Can I Put Neosporin On My Dog?

If you have an at home first aid kit, Neosporin is likely one of the components.

With being a staple antibiotic ointment in so many homes, many wonder if it can be used for our furry friend’s injuries as well.

Though Neosporin is a great way to care for minor wounds in humans, it is not as safe for the canine companions in our life.

In this article we will discuss the potential dangers of putting Neosporin on your dog’s skin, and help you understand why this antibiotic is not the best method in caring for a dog’s injuries.

What Is Neosporin?

Neosporin is an over the counter antibiotic ointment that can be found in most drug stores.

This ointment contains three bacteria fighting agents, with the main ingredients being polymyxin B, neomycin, and bacitracin.

Neosporin is a common tool used to prevent bacterial growth in minor scratches and burns, as well as creating a protective barrier as the wound heals.

Not only does Neosporin help to promote a smooth wound healing process, some formulations offer pain relief as well.

Is Neosporin Safe For Dogs?

Can I Put Neosporin On My Dog

Neosporin may not be dangerously toxic to dogs, but it is still not considered safe for use in our canine companions.

The ingredients bacitracin and polymyxin are used in some canine ointments, but neomycin has been linked to severe health complications in dogs.

The administration of neomycin IV has been linked to hearing loss in dogs, so it is advised to steer clear of this ingredient altogether.

Neosporin is not only potentially harmful to dogs due to the neomycin ingredient, but it’s important to realize that it is not an effective tool in caring for canine wounds.

Our dogs are exposed to a plethora of bacteria each day, whether it is from rolling around in the grass or licking their open wounds.

Neosporin is simply not tough enough to fight off a brewing infection in dogs, so it should not be trusted to do so.

Can I Put Neosporin On My Dog’s Skin?

Most of the risks associated with Neosporin in dogs is with ingestion, but it is still not ideal to put Neosporin on your dog’s skin.

While most pups will not have any adverse reactions when a small amount is placed on their skin, there is still always a risk of allergic reaction to the ointment.

Not only can the allergic reaction be irritating in itself, but it could cause further trauma to the area you are attempting to treat.

Dogs that have experienced allergic reactions to topical Neosporin have developed itchy skin, skin redness, hives, and localized inflammation.

There are many other products that can be used to treat minor wounds in dogs, so we always suggest steering clear of Neosporin in these cases.

Can I Put Neosporin On My Dog’s Open Wound?

Just as we stated above, we do not recommend putting Neosporin on your dog’s skin.

Not only is there a risk for further trauma to the area if they develop an allergic reaction, but it is not effective enough to care for open wounds in dogs.

Many dogs with open wounds will require oral antibiotics to prevent any internal bacteria growth, and antibiotic ointment simply cannot tackle this issue.

We always suggest reaching out to your veterinarian for guidance if your pup injures themselves at home, and allowing your vet to recommend the safest options for their wound.

My Dog Ate Neosporin, What Do I Do?

Though not all dogs will develop a topical reaction to Neosporin, most dogs will develop some form of GI upset if they consume the medication.

Even a small amount of ingested Neosporin can cause a serious disturbance to a dog’s gut flora, causing an array of uncomfortable symptoms to follow.

If your dog simply licks a thin layer of Neosporin off their skin, we suggest watching them closely at home for signs of GI upset.

You can even rinse their mouth if you catch them in the act of licking the substance, but this can be challenging to do once the deed has already been done.

Most dogs will develop signs of GI upset within 6-12 hours of a small amount of Neosporin ingestion, so it’s best to be on guard during that period.

If your dog does develop symptoms, we suggest reaching out to your veterinarian for guidance.

However, if your dog ingests an entire tube of Neosporin, we suggest reaching out to your vet for further guidance immediately.

GI upset is highly likely when consuming Neosporin in large amounts, so it’s best to be proactive in these situations.

Your vet can offer any supportive care your pup may need, as well as monitoring them for any signs of severe allergic reaction.

Signs Of Neosporin Toxicity In Dogs

If your pup gains access to Neosporin in any form, it’s important to be aware of the potential signs of toxicity.

Whether you have used the ointment on their skin or they have accidentally consumed the product, there are a list of potential symptoms that you should be on the lookout for.

Some of the most common signs of Neosporin poisoning in dogs include:

  • Redness of the skin
  • Swelling of the skin
  • Itchy skin
  • Hives
  • Lethargy
  • Anorexia
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness
  • Respiratory changes
  • Neurological symptoms

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your canine companion, we suggest reaching out to your veterinarian immediately for further guidance.

Can I Use Any Antibiotic Ointments On My Dog?

If your pup sustains a minor cut or abrasion in an area they cannot lick, there may be some forms of antibiotic ointment that your veterinarian approves of.

Bacitracin and polymyxin B are known to be relatively safe when used on minor wounds in dogs, so it may be perfectly fine to use these antibiotic ointments on your pup.

However, we still recommend giving your vet a call before using these products, as you can list the ingredients present when getting your vet’s approval.

Many products will contain steroids or antibiotics that can be unsafe for dogs, so it’s best to give your vet a quick call in these situations.

In addition to offering guidance on certain OTC ointments, your vet can also inform you of their preferred treatment methods of choice.

They may offer guidance in searching for a safer OTC option, or even suggest a product that you can purchase at their office.

Can I Put Bacitracin On My Dog’s Skin?

Bacitracin is considered a safe antibiotic ointment when used with veterinary guidance.

This ingredient appears to be safe when used on minor cuts and abrasions, and most dogs do not experience local reactions when applied in small amounts.

However, bacitracin can still cause GI upset when it is consumed, so we do not recommend applying it to an area that your pup can lick.

Can I Treat My Dog’s Wound At Home?

Any significant wounds that are more invasive than a small scratch or abrasion should always be checked out by a veterinarian.

Minor wounds can typically be cared for at home with simple treatment options, but you should always seek veterinary care if there are any signs of developing infection.

Some of the best ways to care for minor cuts and scrapes on your dog’s skin at home include:

Trimming The Hair

The best way to gauge the severity of a dog’s wound is by trimming the fur in the area.

Shaving the fur around a wound can not only offer you a good look at the wound itself, but it can allow you to examine the surrounding area for any signs of infection or additional trauma.

In general, it’s best to trim up to 2 inches around the entire wound.

Cleaning The Wound

Dogs are exposed to many different forms of bacteria each day, so it’s important to clean the wound as soon as you notice it.

An initial cleaning of the area can banish any bacteria from immediately entering the compromised tissue, as well as offering you a clean slate for treatment going forward.

One of the best wound cleaning agents for dogs is diluted chlorhexidine, which can be found at most drug stores.

Keeping It Dry And Clean

Once you have been made aware of your dog’s wound, it’s important to keep it as clean as possible going forward.

You can do this by cleaning the wound once daily until it heals, or cleaning the area of any collected dirt or debris when it is present.

Monitoring The Wound Closely

One of the most important steps in caring for a dog’s wound at home is close monitoring of the area.

We suggest monitoring the wound daily in search of any sign of irritation or infection, as this can allow you to seek veterinary care quickly if there are any signs of concern.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Neosporin is not the best option when it comes to treating wounds on our canine friends.

Be sure to review the information we discussed above about appropriate treatment options, and to always seek veterinary care when needed.

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