Frontline Plus for Dogs is a topical flea treatment that kills both adult and developing fleas. It is also effective on ticks and chewing lice. Frontline Plus is applied monthly by squeezing liquid from a tube between a dog's shoulder blades. Most users find this process fairly easy, but some say that it can be messy or that their dogs dislike having it applied.
Users are divided over how effective Frontline Plus is; while most say it works well, some complain that it never worked at all or that it stopped working after a long period of use. Also, although Frontline Plus is available online without a prescription, many users report that the products they bought online turned out to be counterfeit or past their expiration date. Side effects from this medication in dogs are rare and seldom serious. However, there is some evidence that fipronil, one of the ingredients in Frontline Plus, may pose heath risks for humans. If this is a serious concern for you, you might prefer to treat your dog with an oral medication, such as Capstar for Dogs and Cats (*Est. $30 for six doses), or for dogs over 25 pounds, Capstar for Dogs (*Est. $30 for six doses). Be aware, however, that this product kills adult fleas only, so it will take multiple doses -- or a combination of products -- to wipe out a flea infestation.
We found evaluations of Frontline Plus for Dogs from veterinarians at Dogster.com and at the websites of Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital and Main Street Pet Care. SimpleSteps.org, a website on flea control products sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), evaluates this product's toxicity, and the Veterinary Partner website also discusses its safety and efficacy. We found more than 1,600 reviews of Frontline Plus for Dogs from pet owners at Amazon.com and Petco.com. An online pet pharmacy, 1800PetMeds.com, has thousands of reviews for Frontline Plus, but they cover both the dog and cat versions of the product.
1. Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital
Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital is located in West Carrollton, Ohio. The vets there recommend Frontline Plus for Dogs, which kills 96 percent of fleas within 24 hours and remains effective for at least one month, they say. They also say this product has "a wide safety margin."
Review: Flea Control, Staff of Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital
2. Main Street Pet Care
Main Street Pet Care in Joplin, Mo., prefers oral flea remedies to topical treatments. Although it considers some topical remedies acceptable, it is unimpressed with Frontline Plus for Dogs, saying it "does not effectively control flea reproduction."
Review: Flea and Tick Control, Staff of Main Street Pet Care
Dogster.com is an online resource for everything related to dogs and dog care. In this blog entry, veterinarian Eric Barchas discusses the safety of various flea control treatments. He says that Frontline Plus for Dogs is one of several flea treatments that have "very low rates of adverse reactions," and the reactions are rarely severe.
Review: Vet Blog Discusses Safety and Efficacy of Flea Control Products, Eric Barchas, May 26, 2010
SimpleSteps.org is sponsored by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), an environmental action group. In this website's directory of flea products, Frontline Plus for Dogs earns a risk rating of two paws, meaning moderate risk. Most other topical treatments receive the same rating, while oral flea treatments are considered lower risk.
Review: GreenPaws Flea and Tick Products Directory, Editors of SimpleSteps.org
VeterinaryPartner.com is a resource for the veterinary industry. In this article, veterinarian Carol S. Foil compares the various flea control products on the market. Foil says Frontline Plus for Dogs is effective on both adult fleas and their eggs.
Review: Flea Control, Carol S. Foil
There are more than 2,900 user reviews of Frontline Plus at this online pet pharmacy, but they include reviews for both the dog and cat versions of the product. Reviews are mixed, giving Frontline Plus an overall rating of 3.4 stars out of 5. Although most owners find it easy to use, several complain that it doesn't work or loses its effectiveness over time.
Review: Frontline Plus, Contributors to 1800PetMeds.com
We found more than 1,200 user reviews for Frontline Plus for Dogs at Amazon.com, where it earns an overall rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars. Most dog owners find this product effective, but some say their dogs still have fleas. On the plus side, reports of adverse effects are rare.
Review: Merial Frontline Plus Flea and Tick Control for 45- to 88-Pound Dogs and Puppies, 6 Month, Contributors to Amazon.com
Frontline Plus for Dogs receives more than 480 reviews from users at Petco.com. It has a strong overall rating of 4.5 stars, and nine out of 10 users say they would recommend it. The most common complaint is that the product loses its effectiveness over time.
Review: Frontline Plus for Dogs, Contributors to Petco.com