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Everything you need to know about fipronil

How do you know which flea treatment to choose?

‚ÄčThere are loads of flea treatments available for your pet. So how do you know which one to choose? Should you go for something from the vet or something you can buy from the supermarket? Our resident vet is here with some answers, so you can make the best decision for your pet.

Vet vs. supermarket – what’s the difference? 

Putting it simply, you need a prescription to buy flea treatment from your vet. This means your pet needs to have been examined by a vet within the last six months.
A vet will tailor the flea treatment to your pet’s needs. For example, if your cat spends a lot of time outdoors, they’ll need a different treatment to an indoor cat.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that treatments bought from the vet are more expensive. This is because they’re often the most up-to-date products.

Do supermarket treatments really work?

This depends on the treatment. Not all spot on treatments are the same and some work better than others. Fipronil – the active ingredient in Frontline – was the number one flea product sold by vets. Thanks to changes in the law, this product can now be sold in supermarkets.
Fipronil doesn’t just appear in Frontline. Many products now include it as an active ingredient, including Bob Martin Clear, Fiprospot and Flevox.

How can I be sure the product contains fipronil? 

Just check the packaging - fipronil should be listed under the active ingredients.

Does fipronil have any side effects?

Side effects are rare. Some pets can have an allergic reaction – you might see hair loss or itching on the spot where you applied the product. If you’re worried, get in touch with either the product’s manufacturer or your vet.
You should apply the spot on to the back of your pet’s neck. This way, it’s harder to lick off. You should also know the weight of your pet before your apply the product, so you can give them the right dosage. And never apply dog spot on treatments to cats.

Is fipronil the most effective flea treatment?

Yes, but it’s worth bearing in mind that fipronil won’t kill the eggs or larvae in your home. So if you have a heavy flea infestation you’ll need to spray your house with a home flea spray. 

For more advice on how to treat your pet for fleas, head to our advice centre.