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Can You Use Dettol on Dogs? (Answered)

Whether as a first aid or cleaning solution Dettol is more or less used every day in our homes. And why not? It is full of benefits as it contains antiseptic properties. Dettol helps to heal cuts, and wounds and keep them out of infection. But does it do the same for your pets?

If your dog is a bit injured and needs an antiseptic can you use Dettol? Is Dettol a good cleaning solution to use for your dog? Does it have any side effects?

You’ll get all your answers below if you continue reading. 

Using Dettol on dogs

Dettol cannot be used on dogs. Because it contains phenol which is toxic to dogs. Chloroxylenol present in the Dettol acts as an antibacterial agent to prevent bacterial infection and reduce inflammation. On the other hand, this is also responsible for toxicity while used on dogs or any other pets.

We all have A bottle of Dettol stored since it’s one of the most useful daily essentials. Knowing its healing power and antiseptic properties, we always rely on this specific solution for many purposes.

Though Dettol is an antiseptic that prevents bacterial infections and helps to reduce inflammation, it is not suitable for most pets. Especially for dogs, the ingredient of Dettol that’s chloroxylenol phenol, is a poison. Let’s know if you can use Dettol on a dog’s skin or ears:

Dog ears: 

There are some Dogs’ who have naturally healthy and clean ears. Their ears do not need regular cleaning. But some other dogs require regular cleaning to prevent ear infections.

However, to clean dog ears, antiseptic solutions are used to prevent infectious diseases in the ears. But here Dettol cannot be used.

The phenol in it can badly affect the ears of your dog. There might be inflammation or swelling in the ears. So, never use Dettol on your dog’s ear.

On the contrary, you can use vinegar and water solution by 1:1 proportion as a cleaning solution. This solution will prevent bacterial and yeast infections and there will be no harm to the dog’s ear.

Dog skin: 

Antiseptics are used on the dog’s skin to prevent bacterial contamination on wounds or any skin disease. However, you should not use Dettol on a dog’s skin. 

Dettol consists of chloroxylenol phenol which creates inflammation on a dog’s skin. It causes chemical poisoning as pets cannot eliminate toxins after ingesting. Your dog may face fever, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure, etc. if it licks or ingests Dettol.

You can use diluted Dettol for bathing but that should be washed properly. If dogs ingest a small trace of Dettol, it may cause severe mourning. So it is better to avoid Dettol on a dog’s skin.

What is Dettol? Why is it toxic to dogs?

Dettol is commonly known as an antiseptic used to eliminate bacteria and yeast from inflamed skin. It can also be used as a cleaning disinfectant. Its antiseptic property is chloroxylenol which fights against bacteria and yeast.

Dettol antiseptic disinfectant liquid is a multipurpose household cleaning essential that is used for disinfecting floors and other things in the household. It can wipe out dirt and germs which have the potential to spread disease. 

It is also used on wounds as an antiseptic to prevent any further bacterial infection. It can create a barrier on the skin to refrain from bacterial growth. The wounds get healed easily after using it as there are no possibilities of infections.

Dettol is that one antiseptic medicine everyone blindly trusts on. It’s affordable, available, and most importantly very much effective for first aid and treating minor wounds. 

Though Dettol is a very effective solution for human skin, they are toxic for pets, especially dogs. You cannot apply Dettol on your dog’s skin as it will only worsen the situation.

It’s because of the compound chloroxylenol Phenol in it. Phenol is forbidden to apply to dogs due to its toxicity on the dog’s skin. Dogs cannot take the toxicity of this chemical. They cannot eliminate the toxin from Dettol and get affected by it.

A small trace of Dettol on a dog’s skin might result in inflammation. If Dettol is absorbed by the dog’s skin or ingested, it would cause severe poisoning with vomiting, diarrhea, fever, weakness, poor appetite, etc. 

Dettol often causes kidney damage to dogs. The antiseptic property of Dettol causes these damages. Pets cannot eliminate the toxic properties of Dettol and as a result, get affected by the poisoning. 

What are the symptoms of dettol poisoning in your dog? What to do?

No matter how effective Dettol on humans is, it’s not the right medicine for dogs. When applied to dogs’ skin or consumed by a dog, the poor animal can get poisoned. Just to be prepared for any unwanted situation here are some common symptoms of Dettol poisoning in your dog.


When applied externally for cleaning purposes or treatment it can show a reaction within some minutes of application. The skin will turn red, and there will be swelling, and tingling on that spot. 


If by mistake a dog consumes too much amount of Dettol the first sign of poison will be vomiting. Since the medicine is toxic to dogs, the animal will not be able to absorb it. Dettol when consumed will badly react to the dog’s stomach and the dog may vomit twice or more.

Breathing difficulties: 

Breathing difficulty is another sign of Dettol poisoning. It can happen if the Dettol has somehow gotten into the dog’s nose or stomach in a large amount


If the toxicity level in the dog’s stomach is too much because of Dettol consumption it will go through moderate to strong diarrhea.  


Due to Dettol poisoning your dog might lose appetite, cooperate less, and feel weak all day. If the poisoning is severe the dog might face kidney damage, liver failure, etc.

Here’s what you can do in such situations:

Monitor the dog’s symptoms: 

Check on your dog first. Monitor the signs it’s showing after Dettol poisoning. If the symptoms are not frequent and not lasting, then be assured as it might be a small poisoning. 

Wash with clean water: 

If the skin of your dog is affected by Dettol, wash the area immediately with water. Don’t apply any other ointment on that spot unless a vet suggests it.

Flush the dog’s mouth: 

Using clean water wash the inside of the dog’s mouth. Flush out any toxin. 

Visit the clinic: 

After giving first-aid, without making any delay take your dog to the nearest vet for treatment. 

What antiseptics are safe to be used for dogs?

If your dog has some minor cuts, burns, skin issues, and wounds you must provide your pet dog first aid so that the injury doesn’t worsen. But since Dettol is not a good option for dogs, you may wonder what other alternative antiseptics you can use on your dogs.

So here’s a list of three safe antiseptics that are safe to use on dogs:


Bactine is always stored in our medicine box and can be applied to a dog’s wound without a doubt. It contains benzalkonium chloride and lidocaine that acts as antiseptic and pain reliever. 

Whether it’s a cut, burn, or hotspot, bactine can treat it well while easing the pain, itching, and tingling feeling in that affected area. It will show slight side effects but treat the wound or sore nicely.

Bactine prevents infection and the spread of bacteria in the affected area. It’s safe and contains no toxic ingredients. So can be applied to dogs’ ears, legs, heads, or hot spots. 


Neosporin is a topical medicine popularly used to prevent bacteria and germs. This antiseptic is a combination of three strong ingredients bacitracin, polymyxin B, and neomycin. There is no harmful ingredient in it so it’s a safe medicine for dogs. 

Neosporin is very effective to heal minor cuts, burns, inflamed sores, and other wounds. It can prevent bacteria working as a barrier. 


Betadine that includes povidone-iodine as the main ingredient is another safe option for your dog. This ointment is used a lot by animal experts and vets since it barely causes any side effects. 

It works to decrease microorganism count in the skin and helps to heal any wound, burn, or sore. It protects your dog’s skin from infection when applied as per instruction. 

Final thoughts

You should not use Dettol on dogs. It contains Chloroxylenol which is very harmful to dogs. It’s very toxic to dogs when applied externally or consumed by a dog. Due to this ingredient a dog can face different health issues such as inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, and even kidney failure.