July 2010: Veterinarians and pet owners agree Advantage for Dogs is a highly effective topical flea-control treatment, which is applied between the dog's shoulder blades once a month. It kills most fleas within 12 hours and continues to kill fleas and larvae on contact for four weeks, even after shampoos, baths or exposure to rain and sun. If you want to kill fleas without the mess and risk of exposure to chemicals that a topical treatment poses, Capstar for Dogs and Cats (*Est. $30 for six doses) is an oral pill that costs less. For larger dogs (25 pounds and above), Capstar for Dogs (*Est. $30 for six doses) uses the same approach, but in a higher strength.
The three most convincing recommendations for Advantage for Dogs are from veterinarians like Larry Cohen of DrLarryPetVet.com and Eric Barchas at Dogster.com. We also found useful information about the toxicity of Advantage at SimpleSteps.com, a website sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental action group. Opinions from pet owners can be found on retail sites like 1800PetMeds.com, Amazon.com, Petco.com and PetSmart.com.
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Advantage for Dogs is listed in this website's directory of flea products, which focuses on risk levels and hazards. Like most topical flea treatments, Advantage has a risk level rating of two paws out of three, which means it should be used sparingly and not at all around pregnant women or children.
Review: GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory: Advantage, Editors of SimpleSteps.org
In this brief but helpful article, veterinarian Larry Cohen describes the pros and cons of three common topical anti-flea medications. He says Advantage is "very effective in killing fleas quickly" but has no effect on ticks. All three products receive equally high ratings, but Cohen says Advantage is the most effective against fleas.
Review: Flea and Tick Products, Larry Cohen
Dogster.com is a community website that gives expert dog advice. Veterinarian Eric Barchas addresses concerns about topical flea control products like Advantage for Dogs. He says Advantage, Frontline, Program and Capstar "have very low rates of adverse reactions," and rarely are they severe.
Review: Vet Blog Discusses Safety and Efficacy of Flea Control Products, Eric Barchas, May 26, 2010
This online retail site for pet supplies allows pet owners to rate products and write reviews. Advantage for Dogs and Advantage for Cats have accumulated 750 reviews that are grouped together. You can change the sort order by pet type, but it is still cumbersome because cat reviews are all listed first. Advantage is the highest-rated product on the site.
Review: Advantage, Contributors to 1800PetMeds.com
Advantage for Dogs has accumulated more than 100 reviews by pet owners here. The consensus is that it works fast and effectively. About 10 negative reviews say it either didn't work or fleas reappeared before a month had passed.
Review: Advantage Topical Flea Treatment for Dogs, Contributors to Amazon.com
Pet owners can rate products and write reviews about pet products at Petco.com. Though there is less feedback than on the sites listed above, most posting here say Advantage for Dogs has worked for years and is better than other flea treatments.
Review: Advantage Once-a-Month Topical Flea Treatment for Dogs & Puppies, Contributors to Petco.com
This retailer of pet supplies recommends Advantage and K9 Advantix, but we don't know the basis for that opinion. Advantage for Dogs has a perfect rating, but from only a couple of reviewers who fail to write any comments.
Review: Flea Control Products, Contributors to PetSmart.com