Read This Before Putting Neosporin On Your Dog!

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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…

Can I Give My Dog Neosporin?

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?

You can!

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:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • 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.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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15 thoughts on “Read This Before Putting Neosporin On Your Dog!”

  1. My Greyhound had his leg shaved to get shots. He licks it, so I put his muzzle on him. The area is red, like a burn, though hair is growing back. Can I use Neosporin?

  2. What symptoms would there be if a dog has licked Neosporin?

  3. My dog has red area around one nipple. I don’t know why. I add Neosporin on that area. Do you think that is okay or I should do something else?

  4. My dog has an abscess. I can’t afford to pay for any medical service for my pet and I truly hate myself for it. I love my baby boy. I have been using Neosporin on his wound which has not grown though it has not changed in appearance.

    He licks the Neosporin, yet and he is fine. I try not to let him, but it’s such a minor amount. He is a very large dog, this is probably why.

    1. If your dog has an abscess then he needs antibiotics. Possibly, depending on how bad it is, it might need to be drained or packed.

  5. 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.

    1. Don’t use it near the eyes. It’s not safe. She needs to see a vet to get eye drops for her eyes.

  6. Kiddemcee says:

    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.

  7. 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?

  8. 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?

    1. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 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?

    1. 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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