Is Neosporin Safe For Dogs?

You probably have a tube of Neosporin in your medicine cabinet as a first-aid for minor wounds. If you’ve ever had a cut or scrape, you know it’s a great way to keep the wound clean and protected.

However, this begs the question, is Neosporin safe for dogs? Can you use antibiotic ointments to treat cuts and scratches on your pup? Let us break this down for you.

What To Know About Neosporin 

Neosporin is a topical antibiotic ointment that contains three active ingredients: bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B. These ingredients work together to kill bacteria and help prevent infection in cuts, scrapes, and burns.

Bacitracin and polymyxin B are safe for animals. Neomycin, when ingested, has been found to cause hearing loss. In small quantities, Neosporin is safe for dogs to use topically on superficial wounds. However, it should not be used on deep wounds or puncture wounds. 

Since it’s a topical ointment, your dog is also at risk for allergic reactions. Always administer a small patch first, and in case of any itchy skin, don’t use it any further. You can also consult with a licensed veterinarian and ask if Neosporin for dogs is a safe bet. 

More Harm than Good

Neosporin kills bacteria, and in small quantities, it can help heal your dog’s wounds. However, there are minor side effects. You can only apply this antibiotic cream in places your pet can’t lick. If your dog licks the wound, there’s a big chance they’ll lick the antibacterial ointment off.

Ingesting Neosporin harms your dog’s gut leading to diarrhea and vomiting. Licking the wound could also encourage more bacterial growth since it’ll be moist with their saliva.

Neosporin can also cause ear and eye damage if they accidentally get to your dog’s ears or eyes. It’s advised not to use it for an ear or eye infection. 

If your dog’s wound is bleeding profusely or the cut is deep, don’t attempt to apply any topical ointment. Bring them directly to the hospital for immediate veterinary care.

Using Alternatives To Neosporin

The safest alternatives, even natural ones, can still be used if Neosporin isn’t available. Counter medications like Silver Honey, Sulfodene, and Vetricyn can be purchased at pet stores and veterinary clinics. 

When using these ointments, apply only externally and prevent your dog from licking them off. You can use a dog cone or an Elizabethan collar. If the scrape or cut shows no improvement within 24-48 hours, bring your pet to a veterinarian for further attention.

Once again, these ointments must not be applied to deep or severe wounds. If in doubt, always consult with a vet. They can prescribe an oral antibiotic or another topical medication that can treat your dog effectively. 

While Neosporin can be used on dogs in some cases, it is not always safe. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian before using any medication or ointment on your pet. For more safety tips for you and your furry friends, visit our blogs at Be-Safe today.