When you have pets, especially ones that tend to get into trouble, it’s a good idea to keep a first aid kit on hand in case they get sick or hurt. You must be asking if you can use Neosporin on dogs. Triple antibiotic ointment, also called Neosporin, is a must-have in every home first aid kit. You may have already used Neosporin for cuts and scrapes on people in your family and wondered if Neosporin on dogs is safe and effective.
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If your vet says it’s OK, you might be able to use a small amount of Neosporin on your dog. However, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Before you grab a new tube of Neosporin for that small cut, make sure you know the risks of using it on a dog and that you know of other options that may be better for your pet’s first aid kit.
What Is Neosporin?
Neosporin is a topical antibiotic ointment that can be bought at most pharmacies without a prescription. The ointment usually has a petroleum base and has three antibiotics in it: neomycin sulfate, polymixin B sulfate, and bacitracin zinc. With these antibiotics, the ointment can kill many common bacteria, but it won’t work on viruses, fungi, or parasites, which can also cause infections. But the widespread use of topical antibiotics is causing bacteria to become more resistant.
Can You Put Neosporin on Dogs?
Neosporin on dogs can be used just like it can be used on people to treat small cuts and scrapes. But you should talk to your vet before giving your dog any over-the-counter medicine that was made for people. Putting a thin layer on the wound may help prevent infection and speed up the healing process. But it can only be used on the outside of the dog’s skin, and only in places where the dog can’t lick it off. This is because Neosporin is not safe for dogs to eat and can make their stomachs hurt if they eat it (more on this to come). Since you can’t stop your dog from licking it off, you might want to find something else to use instead of Neosporin for dogs. Never put Neosporin in your ears, eyes, or mouth.
Things to Know Before Using Neosporin on Dogs
For scrapes and scratches, you should first clean and flush the wound with soap and water, then rinse well and pat dry. All puncture or penetrating wounds, like dog bites, should be seen by your vet as soon as possible.
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Bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B are the three antibiotics that makeup Neosporin. Together, they kill bacteria on the skin and stop infections on the surface.
Because Neosporin is applied directly to the skin, there is always a chance that your dog could have an allergic reaction. It would be smart to do a small patch test first. The best way to do this is to pick a small area of skin and put a tiny bit of Neosporin on it. Then, watch the area to see if your dog gets a mild rash, redness, or hives.
Neosporin is helpful because it kills any bacteria that are alive and keeps them from growing. When it’s put on the skin, it helps make a physical barrier against bacteria so they can’t get into the wound and cause an infection. But there are times when giving it to your dog might hurt him more than help him.
Neosporin Side Effects on Dogs
When using Neosporin on dogs, it is important to look for possible side effects, such as allergic reactions or contact dermatitis. Skin that is red, scaly, or itchy could be a sign of an allergic reaction.
These severe side effects are not common but may include:
- Vomiting or diarrhea if ingested
- Irritation if used in the eyes
- Infection, and irritation if used in the ears
- Development of resistant infections
Neosporin shouldn’t be used with other topical medicines unless your vet tells you to. Neosporin on dogs is only used on the outside of the body, so there isn’t much chance that it will interact with any medicines your pet takes by mouth.
Neosporin on Dogs Precautions
If your dog’s wound is in an easy-to-reach place, he might try to lick off the Neosporin. This would not only defeat the purpose of the treatment, but it could also make your dog sick.
Neosporin also won’t help your dog if he is bleeding a lot, if the wound is deep, or if it looks like it is serious. In these situations, it’s important to get help right away by calling your vet or the nearest animal hospital.
Even though you might be able to use Neosporin to treat a small wound on your dog, other products are made just for dogs and are safe even if they eat them.
No matter what kind of injury your dog has, you should talk to your vet before giving him or her any new medicines, especially if they’re made for people.
Neosporin Alternatives for Dogs
Silver sulfadiazine (SSD) ointment, bacitracin ointment, and polysporin ointment are some other over-the-counter antibacterial treatments for the skin. But you can buy over-the-counter antibacterial products like Silver Honey, Vetricyn, and Sulfodene that are made just for dogs. You can get these at pet stores or your vet’s office.
These products should only be used on small areas of the skin that are on the outside. They should not be used on big or deep wounds. If the cut or scrape you are treating doesn’t get better in 24 to 48 hours, you should take it to your vet.
Neosporin is good to have on hand in case of an emergency, but it is not made for pets and shouldn’t be used very often. There are better things for pets that are made just for them. It shouldn’t be used to treat large or deep wounds or large areas of the body. If a cut or scrape on your dog is swollen, red, painful, or has pus coming out of it, your dog should see a vet instead of being treated at home. You should also take your pet to the vet if the cut doesn’t get better in a few days after you put Neosporin on it.