Can You Use Neosporin On Dog’s Wounds?

Photo by Neosporin

Neosporin is a brand of petroleum-based antibiotic ointment used for treating infections in humans. It is usually applied after getting cuts and abrasions to prevent the bacteria from entering into the deeper structures of our skin.

Like us, our dogs can also suffer from minor scratches and wounds. Given that, can you use Neosporin for your dog? Can you put Neosporin on a dog wound or abrasion? What about scrapes and burns? Many pet owners are asking this, since surface wounds are fairly common in dogs due to their playful nature.

What Is Neosporin?

Neosporin is a topical ointment that contains 5,000 IU of polymyxin B sulfate, 400 IU of bacitracin zinc, and 5 mg of neomycin sulfate. The antibiotic ingredients are in a petroleum jelly base. It is mostly composed of petroleum jelly and only a minimal amount of antibiotics. This combination of antibiotics can effectively treat bacterial infections.

This ointment is suitable only for minor skin injuries. Never use it on serious burns and wounds that affect a large area of the dog’s skin. In the event that your pooch has a large and deep wound, bring him to an emergency vet clinic for evaluation and proper treatment.

Where To Buy Neosporin?

Neosporin is widely available in pharmacies and grocery stores. An ounce of Neosporin Original Ointment costs around $6.47. You can even find this ointment in online retail shops. You can buy Neosporin without a prescription, but it would help to let your vet know if you are using it for your dog.

Is Neosporin Safe On Dogs?

Yes, it is safe for canines. As an antibiotic ointment, it works by preventing bacterial infection in the wound. This, in turn, helps the wounds heal faster. But as with any topical medication, you have to use it with extra caution.

Make sure the wound is covered with a bandage to avoid your dog from licking the surface. You may use an e-collar if you can’t stop your pet from licking his wound. If you haven’t used one for Fido before, ask your vet about it so they can recommend the best type for your pet.

The thing is, most dogs can’t bear the “Cone of Shame”. They offer run into things while wearing it. In these cases, you may want to use alternatives like pillow collars and padded rings which are both more comfortable to wear than the plastic cones.

Also, keep the medication in a place out of your dog’s reach. Dogs are fond of eating almost anything and topical ointments are not an exception. Ingestion of this ointment, especially in large amounts, can cause life-threatening side effects to canines. It’s even worse if the pet ingested the tube along with the cream.

Important Reminders Before Using Neosporin

There are certain precautions involved when using Neosporin for canines. You are not supposed to apply it inside the ears or in the eye area. It is also not advisable to use for large and deep lesions.

When ingested, Neosporin can cause vomiting and diarrhea because of the petroleum in it. Because it is in topical form, it has lesser amounts of antibiotic compared to those in oral form. Therefore, you should not worry that much about the antibiotic content but more about the petroleum jelly in it.

Regardless of the small amounts of antibiotic in it, it’s still important to use it with utmost care. Antibiotics can cause allergic responses in dogs. The usual symptoms of antibiotics allergy in dogs are watery eyes, itchiness, rashes, and redness. In rare instances, canines could also suffer from vomiting and diarrhea.

If any of these warning signs occurred, stop using Neosporin for your dog’s wound. Avoid using too much of this product because antibiotic resistance is a serious issue. The use of antibiotics has been a cause for concern worldwide.

Meanwhile, Petroleum jelly is non-toxic for canines in small amounts. In fact, many veterinarians are using it for medicinal purposes. The Main Street Animal Services of Hopkinton claimed it can be used for lubricating the gut to rid of the foreign substance from your dog’s body.

However, ingesting petroleum jelly in large amounts can cause gastrointestinal upset in dogs because of its laxative effect. You can also witness some vomiting if your pet ingested a lot of petroleum jelly.

In the event that the dog ingested a lot of Neosporin, don’t hesitate to call the vet. Your pet doctor will ask how much of the antibiotic ointment was ingested. Depending on the amount and the effect it has on your pet, your vet will decide if there is a need to bring Fido in.

A vet’s consultation may be necessary depending on the type of injury. For canines with puncture wounds, it is necessary to get checked by a veterinarian. Puncture wounds are deep and usually occur because of sharp and pointed objects.

A bite from another animal is already classified as a puncture wound. Cat bites can result in swelling because a cat’s teeth are usually needle-thin and long. It’s also important to seek your vet’s help if your pet was bitten by another animal, even if it was just another dog. Without proper treatment, animal bites could lead to complications.

How to Apply Neosporin to Dogs

Clean the wound before applying the ointment. A mild chlorhexidine is suitable for sanitizing the affected area. If you don’t have chlorhexidine at home, you may use a Betadine Solution. Don’t use Hydrogen Peroxide for dog wounds as it would only impair the skin tissues rather than repair it.

This ointment should be applied two to three times a day to the affected area. It can be used until the skin has completely healed. A thin layer of Neosporin is enough to prevent the bacteria from entering the wound.

Dealing with Canine Wounds

You can’t prevent accidents from occurring, just like you can’t stop a dog from moving or playing around. Dogs are prone to having wounds due to their uninhibited nature. The good news is that you can help your dog feel better when he has wounds.

Treating dog wounds can be tricky, though. You should try to calm the dog down and this isn’t always easy if he suffered from an injury. Your dog can be tensed because it is normal for him to hedge himself from further discomfort. Once he’s relaxed enough, take the opportunity to treat his wound at home. Here’s how to do it:

1.Stop the bleeding.  When there is bleeding, address it first before cleaning the affected area. When there is none, proceed with the next step.

2.Trim the hair around the wound. This is to keep it from further irritating the flesh. It also allows you to have a better look at the affected area.

3.Remove any sticky or crusty debris from the surrounding area. This lessens the risks of infections while allowing new healthy tissues to grow.

4.Sanitize the area using a saline solution. If you don’t have this at home, you can also use chlorhexidine or povidone-iodine.

5.Dry the area. Using a clean towel or dry gauze, pat the surrounding area to keep it free from moisture.

6.Apply the antibiotic ointment. Put on the Neosporin or any brand of triple antibiotic ointment.

7.Dress it with a bandage. This is to keep Fido from licking the wound as well as the ointment.

The step-by-step guide above is only intended for minor wounds. There are different types of wounds and each of them has a different level of contamination. Infected wounds even require surgical debridement or removal of the dead tissue.

Are There Safer Alternatives to Neosporin?

Yes, there are organic alternatives to triple antibiotic ointments. Curoxen is an all-natural ointment that contains olive extract, calendula, oxygenated olive oil, and lavender. But if you already have calendula at home, you can also use it.

Calendula is a popular herbal remedy for both humans and animals. It is best known for its healing properties due to its salicylic acid content. It can effectively heal wounds because of its natural antibacterial properties. Unlike antibiotic ointments, calendula will not cause allergic reactions. You can apply the calendula tea directly on the wound or soak a cloth with it.


Neosporin is a safe and effective treatment for dog wounds. Include it in your dog’s first aid kit and always have it available, even when you travel. In the event that your dog suffers from cuts and abrasions, Neosporin can help your pet heal faster. It helps to disinfect the affected area twice a day until the wound completely heals.

Don’t forget about all the risks involved in using antibiotic ointments. Although allergic reactions are rare in canines, it’s still best to observe how the dog’s skin reacts to the medicine upon application. Make sure your pet will not ingest it because the petroleum and antibiotic content in it can cause a gastrointestinal upset in canines.


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