Advantage II vs. Frontline Plus


Welcome to our latest installment of spot-on topical flea treatment reviews with this edition featuring a face-off between Advantage II vs. Frontline Plus. For each respective product line, these are their top offerings that you should seriously consider when trying to find the best flea and tick control for your dog.

What Does Advantage II Offer You?

Advantage II is manufactured by Bayer, the German drug and pharmaceutical company that also sells Bayer Aspirin with a legendary reputation for quality and effectiveness. Advantage II offers consumers a product that almost focuses exclusively on killing fleas and the entire flea lifecycle. This is accomplished through the use of imidacloprid and an insect growth regulator called pyriproxyfen. Insect growth regulators artificially elevate the levels of juvenile growth hormone to stunt the metamorphosis that occurs when a flea egg turns into larvae and then into pupae.

It also kills lice.

What Does Frontline Plus Offer You?

Frontline Plus is a more comprehensive flea AND tick control treatment solution for you and your canine. Manufactured by Merial, it contains fipronil (the active ingredient that kills adult fleas, lice and ticks) and (S)-methoprene (the active ingredient used to kill flea eggs and larvae).

Without question, Frontline Plus is the superior product in raw terms of efficacy and killing power.

Product Pricing

Generally speaking, Bayer has positioned the Advantage II product as a price play for those considering K9 Advantix II (another Bayer offering) and Frontline Plus. Since Advantage II does not contain a chemical to kill ticks, it is usually priced lower than Frontline Pus and Advantix II.

Miscellaneous Differences

Bayer packages the Advantage and Advantix products nearly identically with both coming in packs of 4, 6 and 12 applicators and with the same weight band breakdown. Frontline has packages in the applicator quantities of 3, 6 and 12. Frontline Plus also breaks their weight ranges into different segments. Thus, if you have used one product and are planning to switch to the other, be careful of these differences.

Advantage II, just like its cousin Advantix II, have more fluid in their applicators versus Frontline Plus. For dogs ranging in weight from 23-44 lbs., Frontline Plus contains 1.34 ml of medicine in its applicators. However, Advantage II contains nearly twice that amount with 2.5 ml in its applicators for dogs weighing 21-55 lbs.

Directions for Frontline Plus asks owners to distribute the entire contents of the applicator in one spot on the dog on the back of the neck and between the shoulder blades. Bayer recommends the placement of Advantage II in multiple spots along the back your pooch.

It is quite common to read online reviews of Frontline Plus users citing the presence of a greasy spot in the area where they applied the treatment. This could be attributable to the application of the entire contents in one spot and also to the consistency of the topical medicine that might be a touch thicker than Advantage.

My Recommendations

Advantage II vs. Frontline Plus: The winner is Frontline Plus, unless…

  1. If you have been using Frontline Plus or Advantage II for an extended duration of time on your dog, I would consider switching off of the Frontline (vice-versa) and using a Bayer product like Advantage II that has a different formulation so that your dog and the fleas in your environment do not build up a tolerance or immunity to the treatment. Just make sure you don’t jump over to another product that has similar active ingredients (i.e. contains fipronil) like Sentry Fiproguard Max or Parastar Plus.
  2. If you use a tick specific product like a Preventic collar specifically designed to target ticks then I would select Advantage II (please consult with your veterinarian to ensure your products do not conflict in anyway or harm your animal when used in concernt).
  3. If you do not live in an area where you are concerned about ticks then I would select Advantage II over Frontline Plus on cost savings alone.
  4. If money is tight and you are on a budget fixed income, I would choose Advantage II over Frontline Plus.
  5. Personally, my concern for ticks and the diseases they carry are too great for me to ignore and an extra $10-12 bucks for Frontline Plus versus Advantage II over a six-month period is simply not that big of a deal to me and worth the added protection.