Do Frontline Products Really Work?

Do Frontline Products Really Work?
2.6 (52.78%) 36 votes

Does Frontline work?Frontline has a solid reputation among pet owners, but how good is it really at controlling fleas and ticks on your cat or dog? To find out we analyzed the massive amounts of feedback that has been coming in from real pet owners that have tried this. So let’s find out if it really works or not.

Many pets run the risk of getting fleas, and once they’ve got them it can be hard to get rid of them. Often it’s nothing that you are doing or not doing as the owner, and it can occur even if you are properly bathing your dog and keeping them well groomed. Fleas don’t care whether your dog or cat is clean or gets brushed regularly, they’ll just jump on at the first opportunity they get.

Many vets recommend going with a once a month treatment like this rather than a flea collar or a flea bath because it provides protection all over, and has been designed not to be irritating to your pet. It’s also far more comfortable for your pet, because they just have to sit still for a bit, and then they’re back to their normal daily routine.

The Claim
Frontline says that it can kill fleas on your pet in just 12 hours after giving it to them, and it can kill ticks up to 48 hours later. They say that the product just needs to be applied in one area, and then will spread over the rest of the body and onto the hair by traveling with your pet’s natural body oils on their skin.

The Hype
There was a pretty heavy advertising campaign a while back when Frontline first came out that helped to establish it as the leading flea and tick product for pets. Those promotional efforts worked very well, and now most people consider it to be the go-to treatment option when they start to see their pets scratching.

The Cost
Frontline Plus is about $60, which should last you up to 6 months, making this a rather affordable treatment option.

The Commitment
Each dose should last you a month, so you only have to commit to applying this once monthly, which many owners feel that they can keep up with. Just be sure to put it on your calendar because it can be next to impossible to remember the last time you gave the treatment. Compared to your other options, which there aren’t many, this represents a very low commitment level, and this product is designed as much for owners as it is for pets. You’ll love being able to treat your pet’s fleas in just a few minutes once a month.

After seeing a friend use Frontline on their cat, we saw firsthand that the cat had no fleas, and was an indoor/outdoor cat making them more susceptible. The reviews for Frontline and Frontline Plus are mixed, but the majority give it five stars and say that it works like a charm. This is actually pretty statistically significant, because this is a product that has been out for quite some time now, and has been tried by millions of pet owners, so there are thousands of people that have taken the time to report that it does work.

So how all of the people that say it doesn’t work be explained, if so many people are lauding its effectiveness? Looking more closely at the complains shows that some people did not receive the correct product, and are giving a review on something that is not Frontline. Others say that it did not work for ticks. There are so many factors at work here, including the different breeds of cats and dogs, the different types of ticks in different parts of the country. It would be impossible for a company to create a flea and tick product that worked on every single pet, in every single situation. This doesn’t even factor in user error, with owners not applying it correctly or missing applications.

Final Frontline Review

Frontline is getting a solid Try review from us based on the hundreds of users that say it works, as well as our own witnessing of a flea-free cat that uses it. Of course there is no guarantee that your specific pet will be a success story, but the odds are in your favor that if you use it as directed, and follow the application schedule, you should see great results.

Our Recommendation
You’ll want to use Frontline in an overall strategy of protecting your pet from fleas and ticks. Because it’s just something you need to do once a month, most people have no trouble keeping up with it. Some people wonder if they can give the next dose before the month is up, but it’s not recommended to do so because they are meant to last the full month’s time.

buy it

What do you think? Does Frontline work or not?


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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

piper July 15, 2012 at 3:09 am

It does not work.Don’t waste your money.


Hunter September 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm

I don’t know if it just bad luck or if we have lazy pet owners in my neighborhood, but my dog gets fleas every time we go to the local dog park. I’ve come to a conclusion that it’s better to just have my dog always protected around the year for her sake and mine. Frontline looks really easy to use so it’ll be good for both me and my dog.


Mary Parsons July 10, 2013 at 2:41 am

Frontline is a good product. I have used it on both a cat and a dog and found it to be very effective. I am very sensitive to flea bites so I know if there is a problem. Frontline is easy to use and the cost is in line with other similar products. You get stickers to place on your calendar so you will remember when you need to apply the product. If your pet is outside a lot, you really do need to use some sort of topical flea and tick product. Frontline has been a trusted brand for years so it is worth the cost to me…my dog has no fleas and I am grateful!


Alex Manea July 10, 2013 at 6:55 am

I have tried Frontline and almost every other product out there, but my dog still gets fleas. From my experience I can tell you that a big part of the problem isn’t the product, but the length of the dog’s hair. I have a Maltese and up until a month ago it had long hair. I had to check him after every walk and I usually found at least 2 fleas on him. Now that I’ve gone to the vet and cut it short, I still find one or two, but I have to check him once every 2 or 3 days. Frontline does have an advantage over most of the other products in my opinion. My dog is flea free for the first week to 10 days after applying it. With other products this lasts less than a week. So I’d recommend using Frontline, but if you see your dog scratching check him, as he will most likely have a flea. On the other hand, I have never found a tick on him.


Vicky January 11, 2014 at 7:40 pm

I have 2 Shih Tzu using Front Line plus for 2 years, recently, they come from there walk with Fleas
and ticks I bathe them regular and monthly application of frontline plus. Its really discouraging to find now the pest on them daily


Cherry April 18, 2016 at 2:56 am

If you bathe your dog too many times after application then you are washing off the preventative flea killer you are using, no mater what brand it is. You are only supposed to wash a pet once a month, unless they get into something and definitely need it. Try only washing your pet the day before you apply the flea killer and then do the dry dog batj wipes to clean the outter fur the rest of the month.


jason January 12, 2015 at 9:11 pm

I used front line on my dog that had a couple of fleas, still had fleas 2 days later


chuck greene April 14, 2015 at 10:21 am

According to my vet, this stuff does not kill ticks until they have been attached to your dog/cat fro 36 hours, seems to me any damage from Lymes or Bebeosis has already taken affect…


Pat P. September 30, 2015 at 3:18 am

Frontline didn’t work for any of my 3 cats. I called the company, and they said to give it more time. Two months, not working, was enough. I, also, do not trust the safety of the toxic pesticides absorbed into my pets’ skin. One of them, had a huge patch of hair “burned off”, and she was very lethargic, vomited some, but survived the ordeal.

Many other dogs/cats have not been so lucky. In 2009, after receiving 45,000 complaints about severe adverse affects, including 600 deaths (those were just the ones reported), the EPA decided to require companies with “spot-on” flea killers, to increase their safety and warning labels, including advising humans to wear gloves. If they are unsafe for humans, why would we think they are okay for our pets? The smaller and younger animals were more susceptible to dangerous side effects–GI problems, seizures, severe skin reactions, etc.

Certainly, a major infestation of fleas can be a serious problem, but so can these chemicals. There are alternatives to these toxic chemicals, if you do your research. Some are much more effective and safer than others. I would try them first. If you still feel the need to chance using these pesticides, follow the directions carefully and make certain to use the correct dose for animal size and pet species. Don’t assume they are safe and harmless, either.


Sheila October 12, 2015 at 10:16 am

Frontline Plus only worked after a couple days the first time I used it in years on my dog. She’s a 3 year old Chug (half Chihuahua half Pug). After that I was seriously worried when every few seconds she was scratching after waiting 2 weeks. We have treated the house. I am wits end trying to find an effective product for my baby, and think that you should not have to wait for 2-3 months of use before it becomes more effective. The product DID work after a couple days, she was scratching less, but after a few more, and had begun scratching more again. I understand it’s the life cycle of a flea. However, I have tried shampoos, dish soap, herbal remedies and am still having issues. I DO NOT recommend any product that does not have a shelf life date on it, because how do they know it’s not lost its effectiveness after a few years sitting on the shelf. Why should I or anyone pay $40-$60 for a 3 month supply that only works for 2-3 days and only after 24-48 hours? I understand that it works itself out over a 3 month supply you are only paying about $12-$20 per month, however if you think about it… I am paying WAY more money than that!!! Not only is that the cost of the product, but there is the shampoo to groom the dog, the products for the bedding and the floor, and then the products for the yard!!! This is an outrage! I believe that the fleas are adapting for the products and perhaps the company should re-evaluate their product… afterall they have been on the market for years. Furthermore, if I had realized to search online for reviews first, I would not have wasted my money purchasing the product. In Oklahoma, the product does not work for me, neither do ANY of the flea/tick shampoos or herbal remedies I have researched. I am going to continue to search for a product that works, but I refuse to subject my little baby to another drop of this chemical. If you are reading this to determine whether or not to use it, I’d seriously think about it for a long time if it’s REALLY worth your time, effort, money, and even LIFE of your pet.


Cherry April 18, 2016 at 3:01 am

Did you treat your yard? If you treat your pet and house but not your yard, or your yard but not the house, then you have waisted time and money. You have to treat the pet, house, and yard all in same time period for flea killing to be effective. Otherwise fleas are still able to get on your pet at any time. And if they keep gettin on your pet it will appear as tho its flea treatmemt isnt working.


Sherry June 7, 2017 at 6:07 pm

Front line does not say you have to treat your yard or house, although I do think you should. Frontline Plus also says kills fleas within 48 hrs which I have found not to be true. You almost have to use the 2nd does to get any results an those aren’t the best.


Renee October 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm

Frontline works for my two indoor cats. At first, it took a couple of months for it to reduce the number of fleas in our home. The key word is “reduce.” Fleas always find their way in, but they won’t multiply into an infestation.

I have to apply it every three weeks on the dot. If I miss that date, the fleas will certainly get worse.

It helps to use Frontline with other methods to reduce fleas such as vacuuming and washing pet’s bedding regularly.


Rebecca Threlfall October 30, 2015 at 4:54 pm

I was getting pills from a vets office. They would kill the fleas, but do nothing to the eggs, or anything else. So my cat would end up getting fleas again. The vet told me, since my cat never goes outside, he is getting them thru the windows from upstairs. I just put Frontline on him yesterday, so i will see if this works. Hopefully it does, as he is suffering due to the people upstairs, who do not care about their pet.,


dogman November 10, 2015 at 4:30 am

This article talks mostly about frontline’s effectiveness at controlling fleas, which I can’t really argue. My dog doesn’t have any issues with fleas thank god, but ticks on the other hand are a HUGE issue. I live in Upstate NY in a wooded area and there happens to be a big tick problem here and Frontline does very little if anything to repel ticks. I use this product every month as indicated, but I just pulled over 20 ticks off my dog, most of them still alive and sucking away. I have to do this ever other day. They are supposed to die after sucking the blood, but this doesn’t seem to be the case. Futhermore our dog has tested positive for Rocky Mountain Fever a tickborne disease even though we apply Frontline. So considering it’s hefty price – I do not consider $60 affordable as the author does – I don’t think it’s worth the price but I don’t know what else to do. Better than nothing I guess.


Frank January 9, 2016 at 9:58 pm

Frontline plus is worthless it attracts fleas , The company will not stand behind is products , Do not purchase this product .


Jack May 3, 2016 at 8:46 pm

My dog once was INFESTED with fleas after I left her with somebody for the weekend. We’re talking a swarm. I applied Frontline Plus and within HOURS all of the fleas were dead and I never had a problem again. So to all the people claiming it doesn’t work, I don’t know what is going wrong, but it worked wonders for my dog, almost IMMEDIATELY….


Anonymous Child September 26, 2016 at 6:56 pm

I don’t see how it worked immediately for you, I applied the product yesterday and I see absolutely NO results what so ever. If I’m looking at things right it looks like it got worse! They claim it’s supposed to work in 12 hours and I see no friggin good results. Very very disappointed.


Stacey Lynn December 22, 2017 at 10:38 am

Same here! My dogs had A LOT of fleas, I applied frontline to two dachshunds & my pit mix. I just checked all three dogs with a flea comb and they have no fleas! Love this stuff!


Shannon June 22, 2016 at 9:22 pm

YES..IT WORKS……we use Frontline Plus..have for many years—.and have never had an issue with fleas..on our dogs or cats… Our groomer did find one tick on our poodle last fall, but it was dead….so–it kills them too We apply it every 3 weeks…April thru September. We live in Ohio. The cats…you must apply it to their HEAD–just above the neck…..or they WILL lick it off…all of ours did –at first, until we changed application location.


bourneblogger June 25, 2016 at 4:19 am

I went to Florida with my dogs and they must’ve picked fleas up in a field along the highway while I was walking them. These things are truly the Devil’s pet. When I came back home I had a full blown infestation. I’ve been dealing with this for almost 2 months now – or rather my poor puppies have been dealing with it – while I’ve tried every cheap alternative, including dish soap baths, constant vacuuming (up to 3 times daily), salt in the carpets, home made flea traps, and anything else you can think of. I gave them a bath the other day and between the 2 of them had found 11 ticks in their bathwater that had fallen off. So last night I vacuumed the house everywhere. I even moved furniture out of the way to get behind night stands and under my bed. I then went out and bought a flea comb and Frontline Plus for 44 lb – 88 lb dogs. I applied the meds and then began combing, being careful not to touch the area I just applied the meds. After the first hour they were both still scratching. After the second hour the scratching reduced but they were still scratching and biting. We’re on the 3rd hour now and they’re both sleeping soundly. Tomorrow I’ll be vigilant again with vacuuming and the lawn is getting cut tomorrow, which they say exposes them to sunlight, and in 100 degree Texas heat that will kill them. So i’m keeping my fingers crossed that this will be the final chapter of this terrible ordeal.


Jim West July 27, 2016 at 4:00 pm

The directions say apply every 30 days. In another place it say 4 weeks and then they include stickers for 6 months, even though there are only 3 applications. No idea how often to apply. Email to FL went unanswered.


Sue C August 6, 2016 at 10:30 am

Thought I’d try Frontline Plus this time, even though it was quite expensive. I’m so sorry that I bothered as 4 days later my dogs are still battling fleas. The itching/digging is reduced some but not enough to make this product worthwhile. I’ll not buy this product again, it’s certainly not effective.


Cheryl August 31, 2016 at 10:24 pm

No.. It’s garbage.. Don’t waste your money


UrbanHippy September 19, 2016 at 7:13 pm

If you don’t kill the fleas living in your house (but not on your pet) or the eggs that have yet to hatch or the pupae which have yet to emerge then OF COURSE you will still be seeing fleas on your pet. They keep jumping back onto them! You have to stop new fleas from being born in order to stop seeing fleas on your pet.


Anonymous Child September 26, 2016 at 7:03 pm

Of course the fleas will jump back on this but if you have the medication then his skin/blood should be toxic to him. Understandably, yes you need to treat the house, but the product is supposed to WORK.


Dr fpo November 4, 2016 at 4:01 pm

Don’t use this product, it no longer works! The product worked well in the past but no longer. My dog and cats are now covered with fleas even though I continue to follow the recommended dosages.


Christine December 7, 2016 at 3:28 am

I had my vet apply Frontline to my 80 Pound German Shepherd. He was lethargic for the first 24 hours. The next day he lost control of his back legs. I rushed him back to the vet but he had a massive seizure in the car and died before we arrived.


Char January 24, 2017 at 12:43 am

I used this on my dog for 11 years. I live in Florida. I have never seen a flea or tick on my dog. Worked great for us.


janis graham May 16, 2017 at 4:02 am

used frontline for many years on my 5 cats. last year it was useless all the cats were polluted with fleas nothing helped they were in torment,had to get advantage to kill them but that has no tick prevention


Jett July 18, 2017 at 6:22 am

My 8 year old black lab has been on Frontline Plus for 7 of her 8 years and we have only seen one tick crawling on her bed in that time. fleas ever…and I am a flea and tick magnet so I will know if any are in the house. She is a house dog with much outside time in the brush where racoon and fox are abundant. I have bought from the Vet and Walmart and Frontline has never let us down.


Pam Larson July 25, 2017 at 12:21 pm

We have used Frontline, which we buy from our vet (for $15/dose) since it came out. Sunday, my dog suddenly developed muscle spasms, could barely walk, so we took him to a Vet hospital (not our regular vet). Upon taking a blood sample it was confirmed that he has Lyme disease. Because he is a therapy dog and taken to Hospice & nursing homes, I have been facetious about doing this once a month AFTER he goes to the groomer (for those below who thinks washing too much is what causes this), so no danger of it getting washed off. This crap just did not work, period. This will end his career as a therapy dog. I cannot tell you what joy and love he has provided Hospice patients, the mentally ill, nursing homes and children over the years, all gone now because Frontline is crap.


P. Geist September 1, 2017 at 11:04 pm

When I first used Frontline, my short haired hound had had a full blown flea infestation for months. My ex roommates refused to do anything about their cat’s infestation rendering it impossible for my dog to recover. After I moved, I tried Frontline and it worked almost immediately! For nearly 2 years he has remained flea free until just recently. There aren’t many ticks in the area, but it’s summer and he loves to wade in tall grass on walks; making him a huge painted target for fleas. I have applied it again and hopefully it will do the same magic it did the last couple of times I have used it.


Donna H September 30, 2017 at 3:39 am

I have several dogs and have been using Frontline for years…on one 1 of them, for ticks. Frontline works wonders on ticks, not so good for fleas in our area of CA anyway. So, I use Frontline on my German Shorthair who the ticks just love, and Advantage on my 2 small dogs and cat. This combo works great and we are bug free year around.


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