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Frontline, Advantage, Advantix, and Other Flea and Tick Control for Dogs

Updated on May 9, 2011

Flea and Tick Control

It's very important that you protect your dog from fleas and ticks, as both are carriers for worms and/or other disease and illness that can potentially cause fatal reactions. Plus, many dogs are actually allergic to flea bites, which again can cause fatal reactions if your dog ends up harboring a nice colony of fleas.

And, let me tell ya... It's a lot easier to control fleas and ticks from the beginning than it is to get rid of them in the end.

General Cautions for Flea and Tick Medications

Because most flea and tick prevention that you find on the market contains insecticides to kill and repel fleas, ticks, and sometimes mosquitoes, you want to know and understand the general cautions and warnings for using these products.

All flea and tick control products are for external use only! That means do not under any circumstances put these products down your dog's throat. You want to make sure that you keep your applications away from your pet's reach.

You don't want to use any of the following flea and tick treatments on puppies under 7 weeks old, and you want to consult your vet before applying the treatment to dogs that are debilitated, aged, on medication, pregnant, or nursing.

Generally sensitivities to the following products are pretty rare, but if you notice any signs of a reaction or sensitivity after applying the flea and tick product, you want to notify your veterinarian if the signs persist and/or worsen.

Warning for the first 30 minutes after applying the product do not let your dog lick himself or another dog, as oral ingestion can cause depression, salivation, dilated pupils, in-coordination, panting, and generalized muscle tremors. For dogs that have an avermectin sensitivity, you may see coma or death, so definitely consult your veterinarian if you have any questions.

General adverse reactions include:

  • Itching
  • Residue
  • Medicinal Odor
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Hyperactivity
  • Skin Irritation

Below you'll find the most popular flea and tick medications for dogs as well as a few natural alternatives. Check out and compare the ingredients as well as the effectiveness of the different products. If you have any questions or concerns ask your veterinarian for advice.

My personal advice is to stick with one brand once you find the one that works for your dog without irritating him.

Frontline Plus

Frontline says that their product kills 98%-100% of fleas within 18 hours and 98%-100% of ticks within 48 hours after the first application. Frontline Plus is supposed to continue to work for an entire month, preventing fleas and ticks from latching on and swarming your pet.

The ingredients in Frontline Plus are meant to kill flea larvae and eggs that can potentially grow to re-infest your dog, and potentially cause harmful diseases and illness.

Frontline Plus ingredients:

81.4% Other Ingredients

9.8% Fipronil

8.8% (S)-Methoprene

Frontline Plus not only controls and prevents a flea and tick infestation, it controls and treats flea allergy dermatitis. This is the number one product that is recommended by most veterinarians as it is water resistant and easy to administer with it's spot-on application tube.

You can purchase Frontline Plus in either 3 and 6 month supply

Advantage for Dogs

Advantage Active Control claims to kill 98%-100% of fleas and flea larvae within 12 hours after the first application, and is supposed to keep the fleas off your dog for an entire month.

Advantage ingredients:

90.9% Inert Ingredients

9.1% Imidacloprid

The Advantage- Multi topical solution is supposed to not only prevent fleas, but it's also 100% effective for preventing heart worm disease, hookworm infection, and roundworm infection caused by Toxascaris leonina, as well as 98.2% effective towards roundworm infection caused by Toxocara canis, and 98.6% effective against whipworm infection caused by Trichuris vulpis.

Advantage Multi ingredients:

87.5% Inert Ingredients

10% Imidacloprid

2.5% Moxidectin

You can purchase Advantage Active Control and Advantage Multi in 4, 6, and 12 month supply.

K-9 Advantix

I'm sure you've all seen the cute lab puppy running around singing "Ain't no bugs on me."

The product is meant to kill 98%-100% of fleas within the first 12 hours after the first application and keep fleas off for an entire month, until the next application. The product, also, repels and kills deer ticks (carriers of Lyme Disease), American Dog Ticks (carriers of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever), Brown Dog Ticks (carriers of ehrlichiosis), and Lone Star Ticks. Advantix is, also, the only product that repels and kills mosquitoes, which carry the West Nile Virus.

K-9 Advantix ingredients:

47.2% Other Ingredients

44% Permethrin

8.8% Imidacloprid

Advantix markets themselves as being highly effective even after repeated baths and swims. Yes, Frontline is water-proof, but after tested Advantix still kills about 97.9-100% of ticks and about 92.5-100% of fleas after swimming, and it kills about 97.4%-100% of fleas and ticks after a bath.

You can purchase K-9 Advantix in 4, 6, and 12 month supply.

Over the Counter Flea and Tick Control

You want to be very cautious about applying over the counter flea and tick prevention on your dog. Although, vet approved products can serve medical concerns, you really want to watch the over the counter versions.

Brands like Hartz and 8-in-1 should be avoided, as they pose the most risk to your pet. The brand may not affect your larger dog, but for smaller dogs and cats, you'll want to be weary. For the most part, though, Hartz has already recalled the unsafe products, which were cat flea and tick medications, but I would still use their products with great caution.

Don't always purchase the cheapest flea and tick prevention you can find, as it's your pet's health that is in your hands.

Flickr image by Digressive
Flickr image by Digressive
Flickr image by JenWaller
Flickr image by JenWaller

All Natural Flea and Tick Prevention

As for homemade flea and tick prevention check out these two recipes; they're both simple to make and use.

Lemon Spray: D-limonene is a natural flea repellent that you can extract from lemons.


1 large lemon and 1 pint water


  • Slice the entire lemon, to include the peel, and add it to the 1 pint of boiling water and let it steep overnight.
  • On the following morning, you can sponge the solution onto your dog's coat.
  • You may also consider pouring the solution into a clean spray bottle, so that you can use the spray for frequent, even daily, applications.

Herbal Powder:


Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Lavender, Fennel, Yellow dock, Pennyroyal


  • In equal parts, combine as many of the herbs as you can.
  • Put the mix in a jar with a shaker lid, such as a salt shaker.
  • Pull your dog's fur backward and sprinkle the powder onto the base of the hairs. Apply the powder sparingly and pay close attention to your dog's neck, back, and belly.
  • Put the dog outside for a while so that the fleas can jump off your dog's body.


Disclaimer: Please be aware that the advice in this article should in no way replace that of a licensed veterinarian. The methods outlined above may or may not work for your pet. If you have any concerns, you should consult a veterinarian.


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    • SallyTX profile image

      Sally Branche 6 years ago from Only In Texas!

      Good information and great alternatives for finding good flea and tick products! Linked, voted up & useful! :)

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      Very interesting. I'll have to check out that hub.

    • hglick profile image

      hglick 9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Yes it can be used for cats and dogs and they even use it for farm animals. There is also an edible form that is placed in grain. I just finished a hub about it where I included more information.

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      hglick that was an interesting article. Do they make the product for dogs as well?

    • hglick profile image

      hglick 9 years ago from Ronkonkoma, NY

      Whitney - I love your pooch's facial expression. 

      I have a bunch of felines at home, and some of the chemical treatments like frontline and advantage are no longer effective on them. They also cause one of my older cats, Gracie, to hiss when I apply them. Recently, I did some research on fleas and found that a non-chemical applicant called Diatomaceous earth seems to work very nicely. The only drawback is that it  turns my cats into powdered doughnuts temporarily and can be messy. I've written a small article about it at

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      Rachel, I haven't tried the lemon spray yet, but I'm going to try it out this weekend when I purchase a lemon. But I've tried the herbal powder; I felt like I was preparing a dinner with all the spices. lol. I'm not sure how well it has worked as I applied a flea control and flea combed the dog. I did realize few fleas on him though, but I'm not sure if that was because of the flea control or the powder.

    • RachelOrd profile image

      Rachel Ord 9 years ago from Palm Coast

      I currently use Frontline Plus and have neverhad an issue with fleas or ticks using it, but I don't like the idea of putting those chemicals right on my doggies skin! I appreciate the Natural Prevention tips as an alternative. I think I will try this next time and see how it works for him. Thanks!

    • Whitney05 profile image

      Whitney 9 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you for your comment and the thumbs up.

    • Health Conscious profile image

      Health Conscious 9 years ago from South Florida - USA

      As a newbie to Hubpages I am doggone amazed at the shear amount of well researched and written information on so many subjects - Who needs google.

      Thank you for going indepth about the reactions to the chemical products and providing recipes for natural alternatives. 

      I have a hope that new innovations will find natural concoctions which will be as effective. 

      I definitely gave this hub a thumbs up