Updated at: 14-06-2022 - By: Jane Brody

Treating your dog regularly against flea is crucial if you need to keep the pet healthy and free from anything that could cause diseases. Some pet owners use spot-on chemical treatments to treat flea and other bugs in their dogs. Some of the chemical products are harmful to both the canines and the people in the home.

While choosing the best treatment to use, you should also consider your pet’s safety and the people around it. One of the best flea medications to use on your pet dog is Frontline Plus, a topical pharmaceutical.

One of the worries pet owners go through after applying Frontline is how long it would take before they pet their dog. Before answering that question, how about, we learn a few things about the flea medication.

Frontline Background


Rhone Poulenc AG developed Frontline between 1984 and 1987, but it was not until 1993 that the medication found its way into the market. The main ingredient in Frontline is fipronil, and it is a broad-use insecticide for both dogs and cats.

Frontline has since integrated into various other products that include pesticides, spot-on pet care products, granular grass products, agriculture products, and termite control liquid products. Merial produces and owns Frontline Plus, which is a subsidiary of the multinational pharmaceutical company-Sanofi.

Besides fipronil, the other ingredient in the Frontline Plus, which has been in circulation since 1977, is S-Methoprene, which helps stop young bugs from growing to adult bugs and fleas. Besides Frontline Plus, Merial also produces other products that include a chewable tick and flea poison, NexGard, and Heartgard that prevents heartworm, both released in 2013.

The company also released several cat vaccines. Frontline is only ideal for cats and dogs. If you rear other animals such as rabbits, you should not use the medication at all. It comes with a warning on the label that asks you not to use it on rabbits and other animals.

Frontline Application

Frontline Plus is an oily liquid that comes in a breakable vial. When you need to apply the medicated oil, you break the vial and apply it to places of the pet’s body that it cannot reach. The best place for application is between the shoulder blades.

The liquid oil is not fit for ingestion, which is why you should apply it in an area the dog cannot reach. Even if you apply on the shoulder blades, the liquid spreads and absorbs into the skin oil glands, slowly killing the fleas and insects.

Side Effects of Frontline

Just as much as Frontline comes with many benefits, it also has possible side effects. Some of the most common are-

  • Uncoordinated movement
  • Lethargy
  • Neurological issues
  • Hair loss
  • Skin redness
  • Itching

However, the Frontline website does not address the side effects.

Controversy Surrounding Frontline

Conventional vets disagree with the reputed side effects of Frontline and its safety. According to a vet from Massachusetts, Dr. Deborah Lichtenberg, some claims that Frontline causes cancer is not valid. She, however, added that allergic reactions the medication causes are mild with no treatment requirement.

The same doctor further warns that choosing natural protection over Frontline to get rid of fleas and ticks could lead to a greater risk of the pets getting tick-borne diseases such as Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Fever, Lyme Disease, and Ehrlichia. Now to answer the question!

How Long After Applying Frontline, Can I Pet My Dog?

How Long After Applying Frontline Can I Pet My Dog

As we have mentioned above, Frontline contains potentially toxic ingredients that are not fit for humans. Exposure to some of the ingredients could cause surmountable health issues, and depending on the exposure intensity, the side effects could be fatal. Therefore, humans should, be conscientious when interacting with their dogs after Frontline applications.

Even though applying Frontline or any other medication is a normal thing to do, it becomes very frustrating when you cannot stroke or pet your dog. Many owners also want to bathe their dogs or make them feel loved after application, but ideally, before applying Frontline, you should run the dog through a bath.

After the coat dries, you can then apply the liquid oil, which will give you and the dog some more time before the next bath. Frontline impact stays on for around 48 hours. Therefore, to answer the question, the earliest you can pet your dog after applying Frontline is 48 hours or two days.

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Precautions to Take

Instead of thinking about when to pet, touch, or kiss your dog, you should focus more on taking precautions. For your sake, the people around the home, and for your dog’s sake, take precautions. If you concentrate and honor the protection, you will have no issues coming close to the dog after Frontline application. If you want to pet the dog, you can do so but put on a pair of gloves avoid exposure to the oil liquid applied on the dog’s skin.

Under no circumstances should you let the medication touch your skin. Keep the dog in a den during the 48 hours, but if you cannot, do not allow it to come into close contact with anything in the house you interact with and use. Some of the things you should keep the dog away from including the sofas, beds, and carpets, among others.

If by any chance, you touch the dog’s skin or come into Frontline accidentally, there is no need to panic. Please wash your hands right away, and do it thoroughly and you are good to go. Kids will be the hardest to train to stay away from the dog after applying the medication, but you should explain to them the importance of keeping off the dog.

If they are too young to understand, you will have no choice but to keep the dog away from them for two days. Do not forget to feed the dog even if you cannot have any close contact with it.

Wrapping It Up

Dogs are a man’s best friend, and the relationship between the pet and the owner grows by the day. It hurts both the owner and the dog to have contact restrictions but staying off your favorite canine friend after application of Frontline is not a sign of not caring.

Taking the necessary precautions is for your own good, that of the dog, or anyone else living in the house. You cannot forego the application, too, because you need the dog to stay healthy and free from fleas and other pests. It would help if you were careful about how you go about it.

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