Porky and Buddy Pet Health: What’s Proper Flea Protection For Dogs, Cats?

Dear Porky and Buddy,

I have been buying Frontline Plus for my little dog, Goofy, but now my cat, Sebastian, has fleas too, even though he hardly ever goes out.

Can I just the same Frontline Plus for him?

It would save me some money, but I don’t want to do anything dangerous.

Dear cheapskate, er . . . we mean John,

NO NO NO NO NO! Frontline Plus is a popular brand of flea and tick medication for cats and dogs. The active ingredients are the same in both formulas, but there are differences between the two and good reasons why you should not use Frontline Plus for dogs on your cat, or vice versa.

Frontline Plus for cats comes in a dosage size of 0.5 ml. The two active ingredients in Frontline Plus for Cats are fipronil, which makes up 9.8% of the medication, and S-methoprene, which makes up 11.8% of the medication.

These numbers show that a dose of Frontline Plus for Cats contains 0.049 ml of fipronil and 0.059 ml of S-methoprene.

Frontline Plus for dogs comes in a dosage size of 0.67 ml for small dogs. As with the formula for cats, there are two active ingredients in Frontline Plus for Dogs. The first active ingredient is fipronil, and it comprises 9.8% of this formula as well. However, the second active ingredient, S-methoprene, only makes up 8.8% of the formula for dogs.

These numbers show that a dose of Frontline Plus for Dogs contains 0.0657 ml of fipronil and 0.059 ml of S-methoprene.

In an effort to save money, some people have opted to purchase Frontline Plus for Dogs and use the doses on both their dogs and cats.

This is a dangerous action to take. As noted in the formula breakdown, cats are only receiving 0.049 ml of fipronil when given a proper dose of Frontline Plus, while if they receive a dose meant for a dog, they are receiving 0.0657 ml, which is approximately 50% more than they should be receiving.

Even if you were able to measure out the proper amount for a cat, 0.5 ml, then the dosage of the second ingredient S-methoprene, would be too low and the medication would be less effective.

So what are you saving?

As a general rule, be very careful using flea medications on your pets, especially if you buy them over the counter.

Check the packaging to make sure they are safe for your intended use and if you have any questions at all, call your vet to make sure. Some are not just different formulations – they may be acutely toxic—so be sure.

On a happier note–Have you entered Goofy and Sebastian in the People & Pets Are Good for Each Other 2013 Calendar Contest? Your pet might turn out to be a star! Check the details about how to enter at www.oswegohumane.org right on the home page.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.

Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.

Phone (315) 207-1070.

Email:[email protected] Website: www.oswegohumane.org