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Buying Frontline Online

A few days ago I wrote about how we got a new dog and all the new dog expenses [3]. One of the more regular expenses will be Frontline and I couldn’t resist a little bit of rhyming. 🙂 Frontline is a product we’ll need to buy regularly for Toby and so the best option typically will be to buy it online.


What is Frontline? Frontline is a product that helps protect your dog or cat against external parasites like fleas and ticks. It comes in a “pipette” package and you simply apply the liquid inside directly to the skin. They recommend that you put it between the shoulder blades because then your dog or cat can’t lick it off. They claim that Frontline will kill adult fleas in 24 hours and ticks within 48 hours. Got lice? It’s supposedly effective on those guys too, stamping them out in 48 hours.

Frontline is officially classified as a NFA-VPS medicine (Non Food Animal medicine – that can be dispensed by a Veterinarian, Pharmacist, Suitably Qualified Person). These medicines need neither a clinical assessment of a pet nor a prescription.

How does it work? The active ingredient in Frontline is fipronil [4], a chemical that dissolves into the skin and coat of your pet. Within 24 hours it’ll disperse over your pet’s body surface and then concentrates in the skin’s oil glands. Over the course of weeks, the fipronil is secreted into the skin and hair, which protects your pet against external pests.

The animal rescue recommended that we put on Frontline every 6 weeks, rather than every month, which would make a 12 month supply last 18 months. She wasn’t too keen on the idea of using chemicals, so she spread out the regimen.

Frontline Top Spot vs. Frontline Plus: There are three versions of Frontline: Frontline Spray, Frontline Top Spot, and Frontline Plus. The Spray version is for a severe flea and tick infestation and used by vets in a clinic for a quick treatment. The Frontline Top Spot and Frontline Plus are more preventative measure applied every four weeks to provide protection against an infestation. It also kills existing infestation, but it appears to be designed to prevent. Frontline Plus includes an extra ingredient, (S)-methoprene, that kills flea eggs and larvae as well.

For now we’ll be using Frontline Plus because it only costs about a dollar more per dose.

Buying Frontline

Buying Frontline is very straight forward. All you need to know is how much your pet weighs and you can order the proper dosage online. Tobey is a stout 31 pounds and so he’ll need FRONTLINE Plus for Dogs – Blue For Pets 23-44 lbs.

Here were the prices I found online for a 12 month supply:

Hold the phones, my friend Nick told me that 1800PetMeds pricematches and I found their policy here [11] – looks like we have a winner.

As you can see, the prices can vary by a significant amount. In fact the cheapest I found, ThriftyVet, is almost half the price of the most expensive one I found, PetCareRX! That’s a staggering difference considering this is an OTC product. It’s like seeing the price of Tylenol vary significantly from store to store. Fortunately I kept looking because the big brands were still charging far too much for the stuff.

Reader Harold did some digging and found that for ThriftyVet, the domain registration, PO Box, and about us pages don’t match up. I haven’t ordered from ThriftyVet but that seems a bit fishy, so consider yourself warned. Remember to do your due diligence whenever you’re ordering products online.

Before I buy, does anyone have any recommendations for a store I missed or perhaps a recommendation on whether I should use Top Spot or Plus? We still have a dose from the rescue and we’re still several weeks from using it so we have quite a bit of time before we need to buy any ourselves.