Is neosporin safe for dogs?

Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs? (Key Considerations)

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If your dog gets a cut you want to take away the pain as quickly as possible (almost as you would for your kids).

That said, something like Neosporin can be an issue for a dog if its ingested, and it’s difficult to know if products like Neosporin or Pepto Bismol which work very well for people will be safe for dogs.

In this post we’ll help you to answer the question:

Is Neosporin safe for dogs?

We asked our veterinary advisor Dr. Jamie Whittenburg to offer some general tips for what to do when your pet gets into something they shouldn’t (or that you’re not sure about), and will give you all the information you need about Neosporin and your dog.

Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs?

While it can be safe to apply Neosporin topically to a wound, Neosporin is not safe for dogs to ingest. Before you apply Neosporin to a dog’s wound, you should contact your veterinarian.

Neosporin is a common household antibacterial used to prevent infection in everyday injuries by creating a thin barrier. But is it safe for dogs? And is Neosporin safe for dogs to ingest?

Neosporin is not safe for dogs to ingest as it contains neomycin, which has been linked to causing hearing loss in dogs. It was in situations where the drug was administered intravenously, but it’s still not recommended for dogs to consume this.

Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs To Eat?

No, Neosporin is not safe for dogs to eat. Not only has neomycin been connected to hearing loss in dogs, but there are concerns about how the ointment can affect bacteria in the gut.

Dogs ingesting Neosporin might have intestinal distress, including vomiting or diarrhea.

Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs Eyes?

You should not use Neosporin on your dog’s eyes. The eyes are susceptible, and Neosporin can be very rough on them. It may exacerbate the problem, delay healing, and even worsen the infection.

You shouldn’t give your dog medications without speaking to a veterinarian first.

Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs Paws?

Neosporin may be effective in the spot treatment of a scrape on your dog’s paws, but you shouldn’t use it. It’s not formulated for use in dogs and may cause an allergic reaction. Your dog will also likely try to lick it off, ingesting the medication and becoming ill.

Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs Skin?

There’s a chance that Neosporin could irritate your dog’s skin. You could do a spot test on your dog’s skin to see if the medication has any adverse reaction. But the real risk is that your dog may lick the area the Neosporin has been applied to and become ill.

Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs Wounds?

While Neosporin may be safe for topical applications, it is not safe for ingestion. The trouble with using the medication on dogs is that they’ll want to worry and lick at their wounds when they feel something they don’t like. You would need to keep an e-collar on your pet. 

Is Neosporin Safe for Dogs To Lick?

No. Neosporin is not safe for your dog to lick. The antibacterial properties of the drug can interfere with naturally occurring gut flora and cause vomiting and diarrhea.

What Are Side Effects For a Dog That Eats or Gets Neosporin on Their Skin?

Consumption of Neosporin can lead to vomiting or diarrhea as it disrupts the gut’s natural flora. One of the ingredients in Neosporin has also been linked to hearing loss when used intravenously, so it’s not recommended to allow your dog to eat it.

Neosporin may also cause a rash on the skin of some dogs, so you shouldn’t use it over a wide patch of skin.

How Effective is Neosporin for Dogs (If You Do Use It)?

Neosporin can be an effective treatment for dogs’ wounds. It helps to prevent infection and speeds up the healing process. However, it is important to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully, and to consult with a veterinarian before using Neosporin on your dog.

How Should You Treat a Dog’s Wound Step-By-Step?

1. Clean the wound: Gently clean the wound with warm water and mild soap. Avoid using harsh chemicals, which could irritate the skin.

2. Apply Neosporin: Apply a small amount of Neosporin to the wound, using a cotton swab or your finger (again if this is something you’ve decided to use on your dog – if not use an alternative).

3. Cover the wound: Place a bandage over the wound to keep it clean and protected.

4. Check the wound regularly: Check the wound daily, and clean it if necessary. The wound should start to heal within a few days. If it does not, or if you notice any signs of infection, consult with your veterinarian.

What are some alternatives to Neosporin for treating a dog’s wound?

Many dog owners choose to use alternatives to Neosporin when treating their dog’s wounds. Some of the most popular alternatives include:

  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Witch hazel
  • Manuka honey
  • Coconut oil
  • Lavender oil

Each of these options has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to do your research before deciding which one is right for your dog. Talk to your veterinarian about the best option for your pet’s individual needs.

Tips from Our Vets

It is normal to be concerned whenever your dog or cat gets into something they should not have. Dogs particularly tend to eat things with little to no regard for edibility. Because so many things can be toxic to pets, even some that are perfectly safe for humans, it can be hard to know what to do. Here are three key steps to take first:

  1. The first thing you must do if your dog or cat ate or were exposed to something that they should not have is to determine how much of the substance they actually ingested.
  2. Save labels or take pictures so that you are able to show the ingredients to your pet’s veterinarian.
  3. Your veterinarian should be the first point of contact in the case of such an event. Call the nearest emergency veterinary hospital if it is outside of normal business hours.

Please follow the advice of your veterinarian. If your dog has ingested something toxic, they must immediately be taken to a hospital or clinic for treatment. If your veterinarian does not recommend seeing your pet right away, you should observe them carefully for any signs of illness. Things to be on the lookout for include:

  1. Vomiting – Your dog may vomit from simple gastrointestinal distress after eating something other than their dog or cat food. However, intractable or repeated vomiting can signal a toxin ingestion or another serious issue like gastric dilation volvulus. These conditions are life threatening and require emergency treatment right away.
  2. Lethargy – If your dog is acting oddly, or “not themselves,” it is a clue that the ingestion might be serious. Veterinary care should be sought as soon as possible.
  3. Hypersalivation – Excessive drooling may signal a toxin exposure or an injury to the mouth. It can also be a sign of nausea. If your dog or cat is in hypersalivation, you should reach out to their veterinarian.
  4. Weakness – If your dog or cat appears to be weak, is stumbling, or has difficulty walking, the likelihood of a toxin ingestion is higher. This is a sign that your dog requires veterinary care.
  5. Seizures – Twitching, rapid leg or eye movements, and convulsions are all signs that something is wrong. These abnormal movements may be due to a toxin or another issue that the dog is experiencing.
  6. Dribbling urine – Leaking urine is often seen in cases of marijuana toxicity. Dogs or cats exhibiting this sign should be taken to the nearest veterinary clinic for treatment.

If you are unable to reach your veterinarian, a great resource for help is the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. The APCC is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can reach them at (888) 426-4435. There is a one-time $75 fee for this service.

Final Thoughts: Is Giving a Dog Neosporin Safe?

 While Neosporin can be safe to apply to a dog’s wound, it is not safe for dogs to ingest, and:

  • Neosporin contains neomycin which has caused hearing loss in dogs when used intravenously.
  • Neosporin can disrupt normal gut bacteria and cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Neosporin can aggravate eye infections.
  • Neosporin can cause a skin rash in some dogs.
  • Neosporin can be effective topically but should never be consumed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Resources

Our writing staff and team of veterinarians have dedicated a ton of time and energy to bringing you the best information possible about household products and food to help make sure your pets are safe.

You can check out our giant guide to human foods dogs can and can not eat, and we’ve created guides on whether over 40 human foods are safe for dogs to eat.

We’ve also created a series of posts on what household products are and aren’t safe for your pet, including:

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.