Frontline vs. Revolution : 2019 Flea & Tick Treatment for Dogs & Cats Comparison

The scratching is driving you crazy right? It’s happening all night, constantly as you move around your house. You know your furry companion is having a difficult time, but you aren’t sure what to do.

Flea, tick, and other significant pests can be controlled with treatments, but which is the right one for your pet? You don’t want to use the wrong thing, and it can be challenging to know which one to choose.

In our Frontline versus Revolution, we’re going to break it all down to help you find precisely the right thing to help your furry friend get irritating pests under control for good. Let’s take a look.

Which is Better Frontline or Revolution for Dogs?

Both Frontline and Revolution offer excellent protection for the basic insect pests common with dogs. They kill fleas and ticks. They keep biting mosquitos at bay.

However, one of the most challenging things for veterinarians to assess from basic diagnostics is scabies. Owners may be baffled at their dog’s itchiness and find that most flea and tick treatments don’t help the problem. They go through several types of treatments for things before finally getting a closer diagnostic and finding out it’s actually scabies.

Revolution also helps treat those scabies mites, which can finally provide relief for ultra itchy dogs. If your dog seems to have trouble with itching and nothing you do works, Revolution is the best option.

It can also help control ear mites, so you don’t have to resort to a different type of treatment. Ear mites can also cause persistent scratching and damage to the outer ear, so controlling those with Revolution is excellent.

Which is Better Frontline or Revolution for Cats?

Revolution is excellent for feline heartworm disease. Dogs get a lot of publicity with heartworms, but cats sometimes fly under the radar with it. Considering pet owners frequently allow their cats to be indoor and outdoor cats, this can be a critical addition to any pest control for pets.

Feline heartworm disease is just beginning to be understood. It’s a reasonable precaution to take now that we’re finally giving the condition the treatment and publicity it deserves.

It’s waterproof after only two hours, so it’s excellent for indoor/outdoor cats who roam. It also covers that wider spectrum of pest, so you won’t worry as much about what your roaming cats are getting into.

Our Review of Frontline and Revolution

Let’s break everything down so you can decide once and for all.

Key Differences Between Frontline and Revolution

They do have a few things in common, but not everything is exactly the same. Both offer comprehensive protection from fleas and ticks by killing them both once they’ve made contact and preventing or killing flea and tick eggs to stop the infestation cycle completely.

Both are waterproof and safe for pregnant or nursing pets to use. They’re applied directly to the skin. Dosage for both is monthly.

However, similarities end there.

Other Pests

Frontline kills and repels mosquitos, making it valuable for targeted areas where your pet is likely to be outside in heavy mosquito swarms. If you don’t want to bother with mosquito spray on your pet each time it goes out, this might be a serious advantage.

Revolution has no such protection, but don’t judge it just for that. Mosquito prevention is one of the easier pests to handle without using heavy duty treatments because mosquitos are poor fliers overall.

Frontline can also help with infestations of chewing lice, a very targeted problem. You should check to see if this pest is common in your area. Dogs that aren’t outside as much may not be in danger.

Revolution handles ear mites as we said above. Ear mites are a shockingly common problem with dogs and can cause major discomfort if not an injury to the outer ear. It’s important to treat ear mites consistently to avoid other significant issues.

Availability

Frontline is available over the counter and through many online retailers. You can pick up different dosages and treatment options without having to get a prescription. It’s important to check with your veterinarian before starting any treatment, but this one is more widespread than Revolution.

Revolution does require a prescription, but you can still purchase online or through your local store as long as you have that prescription. Again, it’s always important to have your veterinarian’s input when you’re starting any treatment anyway, and this can help you regulate your pet’s treatment.

Frontline and Revolution Active Ingredients Comparison

Let’s take a look at what makes these two things work so well.

Frontline (Plus): Fipronil/(S)-Methoprene

Fipronil is a broad use insecticide that acts as a neurotoxin. It paralyzes fleas so that they’re unable to feed and die. They fall off your pet, and as other fleas come in contact with the substance, the process repeats.

It can cause reactions mainly in the form of skin irritations, especially at the application site. You should always test a small area on your pet if this is the first time you’ve applied it so you can decide how your particular pet will react.

Frontline Plus uses Methoprene, a substance that interrupts the life cycle of the flea by working in insects in the larval stage as well. It can kill fleas earlier in the lifecycle making it impossible for the flea to reproduce or live past early stages.

The primary concern here is that your pet will ingest the treatment or get it into sensitive tissues such as the nose or eyes. Ingesting or contaminating soft tissues can cause serious damage, so make sure you take precautions to prevent that.

Revolution: Selemectin

Selemectin is also a neurotoxin that interferes with the flea’s ability to move and eat. Fleas come in contact with the treatment and die, falling off your pet and interrupting the lifecycle eventually. It doesn’t act on the juvenile stage, so it may take a few months before you notice a complete halt to your flea problem.

It also acts on heartworms and ear mites because it acts on the adult stage as well. There are fewer skin-related side effects associated with this one, but in rare instances, pets develop hair loss and appetite loss. Make sure your pet doesn’t ingest the treatment or contaminate soft tissue.

Which Treatment is the Best Priced?

Frontline is a little bit cheaper than Revolution although generally, savings go higher for Revolution as you invest in more treatments at once.

It’s mostly a difference of about five dollars or less across the treatments. The soft cost of Frontline is that you have a higher risk that your pet will react poorly to the topical treatment, leaving you with a medicine that you can’t use, and that may require veterinarian intervention to treat.

The soft cost of Revolution is that it requires a vet prescription requiring you to make the trip. If you make regular visits to your vet anyway, this may not be an issue. If you’ve missed a few visits, you’ll have to add that cost to your overall total.

Which Do We Recommend?

We are huge fans of Revolution. Pets that already have inflamed itchy skin are highly likely to react poorly to the ingredients in Frontline which a can make the problem temporarily worse before things get better. If you’re ready to make the trip to your veterinarian and you’ve got some patience, you should see a 90% reduction in your flea issue within days of the first treatment. As the other fleas complete their growth stages, that number should rise drastically.

7 Treatment Application Tips

Before you apply Revolution, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Keep Your Pet Calm

It’s difficult to apply the treatment if your pet is freaking out. Some things you can do to help keep your pet calm are:

Keep its favorite treats

Your pet can begin to associate good things with the application treatment. If your pet doesn’t have treats it loves, you could also use its favorite type of toy if that can help.

Expend Energy

Start after a good walk. Expending your pet’s energy can really help keep the situation under control. If you can’t go for a walk, you could also play with your pet for about half an hour to encourage calm, happy feelings while the medication is applied.

Maintenance

Once you apply your product, make sure you don’t accidentally void the effects of what you’ve done.

Bathing

If you’re going to bathe your pet, make sure you do it at least 48 hours or more before you plan to apply your product. The natural oils on your pet’s coat help distribute the oil through the coat. If you remove those oils, you remove some of the effectiveness.

On the other hand, once you’ve applied the product, wait at least two or three days before you bathe your pets, so you don’t wash the application off. It can take a few days for the product to become genuinely waterproof.

Safety

Keep pets away from each other for at least 24 hours after the application, so they don’t accidentally ingest any of the product. If you have children, it’s also essential that they not touch your pets for at least 24 hours after the application.

Follow Up

You have good intentions. You give your pet one dose and then forget. Next thing you know, you’re back at square one. Or you remember your medications, and then one day, you notice your pet’s raw skin is really bothering it. Follow up is important to remember.

Set Reminders

It can be difficult to remember when you gave doses to your pet. Setting regular reminders can help you keep up to date on your pet’s applications.

Check For Reactions

Even if your pet is on a regular medication schedule, there’s always the chance for it to develop sensitivities. Each time you apply medication, make sure you check for reactions, and if your pet develops a sensitivity, especially to Revolution, you may want to switch to a milder product or talk to your vet about a different solution.

Automation

If it’s hard for you to remember your treatments, you could sign up for a delivery once a month. Autoship can help trigger your memory to give your pet the monthly preventative, so you never lapse. Plus, auto-ship often has a small discount.

Final Thoughts

Revolutions formula is excellent for pets who need a broad spectrum of treatments for keeping those nasty pests at bay. We’ve been impressed by Revolutions relative lack of side effects and the way it covers quite a few pests including a frequently missed cause of itching, scabies.

Aside from the one inconvenience of having to get a prescription, Revolution is easy to apply and easy to maintain a system that can finally get your pet’s itching under control. It has comprehensive benefits that can protect your pet inside and out.

What’s the most significant cause of itching for your pet? Is it pests or something else? Tell us how you combat the itching in the comments below.

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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