Can You Put Neosporin On A Dog?


When your dog comes inside with a scratch, scrape, or rugburn, your first instinct is to help them. But how do you go about helping them? It’s just a small wound, nowhere near requiring a trip to the vet.

However, you want to make sure they stay healthy and that the wound remains clean to heal properly. So what do you do? What would you do for yourself, or your child? You’d go to your medicine cabinet and get out the Neosporin.

antibiotic ointment for dogs

But then you think, can you use Neosporin on a dog? Will it hurt them?

This article will be discussing what exactly is inside Neosporin, and whether it’s safe to use on your beloved furry baby.

What is in Neosporin?

Everyone knows what Neosporin is – or at least the generic tube labeled “Triple Antibiotic Ointment.”

Everyone’s mother smeared it on their cuts and scrapes growing up, whether you needed it or not. And now you want to use it on your dog for their own scrapes. But, what exactly is inside this magical ointment?

Neosporin contains three different antibiotics: polymyxin B, neomycin, and bacitracin. Simply put, all of these are used to kill bacteria on the skin.

A number of studies have been conducted on the effects of these drugs on dogs. Bacitracin has been proved as exceedingly helpful in preventing bacterial infections, whereas neomycin, while helpful if given in too large of a dose, can cause severe hearing issues that can end up as permanent.

The final antibiotic, polymyxin B, is used as a sort of fail-safe in Neosporin. If the other two antibiotics don’t work, then this one will.

Can You Put Neosporin on a Dog?

In layman’s terms: yes. You can put Neosporin on a dog.

However, just as you should never self-diagnose your own medical issues, it is always recommended to get your vet’s opinion before performing any kind of medical intervention on your pets.

Give them a phone call and describe the issue. They’ll tell you whether you can put Neosporin on your dog.

can you use neosporin on dogs

Dog Wound Care

Whether your vet says yes will depend on the kind of wound, as well as its location.

If the wound is open and bleeding, it is advised to just flush it with warm water or saline and then cover it. If the wound is inside the ear or too close to the eyes, the same issue arises.

Note: Don’t rinse out wounds in your dog’s ears, as water in the ear can cause severe problems. Use a damp paper towel for this.

What Neosporin to Use

Neosporin is for small abrasions or closed wounds. It’s not recommended for open, bleeding wounds, as it can prevent the wound from closing properly.

There are also extra-strength versions of Neosporin available. It is highly recommended that you don’t use these on your dog, as the dosage of the drugs are higher and it contains other things that could be harmful.

How to Keep Dogs from Licking the Wound

Another issue that results from using Neosporin on your dog is that they’ll lick it off! This is worth taking into account when deciding to go this route.

You’ll need to consider the location of the wound, and whether your dog will have easy access to it, as dogs like to lick their wounds.

If it’s on the head, then you should have nothing to worry about. But if it’s located… basically anywhere else, then use a piece of clothing to cover the wound, like a t-shirt, a baby onesie (depending on the size of your dog), or even some doggie clothing!

Alternatively, you can always go with the tried and true method: the cone of shame.

How to Apply It

When applying Neosporin, more is not better. You want only a tiny amount, just enough to cover the tip of your finger.

Make sure you clean the wound site by flushing it with warm water or saline and patting it dry. If possible, clip the hair immediately around the wound site, as this will increase the effectiveness of your treatment.

Clipping the hair decreases the chance of infection, as well as ensures that the hair won’t absorb the Neosporin instead of the wound.

Make sure your hands are clean as well. Spread the Neosporin over the wound and cover it, so as to prevent your dog from licking it.


You’ll want to check the wound regularly. Be sure to gently clean the wound site and reapply the ointment at least two to three times a day.

dog wound care

Keep note of any inflammation or redness. If the wound becomes hot, red, and inflamed, it’s time to take your dog to the vet. The wound has become infected and will require professional medical treatment.

My Dog Licked off the Neosporin! What do I do?

Depending on the size of your dog and whether you used only the recommended minuscule amount, this shouldn’t really be an issue.

Your dog may experience a minor tummy ache, but shouldn’t have any other severe problems. Even if your dog eats the whole tube, the most they’re likely to experience is vomiting and diarrhea.

Just be sure to keep an eye on your pet and note any changes in behavior following the ingestion.

Antibiotic Ointment for Dogs?

If, after reading this article, you’re still unsure about using Neosporin, take heart – you don’t have to shell out money for a vet quite yet.

If the vet doesn’t recommend bringing your dog in, but you don’t feel comfortable using Neosporin, there are pet versions of this cream available.

A simple search online for an antibiotic ointment for dogs comes up with quite a few options. Ask your vet what they recommend if you’re unsure about what to use.

Here’s a video explaining how to clean a dog wound before treating it.

What’s your method of dog wound care?

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