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This post was originally published in 2014. It's been updated with new information to help more pet parents.
If dog owners didn't have enough to worry about, now we have to be concerned that the Frontline we order online is counterfeit. A friend of mine who is a vet tech clued me in on this several years ago. Although I use natural flea and tick repellents, this is important information because I have friends who have struggled with flea infestations and the natural options aren't as effective.
- Avoid Counterfeit Pesticide Products for Dogs and Cats, EPA.Gov
- How to Spot Fake Frontline Plus
- Counterfeit Frontline Plus
- Differentiating between real and fake Frontline Plus | ebay
- More than 1 in 10 pet owners have been conned into purchasing fake pet medicines online
How to Spot Counterfeit Frontline Products
If you're ordering Frontline online (or picking it up at the store, the following tips will help you determine if the product is real or counterfeit. But the easiest way to spot a fake product would be to take it to your veterinarian or call the company for their opinion.
- Compare the lot number on the package to each individual applicator within the package; they should match.
- Look for the instruction pamphlet; fake Frontline Plus may not include the pamphlet inside the package.
- Check to see if the applicators are child-resistant. There should be instructions on how to open the product.
- Compare the packaging and applicators you brought home (or received in the mail) to ones you’ve used in the past to see if they look the same.
- Is the writing in English?
- Is there an EPA registration number?
- A statement warning you to keep the product out of the reach of children?
- Are the measurements on the package in pounds?
- Are there stickers blocking labeling in a foreign language (or a foreign address)?
- You get what you pay for – if the price is significantly lower than the retail price should raise a red flag.
Of course, if none of these steps work, contact your veterinarian or the company that makes Frontline.
Natural Alternatives to Frontline
I stopped using chemical flea and tick repellents a long time ago because I found natural products that work great for my dogs. When I first switched to natural solutions, there wasn't much on the market, but today there are several options including:
Other Counterfeit Products to Watch For
As I was updating this blog post, I began to wonder if there are other fake products that we need to worry about. The only one that came to mind was Nutramax Cosequin DS Plus joint supplements. If you find these on Amazon, they're fake because the company doesn't sell through Amazon, nor do any of their distributors.
But that's not all.
Although I could only find two additional products, I did read that the number of counterfeit products in the pet industry, specifically fake prescription medication, is growing. No one is minding the store, which puts it on us as the pet parents to make sure we're not taken and that our pets don't suffer.
Hey, I get it, I try to save money when and where I can so that I can continue to afford raw feeding. Meat prices are climbing. I can understand why someone would take advantage of a discounted price, not realizing that the product might not be fake. Because of this, I won't buy supplements on Amazon unless I know that the listing was made by the brand or their distributor.
If you're curious if an Amazon (or eBay, etc.) listing is legit, start by contacting the company and sending them a link to the listing.