Difference between Frontline Plus and Frontline Gold for Dogs

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Frontline Plus vs Frontline Gold

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As a pet lover and a proud pet owner, the most lovable thing to do with your pets is caressing them and showing affection. Especially if your pet is a cat or dog. However, there’s nothing more annoying and repulsive than seeing your beloved furry friend being infected with parasites such as fleas and ticks.

You most likely have already been there, and I know what it feels like when you realize that between you and your pet there are these tiny creatures that are not only irritating but dangerous and some even life-threating for your pet if not treated on time.

In line with this, you are probably already familiar with the brand Frontline Plus which has long been the first line of defense when it comes to flea and tick protection, i.e., protection from all those external parasites that feed on their hosts.

Recently, the Frontline family has got a new member to aid the struggle against parasites. Frontline Gold represents an upgrade to its counterpart, containing a new triple-action formula to enhance and improve the effectiveness of the flea and tick treatment. 

Frontline has been here for years, and is actually a registered trademark of Merial the company that provides pet health services. In addition to Frontline Plus, the more recent Frontline Gold is another topical treatment that provides efficient protection against ticks, fleas, and chewing lice. Both of them need to be applied once a month on a regular base, and they are safe for both, cats and dogs older than 8 weeks.

However, there are some differences that clearly differentiate the two. Below, we are going to compare and contrast them so that you are on clear terms what to expect from each product.

Active Ingredients

Both, Frontline Gold and Frontline Plus share two of the active ingredients called fipronil and (S)-methoprene and these have been proven to work well. However, Frontline Gold has an additional active ingredient which is called pyriproxyfen, a substance that helps to kill the next generation of flea eggs before they turn into adult fleas. Therefore, Frontline Gold has a triple action formula that is fast-acting, and when used regularly it can completely protect your pet from infestation. Actually, it is the addition of pyriproxyfen that makes all the difference and kills flea eggs and larvae much more efficiently.

Needed Time to Act

When we spot pests, we feel the urge to get rid of them as soon as possible, so a fast-acting treatment is more than needed. As stated on Frontline’s website, Frontline Plus needs roughly four hours after the application to start killing the pests.

On the other hand, Frontline Gold is much quicker and it starts acting in about 30 minutes after the product has been applied. The faster it acts, the better the chances to protect not only your pet but the home as well, particularly because Frontline Gold kills not only the adult fleas and ticks but larvae and flea eggs as well.

This means that the whole infestation process can be reduced to a bare minimum, with a 100% efficiency in just 12 hours. When it comes to tick treatment, it needs from 24 to 48 hours to kill them completely. Regular use of Frontline Gold has been proven to be highly effective in preventing new flea infestation and completely prevent the occurrence of a new life cycle.

Application and Packaging

Frontline Plus comes in a plastic container in a foil which is flat, while the plastic is clear so that you can see how much of it has left. To apply it, you need to expose the foil and then snap the tip so that the product gets spread on the pet’s skin. It should be applied directly to the pet’s bare skin, between the shoulder blades and then continue along the cat’s or dog’s back and the tail’s base. Make sure to use the whole package so that it can deliver the expected result.

Frontline Gold comes in the form of a tube that looks like toothpaste and on top of it, there is a long applicator tip. It is very easy to apply, as what you need to do is to twist the tip of the applicator halfway and the content will dispense. The process of application is the same as with Frontline Plus, it starts from the between the shoulder blades, then it continues along the back and finishes to the base of the tail.

To apply it to a cat, you need to position the applicator’s tip on the back of the cat, at the skin level, between the shoulder blades. Then, apply the entire contents in a single spot on the cat’s skin. It is recommended to separate the cat that has been treated from other pets for about 24 hours after the application of the treatment.

How it Works

Both medicines are sold in dosages that match the weight of your pet. Make sure you follow the application instructions and the specific location as otherwise, your pet might lick the medicine which is harmful when consumed.

When the medicine is applied, it becomes stored in the pet’s oil glands and then within a period of one month, it distributes itself through the surface of the skin and the hair. The reserves last for four weeks after which you need to reapply the medicine once again so that your pet stays protected.

Unlike many other tick and flea treatment methods, Frontline Gold and Frontline Plus function even when the pet is not bitten by the pest. The active ingredients can kill ticks and fleas once they are mounted on the fur of the pet.

The Difference Between Frontline Gold for Cats and Frontline Gold for Dogs

Even though they are the same product ingredients-wise, the ratio of the ingredients is what differs them. If the packaging that you have bought says it is for dogs than it must not be applied to cats, rabbits, or other pets. As the percentage of fipronil in both Frontline Plus for dogs and cats is 9.8%, the (S)-methoprene in Frontline Plus for dogs is 8.8% and the inert ingredients are 81.4%. When it comes to Frontline Gold for cats, there is 11.8% of (S)-methoprene.  While the first active ingredient is standard and is efficient in killing the adult fleas and ticks, the second one functions as an insect growth regulator which means it kills eggs and larvae and prevents new infestations.

The Key Features of Frontline Plus

  • It is 100% effective in killing adult fleas in 12 hours and it kills ticks in 24 hours. Based on the studies that Frontline has carried out, Frontline Plus is a fast-acting medicine that can provide relief to your pet in a short period of time. However, it isn’t very effective in preventing new life cycles, so it could deal with 3 of 4 stages of pests life, so new flea infestations are likely to occur.
  • The pet doesn’t need to be bitten to be effective. As discussed above, it is a huge advantage compared to other similar products, particularly because biting means exposing the pet to some of the diseases that the pest might be carrying, such as Lyme’s disease. Once the parasites get in contact with the pet’s skin or fur, Frontline Plus starts working.
  • It is waterproof provided that the pet hasn’t been exposed to water 24 hours after the application. During the first 24 hours, the medicine is being absorbed in the oil glands, so any contact with water might wash it away. After this period of time is over the pet can be bathed.
  • It can be safely used for puppies and kittens too. The earliest it can be used on puppies and kittens is when they reach 8 weeks of age.

The Key Features of Frontline Gold

  • It is effective in treating all life cycles of fleas. The new triple action formula has been proven to be more effective in killing pests in all life stages, including larvae and eggs. In other words, it ensures a complete wiping out of all the pests and the further use will more likely be preventative, especially if you apply it regularly to the dog.
  • It starts working after just half an hour. What makes this new formula superior is the fact that it starts acting almost as soon as it has been applied. Within 24 hours all the parasites are expected to be dead. This is a great comfort to your pet, as it gets instantly protected not only from the bothersome creatures feeding on them, but the underlying and potentially life-threatening complications.
  • It has a preventative role from home infestations.  It is not enough to get rid of the parasites, but you need to make sure that your home will be a safe place too. The triple-action formula is powerful enough to provide flea and tick control for a long period of time provided it is regularly used.
  • It safe to be used on pregnant and lactating pets. Only a minimal amount of the medicine can get into the pet’s system which by no means can affect the babies in the womb. The unborn or nursing puppies and kittens won’t be affected whatsoever from the mother that has been treated with this product.
  • It is waterproof and lasts for 30 days. Unlike its counterpart, Frontline Gold starts acting within half an hour’s time, so no need for special precautions when it comes to being in contact with water. However, it is similar to Frontline Plus when it comes to the duration period as it also lasts for 30 days, after which you need to reapply.

Side Effects

As it is the case with any other medicine, there have been reported side effects when using both Frontline products, so precaution is always recommended.  The most common side effect is skin redness and irritability, or any other type of skin discomfort caused by scratching or even biting. Even though not so common, gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhoea have also been reported. Therefore, it is advisable to closely observe the cat or the dog, and in case you notice any of these side effects you should take your pet to the vet.

Price Comparison

When it comes to their market price, you might have already assumed that Frontline Gold is a bit more expensive compared to Frontline Plus as it is a newer product that has triple-action formula, i.e., an extra third ingredient that makes it more efficient, faster and able to act in all four life cycles of the parasites. The packaging of Frontline Gold is also easier to use and much more convenient compared to its counterpart, a fact that does have an influence on the price range.

What affects the price is the current situation with your pet. If it has fleas and you are looking for an instant solution to the problem, then you will have to spend some dollars more since the dose for such conditions is larger and requires instant treatment. This means spending more money.

Even though the Gold has been an updated and more effective version of the Plus, it doesn’t mean that Frontline Plus is useless and won’t do its job. It is a very powerful medicine, and it solves the problem with fleas and larvae quite quickly and efficiently. In cases where there is no risk of flea infestation in your home and you are on a tight budget, them Plus is a much more convenient option.

Bottom Line

From what we have discussed above, it is clear that both products are highly effective in dealing with parasites with 100% efficiency when it comes to fleas and ticks. However, Frontline Gold has a faster speed of action, and it shows efficiency in killing the parasites in the four stages of life. Unlike its counterpart which is efficient in killing the parasites but isn’t as effective in preventing future infestation.

About the author

Jade Anderson

Author and pet lover at Cleaner Paws. Jade has over 14 years experience working with pets and has a interest in pet grooming. Jade is a pet lover and has a jack Russell terrier name Teddy and a Persian cat named Lulu. On weekends she can be found reading at home and looking after Teddy and Lulu.

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