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Are you wondering if Neosporin can safely be used on your dog?
First the good news:
Bacitracin works on animals too—this topical antibiotic speeds up the healing process of minor cuts, wounds, scratches or scrapes for people and pets alike!
With that being said…
Ensure that your dog does not ingest any amount of the applied Neosporin.
Despite being so readily available, this ointment must be administered responsibly.
Dogs Can Benefit From Neosporin (though safer options exist)
The saying “lick your wounds” comes from the propensity of canines to do just that.
Yet it’s important to prevent your dog from licking once Bacitracin is on the affected area. For safe and effective healing, this topical antibiotic needs to stay put—not be ingested.
While side effects are not typically life threatening, you still want to avoid an unnecessary poisoning incident and the risks associated with Neosporin misuse.
FYI: Sometimes you’ll see dogs with a funny looking cone that raps around the head. This is often used for post surgery purposes, but also when the vet doesn’t want them licking at certain areas.
Curious K9s Cannot Resist
Still want to use Neosporin?
As long as you’re well aware that your dog can’t lick Neosporin.
Of course, this may be easier said than done. Often times it depends on the wound’s proximity to the mouth! Ingestion may or may not be an issue.
Side Effects Rarely Serious
Consumption, especially a lot of Neosporin, can have the following side effects:
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
In extreme cases, your dog’s kidneys could be harmed. Thankfully, renal failure is pretty rare.
Nevertheless, play it safe. Cover up wounded areas. Make it your goal to circumvent ingestion.
Interesting Fact: Without ointment, dogs can and should lick their wounds because saliva enzymes aid recovery!
To Apply or Not To Apply?
That is the question!
Superficial wounds, cuts and scrapes often heal on their own. It could just be a matter of proper cleaning with an antiseptic like hydrogen peroxide in order to prevent infection.
In any case, think twice before applying Neosporin to your dog’s injuries if it will be lickable. This goes for other types of over-the-counter ointments as well.
The Best Safe Alternative
An excellent product for cleansing your dog’s wounds, to enable optimal healing, is Vetericyn Wound & Skin Care spray.
It even helps with rashes, itchy skin and hot spots.
What’s great is that Vetericyn can be licked or swallowed which makes it worry-free compared to Neosporin.
Not For Serious Wounds
Please take your dog to your veterinarian for any significant wounds, injuries or other urgent circumstances.
Fido may need stitches or, at least, proper dressing (bandaging). Involve a professional.
Neosporin would not be helpful for anything beyond a fairly insignificant cut, gash or laceration.
Compression, or a tourniquet, could be applied to contain bleeding. A lot of blood loss indicates you should head to a clinic ASAP.
Hounds Heal Very Fast
On the bright side, dogs tend to heal quickly. Wounds, at least those that aren’t deep, typically take no time to mend.
Humans actually take longer mend (even with Vaseline or Bacitracin).
Nonetheless, kudos for being proactive!
The Bottom Line
Neosporin works for dogs, though licking is a concern because there is a toxicity aspect.
Be sure to prevent your pet from consuming this otherwise outstanding antibiotic cream.
For piece of mind, you may want to consider the aforementioned alternatives to Bacitracin.
Last but not least, serious wounds should be attended to by your vet. Over-the-counter narrow-spectrum antibiotic gels, such as Neosporin, are only good for treating your dog for minor injuries.