Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs?

Whenever you fell and skinned a knee as a child, your mom probably slathered the wound with Neosporin and covered it up with a bandage. Neosporin is quite good at preventing infections in minor wounds and it’s probably one of the best selling antibiotic ointments on the market. Since dogs get injured, too, is Neosporin a good treatment option for them?


Can I Give My Dog Neosporin?

Neosporin is safe to use on dogs, but there are far better options in treating cuts and wounds and hot spots.

Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs?

Neosporin is safe, but because dogs like to lick their injuries, it’s very likely that they’re going to lick it right off. Neosporin isn’t mean to be consumed, and a lot of owners will constantly reapply the ointment as it’s licked off. Putting a bandage over the top doesn’t help much either because your dog will simply pull it off and continue to lick.

You should never use Neosporin on major wounds. If your dog has a laceration, no matter how much or how little it’s bleeding, they should be seen by a vet. The longer you leave a major cut untreated, the more likely it is that your dog is going to develop an infection. The tissue will also die quite quickly, meaning it’s difficult to suture it closed after a period of time. Your vet will determine whether stitches are necessary and how to properly dress the wound if necessary.

If your dog has a very minor scratch on an inaccessible place, like their ear, Neosporin can help that area heal. The main concern with Neosporin is the likelihood that it will be ingested when it’s applied anywhere else on the body.

What Can I Give My Dog for Cuts and Wounds?

If your dog has seen a veterinarian for their injury, then they will give you an idea about what you should use for treatment. There is a ton of ointments on the market that are safe and effective for dogs. Vetericyn is a steroid- and antibiotic-free ointment that’s safe for use on all animals. It’s formulated for animals, so if your dog does lick it off, it won’t cause any issues. Many vets use it because they agree it’s as effective as Neosporin while still remaining safe for dogs because it doesn’t contain any alcohol or tea tree oils, a common natural antibiotic ingredient found in “all natural” products. Because it’s free of alcohol, it can be used around eyes, ears, noses, and the mouth. It can be used for scratches, sores, and rashes, as well as more serious injuries like lacerations, burns, and cuts when they have stitches. Of course, if your dog has any of these injuries, they will probably need oral antibiotics and pain medication, so any topical ointment you use is meant to complement your dog’s healing, not to be solely responsible for it.

Another option is something called PROTASIA-VS. It’s almost identical to Vetericyn and is non-toxic, all-natural, and safe for lacerations, abrasions, cuts, and sores. The only difference between PROTASIA-VS and Vetericyn is it has a higher amount of Free Active Chlorine. It’s cheaper than Vetericyn, but if you’re confused about what’s best for your pet, your vet can help you.

If your dog has an irritating hot spot, you can help speed up the healing process by using a topical medication in conjunction with their oral prescription medications. Vet Essentials Hot Spot Skin and Wound Spray helps kill 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria found in hot spots. For dogs battling fungal infections, Ceragyn Wound and Skin Formula is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral, making it an effective treatment option when it’s used with oral antifungal medicine. Petzlife Wound Care is another all-natural product that helps get rid of stubborn ringworm infections.

Chelated silver is a very potent drug used to relieve the pain and infection associated with burns and abrasions. Of course, if your dog has a burn, they absolutely need to see a veterinarian. Burns are one of the most painful injuries possible, and even first-degree burns are excruciating. Using a topical spray is only meant to complement oral antibiotics and pain medication.

When Should My Dog See a Veterinarian for a Wound?

There’s the old wives’ tale going around that dogs heal their own injuries with their saliva. This just isn’t true. A dog’s mouth is riddled with bacteria, and when it’s introduced into a wound, it will get infected. Dogs heal quickly, and the problem with this is if you let a wound heal without proper treatment, all of that bacteria will get trapped underneath the newly formed skin and lead to a nasty infection.

If your dog has been hurt, how do you know when to take them to the vet? Ideally, you err on the side of caution every time and take them to a vet to be evaluated. Active bleeding definitely requires a vet visit, as does being able to see any bone, ligaments, or tendons through the laceration. The biggest problem with being slow to get veterinary care is how quickly the skin on a laceration dies. When that tissue dies, it makes it very difficult to suture the skin closed. If a large wound can’t be sutured, then you’re in for a few very long weeks of taking your dog back and forth to the vet to be rebandaged every 24 to 48 hours.


Neosporin should only be used for very small injuries that are in areas your dog can’t reach. If your dog has any type of trauma to their legs, paws, tail, or any other part of their body, they need to see a veterinarian for optimal treatment. After all, if you had a large cut, you’d probably go see your doctor, right?