One of the least pleasant aspects of owning a dog is the unwanted parasitic guests they can pick up. While rolling around outdoors, running through the woods or playing with other furry friends, fleas and ticks can jump on board.
Once these critters take hold, they can invade your home and be difficult to get rid of. While infestations can be dealt with, they can also be prevented.
Both Seresto and Frontline Plus are well-known products, used by many consumers to deal with fleas and ticks on their canines. Which is better, if any? Let’s take a look at Seresto vs Frontline Plus and see how they work.
Seresto was launched by Bayer in 2012, making it a relative newcomer to the market for flea treatments for dogs. This well known global company produces many health products for both humans and animals.
What is Seresto?
Seresto is an impregnated dog collar that kills and repels fleas as well as ticks. It works by slowly releasing insecticide from the polymer matrix material, a blend of fibers of different lengths and widths. It can also kill biting lice and helps in the control and treatment of sarcoptic mange.
Supplied in a 100-percent recyclable tin, it slowly releases its active ingredients over eight months. In the event the collar gets caught on something, there is a safety release mechanism, via a built-in breaking point, so be assured your dog could escape.
The collar has a smooth powdery feel, leaves no greasy residue, and gives off no odor. It continues to work, even if your dog gets wet, although regular swimming might reduce the lifetime efficiency of the product by a few months.
Bayer seems to have covered all bases with the collar design, which is radiopaque. This means if your dog should chew and swallow it, then radiographic equipment can locate it in the body.
What Are the Active Ingredients in Seresto?
This collar has two active ingredients:
- Imidacloprid: Kills adult fleas and their larvae, as well as lice.
- Flumethrin: Kills and repels adult ticks, nymphs, and larvae.
The effectiveness of these two ingredients on dogs was found to be excellent over an 8-month period. The efficacy against tick and flea infestation in 64 dogs was 99.7 percent and 100 percent respectively.
Fleas are killed within 24 hours after first putting the collar on. Should your pet become reinfected, fleas are dispatched within two hours. Ticks are either killed or repelled within six hours.
How Are the Ingredients in Seresto Delivered?
The active ingredients are spread from the point of contact, the collar, over the body of your dog. They distribute themselves, via your dog’s skin and coat, from head to toe, and even along the tail.
The supply of these ingredients is continuously replenished, keeping the pests at bay for up to eight months. This YouTube video explains how this collar works.
Side Effects of Seresto
During a trial for this product, the only side effects noted were as a result of wearing a collar as opposed to the medication. These include:
- Hair loss: A small amount of hair may be lost where the collar rubs the coat.
- Skin irritation: The medication can irritate a dog’s skin initially, but usually goes away. If it doesn’t, you should consult your veterinarian.
Even if your dog manages to eat the collar, the only reported side effect has been mild stomach upset.
Frontline Plus is manufactured by Merial LLC. This company research develops and distributes biological and pharmaceutical animal health products. Founded in 1997, the company is based in Georgia, USA. Merial LLC is now part of Boehringer Ingelheim.
What is Frontline Plus?
Frontline is a topical treatment that treats pets for fleas. The original formula was released in 1997 and was designed to kill ticks as well.
The formulation has since been modified, and Merial released Frontline Plus in 2000. This newer product kills fleas at all stages of their lifecycle, from eggs through to adults.
You should avoid getting your dog wet for 24 hours after the application. Going forward, Frontline Plus will continue to work if your dog takes a dive in the lake.
What Are the Active Ingredients in Frontline Plus?
Frontline Plus has two active ingredients:
- Fipronil: Kills adult fleas and ticks.
- Methoprene: Kills the larvae and eggs of fleas as well as ticks.
These ingredients work together over a 30-day period. The treatment will rid your dog of any present fleas in 12 hours and ticks within 48 hours. Frontline Plus can also help repel or kill mosquitoes.
How are the Ingredients in Frontline Plus Delivered?
Frontline Plus is a spot-on treatment, dispensed in liquid form from a pipette-style capsule. It is applied to the skin at the back of the dog’s neck or between the shoulder blades. Make sure your dog cannot lick the area where you apply the medication.
It then distributes through the body and is stored in the oil glands for up to a month. This means it will continue to kill the pests for this length of time.
Frontline Plus comes in doses designed for different sized dogs. Make sure you choose the one appropriate for your pet. This YouTube video explains how to apply Frontline Plus to your dog.
Side Effects of Frontline Plus
The side effects of this product will be listed with the instructions, so make sure to read them before treating your pet. The percentage of dogs they affect negatively can be minimal, but include:
- Skin irritation: This is generally mild and should go away after a day or so. If it continues, is severe, or bothers your dog, consult your veterinarian.
- Interaction with other medications: Always check with your veterinarian before applying Frontline Plus if your pet is on other medications.
- Nervous system damage: Loss of appetite, wobbly movements or convulsions are symptoms of damage to the nervous system. While rare, Fipronil can cause this.
Seresto vs Frontline Plus: What Are the Differences?
Both of these products are effective in dealing with flea and tick infestations, but they do have their differences.
They both kill fleas and ticks throughout their full life cycle, but only Seresto repels ticks as well. This helps prevent reinfestation.
Seresto does not protect against mosquitoes, but Frontline Plus does. Both, however, are effective in controlling lice and mange.
Seresto lasts for up to eight months, continually working throughout that time period to protect your canine friend. Frontline Plus lasts for 30 days, after which it should be reapplied to continue working.
If you have a dog who is pregnant or nursing then you should consult your veterinarian before using Seresto, whereas Frontline Plus is safe for use.
Both products are waterproof. So, if your dogs like the water, they will still be protected. Just bear in mind, frequent submersion can reduce the length of time of the efficacy of the products.
The side effects of Seresto are milder than those listed for Frontline Plus.
Seresto vs Frontline Plus: Price
Prices for either product can vary, depending on where you purchase them.
Seresto costs generally in the region of $55. While this may seem like quite a large cash outlay, bear in mind it lasts for eight months. This equates to just under $7 per month.
Frontline Plus can be purchased in packs of three or six. The respective prices are in the region of $32 and $70. This equates to approximately $11 per month for either pack.
In comparison, Seresto works out a cheaper option than Frontline Plus.
How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Fleas or Ticks?
The first things you may notice, when your dog has fleas, include:
- Severe itching and scratching.
- Skin is red and irritated.
- Hair loss.
- Chewing and biting at the skin.
- Scabs on the skin.
Fleas are very small and only measure about a sixteenth of an inch. They are, however, dark brown or black in color and can be seen with the naked eye. Check the area of your dog’s neck, ears, abdomen, lower back, and the base of the tail. You may notice them moving around.
The other thing to look for is flea dirt, effectively their droppings. It will look a little like someone has sprinkled black pepper over the area that’s infested. You can buy a fine-toothed flea comb, using this will pick up fleas and dirt, and makes them easier to find.
Ticks can also be seen on your fur baby. Their bodies attach via barbs and they feed on blood. They can vary in size, from barely visible to the size of a fingertip.
→ Check out: How to Choose The Best Tick Repellent For Dogs.
These parasites carry diseases, such as Lyme disease, which is dangerous to canines. Inspection during tick season is imperative.
These creatures like to hide, so the places to check are:
- Between your dog’s toes.
- In their ears.
- In the genital area.
- Around eyelids.
- Under the tail.
- Under the collar.
This YouTube video explains what ticks look like.
Seresto vs Frontline Plus: Final Thoughts
Both medications are effective in controlling and killing fleas and ticks. However, only Seresto is able to repel ticks as well.
Frontline Plus seems more likely to cause a reaction in your pet, and you have to remember to renew the treatment every month. Seresto, with its mild side effects and longer-lasting protection, maybe the better option.
Every dog is different and what suits one may not suit another. The ultimate decision lies with you. Protecting your dog from parasitic infections is advisable year-round.
Whichever you choose, it will give you peace of mind and help keep your furry friend safe from infestation.
Hi, I’m Walter,
I live in Oklahoma City, USA, and have extensive dog caring and grooming expertise. In addition, I provide dog training tips and tricks through my blogs in Canine Weekly. I have a Dog Behavior and Training diploma and have previously worked as a Dog Trainer at ROC Animal Training and Behavior and Tip Top K9 of OKC Dog Training.
Apart from writing on Canine Weekly, I share my views on Twitter and Linkedin.