Fleas and ticks love residing in your pet’s fur, especially during the warm summer days. This might be problematic for you and your pet as they can cause many health problems.

Let’s review the differences between Frontline vs Advantage and make it easier for you to decide which one is right. Here’s what we’ll discuss:

Key Findings

  • Both products use insect growth regulators (IGR) to prevent fleas from reappearing.
  • Frontline uses Fipronil and (S)-methoprene as active ingredients.
  • Advantage uses Imidacloprid and Pyriproxyfen as active ingredients.
  • Frontline can kill fleas and ticks, while Advantage only kills fleas.
  • Both products don’t repel bugs.
  • They start to work in 12–24 hours and last for 30 days.
  • You should use the appropriate product for your dog or cat and watch out for the size difference.

We looked at the flea and tick prevention abilities of Advantage vs Frontline, and we can say that they’re your best bet to protect your pet. But why fleas and ticks are so bad, to begin with?

The Dangers of Fleas And Ticks  — What to Look Out For

Is your dog or cat scratching a lot lately? 

If you inspect their fur carefully, you might see some white and dark specs. These are called fleas, and they can bring numerous problems. For example, they can cause an allergic reaction or anemia by sucking on your pet’s blood. 

Fleas lay a lot of eggs and multiply, but they can also attach to human skin, leading to intense itching.

Ticks are also quite dangerous as they can cause Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and ehrlichiosis. They can also attach to humans. 

Frontline vs Advantage — What Are They For?

If your cat or dog scratches a lot, that might result in skin injury. But finding a good alternative to the cone of shame to prevent the itch isn’t the answer.

If all fleas cause all that scratching, Advantage and Frontline are perfect for relieving your pup. These are two of the most popular treatments. Their job is to kill the fleas or ticks attached to your pets’ fur. But keep in mind that they’re not repellents, so they won’t stop these insects from getting on your pet.

What Types of Products Do They Offer?

Is Advantage better than Frontline when it comes to product variety? Well, both have quite a lot of options.

Frontline shield for dogs package

Frontline offers a vast selection for dogs and cats. It has three products for dogs — Frontline Plus, Frontline Gold, and Frontline Shield. Also, it has two products for cats — Frontline Plus and Frontline Gold.

We’ll mostly refer to the Frontline Plus line in this article since it’s the most preferred. Like the other two lines, it offers four types of products (recognizable by color) for four dog sizes:

  • Orange — up to 22 lbs
  • Blue — 23–44 lbs
  • Purple — 45–88 lbs
  • Red — 89–132 lbs

The products meant for cats don’t differ by size.

Advantage II for small dogs

If we compare Advantage vs Frontline, the former also offers many options for cats and dogs. Advantage has two product lines for pest control: Advantage II and Advantage Multi. Since it’s most relevant to the topic, we’ll refer to the Advantage II line. 

The Advantage II for dogs line includes products in four sizes:

  • Small dog — under 10 lbs
  • Medium dog — between 11 and 20 lbs
  • Large dog — between 21 and 55 lbs
  • Extra-large dog — over 55 lbs

Advantage II for cats comes in two sizes:

  • Small cats — under 9 lbs
  • Large cats — over 9 lbs

There are also a few other Advantage II options for pet rabbits and ferrets

The Advantage Multi line treats fleas, heartworm, and intestinal worms.

How to Use Them

Advantage and Frontline are on-spot treatments in ampules with the medication in the form of oil. Carefully break open the ampule, spread your pet’s fur (usually between the shoulder blades), and apply all the liquid at once.

After application, do not pet them. Let the liquid soak into the skin for a day. It’ll quickly cover the dog’s hair, skin surface, and sebaceous glands. These glands act as a reservoir that keeps the active ingredients and lets them spread onto the skin for longer.

What Active Ingredients Do They Contain?

The Frontline vs Advantage active ingredients are somewhat different.

Frontline uses two essential ingredients:

  • Fipronil — targets adult fleas and ticks and disrupts their nervous system
  • (S)-methoprene — used as a growth inhibitor that targets flea eggs and larvae and prevents them from developing

Advantage also uses two ingredients:

  • Imidacloprid — attacks the insects’ nervous system
  • Pyriproxyfen — used as a growth inhibitor that stops insects from developing

When Do They Start Working and How Long Do They Last?

Frontline and Advantage state that their medication works as fast as possible.

Frontline claims to kill almost 100% of fleas in 24 hours after applying. Ticks are killed after 48 hours. Your pet will be protected for 30 days, but you should use it again after that.

Advantage kills fleas in 12 hours after applying. The protection lasts up to 30 days, and you should also reapply it after that period. 

Keep your dog away from water in the first two days after the treatment. Then, you can bathe them with no problem because this medication is waterproof, and there’s no need for reapplying before the 30 days are over.

How Good Are They Against Fleas, Ticks, and Other Parasites?

Using Frontline vs Advantage for fleas is pretty easy. While they don’t repel the fleas, they kill them on the first day after applying.

When it comes to ticks, one works better than the other. Frontline states that their product kills ticks after 48 hours of applying, but it doesn’t repel them. Advantage doesn’t kill or repel ticks.

Both claim that their products kill chewing lice.

What Are the Side Effects?

Both products are generally safe and don’t have many side effects. They might cause slight skin irritation in the place of application, but that clears up quickly. 

Keep the products away from your pets when you’re not applying them. If your pet ingests some, that may lead to salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea. 

Remember to use the Advantage or Frontline formula for dogs and the cat formula for cats. 

Also, both products are safe to use on pregnant pets.

Pricing Comparison

The prices of these products are similar. Usually, the cost is higher if there are more ampules in a pack. 

We compared both lines for dogs and picked the smallest size. So, we got the Frontline 3-pack and the Advantage 4-pack.

The Frontline 3-pack costs $38.99, no matter your dog’s size, so one ampule costs roughly $13.

The Advantage 4-pack is $44.98, no matter your dog’s size, so one ampule costs roughly $11.25.

Is Frontline better than Advantage when it comes to price? 

Frontline may look cheaper if we take it at face value, but Advantage costs less if you calculate the price for one ampule. Unsurprisingly, the best deal is to buy the larger packs.

Check the latest prices of Frontline and Advantage on Amazon.

Frontline Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Can kill ticksDoesn’t contain any repellent
Long-lastingSlightly more expensive
Can kill lice
Waterproof

Advantage Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Slightly cheaperDoesn’t contain any repellent
Shows effect soonerDoesn’t kill ticks
Can kill lice
Waterproof

How Do They Compare to Other Products?

You’ve probably seen an Advantage and Frontline alternative for dogs and cats. Here, we compare them to two of the more popular ones — Advantix and Revolution.

Frontline vs Advantage vs Advantix

Bayer, the company behind Advantage, also makes Advantix. The newest Advantix line is called K9 Advantix II, and it’s much better than the first version. 

But what separates Advantix from the other two is its ability to repel fleas and ticks. Also, it can kill and repel mosquitos. This likely happens due to the extra ingredient called Permethrin, another type of insecticide. That also makes Advantix dangerous for cats.

The price for the 4 pack is $49.98. The cost of one ampule comes around to $12.5.

Frontline vs Advantage vs Revolution

Zoetis makes the Revolution product. Its biggest advantage compared to the other two is that it’s good against heartworms, ear mites, and sarcoptic mange.

Unlike its main competitors, Revolution doesn’t inhibit the growth cycle, so it doesn’t affect the fleas’ eggs and larvae. When it comes to ticks, it only targets one species — the American dog tick. Meanwhile, Frontline kills off four species.

The active Revolution ingredient is Selamectin, and you’ll need a prescription from your vet to buy it.

It’s quite expensive compared to the other two. The product costs $75.99 for a 3 pack, which comes around to $25 for one ampule.

What Do Customers Think?

Do customers prefer Frontline or Advantage? We mostly saw positive comments, but there are always some downsides.

The positive reviews are mostly from people who have had their pets flea-free for a month or longer by applying these products. They say the treatments are easy to use and like that they only have to apply them once a month.

But there are a few negative experiences with these products. Some customers complain about their pets having allergic reactions. While this is a possible side effect, it isn’t a huge problem. To avoid it, you should test your pup for allergies at home to know what may cause harm.

Some customers talk about the Frontline vs Advantage resistant strains of fleas. They claim not to see the products’ effects. But there are many reasons for that, and one of the most common ones is not reading the instructions or not following them.

Customers also complain that these products don’t repel insects, but that’s clearly stated on the packaging.

Based on customer reviews, we can’t say which is better, Frontline or Advantage. But customers are mostly satisfied with both products. That said, if your pet scratches a lot and you can’t seem to find the right cure, you can try some home remedies to prevent itching.

The Final Verdict — Which One Is Right for You?

In this Frontline vs Advantage article, we gave you all the information to choose the right flea medication for your pet.

Frontline seems like the better product that kills fleas and ticks and stops them from reappearing the next month. But Advantage is somewhat cheaper and does the job right. Still, it doesn’t kill ticks if that’s what you are looking for.

We hope that we’ve helped you decide on what product to use and that you can finally give your pet some peace from these annoying pests.

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