Introduction: Is Frontline Flea Treatment Really the Best Choice for Your Pet? Is it as Safe as the Company Claims?
As any pet owner knows, tackling a flea or tick infestation can be both stressful and challenging. Whether you have an indoor or an outdoor pet, chances are high that fleas and ticks will invade the home at least once, often resulting in a frenzied trip to the vet and a thorough deep-cleaning.
When it comes to effective, year-round pest control, there are plenty of pills, topical treatments, and sprays to choose from, but how do you know which one is best for your four-legged family member?
For dogs and cats alike, one of the most popular and longest-running flea and tick medications on the market is Frontline Plus, a topical treatment that has led the way since the 1970s.
Choosing any medication for your cat or your dog is not a decision that should be taken lightly. In our Frontline Plus review, we’ll take a comprehensive look at all aspects of this popular flea and tick medication, including ingredients, prices, efficiency, safety, and reviews from other pet owners.
Detailed Frontline Review
In the process, we’ll also answer the following questions to help you determine whether Frontline products provide the best flea and tick treatment for your four-legged family member:
- What is Frontline Plus?
- Are there any other Frontline products available?
- What’s the difference between Frontline Plus vs. Frontline Gold?
- What are the active Frontline Plus ingredients?
- How long does it take for Frontline to work?
- Where is the best place to buy Frontline Plus?
- What is the average Frontline price?
- What do Frontline Plus reviews from pet owners say?
Ultimately, our Frontline Plus review will help you decide whether the Frontline flea treatment is the safest, most efficient way to keep your pet healthy and pest-free.
Frontline Reviews | What is Frontline Plus?
Frontline Plus 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 Plus is a topical solution that is applied to your pet’s skin (between the shoulder blades). Frontline ingredients are active for 30 days, providing month-to-month protection against fleas and ticks.
For dogs, the minimum requirement is that puppies must be at least 8 weeks old and 5 pounds before using Frontline flea treatment. For cats, the minimum requirement is that kittens must be at least 8 weeks old and weigh at least 1.5 pounds.
Additional Frontline Products
Frontline Gold 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.
(See the section below on Frontline Plus Ingredients for a detailed comparison of the differences in Frontline Gold vs. Frontline Plus.)
For dogs and cats that might not sit still long enough for a topical solution, Frontline Spray is a misting, all-over spray. Just like Plus and Gold, the Frontline spray remains waterproof for a full 30 days, meaning you can safely bathe your pet without sacrificing flea and tick control.
Frontline Reviews | Frontline Plus Ingredients
The primary active ingredient in Frontline flea treatment is fipronil, a broad-spectrum insecticide that attacks an insect’s central nervous system, effectively killing adult fleas and ticks.
Frontline also has 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.
While many pet owners may feel wary about administering chemicals to their pets, fipronil is backed by decades of use in the animal health industry as a safe and effective means to kill and prevent fleas and ticks.
Frontline Gold vs. Frontline Plus
Frontline Plus vs. Frontline Gold
The primary difference between Frontline Plus vs. Frontline Gold comes from the type of insecticides used. While Frontline Plus ingredients include fipronil and (S)-methoprene, Frontline Gold includes a third ingredient: pyriproxyfen.
Pyriproxyfen is an additional active Frontline ingredient that boosts the treatment’s ability to kill eggs, larvae, and chewing lice, which leads many pet owners to favor Frontline Gold vs. Frontline Plus.
Additionally, when comparing Frontline Gold vs. Frontline Plus, the applicator is longer and narrower, providing a more user-friendly way to apply the Frontline flea treatment.
Frontline Reviews | How Does Frontline Work?
By and large, one of the most common consumer questions about Frontline Plus is: “How does Frontline work?” The Frontline flea treatment works by targeting multiple life cycles for fleas and ticks, effectively killing adult, larvae, and eggs.
Applied as a topical solution, Frontline is stored in the oil glands of your pet’s skin, as opposed to being absorbed by the body. This means that fleas, ticks, and chewing lice will die after coming into contact with their haircoat, even before they have the chance to bite.
For pet owners that are worried about potentially harmful side effects from pesticides, Frontline flea treatment is a good option, as it is not absorbed into the bloodstream.
How Long Does It Take for Frontline to Work?
The length of time that it takes for Frontline to work is the same for both cats and dogs. As reported on the product website, Frontline Plus begins killing fleas four hours after application, with complete efficacy reported within twelve hours.
Frontline Plus Reviews | Where Can I Buy Frontline Plus?
Before determining where to buy Frontline, you will first need to identify which dosage you will need. While Frontline flea treatment for cats comes in one dosage for all cats over 1.5 lbs., Frontline products for dogs come in four different weight tiers.
Depending on the dosage and the duration of coverage, each retailer will have slight differences in the Frontline price. See the chart below for a quick price comparison of top online and physical retailers where you can buy Frontline Plus.
|Frontline Plus Products||Allivet||Petco||1-800-PetMeds||PetSmart|
|Frontline Plus for Cats (3-month)||$40.99||$34.99||$40.99||$35.39|
|Frontline Plus for Cats (6-month)||$77.99||$69.99||$77.99||$64.54|
|Frontline Plus for Dogs|
|Frontline Plus for Dogs|
Table: Where to Buy Frontline Plus | Frontline Prices
In addition to the retailers listed above, you may also be able to buy Frontline flea treatment 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, maintaining the safety and efficiency of Frontline flea treatment.
Frontline Reviews | Frontline Plus Side Effects
Before administering Frontline Plus, every pet owner should be aware of the possible Frontline side effects. Interestingly, information on the Frontline Plus side effects is somewhat difficult to find, as the company does not publicly list side effects.
According to various consumer sites, potential Frontline side effects for cats and dogs include:
- Loss of appetite
- Temporary redness, swelling, itching, or irritation at the application site
Should any symptoms continue to persist or worsen, it is recommended to take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Some of the more serious Frontline Plus side effects that may point to an allergic reaction to the Frontline ingredients include uncoordinated movements, seizure, unresponsiveness, coma, or even death.
Frontline Plus Reviews | What Do Pet Owners Say About Frontline Flea Treatment for Dogs & Cats?
If you’re on the fence about whether Frontline Plus is the right medication for your pet, one of the best ways to evaluate its safety and efficiency is by looking at Frontline reviews from actual pet owners.
Below, you will find a comprehensive overview of the best—and worst—Frontline Plus reviews from cat and dog owners.
Frontline Reviews from Cat Owners
With comments from over 600 users, Frontline Plus reviews from cat owners give the topical solution 4 out of 5 stars on Chewy, with 65 percent of reviewers awarding a full 5-star rating.
Similarly, Influenster has nearly 800 Frontline Plus reviews, earning the product a total score of 4.46 out of 5.
Many cat owners applaud Frontline flea treatment as the best brand on the market, with many having used Frontline Plus for multiple years. Common threads among 5-star Frontline reviews include:
- Equally effective for cats that already have fleas and as a preventative medication
- Little to no side effects, particularly when compared to other flea and tick treatments
- Easy, scentless application
- Affordable and accessible
Negative Frontline Plus reviews state that the product did not work as intended, with some cats seemingly attracting even more fleas than before the Frontline flea treatment was applied. In fact, a total of 17 percent of reviewers gave the product a 1-star rating on Chewy as a result.
While our review found a significant number of pet parents expressing frustration over seeing fleas after applying the treatment, we did not find any reports of serious Frontline side effects among critical Frontline Plus reviews from cat owners.
Frontline Plus Review
Frontline Reviews from Dog Owners
The highest number of Frontline Plus reviews from dog owners can be found on 1-800-PetMeds, with nearly 4,100 comments on the Frontline flea treatment, giving an overall rating of 3.4 stars out of 5.
On Chewy.com, Frontline Plus receives an average of 4.5 stars out of 5, with nearly 1,600 total Frontline Plus reviews from pet owners.
Common threads among positive Frontline reviews from dog owners include:
- Effective flea and tick prevention
- Easy to apply
- Fast-acting and reliable
Although the majority of Frontline Plus reviews for dogs are positive, there is also a significant number of dissatisfied pet parents that would not recommend Frontline flea treatment.
Nearly all the negative reviews focused on the inefficiency of Frontline Plus. 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.
While our review found a significant number of pet parents expressing frustration over seeing fleas after applying the treatment, we did not find any reports of serious Frontline side effects among critical Frontline Plus reviews from dog owners.
Frontline Plus Reviews | Are Pests Becoming Immune to Frontline Flea Treatment?
As critical Frontline reviews from both cat and dog owners demonstrate, there is a growing number of pet parents that report Frontline not working properly—or, in some cases, not at all.
Could fleas and ticks be developing an immunity to the active Frontline ingredients? The topic is an ongoing subject of discussion, research, and study, although many experts conclude that the issue comes from incorrect application, and not the pest population.
For example, in their 2014 report, Tad Coles and Michael Dryden conclude that a suspected lack of efficacy by pesticides and acaricides is 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
Similarly, in his 2016 report, Michael K. Rust conducted 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 the efficiency of fipronil to kill fleas.
As such, while it is possible for fleas and ticks to evolve and build up resistance over time, research has not yet shown significant evidence of resistance to fipronil, the primary Frontline Plus ingredient.
Conclusion: Is Frontline Flea Treatment the Best Choice for Your Pet?
While Frontline Plus reviews may be mixed, the long-standing success of this flea and tick treatment has produced millions of satisfied pet parents, building a solid foundation of positive experiences with Frontline Plus.
However, despite being widely available from online and physical retailers, research surrounding flea treatment and complaints from pet owners point to a wide range of potential errors when applying Frontline Plus at home, earning the product an overall 4-star rating. Pet owners would be much better off visiting their veterinarian to ensure that Frontline is both stored and applied properly to get the best long-term results.
While reviews do not point to any serious safety concerns regarding the Frontline Plus ingredients, it’s worth mentioning that there will always be risks associated with any pesticide-based flea and tick medication.
Ultimately, choosing the best flea and tick treatment is a decision best left up to you and your veterinarian, as they can not only determine the proper dosage, but they can also ensure that your pet remains safe and healthy throughout the entire treatment.
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