Can I Give My Dog Neosporin?

Can I Give My Dog Neosporin?Neosporin is a topical antibiotic which does an excellent job of speeding up healing of minor cuts, scratches and scrapes. But is this product safe for dogs? It’s a great question and perhaps your pet has a wound right now.

The concern is that your dog may lick or ingest Neosporin. The saying “lick your wounds” comes from the propensity of canines to do just that after being bruised. Enzymes in their saliva help in the recovery, but this ointment should never be licked!

Perhaps taking a lesson from the professionals can help. Vets use gels that are similar to Neosporin as a way to disinfect and advance heeling. But just as importantly, they carefully cover up the wounded area to prevent unsafe ingestion.

Can I Give My Dog Neosporin? Answer: Yes, but there’s a better option

A superior treatment that’s designed for pets is just as effective and much safer.

Otherwise, you must avoid the possibility of your canine’s tongue reaching the affected area. Dogs have a strong tendency to lick at their cuts and wounds and Neosporin isn’t safe for consumption. Even if you do bandage over the affected area, you can’t watch your dog all the time. That’s why you occasionally see pets with a cone around their heads, after surgery or when a vet doesn’t want them getting at certain areas.

So, if you don’t cone your dog’s head, they’re liable to lick at any Neosporin which presents a problem.

Better than Neosporin

Luckily an alternative to Neosporin has been developed specifically for pets. Vetericyn Wound & Skin Care is completely safe if licked or ingested and is just as effective. You won’t have to worry about your dog experiencing diarrhea or upset stomach if their mouth gets near the treatment.

Common Cuts & Scrapes

Superficial cuts and scrapes will usually heal on their own but it’s a good idea to clean them up to prevent an infection. Aside from that, you shouldn’t cover canine injuries with Neosporin or any other antibacterial creams that could easily end up in their mouths. How you treat your dog’s minor cuts and scraps is up for debate but the best solution seems to be Vetericyn’s product.

You may not even notice small abrasions unless they are bleeding. Obviously, if your dog is giving a specific area on their body a lot of attention you should give it a close and careful inspection. Often times, something like Neosporin isn’t necessary.

For More Serious Wounds

If your dog has a serious wound, take them to the vet to be properly attended to. They’ll determine if your dog needs stitches and, at the very least, properly dress the injury. They should also show you how to best take care of it while at home. Various ointments may or may not be necessary.

Don’t panic if your dog is seriously injured. Instead, focus on getting them help. Use compression or a tourniquet to contain lacerations or bleeding that may be causing excessive blood loss. Neosporin, a gel form antibiotic, won’t do anything for your dog during this crucial time.

Healing is Usually Fast

Dogs tend to heal more quickly than we do. Usually they can overcome superficial cuts, scratches or scrapes without much trouble. It’s us humans that take awhile to heal by comparison. When you see your dog injured, it is natural to jump into a proactive mode. But often we over-treat them, for example with lots of Neosporin, when they may not require it.

Conclusion on Neosporin

The application of Neosporin for your dog’s wounds can help but may also be problematic. It’s important to prevent digestion of potentially toxic antibiotic creams because that’s counterproductive to what you’re trying to achieve. Consider a safer alternative as previously recommended. More serious wounds should be attended to by a vet. Neosporin won’t help in an emergency or for cases requiring stitches. Alternatively, sometimes the best thing to do for minor injuries is to let nature simply run its course.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda March, 2016

Is it okay to apply Neosporin around the eyes? If so, will it hurt if it gets in her eyes? My Shih Tzu has had many eye infections and a breeder told me today that Neosporin was fine to use around the eye. She has dry eye syndrome. Her eye oozes, sticking to the outer lid, and gets red and irritated.


Kiddemcee November, 2015

I use Neosporin with pain relief on my Bullboxer Pit anytime he has a cut or scratch and he’s completely scarless. I primarily use it in areas he cannot reach or when he’s asleep so I can monitor him until he wakes up. Once he wakens, he usually doesn’t return to the affected site. Before trying it, I did plenty of research and consulted my vet, who agreed with my treatment and actually commended me for it.


Karen October, 2015

While cutting knots of hair, I nipped my dog’s skin with scissors. She didn’t bleed a lot, just a little on the surface. She didn’t lick or look at it yet but we put Neosporin on it. Is that okay?


Mary June, 2015

My dog has a bad sore on her nose so I applied Neosporin to it but she’s been licking it. Should I be worried?


David Hayford October, 2015

I have also found that to be the case with their head or neck. Places they can’t get their tongue on are safer. The thing to do is not glob it on. This way they can’t rub it with their paws and consume it from there. Very small amounts worked out well for me. I am not a vet but have had many different animals and I found this to be the safest way possible.


Mary Jane June, 2015

My dog had a tick under her neck and after removal I put Neosporin Plus Pain Relief on it. She can’t lick it there so I thought this would be fine. Am I right to think that?


James June, 2015

In my opinion, yes I think you’ve done well!


Syl December, 2014

My dog has a lot of drainage which concerns me. She has two bite wounds below the neck. I have been using Vetericyn. She eats and drinks well and I’m guessing this is a good sign. The wound does need to drain. Is this correct?


Andrew February, 2015

Drainage is fine, as long as it’s not from infection. If the discharge is thick or stinky, or the wound starts to get angry red and swollen, then there’s a sign of infection and you will want to contact the vet.


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