Can Neosporin Be Used On Dogs?

Last Updated on August 29, 2021 by Marco

There you are, you and your best buddy, out in nature having a grand old time together. You are enjoying your walk as Fido bounds ahead. Suddenly, you hear a yelp, and you rush to catch up to your dog.

Oh no! Your four-legged friend has gone and scraped their paw on a fallen branch. It doesn’t look serious enough to go to the vet, so you decide it is time to call it a day and get your dog home. They lick at their paw the entire drive home; the wound is clearly bothering them.

You take a proper look at the wound once you get home, and realize that you may need to do some First Aid. You go through your medicine cabinet and find a tube of Neosporin. 

Hmmm, you wonder. Can I safely use Neosporin on my dog to treat the wound?

The answer is yes, you can. But there are some things you need to keep in mind first. Read on to learn about treating a dog’s minor cuts and scrapes at home, with what you have on hand – and what you need to invest in lest it happens again in the future.

What Is Neosporin?

Neosporin is a triple-acting topical antibiotic ointment that is used to disinfect minor cuts, scratches, and burns. It comes in a tube, or in a spray bottle.

Neosporin is a product that has been made for humans.

Neosporin and Dogs

If you get caught out with your dog getting a minor scrape, and you only have Neosporin on hand in your home, then a small amount applied to their skin is ok.

However, you should not use it in large quantities, or put it in a spot where the dog is able to lick it off because it can make them sick if they ingest it. The petroleum jelly base in Neosporin can cause gastrointestinal upsets in dogs.

Do not use Neosporin on your dog’s eyes, ears, or mouth.

Similarly, it is not suitable to put on larger, deeper cuts, or cuts that are weeping or oozing pus. You will need to get your vet to treat this type of injury, and they can then prescribe the right after-care products too.

When Isn’t Neosporin Suitable For Dogs?

If your dog’s skin becomes red, scaly, itchy, or irritated after applying Neosporin, wipe the area with a moist, warm cloth and immediately discontinue use – your dog may have contact dermatitis as a result of the ointment.

Neosporin will not get rid of fungal infections, viral infections, or parasites.

How Does Neosporin Work On Dogs?

Neosporin is a triple-acting antibiotic – it contains three different types of antibiotic – neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B sulfate, and bacitracin zinc, so it can combat several different types of bacteria at once.

Other Advice For Using Neosporin Safely On Dogs

Always talk to your vet first before using Neosporin on your dog.

Do a patch test (where you apply a tiny amount of ointment to a healthy area of your dog’s skin) first to ensure Neosporin doesn’t irritate them.

Clean and dry the wounded area with antiseptic rinse (more on this later), and remove any foreign matter (such as wood splinters) with clean tweezers before applying any antibiotic ointment to your dog’ wound.

If you do need to put Neosporin on your dog in a place where it can lick itself, try putting a cone (Elizabethan collar) on your dog if you happen to have one handy. The ointment needs to sit for at least ten minutes for best results.

Do not apply Neosporin to stitches if your dog has had surgery.

Learn more about: How Long To Keep Cone On Dog After Neuter?

Topical Antibiotic Ointment For Dogs

It might be a good idea to keep some ointment that is made especially for dogs in your home if your dog is the accident-prone type.

One option is called Silver Honey. It contains Manuka honey, which is a natural antibiotic, and medical-grade silver, which fights germs. Both ingredients promote healthy skin. Silver Honey is non-toxic, so if your dog manages to lick the area then it will do no harm to them.

Once again, as with using Neosporin on dogs, Silver Honey should only be used for minor scrapes, and not on deeper wounds – these need proper medical attention.

Antiseptic Rinses: Home Remedies For Minor Dog Wounds

If you do not think that your dog’s wound is serious enough to warrant veterinary care, you can treat them at home using remedies made from common household supplies.

  • Saline Solution – boil 1 cup of water and add half a teaspoon of salt. Let the water cool then apply to the wound with a syringe repeatedly. This action will not only disinfect the wound but it will wash away any debris.
  • Herbal Tea Rinse – Chamomile and St. John’s Wort are both herbs with healing properties. Brew a strong tea out of them, using two teaspoons of dried herbs to one cup of water. Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator and then apply as per saline solution.
  • Vinegar Rinse – Apple Cider vinegar can disinfect a wound and also keep insects away from it. Mix 2 tablespoons and one quart of water by shaking until well combined, then apply to the wounded area and let it air dry.

Other Wound Care Advice For Dogs

  • Carefully trim hair near the wound using clean scissors or a shaver.
  • Clean the wound with antiseptic rinse (i.e. saline solution) and apply antibiotic ointment (i.e. Silver Honey) twice a day.
  • Apply a loose bandage, or a cone, over your dog’s wounds after you have administered treatment, to prevent them from licking the area.
  • Avoid products that contain a corticosteroid like hydrocortisone. If your dog licked an area with this product on it, they could end up with adverse side effects including vomiting, dehydration, diarrhea, and urinary incontinence.  
  • If the wound does not heal within one week, take your dog to the vet. Look out for foul-smelling pus that is yellow or green in color – this is a bad sign.

In Conclusion

Can Neosporin be used on dogs? 

Yes, it can provided that it is only on a minor wound that does not need veterinary care and that the dog cannot lick the area where the ointment has been applied.

However, it makes sense to keep an antibiotic ointment that is specifically made for dogs, such as Silver Honey, in your home for minor dog cuts and scrapes –  because life happens!

Read more about: Is Baby Shampoo Safe for Dogs?

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