Revolution vs. Advantage Flea Treatment 2019 Comparison

Your poor pup. Somewhere, it picked up a flea and now they’re everywhere. The itching is driving you both crazy, and something needs to be done.

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Maybe it’s your indoor/outdoor cat. Roaming cats are highly susceptible to pests even if you confine them to your own yard. During the summer months, your cat may love that warm sunshine, but know what else does? Fleas.

What’s the solution though? Something over the counter or something more drastic? A one-off treatment or something comprehensive? Your pet needs a flea treatment and possibly something more comprehensive than that, but it can be really hard to know where to start. One famous product, Advantage, is available right in your favorite store. Your veterinarian may have suggestions for something called Revolution. Both could be the right choice, but you may need more information.

We’ll compare Advantage, a brand considered to be a milder option for sensitive pets, and Revolution, one of the broadest forms of protection for both internal and external parasites. Let’s figure out which should be your solution.

Which is Better Revolution or Advantage for Dogs?

Revolution is all around a better option for dogs because of a variety of reasons. Unless your dog is super sensitive, revolution gives you better control of both flea and ticks, as well as other internal parasites like heartworms.

Scabies mites are an often-missed diagnosis for pet itch, so good news! Revolution works to alleviate those symptoms and help your pet get over a condition that vets may not even catch the first time you seek help or treatment. Not many of the solutions on our site do that.

Advantage is sometimes considered appropriate for ultrasensitive dogs who have severe skin issues. Advantage isn’t quite as strong as Revolution, but if you have a lot of trouble with your dog’s reaction to medication, the lesser strength of Advantage is worth it.

Outside of that situation, however, Revolution is our top pick for dogs.

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Which is Better Revolution or Advantage for Cats?

Heartworm prevention is just heating up for cats. It’s a misunderstood and often missed condition, so the fact that Revolution can handle it is fantastic. Unless your cat has ultra-sensitive skin, you may want to switch to Revolution for the comprehensive care it has.

Again, if your cat has particularly sensitive skin and it isn’t an outdoor or indoor/outdoor cat, Advantage may offer some relief from both pests and skin issues. Otherwise, stick with Revolution for its ability to handle both inner and outer pests.

Our Review of Revolution and Advantage

Let’s take a look at a few things that distinguish the two. We really love Revolution because of its comprehensive protection, but Advantage does have a few specific applications.

Both handle fleas and handles their larvae. Interrupting the flea lifecycle helps your pet get over a full-on flea infestation. Both are safe to be applied to pregnant and nursing pets. Both are monthly doses that are easily applied to the skin through a simple applicator tube.

You apply the product to the skin down a line across your pet’s back. The applicator makes it easy to part the hair to get it down to the skin where it can be most effective.

Key Differences Between Revolution and Advantage

There are quite a few differences in both the ingredients and the overall coverage of both medications.

Pests Covered

Besides fleas, there are a few other pests that these two medications cover. However, Revolution covers a much wider range of pests. First, Revolution handles heartworms, a widespread problem with dogs. It offers coverage from ticks as well. It extends to common parasites such as scabies and ear mites.

Advantage is targeted primarily to flea infestations. However, it can also cover chewing lice infestations, however, which is nice if you’re in an area where infestations are common.

Availability

Advantage is widely available over the counter. You don’t need to be up to date on your vet visits, making it a good solution in a pinch when you can’t get to the vet. You can also order it online for easier availability.

Revolution is available only through a prescription. `That could be a slight inconvenience if you haven’t been to your vet in a while. However, if you’ve made regular visits to your vet’s office, it’s well worth the extra step of getting the prescription.

Sensitivities

Advantage has a reputation for being gentler on your pet’s skin. It may not be as strong of a medicine, but it can help keep your flea issues at bay without being as harsh on your pet’s skin.

Revolution’s main ingredient doesn’t have as much of a reputation for reactions as something like Frontline, but it can cause a few reactions such as initial hair loss at the application site and digestive problems. These are very rare, but you should check with your veterinarian if you notice anything different about your pet.

Revolution and Advantage Active Ingredients Comparison

The main ingredients of the two medicines are one of the most significant differences.

Revolution: Selamectin

Selamectin is a neurotoxin that acts on fleas to paralyze them and prevent them from eating. Ones that come in contact slowly die and fall off your pet over time. It doesn’t kill eggs or larva, but it does prevent the adult from completing the reproductive cycle. You should see a 90% reduction in your flea issue within the first month of application, but it may take a few months before they’re entirely gone.

Advantage: Imidacloprid

Imidacloprid actually mimics nicotine, a substance naturally toxic to insects. It’s also a neurotoxin that binds to nerve receptors, causing interference with essential functions. The flea usually dies before completing the reproductive cycle, slowly eliminating the flea population.

Which Treatment is the Best Priced?

Advantage is about $20 cheaper on average for six treatments. One thing you’ll also have to consider is the vet visit required to get a prescription for Revolution. It’s going to cost a bit more, but overall, Revolution’s price includes far more treatments than Advantage. With Advantage, you’ll also need to have treatments for other types of pests.

Revolution’s extended treatment may cost more, but it is going to cover more, which may end up being cheaper in the long run. If you don’t need any other treatment, it could really cut down on long-term costs.

Which Do We Recommend?

Overall, we strongly recommend Revolution because your pet needs a comprehensive treatment for a variety of pets including fleas, ticks, and internal pests like heartworms. Advantage does offer versions that expand treatment beyond basic fleas, but it still doesn’t offer the most comprehensive treatment.

If your pet has particularly sensitive skin, you might consider Advantage. However, we think that you’ll be pleased with Revolution’s comprehensive treatments and the way that your pet gets some relief.

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7 Treatment Application Tips

There are a few things you can do to make treating your pet and keeping it comfortable a little easier.

Before Treatment

You can do a lot to make applying the product easier. If your pet is nervous, you can get it all over you and make it really difficult for you to get it applied correctly.

Calming Treats

If your pet gets anxious during application, you might think about keeping treats or other toys it likes. Each time you apply the product, give your pet the treat or toy so that it begins to associate good things with each treatment.

Play Time

Before you treat your pet, you could go on a fun walk or play a game that your pet loves. Getting out any extra energy could help your pet stay calm during the process. The less energy your pet has during the process, the easier it is for your pet to stay still. It could keep the whole thing less messy.

Bathing

Make sure you bathe your pet at least 48 hours prior to any treatment so the natural oils of your pet’s coat have time to reset. The treatment uses those oils to help move the treatment through the coat and without the oils, it may not be as effective.

After Treatment

Once you get things done, there are some things you can do to help the treatment last as long as possible.

Separate Pets And Kids

If you have multiple pets, you should keep them separated to prevent them from ingesting any of the treatments. Getting it into their soft tissues can cause severe issues, so try to keep your pets apart.

Children should also be careful for at least 24 hours before playing or touching pets to make sure they don’t come in contact with fresh applications.

Keep Dry

Make sure you don’t bathe your pet or allow it to swim for at least 48 hours after application. These are waterproof, but you have to give them time to settle in.

Maintaining Treatment

Applying treatment isn’t a one-time thing. Part of your treatment’s effectiveness is making sure you don’t forget applications.

Set Reminders

Setting a reminder for reapplications is essential because if you lapse in your flea and pest treatment, you might find the trouble coming right back. Most treatments should be reapplied each month to maintain protection. Without the continual application of each treatment, fleas and ticks could come back.

Get On Autopilot

If you don’t want to set reminders, a great thing to do is get set up with auto-ship. Many suppliers have auto-ship options that can help you keep up with your treatments. Your new applicator could arrive right at your front door. When it arrives, it could jumpstart your memory to reapply without alarms or you having to set foot in a store. chewy.com is an excellent option for auto-ship supplies.

Final Thoughts

Revolution is an excellent all-purpose treatment that can help you get your pet’s pests issues under control. Persistent itch can cause long-term skin issues and problems with ears. Revolution takes care of all the usual suspects for itching, but it can also help you with ear mites (which can damage the ear canal) and scabies, a frequently under-diagnosed condition for itching.

Revolution does require a prescription, so you’ll need some time to get it. Make sure you talk to your veterinarian about any treatment courses you decide on, even if you decide to go the nonprescription route. Get your pet’s skin issues under control, and you won’t have to watch your friend suffer.

If you could solve your pet’s itching issues today, what would that mean for you and your pet? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

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Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine Dog News. She's also the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, the Dog Writers Association of America Adoptashelter.com Award winner for 2013. In addition, she's written Canine Cuisine: 101 Natural Dog Food & Treat Recipes to Make Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

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