revolution vs frontline

If you want to protect your dog from common parasites like ticks, mites, fleas and lice, you may be wondering what medication is right for your pup. There are dozens of different types of anti-parasite medications out there, and it’s hard to understand which one may be right for your dog.

So, in this article, we’ll be taking a look at both Frontline and Revolution, which are two of the most popular choices for protecting dogs from fleas, ticks, mites and more in 2019. We’ll discuss the effectiveness of each product, what they treat, the cost of each one, and much more in this comprehensive guide.

Naturally, we always recommend consulting with your veterinarian whenever you are considering a new medication for your dog, so make an appointment right away. While this article will still be informative, and help you understand which product may be right for your pup, you should always rely on your veterinarian for recommendations – they know you and your dog the best!

Key Differences Between Revolution vs Frontline

To begin, let’s start by looking at the primary differences between Revolution and Frontline. While both products are broadly similar – working to fight against ticks, fleas and other parasites – there are some key differences that you may want to consider when choosing the right medication for your dog.

  • Active ingredients – Revolution uses a medicine called selamectin as its active ingredient, which is applied topically to your dog, and kills adult fleas, mites, and some types of ticks, as well as heartworm.
    Frontline, on the other hand, uses a blend of fipronil and S-methoprene to combat parasites. It focuses primarily on killing fleas and ticks, as well as some types of mites and lice.
    While the active ingredients are different, the drugs work in the same basic way. The product is distributed throughout your dog’s coat and skin, and even enters its bloodstream. When parasites come into contact with Revolution or Frontline, they begin to die, and their breeding cycles are also interrupted, preventing further infestation.
  • Types of treated ticks – Revolution controls only one type of tick, which is the American dog tick. While it may be able to kill other types of tick, it is only intended for use against this particular genus of tick.
    Frontline, on the other hand, can control four types of tick including the American dog tick, Lone Star tick, deer tick, and brown dog tick.
  • Method of flea control – If you are looking for a medication that offers fast results against fleas, Frontline is going to be a better option. It can kill the majority of fleas on your dog in just 30 minutes, thanks to its powerful compounds. It also kills larvae and eggs.
    Revolution is also effective at controlling fleas. However, it may take up to 24 hours to kill most adult fleas and flea eggs. It does not kill larvae, but does prevent eggs from hatching, which means that it is equally effective when it comes to controlling flea infestations.
  • Protection against heartworm – If you are looking a for flea and tick medication that can also protect your dog against heartworms, Revolution is a good choice. When properly applied monthly, it will destroy juvenile heartworms and prevent heartworm disease. The active ingredient, selamectin, can also protect against roundworms and hookworms in cats – however, it is not intended to kill these worms in dogs.
    Frontline, on the other hand, has no effect on any internal parasites like heartworms, or any digestive parasites. If you use Frontline, you will need to buy another medication that provides heartworm protection, or you may be putting your dog at risk.
  • Post-treatment water contact (bathing, rain, swimming) – Because both of these treatments are topical, you may be wondering when you can get back to your normal activities after application, like bathing your dog or exposing it to water.
    According to Frontline, your dog should not be exposed to water for a full 24 hours after application, so you will want to avoid bathing, swimming, and rain.
    Revolution, on the other hand, is completely absorbed within 2 hours, and the company says that bathing even just two hours after the medicine is applied will not have any effect on its ability to protect your dog from heartworms, fleas, and ticks.

Now that we’ve discussed the differences between these anti-parasite medications in detail, let’s look at the individual key features of Revolution and Frontline in further detail.


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Key Features Of Revolution

Revolution is an extremely effective medication for heartworm, ticks, fleas and more. Here are all the details you need to know.

  • Monthly, topical application – Revolution must be applied once per month on your dog’s shoulder blades. From there, it will quickly be absorbed into your dog’s skin and coat. It works so quickly that you can bathe your dog within just 2 hours of application.
  • Safe for pregnant, breeding females – Unlike some other anti-parasite medications, Revolution has been tested as safe for use in pregnant, breeding and lactating females, so you do not have to worry about any complications due to using this medication on a breeding dog.
  • Controls one type of tick – Revolution is able to quickly kill the American dog tick, which is the primary disease transmission vector for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), an extremely dangerous tick-borne disease that can affect both animals and humans.
  • Kills heartworm larvae – Revolution is a great option if you want to control external pests and parasites, like fleas and ticks, as well as internal parasites. It’s a very effective treatment against heartworm larvae and immature heartworms, and can kill them before they develop fully, safeguarding your dog from heartworm disease, which can be fatal.
  • Destroys mites that cause sarcoptic mange – Sarcoptic mange is caused by a variety of burrowing mite called the Sarcoptes scabiei mite. Its burrowing results in extreme itchiness, and as your dog scratches itself to try to get relief, it may begin irritating its skin, and its hair may fall out over time. Revolution kills this mite, preventing sarcoptic mange.

With its ability to control most external parasites, as well as internal parasites like heartworms, Revolution is a great all-in-one choice for some dog owners.

Key Features Of Frontline

Frontline may be a great choice for you if you are very concerned about killing a broad variety of ticks, mites, lice and fleas. Here are the details.

  • Monthly, topical application – Like Revolution, Frontline comes in a bottle that lets you apply the proper dosage to your dog, usually between its shoulder blades where it can’t rub the medicine away or attempt to lick it. You only have to apply a single dose each month, and doing so will provide your dog with long-lasting protection against fleas, ticks, lice and mites.
  • Begins killing adult fleas immediately – if you are concerned with killing existing fleas quickly, Frontline may be a better choice than Revolution. It has been demonstrated in the lab to kill 100% of fleas within 12 hours of application, and it also inhibits the proper growth and hatching of eggs and larvae, allowing you to rid your dog of these pests quickly.
  • Controls four types of ticks – Frontline is a great option for full-spectrum tick protection, as it kills the four most common types of ticks in America, including the deer tick, American dog tick, brown dog tick and Lone Star tick. If you regularly hike with your dog in areas where ticks are a major concern, Frontline will help protect your dog from diseases like Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
  • Safe for pregnant, breeding females – Frontline has been tested extensively on breeding, lactating and pregnant females, as well as on stud dogs, and it has been shown to be completely safe, making it a good choice if you have a breeding dog.
  • Treats sarcoptic mange, as well as chewing lice – Frontline is not just effective on fleas and ticks, but it also treats the mites that cause sarcoptic mange, and it also destroys two common types of chewing lice, providing your dog with full-spectrum protection from most common parasites.

With its ability to kill the majority of external parasites, Frontline is a great choice if your dog is prone to issues related to fleas, lice, mites, and lice – it can protect from most major parasites, and provides long-lasting protection.

What Is Better For Dogs, Revolution Or Frontline?

Both Revolution and Frontline have been tested to be safe on dogs of almost all ages, including pregnant dogs and lactating dogs. However, Revolution can be used on dogs as young as 6 weeks of age, while Frontline should not be used on dogs until they reach 8 weeks of age.

Both drugs do have some side effects which may occur, too. The most common side effect of Revolution is skin irritation and redness at the application site, which usually disappears quite quickly. However, the following side effects have also been observed in rare cases:

  • Vomiting
  • Loose stools and/or diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • Lethargy and drowsiness
  • Salivation
  • Muscle tremors
  • Rapid breathing

Like Revolution, Frontline can also cause minor redness and irritation on the application site after treatment, but this is minor and will resolve itself quickly. Again, though, there are some side effects which may occur in rare cases, like:

  • Seizures
  • Trembling
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth
  • Stumbling and coordination issues
  • Lack of appetite
  • Depression

Before you give either of these medications to your dog, you should consult with your veterinarian. If you are concerned about the safety of either Frontline or Revolution, make sure to ask your vet what they recommend.

Our Overall Frontline vs Revolution Comparison

What Is Cheaper, Revolution Or Frontline?

If you’re on a tight budget, Frontline is the winner when it comes to price. It’s usually quite a bit cheaper than revolution, and you can find it for great prices online at stores like Chewy.com.

In contrast, Revolution is a more expensive option. However, if you are using it as an all-in-one anti-parasite medication, its higher cost makes sense. Because Revolution treats heartworms and Frontline does not, you will need to buy a separate drug for the prevention and treatment of heartworms if you use Frontline. This means that, in some cases, Revolution can be a better value. We recommend asking your vet for a recommendation, though.

What’s Easier To Find, Revolution Or Frontline?

This category is a draw. Both Revolution and Frontline are incredibly easy to find, as they are both extremely popular anti-tick and anti-flea medications. You can find them at your vet’s office, local pet stores and pharmacies, in stores like Walmart and Target, and online on stores like Chewy.com.

If you are having trouble finding either medication locally, we highly recommend shopping online at a website like Chewy.com. You can get automated, monthly shipments of your dog’s medicine delivered right to your door, which helps you save both time and money.

What’s Better For Flea Treatment, Revolution Or Frontline?

Frontline is a more effective flea treatment and wins this category. In lab studies, it has been shown to start killing adult fleas in just 4 hours after it was applied, and the dogs were observed to be 100% free of fleas within just 12 hours.

Revolution, on the other hand, takes a much longer time to kill fleas. It was shown to take 36 hours to kill 98% of fleas, and it can take even longer to kill every flea on your dog’s body. However, it is equally effective, and will still kill every flea – it just takes longer. So, if speed is a concern, Frontline is certainly the winner in this category.

What’s Better For Mite Treatment, Revolution Or Frontline?

Revolution is a better option for mite treatment because it kills the mites that cause sarcoptic mange, and it also kills ear mites, which are an extremely common parasite on dogs. By eliminating both of these types of mite, Revolution keeps your dog comfortable and itch-free.

In contrast, Frontline does not treat ear mites. It does treat sarcoptic mange, though, so it’s just as good if you are not concerned about ear mite treatment.

What’s Better For Tick Treatment, Revolution Or Frontline?

Frontline is the clear winner in this category. This is because, unlike Revolution, it kills four common types of ticks. It kills the American dog tick, which is the most common carrier of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, as well as the deer tick, which is the most common carrier of Lyme disease. In addition, it kills the brown dog tick and the Lone Star tick.

Revolution, on the other hand, has only been shown to be effective at controlling D. Variabilis, the American dog tick. If you live in an area where these other common types of tick are present, it will not provide full protection for your dog.

What’s Better For Lice Treatment, Revolution Or Frontline?

Frontline is a better option for lice treatment. It kills the two most common types of chewing lice on dogs, Trichodectes canis and Heterodoxus spiniger. While lice are not that common on dogs in America, this additional protection is great. While chewing lice do not pose a threat to you and your family, and typically do not cause disease, they are extremely irritating and uncomfortable for your dog.

Revolution, though, is not an effective anti-louse treatment. It is not intended to kill any types of common chewing lice, so it’s not a good choice if you are concerned about your dog contracting lice.

What’s Better For Heartworm Treatment, Revolution Or Frontline?

Revolution wins by default in this category because Frontline does not provide any protection from heartworms. Frontline is only meant to kill external parasites, so it has no effect on heartworms.

The active ingredient of Revolution, selamectin, helps prevent heartworms in dogs. It works by killing the heartworm larvae and juvenile heartworms before they can mature into adult worms.

Note, however, that just like all other anti-heartworm treatments, Revolution is not effective against mature, adult heartworms. To kill adult heartworms, your dog will need to get specialized treatment from a vet.

What’s Easier To Apply, Revolution Or Frontline?

In this category, we would pick Revolution. Both treatments are very easy to apply and come in small bottles that you simply use to apply the topical treatment to your dog in the specified area, typically between the shoulder blades.

Then, over time, the drug spreads out on your dog’s coat and is absorbed into its coat and skin – providing protection against parasites. This is the method used for applying both treatments. It’s identical.

However, we’ve picked Revolution simply because it has a much faster application time. Your dog can be exposed to water – and even bathed – after just 2 hours. That means you can get back to your normal life more quickly, and don’t have to worry about the drug getting rubbed off, or exposed to water.

Frontline, on the other hand, recommends that your dog avoids contact with water for up to 24 hours after the application of the drug. This is not a difficult thing to do, but it’s still a much longer time than Revolution, so that’s our winner.

Overall Winner Between Revolution And Frontline

Our overall winner for total protection and ease of use is Revolution. You can apply it quickly, and it protects your dog from multiple types of mites, as well as ticks, fleas, and even heartworms. If you are looking for an all-in-one protection, it’s hard to beat this drug.

However, Frontline is a lot cheaper than Revolution, and does provide superior tick and flea protection, as well as protection against lice. It doesn’t protect against heartworms, but it can be used alongside most major medications that are intended to protect against heartworms and intestinal parasites.

Either Revolution or Frontline may be right for you, depending on your needs, and the needs of your dog. For a recommendation and prescription, you should consult with your veterinarian.


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Common FAQs About Revolution And Frontline

Still, have questions about protecting your dog with an anti-flea and tick medication like Frontline or Revolution? In this section, we will answer a few of the most common FAQs about these two medications.

  • Should I use Revolution or Frontline all year, even in the winter? Since your dog is less likely to get fleas, mites, ticks or other parasites in the winter months when it’s colder, you may be tempted to discontinue the medicine to save a few bucks. However, this is not a good idea, particularly if you are using Revolution to protect your dog against heartworm. This is because heartworms must be killed in their juvenile stage. Because juvenile heartworms take 6 months to develop into adult heartworms, discontinuing treatment over the winter can put your dog’s health at risk.
    Maintaining the proper dosage of Revolution and Frontline all year will kill ticks, mites, fleas and other parasites before they can lay eggs, and ensure your dog remains pest-free. You should use both Frontline and Revolution all-year-round.I’m seeing MORE fleas on my dog after using Frontline or Revolution. What’s happening?
    Don’t worry, this is normal. As fleas die, they tend to move upward through your dog’s coat to the surface, rather than remaining buried below its fur, near the skin. If you’re seeing more fleas on your dog after treatment with Revolution or Frontline, that just means that it’s working!
  • Why are there still fleas in my house after using Frontline or Revolution? Chances are, there were some eggs and larvae that spread throughout your home from your dog, and were still able to hatch. Don’t worry, though. If you treat all of your animals with Frontline or Revolution, they will not be able to breed, and will all die within a few weeks.
  • Does Revolution kill intestinal parasites in dogs? No. While Revolution for cats will kill common intestinal parasites like roundworms and hookworms, dog-specific formulations have not been shown to have the same effects. If you are worried about intestinal parasites, we recommend consulting with your vet to get a recommendation for a medication that contains an anti-worming agent, such as praziquantel.
  • Can I use Frontline or Revolution with another anti-parasite medication, like NexGard or Heartgard Plus?  – While Frontline and Revolution are safe for dogs on their own, there is always a chance that they may exhibit serious side effects and symptoms when combined with another medication. You should always consult your vet for a recommendation before you try to combine a medication like Frontline or Revolution with any other anti-parasite medication.
  • What should I do if I forget to give a monthly dose of Revolution or Frontline to my dog? – If you miss a monthly dose, don’t worry. All you have to do is apply Revolution or Frontline as soon as you can, and then resume monthly dosing from that date.
    If you miss more than two monthly doses in a row, you may want to consult with your vet to get a recommendation about how to proceed. You should NOT attempt to give your pet a higher-than-recommended dose unless you are specifically instructed to do so by your vet.
  • How can I protect myself after applying Revolution or Frontline? Both Revolution and Frontline can cause itchiness and redness if it contacts your skin, or your eyes and nose. Try to avoid touching the medicine, and consider wearing gloves when applying it to your dog. Wash your hands thoroughly after applying the medicine, and avoid touching your dog between the shoulder blades, where the medicine was applied.

Got more questions? Need advice about using Frontline or Revolution on your dog? Contact your vet for further details, and to get answers to any other questions you may have about these topical, anti-parasite medications.

Know The Differences Between Revolution And Frontline – And Make The Right Choice!

We hope that the above guide has been helpful and informative as you consider your dog’s options for anti-parasite medication. By understanding the differences and benefits of both Revolution and Frontline, you can make sure that your dog gets the protection that it needs to stay happy and healthy.

For more information – or if you are still not sure which medicine is right for your dog – make sure to schedule an appointment with your vet. Both Frontline and Revolution are available over-the-counter without a prescription, but it’s always a good idea to consult with your vet before you start using a new medication. Get informed, start shopping, and get what you need to protect your dog.

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