For the past 15 years I have gone to thousands of meet and greets, that’s a meeting where I go to a potential client’s home to see if my pet sitting service is a good fit for them and vice versa. This is also a time where I tend to answer lots of new pet owner answers and highly recommend that they take a pet first aid & CPR course (it’s less than 2 hours!).
Just the other day, a very popular question came up so I thought I would bring the answer here. The owners of the dog I was interviewing noticed a cut on the belly of their newly adopted Corgi/Cavalier mix. The woman mentioned she wanted to put first aid cream on it but noticed that he could lick it off. She worried it could be toxic to him. Good thinking on the new owner’s part – to question whether products safe for humans are safe for our pets is an excellent way to think!
The Short Answer is Yes, Neosporin is Safe for Pets
The long answer is; the regular strength first aid ointment is perfectly safe to use on pets with minor cuts, scrapes or abrasions. It is for external use and should never be used inside of ears, in eyes or on large deep wounds. The description of “triple antibiotic” refers to the 3 antibiotic agents found in any brand of triple antibiotic first aid ointment Bacitracin, Neomycin, and Polymyxin B. Neosporin has become a proprietary eponym for first aid cream since it first hit shelves in the 1950’s.
The general guidelines for use can be found on the tube. It shouldn’t be used longer than a few days, especially if the issue doesn’t improve or worsens. First aid ointment is most effective when applied after cleaning with sterile solution such as saline. Your cat and dog can safely ingest the small amount that would be applied to the affected area without any concern. If they eat the tube you will have GI concerns but most importantly you would be making sure the tube itself wasn’t ingested by Fluffy or Sparky – that would be more concerning than the tube contents.
Watch out for Pain Relievers in the Ointment
It is advised to use the ointment over the cream because the cream has more additives. NEVER use any type that contains painkillers as these can be similar to human NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which can cause your pet to get sick.
Overall, Neosporin or any first aid ointment is beneficial to the superficial wounds your pet may endure but anything bigger, or certainly something looking infected should be inspected by your veterinarian. Definitely do not use any first aid ointment on suture sites UNLESS directed by your veterinarian.
For more information on how to recognize infections or other issues with your pets, take a pet first aid & CPR course, it will help teach you how to find issues with your pets and how to apply the appropriate aid.
I hope this sheds some light, it is a popular query. According to Google’s top 10 questions about dogs in 2016, “Can you put Neosporin on a dog?” ranked #8!
As for a personal reference, while Neosporin is a well know brand, finding a petroleum-free wound healing alternative is always good too. I like to use Microcyn, sovereign silver or colloidal silver. They provide similar antibacterial protection and healing without the use of a petroleum base.
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Our neighbor brought home a new 2 year old mixed breed dog. One of her cats scratched the dogs eye, we recommended warm compresses and watch for clear/yellow/green duscharge from the eye. THEN seek a vet since she cant afford a vet today. She wants to use human pink eye eye drops to help healing. Safe? Recommendations? TY
I would recommend getting the dog to the vet immediately. The dog could have a scratched cornea and should be seen by a vet, discharge could indicate infection, and you want to get the dog help BEFORE the dog gets an infection.
Thank you, couldn’t agree more.
Thank goodness it’s safe because I’ve always used Triple Antibiotic ointment on my pets’ minor injuries. Yikes! I never thought to question whether it was safe or not. My bad. Thanks for the information, and I’m passing it on to my Social Media. Peace
I learned that too not too long ago. You don’t think about pain relievers being in there but for many they are!
Hi could I use neosporin antibiotic cream on my westie skin he’s a bit red in his groin
While we certainly specialize in providing health tips, we are not a veterinarian. I would recommend visiting your veterinarian so they can best acertain what might be the cause of your dog’s skin irritation. I will mention that ointment is prefered over creams based on the ingredients but I would visit your vet to make certain that is not allergies, contact dermatitis or something esle entirely!
You’re right – checking the ingredients is a must! We often don’t even think about whether there’s a pain reliever in topical antiseptic or antibacterial treatments. I keep colloidal silver in my pet first aid kit as a safe alternative.
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My dog had a toenail removed and the vet decided to go all the way to the joint. It has been 4 weeks and there is still swelling and some discharge. The sutures were removed, and I was told to let as much air as pissible get to thr area. When he goes outside, I bandage the atea. When he is inside, I remove the bandage and use a zencone recovery collar to stop him from licking the foot. The Vet gave me Vetrricyn.VF plus wound spray. It doesn’t appear to be healing. What can I use to dry this area safely. I regret having done the surgety.
I am so sorry you and your pup are going through this. Unfortunately, we are not able to provide veterinary advice, diagnosis and the such. I would highly recommend having your vet, or if you feel more comfortable, a different vet seeing your dog so they can provide veterinary medical advice on how to best help that foot to heal.
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What would be considered a large hole my dog has one that is about in case of an inch wide and long but it is a puncture wound from an animal
We are not veterinarians so if you have an injury on your pet that concerns you, I would definitely get them in to see a vet, especially if they have an injury from another animal.
can i use the cream on my cats wound..?
I never recommend the creams, just the ointment but I cannot give medical advice so if you have any medical questions please ask your veterinarian.
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Thanks for sharing!