How to Apply Advantage to Dogs

Three Parts:Applying the Initial DoseManaging Your Dog's Care AfterwardsTaking Safety Precautions

Advantage flea medication is a medication made for dogs to prevent fleas, ticks, and flea eggs. It will also kill any fleas or flea larvae currently on your dog. Advantage is applied as one dose to your dog's skin. It's easy to apply as long as you follow instructions carefully. Always consult with a veterinarian before trying any new medication on your dog.

Part 1
Applying the Initial Dose

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    Prepare the dose. Advantage comes packaged in individual plastic bottles. Each bottle contains one dose for your dog. Remove a bottle from the package and prepare it for use.[1]
    • Hold the individual Advantage dose upright so the slender end of the tube is at the top. This end is the applicator.
    • Pull the cap off the tube. You can also snap the end off the dose tube if it's too hard to twist off. You can also use scissors.
    • Turn the cap upside down and place the other end over the seal at the top of the tube. Twist the cap to break the seal.
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    Get your dog in the right position. Dogs should be standing to apply Advantage safely. Make sure your dog is standing up before you apply Advantage.[2]
    • Be sure your dog is standing still. Have a second person hold the dog, if necessary.
    • If your dog is nervous about standing, try using treats to coax your dog into a standing position. You can also use treats to encourage your dog to behave.
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    Part the dog's fur. You want to apply Advantage directly. This way, it will seep into your dog's skin and disperse throughout the body. This will poison any fleas or ticks on your dog's fur, and eliminate flea eggs and larvae.[3]
    • Locate the middle of the dog's back at the base of its neck between the shoulder blades. You want to apply Advantage on an area where your dog cannot lick it off.
    • Use one hand to part the fur and expose the skin. Use a disposable hair clip or hair elastic to hold the fur out of the way if your dog is long-haired or has a thick coat. This will help you get the Advantage on the dog's skin, not the fur.
    • If your dog is nervous, you may have to have someone else hold the dog still while you work.
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    Apply Advantage directly to the skin. If you're applying Advantage to a dog under 25 pounds, only apply the dose between your dog's shoulder blades. For a larger dog, apply a dose between the shoulder blades, on the middle of the back between the hips, and at one point in between these places. Make sure you do not apply Advantage anywhere where your dog can lick.[4][5]
    • Place the open tip of the applicator on the exposed skin at the base of the neck.
    • Squeeze the applicator tube to release the whole dose onto the skin, for a small dog. For a large dog, release about a third of the dose. Release the other two thirds elsewhere on the dog's skin.
    • Check that all medication has been expelled from the dose tube. This will make Advantage work most effectively.

Part 2
Managing Your Dog's Care Afterwards

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    Avoid contact with the area after application. You want to give Advantage a chance to absorb into your dog's skin. This will increase the chance it will effectively kill and prevent fleas.[6]
    • Avoid touching the area where the Advantage has been applied for about 24 hours after application.
    • If you have another dog, make sure that dog does not lick the area where Advantage was applied. Avoid leaving your dogs together unsupervised for about 24 hours.
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    Keep the dog dry after application. If your dog has a monthly bath, bathe him or her before applying Advantage. Advantage is waterproof, but you want to make sure your dog is dry when you apply the first dose.[7]
    • Advantage takes about 24 hours to absorb in your dog's skin. Therefore, you may want to avoid bathing your dog or allowing him or her to get wet for 24 hours after applying Advantage to ensure full absorption of the treatment.
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    Apply Advantage on a monthly basis. Advantage will be effective for about 4 weeks. It should be reapplied every month to keep your dog safe from fleas and ticks. Always mark the date when you apply Advantage so you know when to safely apply it again.[8]
    • Advantage will work best to prevent fleas, flea eggs and ticks when used once per month or according to your veterinarian's instructions.
    • Consult your veterinarian before applying Advantage more frequently than once per month. Severe infestations may need more frequent treatment, but Advantage can cause health problems when applied too frequently.

Part 3
Taking Safety Precautions

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    Consult with your vet prior to use. Any new medication should be run by a vet before use. This is especially important if your dog is on other medication or has existing health problems.[9]
    • Some dogs do have sensitivities or adverse reactions to Advantage. A vet can let you know how to manage side effects in the event they occur.
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    Avoid touching the medication. A little Advantage on your skin will not cause much harm. However, Advantage should stay out of your eyes and mouth. If you get any Advantage on your skin, wash the area with soap and water.[10]
    • If you get Advantage in your eye, wash out the area immediately. Then, see a doctor.
    • See a doctor as soon as possible if you ingest Advantage.
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    Watch for signs of an adverse reaction. There is always a risk of side effects when using medication. It's also possible to overdose on Advantage if you give your dog too high of a dosage. Make sure the Advantage you're using is safe given your dog's size and weight. If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your vet:[11][12]
    • Muscle twitches
    • Lack of coordination
    • Confusion
    • Collapse


  • Avoid getting Advantage in your dog's eyes or mouth. Keep the dog from licking the application site for 24 hours after applying.
  • Advantage doses are different for dogs and cats and for pets of different sizes and weights, so be sure to use the Advantage dosage that is appropriate for your pet. Check the label to see what size dog the medication is meant for.

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Categories: Canine Health