Can I Give My Dog Antibiotics?

Can I Give My Dog Antibiotics?Antibiotics are a common remedy for both people and dogs. But many of us have our doubts about giving such drugs to a dog. When your canine becomes sick or injured sometimes you just don’t know what to do.

Whether it’s a minor injury or a simple ailment, all of these can require treatment. Dogs should be given antibiotics when the need arises. Afterwards, dogs just need to be observed for any negative effects such as allergic reactions.

Before giving your dog any antibiotic treatment it’s best to consult with a veterinarian. There are so many variations and brands of antibiotics not to mention dosing uncertainty. More importantly, a proper diagnosis needs to be done before anything.

Can I Give My Dog Antibiotics? Answer: Yes

In fact, one of the most common treatments for people and dogs alike is antibiotics.

Antibiotics are used, for people and dogs, primarily to speed up a recovery process. There is a debate about whether or not this type of medication is really safe for pets. Antibiotics are relatively safe for dogs provided that you know the appropriate dosage and seek your veterinarian’s professional advice.

Never give any type of antibiotic to a puppy without a vet’s opinion first.

What are Antibiotics?

Antibiotics is the generic term that refers to a type of drug used to prevent or stop the spread of bacterial infection. It may be used to kill and eliminate harmful bacteria, or simply prevent its proliferation in the injured area. These are primary functions of antibiotics in the body.

For sure, it applies to dogs and pets as well. Antibiotics, such as Cefdinir, are something of a recent medical breakthrough. Only since post World War 2 have they become widely used and have contributed to increasing lifespans including those of canines.

Antibiotics for K9s

The goal of antibiotic therapy is to eliminate infection as fast as possible before your dog develops a tolerance to the medication. But it’s critical to administer the proper dosage and proper duration. Maintaining the medication for the prescribed period is equally critical to get positive results. You shouldn’t stop your dog’s antibiotic treatment early unless instructed otherwise by a vet.

Your dog may have some adverse reactions to the medication which is why you should always keep a close eye on them. This period of time may be stressful for your dog. Find ways to make it as easy as possible.

Your doctor should be able to recommend other medications or food supplements to go along with the antibiotics. Depending on the severity of your dog’s condition, certain things might be refrained from temporarily, like walking or contact with other pets.

When To Use Them

Antibiotics may be used in adult dogs when infection occurs. Better yet, it’s applied to prevent superficial or surgical wounds from getting infected preemptively. Sometimes antibiotics may not seem to work. Each situation is monitored on a case by case basis. Proper vaccinations should be given to your K9 as the first line of defense for illness. Is your dog up to date on all their vaccine shots?

Although human antibiotics are useful for dog infections, it may not have a similar effect. If you have administered medication and no change occurs in four days, you can restart the regime with a more potent antibiotic if your vet agrees. Always seek your vet’s advice before you switch medications.

Best Antibiotics to Use

There are many brands of antibiotics to choose from. Different classes target distinct ailments or injuries. Your vet will recommend the best type based on your dog’s particular condition and medical history.

Cephalexin tends to be a very effective treatment for various skin conditions and wounds. It’s available in oral form and can be purchased without a prescription. Cephalexin is often provided to dogs every 8 hours for a 7-day treatment period or more depending on the veterinarian’s recommendation. Other popular medications include Penicillin, Amoxicillin, Clavamox and Baytril.

Conclusion on Antibiotics

You can give your dogs antibiotics. It’s safe to use as long as you have the knowledge and are careful enough to administer them. Many find antibiotics to be confusing. Speak with your veterinarian before starting any antibiotic therapy. This is even more important for very young dogs. Doing so will ensure that you won’t expose your dog to unnecessary risk and they’ll get the best path to recovery.

Add Your Own Answer to the Question Can I Give My Dog Antibiotics? Below

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi March, 2016

My 3 year old Pit had a scab on his front paw and his back leg. He licked it so much that it’s now swollen and the hair is missing. Is there anything I can do at home to heal this wound? I have Amoxicillin, but I’m not sure how much to administer. They are 500mg capsules.


Let October, 2015

I have a 5 year old English Sheepdog who has developed 3 hot spots on the neck and head area. He was at the vet 3 weeks ago and he is up to date on all his shots. He eats a good diet and gets treats. This issue just developed about 5 days ago. 2 of them look like they are drying up. When I washed them they would bleed until they dried up again.

He has a lot of hair and sometimes it mats in certain areas. I have Doxycycline Hyclate dosed at 100mg and he’s around 100 pounds. Can I give this to him? Money is very tight now and the vet always wants cash.


Donna Jean Trenary November, 2015

I also have money issues. With that being shared, I have learned many alternate ways to get along successfully. My Bugzy too gets hot spots and I use the following:

1. Shampoo prescription, Hexachlor-K. No conditioner and do that every week for a month. My dog is allergic to her own dander and oils. I now use the shampoo every other week, in a good month. It really helps her so much, she is relieved from the misery of scratching so often.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide on a cotton swab, separating the hair. Some say no, but I say yes. Don’t put it on often, one or two times on that spot.

3. Get a spray from your vet called Relifor which is a topical spray.

This works for me if I’m consistent.


Sharon September, 2015

My dog is bleeding from the nose and it’s been going on now for a week. The blood sometimes comes out in clumps. We live in Indonesia so there is no vet. I want to give him Amoxicillin. He is 4 years old weighs about 15kg. Any advice?


Jackie July, 2015

My 50 pound English Bull Terrier is taking penicillin shots, 1cc twice a day for five days. She’s having some trouble sleeping so I thought it might be a good idea to give her melatonin. Are there any interactions with melatonin and penicillin that I should be aware of? Is it a good idea to provide it?


Donna January, 2015

Our Yorkie has something going on inside his mouth. It looks like red tumors connected to his jaw or gum and has now spread to the outside on the side of his mouth. I don’t have money to take him to the vet. I was wondering if it’s some kind of infection maybe could I treat it with antibiotics. Thanks!


Cherise November, 2015

Donna, this does not sound like an infection. I would absolutely have this looked at by a vet.


Lori March, 2016

Hi Donna. My Lab has a lesion on his tongue. He is slobbering excessively and it smells horrific. Did you get a reply to your Yorkie’s problem? My husband is unemployed and I’m on disability. Any help would be great.


Robert November, 2014

Can I give my Cocker Spaniel 300mg of Apo-Clindamycin?


Jerry December, 2014

Only give your pet medicines that are prescribed to them. If a veterinarian has not determined the medical necessity for an antibiotic then you can actually cause more damage than good. If your dog has an infection, it is best to determine whether it is viral or bacterial. If it’s bacterial, it could be something that is resistant to Clindamycin.

There may be other antibiotics more effective in the area being treated. For example, Cephalexin is good for skin, Clindamycin is good for the mouth, and Clavamox (Amoxicillin with Clavulanic Acid) is good for the urinary tract. Without veterinary diagnosis, you could be giving the wrong antibiotic and making it harder to resolve the problem. There is a reason veterinarians go through a minimum of 8 years of school.

The short answer is only if prescribed to your pet and deemed medically necessary by a licensed veterinarian.


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