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Home > Dogs > Can I Put Antibiotic Ointment on a Dog? Vet Approved Facts & Guidelines

Can I Put Antibiotic Ointment on a Dog? Vet Approved Facts & Guidelines

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Dr. Maxbetter Vizelberg

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Dogs are susceptible to getting injured just like humans are. They can scrape their legs and feet, get small cuts on their bodies, and even develop rashes from rolling around on the carpet or grass too much. So, what is a human companion to do when they see a small abrasion or skin rash on their dog that looks like it could use antibiotics? Is antibiotic ointment suitable for use on canine family members? Unfortunately, the answer is not cut and dry.

It might be a good idea to put an antibiotic ointment on a dog at certain times, while it may be a better idea to stay away from the ointments and seek the prescription of an antibiotic from a veterinarian instead. How do you know what situation you’re in and what you should do? Only your veterinarian should be referred to for expert guidance and advice on your particular situation. That said, we compiled a basic list of rules and guidelines to refer to.

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Using Neosporin on Your Dog

Neosporin is the most popular type of antibiotic ointment available on the market that does not require a prescription. It can be used on almost any kind of burn or wound. However, is it safe for dogs? Sometimes! Two of the three medications found in Neosporin are considered safe for dogs. And the third, neomycin, has been linked to the loss of hearing in some dogs, though this is almost exclusively from intravenous or oral usage. While topical application is unlikely to lead to any hearing loss, your dog may have an allergic reaction to Neosporin, as can be the case with any medication prescribed. Minor burns, small cuts, scratches, and other surface injuries, in general, will likely benefit from the help of Neosporin. Using it on deep cuts and abrasions may result in negative side effects.

The girl keeps her dog breed pit bull terrier on the procedure at the table at the vet
Image Credit: Try_my_best, Shutterstock

Choosing an Antibiotic Ointment for Your Dog

There are many other antibiotic ointments available on the market aside from Neosporin, but it can be tough to find out their specific ingredients. You can check out the ingredients list, of course, but chances are that you won’t recognize at least half of them. Therefore, it is a good idea to consult with a veterinarian anytime that you think that your pooch needs anything stronger than Neosporin.

Your veterinarian should be able to provide you with a prescription or recommendations for over-the-counter antibiotic ointments that are safe for your dog and their condition. They’ll use your pet’s background, current health condition, and other veterinary records to determine the best treatment option for your pooch.


Natural Alternatives to Antibiotic Ointments

While not to be relied upon in all instances, there are natural home-remedies that you can turn to as a dog owner if you don’t have quick access to pharmaceutical treatment from a vet. For example, oregano oil has been shown to be an effective natural antibiotic for humans and dogs alike. It may work for cats and other animals too. Experts say that oregano oil helps prevent the growth of bad microbes.

Colloidal silver is another great topical antimicrobial that you can consider. It also happens to work as an antifungal medication, which is great for dog owners who love spending hiking and camping with their pets. Other natural antibiotics to consider offering your dog include:

  • Olive leaf
  • Manuka honey
  • Cinnamon bark
  • Goldenseal
  • Turmeric
  • Plantains

When in doubt, it’s best to contact your veterinarian for assistance and guidance. If your dog’s condition is manageable at home, any one or a combination of these options can help provide much-needed relief to your pooch.

turmeric powder
Image Credit: Pixabay


In Conclusion

Various dog injuries can heal on their own, but sometimes they require assistance from their humans. Antibiotics can help your pooch heal much faster than without them, though it depends on the problem and the type of antibiotics being introduced. Hopefully, this list has given you an understanding of what to offer a pooch and when to contact a trusted veterinarian.

Featured Image Credit: Goldfish Studio, Shutterstock

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