Neosporin is one of the first things we reach for when we get a cut or scrape. However, can you put Neosporin on a dog? Yes, Neosporin is safe for dogs to treat minor scrapes and cuts, and can prevent infections and help heal a dog’s wound faster. The next time you’re looking for what to put on a dog cut, Neosporin just might be the perfect answer.
Dogs like to play roughly and they can easily get cuts and scrapes. The first thing to do is assess the state of the injury and see how serious it is. If minor, you can clean the wound and apply Neosporin to help kill bacteria on the wound and avoid an infected dog wound.
However, you should seek medical attention if it’s a deep or serious wound, which may require stitches or other prescription antibiotics or antiseptics for dogs. The problem with these types of wounds is it’s often very small on the surface but can be a deep puncture wound.
This increases the chance of developing an infection because a dog’s mouth houses numerous bacteria that can get trapped in the deeper wound once the surface heals over.
What Is Neosporin?
Neosporin is a topical antibiotic comprised of bacitracin, polymyxin B, and neomycin that can be purchased over the counter. It is commonly used to treat minor cuts, scrapes, and burns, as well as prevent infections.
In addition to helping prevent infections, Neosporin also has analgesic properties, which means that applying it to the wound can help to speed up the healing time.
The advantage of using Neosporin is that it kills any existing bacteria and also creates a barrier around the wound keeping any additional bacteria from entering.
How To Treat a Cut or Wound On a Dog Using Neosporin
A dog’s body, in most cases, is able to heal itself from a minor scrape or cut. However, it doesn’t hurt to use a bit of Neosporin to help the healing process and avoid any unnecessary dog wound infections.
Of course, if it is a serious wound with a lot of bleeding, the best option is to cover the wounded area with a bandage and get them to the vet immediately. If severe, they may even need to get stitches or use prescription antiseptics or antibiotics. To help control bleeding, apply firm pressure to the wound using a clean towel or washcloth.
First, apply a small amount of water-based lubricant on the wound and cut any surrounding fur to leave the wound exposed. This not only keeps bacteria from the fur from entering the wound but also makes it easier to clean and eventually treat.
Next, you should clean the wound using gauze moistened with hydrogen peroxide about three or four times a day. Once cleaned, apply a thin layer of Neosporin to the wound to help kill bacteria and heal the wound faster.
If you are going to use Neosporin, remember not to go too heavily on the application. Apply thin layers of Neosporin on a daily-basis until the wound has completely healed.
Treating Hot Spots With Neosporin
Acute moist pyotraumatic dermatitis or “Hot Spots” for the layman are warm areas of infected skin that can be filled with pus, itchy, red, painful, and stinky. Hot spots develop from excessive licking, scratching, or biting and are caused by things that can irritate your dog’s skin, including insect bites, allergies, dry skin, etc.
If you notice a hot spot on your dog, you should consult with your veterinarian but can also opt to treat from home.
- Cut any fur around the hot spot using clippers or scissors
- Remove any pus from the wound by wiping gently with a moist gauze pad or cotton ball
- Disinfect the wound with a sterile saline solution, which can be purchased at most drugstores
- Use mild, preferably medicated, dog shampoo to wash your dog
- Apply a thin layer of Neosporin to the hot spot to kill any existing bacteria and prevent new bacteria from entering
- Keep your dog from licking the treated hot spot by using a cone or inflated collar
Risks of Neosporin For Dogs
While in most cases, it is relatively safe to treat wounds on a dog with Neosporin, there are a few considerations you need to be aware of. First, you need to make sure that your dog doesn’t like any of the Neosporin applied to his or her wound.
The amount you’re applying should be small but if you use too much and your dog ends up ingesting it, they can develop the following symptoms:
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Lesions in the skin
If you have cause for concern that your dog has ingested Neosporin, you should contact your vet if you notice any of the above symptoms.
How to Keep a Dog From Licking its Wound
When your dog has a wound, it will instinctively want to lick it. In fact, this is how they help their wounds heal faster by utilizing properties found in their saliva. However, this can reopen the wound and they can risk ingesting any topical antibiotics and antiseptics that you are using.
The most traditional method for keeping your dog at bay is using a cone or inflatable collar so they can’t reach the rest of their bodies with their mouths. Alternatively, you can use a strong bandage or dressing to restrict access to the wound.
One problem with bandaging the area is that some dogs tend to pick at the area so much that the bandage comes off. You will need to keep a close eye on your dog if they are licking bandaged areas and be sure to regulary change the bandages.
Sometimes the best method is to keep your dog distracted by taking them on walks, teaching them new tricks, or hiding food around the house for them to find!
As a side concern, you should also be careful when you’re using Neosporin on your own cuts or scrapes as you’re dog can ingest some while trying to “give you kisses.” To prevent this, you should also keep your wounds covered as well.
Alternatives to Neosporin For Wounds
In addition to Neosporin, there are other alternatives available to help treat cuts, burns, and scrapes on dogs. Vetericyn is a topical antibiotic spray available for dogs that is even perfectly safe for them to ingest. Unlike Neosprin, Vetericyn won’t cause any of the negative symptoms above.
If you’re looking for Vetericyn, you should consult with your veterinarian who can order some for you. Generally, it’s a great idea to have some available since dogs are known to get cuts and scrapes often.
Yes, Dogs Can Use Neosporin on Minor Cuts or Scrapes
There is no need to panic if your dog gets a minor cut, scrape, or burn. However, it is still a good idea to treat them in order to prevent potential infections. As long as you can keep your dog away from the wound, you can use a bit of Neosporin to help treat the affected area, kill bacteria, and speed up the healing process.