Finding the Best Flea & Tick Treatments: Is Frontline Plus Really Safe for Your Dog? What about Frontline Gold?
This review of Frontline Spray, Frontline Gold, and Frontline Plus for dogs includes a detailed overview of Frontline flea and tick products for dogs, the ingredients contained, and how they might affect your dog, and the side effects that might be experienced (large dogs, small dogs and puppies experience different side effects, which you need to watch out for). We’ve also answered the many questions that dog owners are asking, most especially: “is Frontline safe for dogs?”
Frontline Spot on Top for Dogs
With their expressive personalities and affectionate nature, dogs are one of the most popular pets to have in the home. In fact, according to Statista, an estimated 89.7 million dogs lived in households across the United States in 2017.
Of course, as every dog parent knows, dogs can quickly become much more than a pet, fitting in as an integral part of the family.
No matter what size, breed, or age, you want to make sure that your four-legged family member is happy, healthy, and safe—which means regular vet visits and preventative flea and tick treatment.
One of the most popular—and longest-running—flea and tick treatments is Frontline for Dogs, also known as Frontline Plus.
Frontline for Dogs (Reviews)
Choosing any medication for your dog is not a decision that should be taken lightly. In our Frontline for Dogs review, we’ll take a comprehensive look at whether Frontline flea and tick for dogs is safe, effective, and recommended for use.
In the process, we’ll also answer the following questions to help you determine whether Frontline for Dogs is the best flea and tick treatment for your four-legged family member:
- What is Frontline Plus for Dogs?
- What types of Frontline for Dogs products are available?
- Where can I buy Frontline for Dogs?
- What do Frontline for Dogs reviews say about the product?
- Is Frontline safe for dogs, small dogs, and puppies?
Frontline for Dogs Reviews | What is Frontline for Dogs?
Frontline for Dogs was created by Merial, now a part of Boehringer Ingelheim, a global pharmaceutical company focused on improving animal health. To date, the Frontline® brand is one of the top two selling flea and tick products, with billions of doses administered since the 1970s.
Frontline Spot on Top for Dogs works by targeting multiple life cycles for fleas and ticks, effectively killing adult, larvae, and eggs. Applied between the shoulder blades as a topical solution, Frontline Spot on Top for Dogs provides full protection for 30 days.
Because Frontline Plus for Dogs is stored in your pet’s oil glands, any fleas, ticks, and chewing lice will die within hours of coming into contact with their haircoat, even before they have the chance to bite.
The primary active ingredient in Frontline for Dogs is fipronil, a broad-spectrum insecticide that attacks the central nervous system, effectively killing adult fleas and ticks.
Frontline for Dogs Reviews | What Types of Frontline for Dogs Products Are Available?
Frontline for Dogs comes in three different topical solutions, providing pet parents with a range of options for flea and tick prevention. See the sections below for a brief overview of each product in the Frontline for Dogs line.
Frontline Plus for Dogs
Often simply called Frontline for Dogs (or Frontline Combo in the UK), Frontline Plus is the most popular product that the company produces.
In addition to fipronil, Frontline Plus for Dogs contains a secondary ingredient, called (S)-methoprene, which is a juvenile insect hormone that acts as a regulator, killing eggs and larvae to stop the next generation of pests from reaching adulthood.
In some cases, Frontline Plus can also be used as Frontline for Puppies, as it is safe for use on puppies that are at least 8 weeks old and weight at least 5 pounds.
Frontline Gold for Dogs
Frontline Gold for Dogs provides the same flea and tick protection of Frontline Plus, but with one extra ingredient: pyriproxyfen, which boosts the medication’s ability to kill eggs, larvae, and chewing lice. The applicator is also longer and thinner to allow for easier application of Frontline flea and tick for dogs.
Additionally, Frontline Gold for Dogs is safe for animals that are breeding, pregnant, or lactating, making it easy for pet owners to administer treatment at any time.
In some cases, Frontline Gold can be used as Frontline for Puppies, as it is suitable for use on puppies that are at least 8 weeks old and weigh at least 5 pounds.
Frontline Spray for Dogs
Frontline Spray for Dogs is a misting spray that provides waterproof protection for 30 days (even when bathing).
Frontline Spray for Dogs is safe to use on puppies that are at least 8 weeks of age. Although the Frontline Spray for Dogs is available at Petco, Amazon, and 1-800-PetMeds, there does not seem to be a US-based website for the product.
Based on the wide range of positive reviews from US-based consumers, this may be because the Frontline Spray for Dogs is simply more popular on a global scale.
Frontline for Dogs Reviews | Where Can I Buy Frontline for Dogs?
Before determining where to buy Frontline for Dogs, you will first need to identify which dosage is right for your dog. Frontline is available in four dosages:
- Frontline Plus for Dogs 5-22 lbs.
- Frontline Plus for Dogs 23-44 lbs.
- Frontline Plus for Dogs 45-88 lbs.
- Frontline Plus for Dogs 89-132 lbs.
For dogs above 132 pounds, it is best to speak with your vet to ensure that the correct—and safe—dosage is applied.
Depending on whether you need Frontline Plus for Dogs 5-22 lbs., 23-44 lbs., 45-88 lbs., or 89-132 lbs., there will be slight differences in price for each retailer. See the chart below for a quick price comparison of top online and physical retailers where you can buy Frontline for Dogs.
|Frontline for Dogs |
(5-22 lbs., 23-44 lbs., 45-88 lbs., 89-132 lbs.)
|Frontline Gold for Dogs|
|Frontline Gold for Dogs|
|Frontline Plus for Dogs|
|Frontline Plus for Dogs|
|Frontline Spray for Dogs||$29.49||$34.19-|
Table: Frontline Flea and Tick for Dogs Prices
In addition to the retailers listed above, you may also be able to buy Frontline for Dogs and Frontline Plus for Dogs from your veterinarian, which is the recommended method.
While you may risk getting the best price, purchasing from your veterinarian ensures that you receive the proper product and that it is applied correctly, ensuring that Frontline flea and tick for dogs is both safe and effective.
Frontline Plus for Dogs Reviews | What Do Pet Owners Say About Frontline for Dogs?
If you’re on the fence about whether Frontline for Dogs is the best choice for your pet, you may want to consider what other pet owners have said about the product.
As with any product, Frontline Plus for Dogs reviews tend to bring a mix of positive and negative—but what reviewers say about Frontline flea and tick for dogs can provide valuable insight into whether the treatment is safe, effective, and right for your dog.
Note: Because Frontline Plus is the most popular version, the sections below will focus on Frontline Plus for Dogs reviews, rather than the Gold or Spray topical treatments.
Positive Frontline Plus for Dogs Reviews
The highest number of Frontline Plus for Dogs reviews can be found on 1-800-PetMeds, with nearly 4,100 comments on the Frontline flea treatment for dogs. Of these, roughly 50 percent of Frontline for Dogs reviews are positive, giving an overall rating of 3.4 stars out of 5.
In his review, Michael0722 calls Frontline Plus for Dogs a “great product” and says, “My wife and I have had 6 dogs over the years and each of them have been on Frontline and then Frontline Plus. This product has worked very well for us and have not had any adverse reactions from any of the dogs.”
Similarly, user Maggiesmom says that “Frontline has always been my go to for ticks and fleas prevention for my dogs and cats! I live in the woods with a lot of ticks, and I get great result[s].”
On Chewy.com, Frontline Plus receives an average of 4.5 stars out of 5, with nearly 1,600 total Frontline Plus for Dogs reviews from pet owners. With high ratings, the vast majority of these reviews are positive.
One recent reviewer says,
I have 5 small inside dogs that love to play outside. I have used this product for many years and it works great for me. I always bathe them in blue Dawn first to rid them of any fleas, then apply this product. I live in Texas and it works great. I also foster dogs for a rescue and use this on them as well, with great success. If it’s not working for some people, I would not know why.
Common threads among all positive Frontline Plus for Dogs reviews include:
- Effective flea and tick prevention
- Easy to apply
- Fast-acting and reliable
Frontline Flea and Tick for Dogs
Negative Frontline Plus for Dogs Reviews
While there are plenty of positive Frontline for Dogs reviews, there is also a significant number of dissatisfied pet parents that would not recommend Frontline flea treatment for dogs.
Nearly all the negative reviews that we found focused on the inefficiency of Frontline Plus for Dogs. While some dog owners reported trying Frontline for the first time and not seeing results, many critical Frontline Plus for Dogs reviews came from pet parents that had used the topical solution for years, only to find that it seemed to suddenly stop working.
For example, one reviewer on Chewy says:
I used to rate Frontline highly, as an expensive but effective monthly treatment compared to other topical brands (much less oily, too). And we never had an issue with fleas on our three dachshund boys while living in MO for four years, just ticks, which got killed off at biting.
But since moving to TX six months ago, Frontline completely failed working against fleas and all three dogs became heavily infested, much to our horror. It’s been an ongoing battle since Spring, regularly treating the dogs and the inside/outside home environments trying to prevent further infestations.
Needless to say, we’re not wasting any more money buying something that just doesn’t work for us, and are experimenting with other products.
Critical Frontline Plus for Dogs reviews from 1-800-PetMeds echo much of the same sentiment, with many dog owners complaining that, although the product used to work in the past, it become ineffective. One such reviewer says:
I’m very dissatisfied with front line plus. I have used front line before and it worked great. So I purchased 12 Frontline because I have 4 dogs so it would even out. I used the first dose on the dogs and it didn’t seem to work very well. Waited 3 weeks and used it again and it didn’t seem like it helped at all. My dogs still have fleas and I can’t seem to get rid of them.
Frontline for Dogs Reviews | Are Fleas Becoming Immune to Frontline Flea Treatment for Dogs?
As critical Frontline for Dogs reviews demonstrate, there is a growing number of pet owners that report Frontline not working properly—or, in some cases, not at all.
Could fleas and ticks be developing an immunity to Frontline for Dogs? The topic of whether pests are developing a resistance to flea and tick medication is an ongoing subject of discussion, research, and study.
For example, in their 2014 report, Tad Coles and Michael Dryden conclude that a suspected lack of efficacy by pesticides and acaricides is not caused by resistance within the pest population, but likely due to:
- Inconsistent treatment
- Product failure due to improper storage, dilution, or application
- Incomplete treatment of the surrounding environment
- Exposure to overwhelming amounts of fleas and ticks
Frontline for Dogs Reviews
In his 2016 report, Michael K. Rust conducted and examined research on whether fleas were still susceptible to fipronil and other pesticides. While there was “some variability” observed, he concluded that there was “no significant reduction” in their ability to be exterminated.
Ultimately, Rust comes to the same conclusion—rather than point to an issue with flea immunity, the ineffective nature of pest treatments is typically due to:
- Failure to treat all pets in a household
- Failure to properly follow label instructions
- Discontinuing treatment throughout winter months
- Improperly applying the product
As such, while it is possible for pests to evolve and build up resistance over time, research has not shown significant evidence of resistance to fipronil, the active insecticide in Frontline Plus for Dogs.
Frontline for Dogs Reviews | Is Frontline Safe for Dogs & Puppies?
According to the product website, the Frontline Plus for Dogs line of flea and tick medication is safe for puppies that are at least 8 weeks of age. Based on the lack of negative reviews regarding ill side effects, it would seem that yes, Frontline is safe for puppies, small dogs, and large dogs.
Additionally, because the topical solution remains in the oil glands and is not absorbed into the blood stream, Frontline flea and tick for dogs remains a good option for dog owners that are concerned about the toxic nature of flea and tick treatments.
While the product does appear to be safe, it’s worth mentioning that there will always be risks associated with any flea and tick medication, as they all use at least one form of pesticide.
If you have any reservations about using pesticide-based flea and tick treatments for your dog, there are plenty of natural alternatives to consider, which may be a good option for pet owners that still have doubts over the safety and efficacy of Frontline Plus for Dogs.
Conclusion: Is Frontline for Dogs the Best Flea & Tick Medication to Use on Your Pet?
While many pet parents are happy with the results from Frontline for Dogs, research surrounding flea treatment and direct reviews from pet owners point to a wide range of potential errors when applying Frontline Plus for Dogs at home, earning the product an overall 4-star rating.
Based on Frontline Plus for Dogs reviews from pet parents, there seems to be a great deal of debate over whether Frontline will continue to work for your dog over the long-term.
Despite being widely available from online and physical retailers, dog owners would be much better off visiting their veterinarian to ensure that Frontline is both stored and applied properly to get the best results.
While the final decision rests in your hands, we also strongly recommend discussing any questions or worries that you may have about flea treatment and its side effects with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is happy, healthy, and pest-free.
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