Advantage Flea Treatment: Complete Buying Guide

Advantage Flea Treatment: Does it Really Give your Pet an Advantage?

australian cattle dog looking up

Fleas are pesky little bugs, aren’t they? They get ahold of your pet and feast on him until you are able to do something about it. There are many ways you can prevent your dog from suffering from fleas in the first place, however not all products are equal.

Advantage is one of many different types of “on-spot” flea treatments out there and it’s one of the best. However, there are a few things you should know…

Advantage VS Advantage II

What’s the difference between Advantage and Advantage II? Well, the first big difference is that Bayer no longer produces the original formula for Advantage. Advantage II is the only version of this product that you should be able to find.

If you do find the older version of the Advantage formula you should know a couple of things. For one, the product might be expired already or it is produced by a different company.

golden retriever outdoorsThe second thing is that the original formula will only kill fleas – it will not protect against eggs that the fleas may have laid in your dog’s coat.

This is the main reason that Bayer created Advantage II, which completely breaks the flea cycle. The active ingredients will not only kill any existing fleas (generally 98-100% within 2-4 hours) but it will also prevent any fleas from hatching or returning to your dog.

The difference between the two may be why you or someone you know had a bad experience with Advantage in the past. When Advantage came on the shelves, there were products like Frontline already out.

Those products were prepared to kill fleas, eggs, and larva where Advantage was not. This, unfortunately, may have left a bad reputation for Advantage not working as well as it should. The real reason was simply that it was not effective against the entire cycle.

With the improvements that came with Advantage II were exactly what the original formula was missing to satisfy owners and dogs alike!

On the other hand, if you live in an area where ticks are prevalent then you may want to try another product as neither Advantage nor Advantage II will kill or prevent ticks.

How It Works

Advantage works like any other “on-spot” treatment. (First of all, if you’ve never heard of a “spot-on” treatment, this simply means that the medication is absorbed through the skin.)

It’s very simple, all you have to do is take the tube of medication, part your pet’s fur and squeeze out the treatment.

The amount of medication your dog needs will vary depending on weight. (For example, a 15lb dog will need a single dose, while a larger 120lb dog may need as many as three doses for the medication to be fully effective.)

You should talk to your vet if you are unsure of exactly how much to apply.

Your best bet is the put the treatment between the dog’s shoulder blades where it will be difficult to get to by licking. If your dog is a larger breed that needs multiple applications, you should apply along the back in a “line” as it were between their shoulders and their tail.

Your dog’s fur will seem oily where you applied the medication – this is normal and will go away within a few hours. This treatment is waterproof, which means you do not have to worry about a bath or a swim washing the treatment away.

Easy Monthly Treatments

boarder collie on the grassSpot-on flea treatments are almost all going to last a standard of 30 days and Advantage is no exception.

This treatment is effective within 2-4 hours when it comes to killing fleas your pet may already have and it will easily last the full 30 days from treatment.

If you keep up on the treatment, you will likely never have to worry about pesky little fleas.

By keeping up on a routine of a once-a-month dose then you will be continuing to prevent more fleas from choosing your pet as host as well as preventing any eggs from hatching.

These products are much more reliable than any flea collar you can buy – so instead of turning to alternative and cheaper products like flea collars, stick to what you know works. Advantage will continue working as long as you make sure your dog gets his monthly dose!

Possible Side Effects

Most of the time, dogs will experience no side effects from on-spot treatments like this one. On occasion, however, there may be a dog with sensitive skin that does not react well to the medication.

If your dog shows signs of sensitivity or irritation of the skin in the area where Advantage was applied you should contact your vet. Generally, however, there is nothing to worry about and many dogs are perfectly fine after every treatment.

The Pros and Cons

As with any product, this is not a perfect fit for anyone.

The Pros:

  • Lasts 30 days
  • Kills fleas and larva
  • Prevents eggs from hatching
  • Easy to use treatment
  • FDA approved

The Cons:

  • Not effective against ticks
  • May need multiple doses for larger dogs
  • Not effective after 30 days if treatment is missed

Overall, Advantage II is one of the better products on the market when it comes to treating fleas and breaking the flea cycle. With collars and flea baths you will only be half as effective as you are only killing live fleas.

Since this on-spot treatment will actively kill fleas and their larva and eggs it is far more effective. It is also one of the quickest treatments to be effective, killing nearly all live fleas within 2-4 hours of application.

Your dog will stop itching right away and as long as you keep up with the once-monthly treatment, he will not have to worry about it again! What more can you ask for in a flea treatment?

Read more of what Nina has to say about Advantage vs Advantix.

Click Here to see more about Advantage vs Frontline.


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