This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

NexGard vs Frontline: Which Fights Ticks and Fleas Better?

nexgard vs frontline

Last Updated: March 15, 2024 by Lisa Melillo

Today, I want to talk about something that every dog owner faces at some point: choosing the right flea and tick prevention for our furry friends.

Just last summer, I remember treating a cheerful beagle named Tommy who came in with a severe flea infestation. It was heartbreaking to see him so itchy and uncomfortable. That experience reminded me how crucial it is to choose an effective flea and tick treatment. Two popular options that often come up are NexGard and Frontline. I’ve used both these products on my own dogs, and I’ve seen many clients make their choice between them.

This article is a detailed NexGard vs Frontline review. We’ll look at how they work, their effectiveness, and what other dog owners have to say about them. I hope this comparison helps you make the best choice for your dog’s health and happiness.

NexGard’s History in Brief


When it comes to keeping our dogs safe from fleas and ticks, NexGard is a name that often pops up. It’s a product I’ve seen many dog owners choose, and for good reason. Let’s take a closer look at what NexGard is all about, without getting into the nitty-gritty details just yet.

NexGard started as an idea to make flea and tick prevention easier and less messy than the traditional topical treatments. Developed by Merial, now part of Boehringer Ingelheim, NexGard was introduced in 2013. This was a big deal in the world of pet care because it was one of the first oral treatments that could kill both fleas and ticks.

Gaining Popularity

What really set NexGard apart was its convenience. Being a chewable tablet, it was easier for dog owners to administer. Dogs just think it’s a treat! This simplicity and effectiveness quickly made NexGard a popular choice among pet parents. Over the years, it has gained a solid reputation for its reliability in flea and tick prevention.

Expansion and Evolution

Since its inception, NexGard has evolved. The team behind it continuously works on improving the formula and expanding its protection against various types of ticks and fleas. Their commitment to animal health is evident in the ongoing research and development in this area.

NexGard Product Lines

NexGard Chews

NexGard Chews


These NexGard chews are a monthly oral treatment primarily designed for flea and tick prevention. They are beef-flavored, making them palatable for dogs, which simplifies the process of administering medication. They are effective in killing fleas and ticks, thereby helping to prevent tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease. The product is formulated to provide a full month’s protection from these parasites. It’s a popular choice for its convenience and efficacy in managing common external parasites in dogs.

NexGard Plus Chews

NexGard PLUS Chew for Dogs

NexGard Plus Chews for Dogs is an enhanced version of NexGard Chews, offering broader protection against parasites. In addition to killing fleas and ticks, I noted that NexGard Plus also prevents heartworm disease, a serious health concern for dogs. Furthermore, it treats and controls roundworms and hookworms. This makes it a comprehensive option for dog owners who are looking to address multiple parasitic threats in a single, monthly chewable treatment.

Advantages of NexGard Products

  • Beef-flavored chews are appealing to dogs
  • Easy to administer compared to topical treatments
  • Effective in killing fleas and ticks
  • NexGard Chews prevent Lyme disease by targeting black-legged ticks
  • NexGard Plus provides broad-spectrum protection against fleas, ticks, heartworms, roundworms, and hookworms
  • Offers a month-long protection
  • Suitable for dogs and puppies of various sizes and weights


  • Requires a veterinarian’s prescription
  • Not suitable for dogs with certain health conditions, like a history of seizures
  • May cause side effects in some dogs
  • Not suitable for puppies under 8 weeks of age or dogs under a certain weight
  • Can be more expensive than some other flea and tick treatments
  • Regular monthly treatment is necessary for continued protection

Frontline’s History in Brief


Switching gears, let’s dive into Frontline, another heavyweight in the flea and tick prevention arena. While I’ve spoken at length about NexGard, Frontline brings its own set of features to the table. It’s a brand that many dog owners and vets, including myself, trust and recommend for keeping those pesky parasites at bay.

The Early Days

Frontline began its journey as a revolutionary product in the pet care market. Developed by Merial, the same company that brought us NexGard, Frontline was introduced in the 1990s. Its launch marked a significant shift in how we tackle flea and tick problems in pets, moving away from traditional collars and powders to a more advanced, topical solution.

Rise to Popularity

What made Frontline stand out was its effectiveness and ease of use. As a topical treatment, it’s applied directly to the pet’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. This method of application quickly gained favor among pet owners. Over the years, Frontline has become a go-to choice for reliable flea and tick protection.

Innovations and Expansions

Frontline has continuously evolved. The company has expanded its product line to include various formulations like Frontline Plus and Frontline Gold, catering to different needs. These advancements reflect their commitment to improving pet health and responding to the changing dynamics of flea and tick resistance.

Frontline Product Lines

Frontline has expanded its lineup over the years to offer more tailored solutions for flea and tick prevention. Each product has its unique features, and I’ve seen many pet owners find just the right fit for their furry friends among these options.

Frontline Plus

Frontline Plus Flea & Tick Spot Treatment for Large Dogs

Frontline Plus is probably the most recognized in the Frontline family. It’s a topical solution that not only kills fleas and ticks but also attacks their eggs and larvae. This double-action approach helps prevent future infestations. It’s applied once a month, and from what I’ve seen in practice, it’s very effective, especially for dogs who are constantly outdoors.

Frontline Gold

Frontline Gold for Dogs Flea & Tick Treatment

For those looking for something a bit more robust, there’s Frontline Gold. It has an extra ingredient that starts killing fleas faster than Frontline Plus. It’s also a monthly topical treatment and is particularly good for areas where fleas are a bigger problem. I’ve recommended it to dog owners who live in warmer climates where fleas thrive year-round.

Frontline Shield

Frontline Shield

It’s a newer addition to the Frontline range, specifically designed for canine flea and tick prevention. It not only kills fleas and ticks but also repels mosquitoes, which are potential carriers of heartworm disease. Additionally, it repels ticks and stable flies, offering a comprehensive protection approach. This product provides a full 30-day protection cycle and is part of Frontline’s commitment to evolving and improving pet care solutions. Hence, I think it suits dog owners looking for extensive parasite protection.

Advantages of Frontline Products

  • Topical application, easy to apply on the pet’s skin
  • Water-resistant, remains effective even after bathing or swimming
  • Frontline Plus and Frontline Gold target flea eggs and larvae as well as adult fleas and ticks
  • Frontline Shield offers additional protection against mosquitoes and stable flies
  • Available without a prescription
  • Suitable for both dogs and cats (specific products)
  • Frontline Spray provides immediate relief from existing infestations


  • Topical application may be less convenient than oral treatment for some pet owners
  • Risk of skin irritation at the application site
  • Needs to be applied with care to ensure proper dosage and effectiveness
  • Takes longer to start working compared to some oral treatments
  • Requires separation from other pets and children immediately after application until dry
  • Some formulations may have a strong medicinal odor

NexGard vs Frontline Differences

In this section, we’re going to dive into a head-to-head comparison between NexGard and Frontline. Each brand has its unique strengths and limitations, and understanding these can make a big difference in your choice of flea and tick protection.


When it comes to how well NexGard and Frontline work against fleas and ticks, it’s a bit like comparing apples and oranges, but let’s break it down. NexGard is known for its fast-acting nature. In my experience, it starts killing fleas within a few hours of administration. Its effectiveness against ticks is also notable, especially in preventing Lyme disease.

Frontline, on the other hand, is a bit slower in the beginning. It might take a day or two to fully kick in. However, its broad-spectrum coverage, especially with Frontline Plus and Frontline Gold, is impressive. They target not just the adult fleas and ticks but also their eggs and larvae, which helps in controlling infestation in the long run.

Safety and Side Effects

When talking about NexGard and Frontline, safety is a big topic. I’ve found that both products are generally safe when used as directed. NexGard, being an oral treatment, sometimes causes digestive issues like vomiting or diarrhea in some dogs. Rarely, it can also be linked to neurological side effects, particularly in dogs with a history of seizures.

Frontline, a topical solution, can sometimes cause skin irritation at the application site. It’s less likely to cause internal side effects than an oral treatment, but care must be taken to apply it correctly to avoid overexposure.

Both products are formulated for specific age ranges and weights of dogs. It’s crucial not to use them on very young puppies or dogs that don’t meet the weight requirements. Also, different breeds might react differently, so it’s always best to consult with a vet, especially if your dog has a history of health issues.

Ease of Use and Convenience

Comparing NexGard and Frontline in terms of ease of use and convenience, there are some clear differences. NexGard, as a chewable, is super easy to give to dogs. Most think it’s just a treat. You don’t have to worry about it washing off during baths or swimming, and storing it is as simple as keeping it in the packaging at room temperature.

Frontline, being a topical treatment, requires a bit more effort. You have to make sure it’s applied to the skin, not just the fur, and it needs time to dry. If you bathe your dog or they swim, it can affect Frontline’s effectiveness if it’s not fully dry. Storage is straightforward, but you do need to ensure it’s kept at room temperature and out of reach of children and pets.

So, NexGard might have the edge in terms of no-fuss administration, while Frontline requires a bit more care but is still a viable option for effective flea and tick prevention.

Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the right pest control product for your pet is vital for their health and comfort. Hence, I have put together a guide with essential tips to help you make an informed decision, ensuring your pet’s safety and the effectiveness of the treatment.

Assess Age and Weight

It’s crucial to know your pet’s exact age and weight, as these factors determine the correct strength of pest control medication. Miscalculations can lead to ineffective treatment or even harm your pet. Always get an accurate weight measurement and confirm the age before purchasing.

Consider Your Pet’s Temperament

Your pet’s behavior plays a big role in medication choice. If your pet resists swallowing pills, you might want to opt for topical treatments like flea collars or ointments. Understanding your pet’s preferences can make administering medication much smoother.

Ensure Safe Storage

Store pest control products safely, away from children and pets. I recommend choosing a secure, less accessible location in your home and consider adding safety measures like locks to prevent accidental access.

Monitor for Side Effects

Watch your pet closely for any side effects after administering medication. Look for digestive issues with oral medication or skin reactions with topical treatments. If you notice any adverse reactions, consult your vet immediately.

Check Against Medical History

Review your pet’s medical history before selecting a product. Ensure it doesn’t conflict with previous medications or existing health conditions. Following instructions carefully, both from the packaging and your vet, can prevent potential complications.

See Related Article: Frontline vs Advantix: Which One is Best?

FAQs about NexGard and Frontline

Is NexGard or Frontline better for flea and tick control?

Both NexGard and Frontline are effective, but the choice depends on your pet’s needs. NexGard offers fast action and is great for dogs that need quick relief. Frontline provides broader protection, including eggs and larvae, making it suitable for comprehensive prevention.

Can I use NexGard and Frontline together?

It’s generally not recommended to use both products simultaneously. Stick to one treatment at a time to avoid overexposure to chemicals. Consult your vet for guidance if you think your pet needs a combination approach.

Are there any age or breed restrictions for NexGard and Frontline?

Yes, age and breed can be factors. NexGard and Frontline have specific dosages for different weight ranges and ages. Follow the guidelines on the product packaging or consult your vet to ensure it’s suitable for your pet.

How long does NexGard and Frontline stay effective?

NexGard provides protection for a month, while Frontline typically lasts just as long. Regular monthly application is necessary to maintain effectiveness for both products.

Can I buy NexGard or Frontline without a prescription?

Frontline is available without a prescription in many places. NexGard may require a vet’s prescription in some areas. Check with your local regulations or consult your vet for guidance.

What are the most common side effects of NexGard and Frontline?

NexGard may cause digestive issues in some dogs, while Frontline can lead to skin irritation at the application site. It’s essential to monitor your pet for any side effects and consult your vet if they occur.

Can I switch between NexGard and Frontline?

You can switch between products, but it’s essential to follow the guidelines for the new treatment. Make sure to allow any previous treatment to wear off completely before starting a new one.

Are there natural alternatives to NexGard and Frontline?

Some pet owners prefer natural remedies, like essential oils or herbal treatments. While these can be options, it’s crucial to consult your vet and ensure they are safe and effective for your specific pet.

How do I know which product is best for my pet?

Choosing between NexGard and Frontline depends on your pet’s individual needs and your preferences. Consult your vet to get personalized advice tailored to your pet’s health and lifestyle.

Final Woof

After comparing NexGard and Frontline, it’s clear that both have their strengths. NexGard’s chewable form is really convenient and great for fast action against fleas and ticks, while Frontline offers a more comprehensive approach with its topical application, also tackling flea eggs and larvae. Your choice depends on your dog’s needs and your preferences. If you prefer easy administration, NexGard is a good choice. For broader protection, Frontline is great. Always remember, though, the best decision is made in consultation with your vet, considering your dog’s specific health and lifestyle needs.

You May Also Like: Simparica VS Nexgard: Which Is Better?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top