Advantage II for Dogs Review

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Advantage II for Dogs Review
Bottom Line

Advantage II for Dogs is a monthly, over-the-counter topical treatment that kills fleas at all stages of their life cycle: adults, eggs and larvae. It doesn't work for every dog, but reviews suggest it's more reliable than its chief rival, Frontline Plus for Dogs (Est. $35 and up for a three month supply). Unlike Frontline Plus, however, Advantage II doesn't work on ticks. Most owners find the product easy to apply, and side effects are rare.

Pros
  • Kills adult fleas, eggs and larvae
  • Highly effective
  • Side effects are rare
  • No prescription required
Cons
  • Leaves greasy residue
  • Doesn't kill ticks

Breaking it down

Effectiveness

Not perfect, but better than most. . Most dog owners find Advantage II for Dogs very effective saying it works fast to wipe out fleas. Many say that this product worked when Frontline Plus failed. However, some reviewers complain that this flea treatment was ineffective or stopped working before the month was up, requiring an extra dose. A few owners say Advantage II used to work for their dogs but no longer does. At Dogster.com, vet Eric Barchas says it's "almost inevitable" that fleas will eventually become resistant to this product, if they haven't already, but that can be an issue with most flea remedies. Still, he says Advantage II remains more effective than most treatments on the market.

Safety

Side effects are rare. We saw thousands of reviews for Advantage II from dog owners at various pet-product stores, and the vast majority of them say this product had no side effects. Only a handful of owners at Amazon.com say that their dogs had bad reactions to the drug, typically involving vomiting and diarrhea. It is important to keep the fluid out of the dog's eyes and mouth -- and out of your own as well. The product insert says to wash your hands thoroughly after applying and to call poison control if it's swallowed or gets in your eyes.

Ease of use

Leaves a greasy spot. Advantage II comes in a single-dose tube that you squeeze onto the dog's skin. Small dogs get the entire dose between the shoulder blades; on larger dogs, it's applied at three or four points along the back. In the reviews we consulted, owners don't describe any problems applying it to their dogs. However, a few complain that it leaves a persistent, greasy residue on the dog's fur.

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Merial Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for 5-22 Pound Dogs and Puppies, 3-dose
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Our Sources

1. Amazon.com

Bayer Advantage II Topical Flea Treatment Dogs , Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2016

We found more than 1,815 reviews for Advantage II for Dogs at Amazon.com. Most dog owners find it effective, with many saying it works where other products fail. However, some owners say it didn't help their dogs or stopped working before the month was up. It earns a 4.2-star rating.

2. 1800PetMeds.com

Advantage II, Contributors to 1800PetMeds.com, As of May 2016

There are more than 2,750 user reviews of Advantage II at this online pet pharmacy, covering both the dog and cat versions of the product. Users give it 4.2 stars out of 5 overall, with 4.2 stars for effectiveness.

3. Petco.com

Advantage II Once-A-Month Topical Flea Treatment for Dogs & Puppies, Contributors to Petco.com, As of May 2016

Advantage II for Dogs 11 to 20 pounds (medium dog) receives over 270 reviews from dog owners at Petco.com. Its overall rating is 4.5 stars out of 5, with most owners granting it 5 stars. Owners largely find it effective, but some complain that it didn't work or lost its efficacy after about a week.

4. Dogster.com

Ask a Vet: Is Your Flea Control Product Hurting Your Dog?, Eric Barchas, April 2, 2013

Eric Barchas, a veterinarian with over a decade of experience, says Advantage II is one of the safest and most effective flea treatments for dogs. However, he warns that topical products like Advantage II can irritate the skin and may lose effectiveness as fleas become resistant to them.

5. SimpleSteps.org

GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory, Editors of SimpleSteps.org, Not Dated

This directory from the Natural Resources Defense Council gives Advantage II for Dogs a safety rating of two "paws" out of three, or medium risk. Editors note that its key ingredient, imidacloprid, shows signs of toxicity in rats but is generally classified as low risk for humans.