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.
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 product 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.
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.
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.
Advantage II for Dogs Reviews
There are more than 2,870 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 and 4.6 stars for ease of use.
Review: Advantage II, Contributors to 1800PetMeds.com, As of March 2015
We found more than 1,090 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.
Review: Bayer Advantage II Topical Flea Treatment Dogs, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2015
Advantage II for Dogs receives over 380 reviews from dog owners at Petco.com. Its overall rating is 4.3 stars out of 5, and 86 percent of users recommend it. While most owners find it effective, some complain that it didn't work or lost its efficacy after about a week.
Review: Advantage II Once-A-Month Topical Flea Treatment for Dogs & Puppies, Contributors to Petco.com, As of March 2015
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.
Review: Ask a Vet: Is Your Flea Control Product Hurting Your Dog?, Eric Barchas, April 2, 2013
5. Mid Hudson Animal Hospital
Vets at Mid Hudson Animal Hospital in Hyde Park, N.Y., recommend Advantage (a precursor to Advantage II that kills only adult fleas) for treating fleas in dogs. They say it's more reliable than Frontline, but it won't kill ticks; for treating fleas and ticks, they recommend K9 Advantix II.
Review: Recommendations for Flea Control, Staff of Mid Hudson Animal Hospital, 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.
Review: GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory, Editors of SimpleSteps.org, Not Dated