NexGard vs Frontline: Which is the Better Flea Medication?

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Dealing with a flea infestation is nothing short of a nightmare.

And watching your dog recover from a bad bought of Lyme disease is even worse than fleas, which is why flea and tick medicine is so vital to keeping our dogs safe and healthy.

The big question is:

Which preventative is best?

There is a multitude of choices, and knowing which is the most effective can be challenging.

I can sympathize with trying to pick the right preventative, which is why I put together this article, NexGard vs Frontline.

Both of these products are excellent choices and ones I have used on my dogs with great success.

And like with all things, they have their pros and cons, which I cover below. Additionally, I touch on different scenarios in which each product is a better fit.

Quick Pick

Though I like both products a lot, I prefer Frontline.

It has minimal side effects and does not require the bug to bite your dog to work.


  • Active Ingredients: Afoxolaner
  • Type: Chewable Tablet
  • Duration: 1 Month

NexGard is one of Boehringer Ingelheim & Merial Group pet products.

Boehringer Ingelheim Group, a family-owned global company, focuses on improving the quality of life of humans and animals.

NexGard is a flavored chewable tablet that’s easy to administer and lasts up to one month.

NexGard is effective at killing fleas and ticks, as well as eliminating three types of mites:

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  • Demodex mites, which cause demodectic mange
  • Sarcoptes mites, which cause sarcoptic mange
  • Otodectes mites, or ear mites

NexGard effectively kills various tick species, including Black-legged ticks, Lone Star ticks, American dog ticks, and Brown dog ticks.

The medicine starts killing fleas in just four hours, including all life stages interrupting the life cycle.

NexGard is safe for puppies as young as eight weeks old.

Afoxolaner is the active ingredient in NexGard, which is an effective pesticide.

Afoxolaner affects the insect’s nervous system, causing uncontrolled overstimulation, ultimately killing the parasite[1]. The insecticide has been created to affect insects only and should not affect dogs.

The Afoxolaner spreads through the dog’s body, so when a flea, tick, or mite bites them, the parasite will die.

Unfortunately, Afoxolaner requires insects to bite the dog and does not work as a preventative.

Afoxolaner is part of the isoxazoline chemical family.

The drawback of using products in the isoxazoline family is that they can increase seizure activity in dogs who suffer from epilepsy and can bring about seizures in dogs with no seizure history.

Further Reading: Nexgard vs Credelio and Nexgard vs Bravecto


  • Fast-acting, killing fleas in just four hours
  • Safe for puppies as young as 8-weeks
  • The only FDA-approved flea and tick product to prevent Lyme infection
  • Comes in a flavored chewable tablet


  • Does not repel insects
  • Parasites must bite the dog to be effective

For more information, check out our complete NexGard review!

Frontline Plus

  • Active Ingredients: Fipronil and  (S)-methoprene
  • Type: Topical Treatment
  • Duration: 1 Month

Frontline Plus is also a Boehringer Ingelheim & Merial Group pet product but has been available for longer than NexGard.

Frontline has been on the market since 1993 and is manufactured in France.

Frontline is a topical solution applied between the shoulder blades of your dog. It comes in a small tube that has a self puncture top to minimize your contact with the liquid.

Frontline uses two active ingredients to kill parasites: Fipronil and (S)-methoprene.

Fipronil works on adult fleas and ticks[2], whereas (S)-methoprene is for the flea eggs and larvae to interrupt the life cycle[3].

Frontline is also effective against chewing lice.

Frontline starts to kill fleas within 4 hours of application, and within 12 hours, all fleas will be dead.

Plus, Frontline works when it comes into contact with the parasites, meaning they don’t need to bite the dog for it to work.

Dogs should avoid swimming for 24 hours after applying Frontline, but after that can be bathed or can go swimming as much as they want since Frontline is waterproof.

Plus, Frontline can be used on puppies as young as 8-weeks old.

Read our Frontline Plus review.


  • It works quickly in just four hours
  • It kills fleas and ticks on contact so your dog won’t get bit
  • It is waterproof
  • No prescription is needed


  • Some dogs have skin sensitivities to Frontline
  • It can be tricky to apply to wiggly dogs

Face to Face

When comparing products I think it is easiest to look at them side by side.

 NexGardFrontline Plus
Kills Fleas and TicksYesYes
Repels Fleas and TicksNoNo
Other ParasitesDemodex mites, Sarcoptes Mites, and Otodectes mites Chewing lice
Active IngredientAfoxolanerFipronil and       (S)-methoprene
Duration1 Month1 Month
Prescription NeededYesNo
Waterproof or Water ResistantWaterproofWaterproof
Price per Month (Based on a Small Sized Dog)$18.99$11.33
Minimum Age Requirement8 Weeks8 Weeks

Side Effects

All flea and tick products have side effects, though they may vary by type and brand.

Here are the most common side effects for NexGard and Frontline:


  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itching
  • Lethargy

Frontline Plus

  • Irritation at the application site

Which Flea Treatment is Better?

Which flea medication is more effective safer NexGard Frontline Plus

Which is Safest?

Winner: Frontline

Frontline is safest; it has fewer side effects and the one listed is less severe than those listed for NexGard.

Though I do like NexGard when comparing the two products, they are very similar in what they kill for parasites, yet Frontline has less of a risk of complications and side effects.

Which Works Fastest?

Winner: Tie

They both start killing fleas within four hours.

Which is the Cheapest?

Winner: Frontline

Frontline is less than half the price of NexGard per dose.

Which Lasts Longer?

Winner: Tie

Both products last for thirty days after given or applied.

Standout Features

NexGard is effective against a variety of mites and is easy to administer and does not leave behind a greasy residue.

Frontline is safer since parasites don’t have to bite the dog to work and it has few side effects.

Overall Winner

Winner: Frontline

Overall, Frontline is the safer of the two flea and tick medications because fleas and ticks do not have to bite the dog for the pesticide to work.

Plus, since it does not require a prescription, it is easier to get a hold of and is significantly less expensive.


Both NexGard and Frontline are fast-acting effective products that last a full month.

And both products are reputable, well-known flea and tick options that have been on the market for a long time.

Though Frontline is my first pick between the two, there are times when one will be the better choice over the other based on the situation.

For example:

  • If your dog has mange, as Mira did, then NexGard is by far the best choice.
  • If your dog sleeps on your bed, it is easier to use NexGard than tell your pup once a month they can’t be on the bed with you.
  • If your dog has a history of seizures, then Frontline is the best choice.


Can You Use NexGard and Frontline Together?

In severe cases, your vet may recommend using multiple flea and tick products together.

Before combining these treatments on your own, always consult your veterinarian beforehand.


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