Neosporin For Dogs: Is It Safe?

owner with dog

So, your dog has got themselves in some sort of trouble and have come back to you with a cut, and now it’s up to you to help them.

What’s the first medicine that comes to mind so you can perform proper first aid on your pooch? A topical antibacterial product like Neosporin which comes in cream, gel, ointment and powder forms, of course!

But, what is Neosporin exactly?

Introduction To Neosporin

Neosporin is a product that contains antibiotics that hinder the growth of bacteria when applied to minor wounds such as cuts, bad scrapes, abrasions, itches (that urge your canine to scratch areas like their neck), burns and scabs.

Moreover, some forms of Neosporin come with pain relief properties (look up Neosporin plus Pain Relief in case you’re interested in this) to help soothe any pain that might come with these injuries.

But, this time you’re not using Neosporin for yourself, you’re using it to care for your dog’s open wound if they cut their paw, an open sore on their mouth/lips, nose, eyes, face, ear, back, leg, neck or skin, or a scar they have that you want to be removed.

In such a case, the question that should be asked is, is Neosporin on dogs safe to use? And, if so, does an antibacterial cream like Neosporin work on canines the same way it works on us humans?

Can You Put Neosporin On A Dog?

So, first off, is Neosporin safe for dogs?

The short answer is, YES, using Neosporin on your pooch is safe!

But, there are some very important points you must understand before applying Neosporin to treat your canine’s wounds, which we will be discussing in this article.

Neosporin Uses For Dogs

So, when it comes to pets, what is Neosporin used for? And when is it best to use Neosporin on dogs?

First off, and even though their bodies can heal themselves from superficial cuts most of the time, it’s not a bad idea to apply Neosporin to your pooch’s wounds if they’re minor ones.

hurt dog

If your pup gets themselves in some serious trouble for some reason and comes back to you with a major, deep wound/cut, you should immediately take them to the veterinarian and have someone professionally take care of them, because it might need stitching, and applying Neosporin on an area that needs stitches won’t do any good.

If your canine has a major wound and is somewhat heavily bleeding, use a band-aid or a compression device to temporarily control the bleeding until you get them to the hospital.

Absolutely forget about Neosporin in such cases, you’ll only be losing precious time and risking your dog’s health and life.

How Much Neosporin Can I Put On My Dog?

One important thing to keep in mind is that canines heal much faster and easier than us humans do when it comes to wounds they receive, which is why superficial scrapes or cuts they receive usually heal on their own with no need for any medication (except cleaning the dog’s wound of-course so it doesn’t get infected).

I understand that as a caring pet owner, it’s hard not to be scared when your dog gets a wound or a cut. But, panicking and applying too much Neosporin to their wound will do no good.

This is why you should only apply Neosporin 2-3 times per day until the wound is healed.

My Dog Ate Neosporin, What Should I Do?

One thing all pet owners should be wary of is the fact that canines like to lick their wounds. If dogs could talk, they would ask you “can I lick it?” whenever they see a wound.

Why they like to do that isn’t exactly our subject at hand here, but by licking their wounds their saliva can actually help heal the wounds faster because a dog’s saliva has antiseptic properties.

But, what happens when you apply Neosporin to a wound or bruise they have? Yup, they’ll lick that area with no hesitation!

And your pooch licking Neosporin and it ending up in their mouth (which basically means they’re ingesting and swallowing Neosporin) is a dangerous thing that should not be allowed to happen.

Even when we apply Neosporin to wounds of our own, our dogs like to lick us and them licking human wounds with Neosporin on them is just as dangerous as them licking Neosporin on wounds of their own.

This is why it’s recommended that after you apply Neosporin on dogs, you immediately cover up the area you applied it on. But even after you properly cover it up, can you really guarantee that your pet won’t find a way to remove the cover from that area and start licking it?

Go ask any pet owner who put a bandage or cover on their dog’s wound, they will tell you all about how their canine is brilliant at tearing it apart!

So, unless you keep your dog under observation 24/7, stopping canines from licking wounds and licking sores with Neosporin on them is a real difficult task. What’s the solution then?

There’s an alternative for Neosporin!

Neosporin Substitute: Vetericyn For Dogs

There are many alternatives out there for Neosporin, one of the best ones being Vetericyn.

Why is it one of the best alternatives? Well, besides being as effective as Neosporin, it’s completely safe if your pup licks it or consumes it.

Vetericyn does not contain any substances that might be toxic for your dogs, which puts you at relief knowing that you don’t have to worry about whether they lick their wound, and you don’t have to keep observing them.

dog friends

Besides Vetericyn, below is a list of alternatives for Neosporin you should check out:

  • PROTASIA-vs Skin and Wound Care
  • Ceragyn Wound and Skin Formula for Pets
  • Veterinus Derma GeL
  • Vital Animal Health – Vet Essentials Hot Spot Skin and Wound Spray
  • Petzlife Wound Care
  • Pet Silver Spray


So to wrap it all up, applying Neosporin on a minor wound or small cut your canine has is perfectly fine.

You just have to make sure to cover it up with something that will prevent them from tearing it apart and licking their wound and thus the Neosporin along with it, because it’s toxic for them to eat.

Or, if the Neosporin will be applied in an area they can’t lick (somewhere on their head, their ear, etc ..) then you’re good to go.

However, If you can’t guarantee they won’t lick the Neosporin away, use one of the alternatives to Neosporin mentioned above, like Vetericyn.

As for serious dog cuts and wounds, and for cases when they are excessively bleeding, stop everything you’re doing and immediately get them to the hospital.

Such cases require immediate professional care and no cream out there will be able to help you, you’ll only be losing precious time!

Check out this video to learn more!


  1. Thank You very much this website was very helpful. I was thinking should I use this on my dog or not. Thank You so much.

  2. I appreciate the article. All the info was helpful so thank you! The “My Dog Ate Neosporin, What Should I Do?” category is misleading, though. “Ate” is past tense. My quick, 8lb dog licked about a pea-size of Neosporin before I could cover it. I know what I should do in the future thanks to the article :), but I thought that category would help me with what happened already…my dog ate Neosporin. How dangerous is it? Suggestions on what I should do, if anything?

  3. My dog is a puppy. He’s only like 3 or 4wks old. But on last week he had an abscess that ruptured, right up under his under arm. But because he’s so small, and barely walking, he’s dragging and scooting. Which is not allowing the wound to heal properly if you ask me. I tried wrapping it up, but other articles say leave it open. I haven’t put any ointment on it, I’ve just been giving him the medicine that the doctors prescribed. But I want to help him heal, so is it okay to put Neosporin on it. I’m thinking about taking him back to the doctor.

  4. I have found XENODINE as a cure-all for hot spots, cuts, wounds, infections and the like to be THE best medicine after cleaning the dog or cat with soap and water. XENODINE, despite the iodine base, is SAFE to lick. It also has an indeterminate shelf life! I stopped using Hydrogen Peroxide and Neosporin in favor of XENODINE a number of years ago. It covers a huge list of Bacteria and Fungi; check the test results online. I even use the stuff and I can say that in a few days, everything heals on the animals and on me!!


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