyfen to kill existing fleas and disrupt its life cycle to prevent reinfestation.

Imidacloprid is an insecticide that was, believe it or not, designed to mimic nicotine. By imitating nicotine; imidacloprid disrupts the flea’s nervous system from sending signals to the rest of its body, thereby killing it.

Pyriproxyfen is a growth inhibitor that disrupts an insect’s growth cycle preventing them from maturing and reproducing.

Frontline, alternatively utilities a combination of Fipronil and Methoprene to offer arguably better protection than Advantage.

Fipronil is a broad-spectrum insecticide used to control ants, beetles, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, termites, and many other insects.

Methoprene, like pyriproxyfen, is a growth inhibitor utilized in conjunction with insecticide to stunt the lifecycle of eggs and larva, preventing them from hatching and prolonging the infestation.

Which Treatment is the Best Priced?

Advantage is generally considered to be the more cost-effective flea treatment when compared to Frontline.

  • Advantage II Flea Treatment for Small Cats – $55.99
  • Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Treatment for Cats & Kittens – $63.99
  • Advantage II Flea Treatment for Medium Dogs 11-20 lbs – $56.99
  • Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Treatment for Small Dogs & Puppies up to 22 lbs – $63.99
  • Advantage II Flea Treatment for Large Dogs 21-55 lbs – $56.99
  • Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Treatment for Medium Dogs 23-44 lbs – $65.29
  • Advantage II Flea Treatment for Extra Large Dogs Over 55 lbs – $56.99
  • Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Treatment for Large Dogs 45-88 lbs – $66.59

Which Do We Recommend?

The social nature of dogs makes them flea and tick magnets, which means they need all of the protection they can get.

It’s true, an indoor cat may not necessarily need treatment to prevent ticks, but we don’t see sense in not ensuring extra protection when it is readily available.

Advantage is the more affordable option when compared to Frontline, but does not provide any sort of protection from ticks.

Frontline provides extended protection from fleas and ticks which is why we recommend it over Advantage.

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7 Treatment Application Tips

  1. Topical flea treatments are applied via a syringe or applicator to the skin between your pets shoulder blades. Most flea treatments include an applicator
  2. Though Advantage and Frontline are both waterproof, you should allow the treatment to dry before allowing your pet to swim or get wet.
  3. Topical flea treatments are not the right solution for every pet. If that is the case with your pet, we recommend switching to a tablet treatment which is easily administered via feeding.
  4. For multi-pet homes, we recommended administering flea and tick treatments to each animal of the home to ensure against re-infestation.
  5. Flea treatments are easier to administer on sleeping pets. Simply remove their collar, part their fur and administer the treatment.
  6. Be sure to apply the flea treatment, regularly on a monthly basis. Flea and tick treatments are only effective when applied monthly.
  7. Dogs should be observed for several minutes after application of flea treatment for any adverse reactions or symptoms.

Conclusion

Advantage and Frontline are both exceptional products that provide extended flea protection and should be seen as viable options for anyone looking to protect their pets from infestation.

Advantage has the advantage of being the slightly more affordable option. However, we think it is well worth the extra money to ensure our pets are not only protected from fleas but ticks, lice, and sarcoptic mange.

We recommend consulting your veterinarian before administering any type of flea treatment, or medication to your pet. However, we can’t help but recommend the extended level of protection that Frontline provides.

Frontline has been thoroughly tested to ensure it provides nothing but superior protection for your pet, and in the end, your pet’s wellness is what truly matters.

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Sean Green

Sean Green, a leading developer of several pet-related websites and devoted pet owner. Sean is supported by a knowledgeable team of pet-loving writers who work together to provide you with a wealth of information about training and caring for your pets.

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