Frontline Plus, K9 Advantix and Advantage… Which Is The Best Flea & Tick Preventative?

Flea and tick preventatives that I have used Wondering about the differences between all of the flea & tick preventatives that are available these days?

I have firsthand experience using 3 of them:

  • Frontline Plus
  • K9 Advantix
  • Advantage

I review each of them below…



(for fleas, ticks)

The Claims:
Offers the long-lasting, most complete flea and tick control available, killing 100% of fleas on your pet within 12 hours and 100% of ticks on your pet within 48 hours.

Best of all, research confirms that Frontline works for an entire month to help keep your pet flea-free.


My Opinion:

I used Frontline Plus on my dogs for years… until my vet made the decision to switch to K9 Advantix.

We never saw a flea or a tick on our dogs the entire time we were using Frontline Plus.

Watch the latest Frontline Plus commercial!




K9 Advantix

(for fleas, ticks, mosquitoes)The Claims:
For the topical prevention and treatment of fleas, mosquitoes and ticks including deer ticks (the major carrier of Lyme disease), American dog ticks, Brown dog ticks and lone star ticks. K9 Advantix kills and repels fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.

My Opinion:
What makes K9 Advantix so different is it has permethrin in it. Permethrin will kill and repel just about anything. (It’s the same chemical they use to fog dog kennels and horse barns to kill fleas, ticks, flies and practically everything else.) However, we live in an area where ticks are problem, and our dogs have actually had a couple of ticks (either attached or embedded under their skin) while on this product. It does appear that the ticks were shriveled up and dead by the time we spotted them.

Watch the latest K9 Advantix commercial!





(for fleas)The Claims:

Stops fleas from biting in three to five minutes, and starts killing fleas withing an hour. Within 12 hours of initial application, 98-100% of all existing fleas on pets are dead.

My Opinion:
I used Advantage on my dogs for a short time, but it didn’t make sense not to protect them against ticks and mosquitoes as well, so I switched to K9 Advantix instead. If money is an issue, and/or you’ve only got a really bad flea problem that you’re trying to combat fast, then you might want to try Advantage first.

Watch the latest Advantage commercial!




So Which Is The Best?… My Overall Summary

I think we’re going to go back to Frontline Plus.

While I like that K9 Advantix also repels fleas and (especially) ticks… I don’t think it repels them a full 30 days. Frontline Plus seemed to be more effective on my dogs during the entire 30-day period. And since we use Heartgard (to prevent heartworms from mosquito bites), we don’t actually need the mosquito preventative that Advantix has.

I’ll post an update if we notice any other differences.

Another great product worth considering if you have a flea problem is Frontline Spray. It comes highly recommended by a veterinarian that I listen to on weekend radio. According to veterinarian Carey Carver who appears regularly on Pet Talk with Harrison Forbes, (on on 99.7 WTN), Frontline Spray can be used by itself weekly or even daily, if necessary. Or, you could also use with any of the other preventative measures, including the Advantix col
lar (which only works for ticks, but it works well). Veterinarians often use it to treat a flea problem on-the-spot in the vet’s office.

More about Frontline Spray.


No Fleas?… Reasons To Still Use A Preventative!

We’ve been very fortunate. We have never had a problem with fleas on any of our dogs.

Each year our vet verifies this for us: STILL NO FLEAS!

Therefore, we use a flea & tick preventative for 2 reasons:

1. Mostly, to prevent fleas from the neighbors’ dogs from jumping onto our dogs; and

2. To keep ticks off the dogs in the summer months (…because we live in an area where ticks are quite prevalent).

Here is a veterinarian’s take on heartworm preventatives… Part I and Part II.

And finally, here are some tips on how to apply a flea & tick preventative.

Lynnette Walczak

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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Fun From Around the Web

  • Tamara
    • Diane Harlan

      K-9 Advantix sent our Aussie to the emergency vet…any breed with sensitivities or allergies should avoid Advantix.

  • Hawaii

    i was interested in your opinion of the mosquito protection, possibly forgoing the use of Heartgard.

  • trish

    My dogs never had fleas until I moved into the house I am now in, 4 yrs. ago and they’ve had them ever since. The carpet and floors were all new so I assume they came from the yard which was not fenced at the time. I had the dogs, the house, and the yard all treated twice last year and of course they were back this year with a vengance. I had them on Program and Capstar then switched them to Frontline Plus after speaking to my vet. They have had 2 doses now and it has never gotten rid of even a signigicant amount of the fleas on either dog. They are just miserable. I googled the most recommended topical flea med by vets and it looks like K9 Advantage won out by quite a margin. I hate to waste 2 doses of Frontline, it was buy 3 get one free, but it sounds like I need to switch to Advantage to give them some relief. The carpets are being cleaned today and then the house is being sprayed and defogged tomorrow. The exterminator said it was too hot to spray the back yard, so I guess we’ll do that if it ever cools off. If it sounds like I’m doing anything wrong please let me know. I’m sick and tired of spending $$$ and having miserable dogs. Thanks for everyone’s opinions. They were very helpful!

  • Adragonam

    My dog Major used to have seizures if applied either advantage or Frontline

  • Jm

    Several years ago, Advantage (for Cats) made my cat VERY dazed, confused and basically in a state of shock – it was very upsetting to me that I had foisted an unhealthy product upon her. The support people said that it was from the “alcohol” in the product but it took at least 3 days for her to get back to normal.

    Then I switched to Frontline and I didn’t seem to have any similar reaction. However, recent animal deaths and tens of thousands of negative reports have prompted the EPA to mandate stronger warning labels. BE CAREFUL WITH ALL OF THESE PRODUCTS!

    • Feedback71

      Is it possible that you used K9 Advantix? It contains Permethrin and I have read that it is highly toxic to cats.

  • Becky69boo

    Frontline didnt work for any of my pets.

  • Kim Martinez


  • Sidroj7

    I have been using Frontline Plus on my cat and my dog for the past three months (correctly, I might add) and the fleas are still running rampant on both.  My vet suggested Advantage for the cat and Advantix for the dog.  She says that people have been complaining that Frontline is not working as well as it used to work.  I’m almost sold!  On my way to Petco for Advantage…

  • Staffiez

    I don’t rate the treatment mentioned as I believe the flea can build up a tolerance to the ingredients. I bath our dogs once a month using Aloe Vera conditioner. Also I water down some Aloe Vera conditioner to use as a spray to use a few times a week………. So far, No Fleas, (our dogs are 12, 7 & 4 years old)    

    • Monica Reinhart

      can cats be bathed in this and sprayed with it?

  • Cepillin1183

    Like all preventative medication, IT IS CRUCIAL to cycle you’re pets medications. Fleas, ticks and the like do build a resistance. While you may find you medication of choice is effective at first, with time these results will lessen. It only takes a few fleas/ticks that are strong enough to resist a medication. These ticks/fleas will then have resistant offspring and soon you medications seems “to have lost it’s power”. THUS, cycle between 2 or more medications. 1 or 2 months Frontline, then switch 1-2 months Advantage. I cycle these two and with a heart worm topical and this wipes out all fleas/thicks. The ones that can survive one medication will get wiped out by the other. I also make sure to take them off completely during the winter (November-February) to give my cats a break. During theese months you might apply one of those “all natural/organic” flea treatments (and only if needed, though I never had to).

    • Monica Reinhart

      the fleas in NC are terrible right now and at least since last month, and it’s the middle of January. It seems to be the time I need flea preventatives the most. So why are people stating that they cease the meds in the winter?

      • FunTimesGuide

        Most cease the meds in the winter because it’s generally believed that temperatures below freezing will kill fleas.

        Here are some facts about the flea’s “inability to survive exposure to temperatures below 30.2 F (–1C) for more than five days in any life stage”:

  • Cheryl Young Schad

    I have been using Comfortis on my dogs, which is a pill taken once a month. It used to work but the last time I noticed that my dogs are still scratching and I find fleas on them. I am looking for some relief for the poor dogs! Help!

    • FunTimesGuide

      If you read thru the other comments here, you’ll see that many have found that repeated use of any one product usually becomes less effective over time. Most recommend switching brands when that happens.

  • Janejoseph

    I’m surprised to read your favorable evaluation of Frontline products. I live in Austin, Tx. The fleas are brutal. Frontline was completely ineffective for my dogs and cats. When I asked around at the dog park, they, too, found Frontline a wasted effort. Could region play a part? Advantage on the other hand, is the only one that seems to work for my pets. Advantix lasts all of two weeks.

    • FunTimesGuide

      Janejoseph – Yep, region plays a role. So does what you’ve been using up til now… and for how long. Every single one of these products becomes less effective over time – a resistance builds up. That’s how you know it’s time to switch to a different product 😀

  • Julie

    Hi Everyone! We used to leave in Bellingham Wa. We have a shitzu 6 years old. We moved to Texas (Mission) for a year. When we got there the vet. told us that we should give trifexis to our dog to prevent heart warm. We gave that medication for almost a year. Now we are living in Mexico. Last time that I gave trifexis to our dog was 45 days ago. There is no trifexis here in Mexico. The Vet. told me to get Frontline that will help against fleas and also mosquitos that could cause the heart warm. I´m so confused and concern. I don´t know what to give to my Dog. If anybody could please help me I´ll appreciated. Thanks a lot.

  • Nelly Jason

    I run a review blog & I have been a vet for more than 6 years. From my experience all I can say is that there is no competition for Frontline Plus. Most of negative reviews I read about Frontline Plus shows me that Frontline Plus gives negative results mostly because of counterfeited products. Otherwise throughout my career, more than 90% of reviews about Frontline Plus has been positive for me. Although K9 Advantix and Advantage are also awesome, I would prefer Frontline Plus over it.

  • FunTimesGuide

    Cc Cecile – Due to the potency of the ingredients in flea and tick products, I personally wouldn’t do anything OTHER than what the instructions say on the box. But I would also ask a veterinarian – for their professional opinion – and would probably do what they recommend. That’s just me…