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Can You Use Polysporin on Dogs? (Read This First!)

We love our dogs and there are no two ways about it. People treat them just like their family members, feeding them the same food. Sometimes it also comes down to applying the same ointments.

While polysporin is an ointment made to heal wounds in humans, you may want to know if you can safely use it on dogs as well.

Using polysporin on dogs

Veterinarians often prescribe polysporin to be used on wounds and cuts on dogs, since the basic ingredients in polysporin, Bacitracin, and Polymyxin B, are both listed as safe ingredients for dogs. In many dogs, using polysporin may cause severe allergic reactions and irritation if ingested.

Since some vets may prescribe them for dogs as well, it is important to know which parts of the dog you can apply on to. In any case, you would first need to consult your vet about whether you can apply the polysporin to your dog’s wounds.

Prior knowledge of allergies in your dog and let your vet know what medicines if any, your pet takes would be helpful. Otherwise, you may want to know in which areas of your dog’s body you shouldn’t use the ointment

Hot spots:

Hot spots in a dog’s body can appear anywhere but the legs, hips, and head may be more common.

Generally, it is diagnosed that hot spots are an aftereffect of some kind of allergic reaction or skin irritation. Polyprion should not be used on hotspots because it would create an adverse reaction.

Unless a vet has prescribed so, using polysporin on a dog’s hot spot could trigger another allergic reaction.


It is safer to use polysporin on a dog’s bum since they cannot reach it. However, you would not apply for the medicine near the anal region. On the bum, it is better to use a bandage to cover up the polysporin.


There is no way you could use polysporin anywhere near a dog’s eyes. Whenever anything is applied near the eyes, let alone on them, there is a high risk that the gel could get inside the dog’s eyes.

It would irritate their eyes and cause sores and itching shortly.


Similarly, it is also discouraged that you apply polysporin on your dog’s head, including their ears. This antibiotic medicine is only meant to be applied to the outer skin.


Dogs often come to you with wounds on their paws. This area is probably one of the places which require the most first aid.

Although many suggest that you could put polysporin with a bandage cover on the top, you certainly should not. Your pet could rip the bandage off and lick some of that ointment, making themselves sick.


Polyporin can generally be used on smaller wounds of dogs if it has been prescribed by a vet. If you have applied polysporin to your dog’s wound before and your dog had no allergic reactions, you can go ahead.

However, it is crucial that you only apply the ointment in places where your pet cannot reach its own body.

Moreover, if it’s an open wound that is caused by some kind of allergic reaction, you should not use the ointment. Wounds that are actively defecating pus should not be treated with polysporin either.


You should not use polysporin around a dog’s nose. Simply because inhaling any medicine is the same as ingesting it. If your dog can reach its tongue near its nose, it could be even worse.

This could cause some severe reactions in the dog, which could begin with irritation to the nasal passage as well as the throat.

Is polysporin triple antibiotic safe for dogs?

While polysporin is a double antibiotic, it also has a form of triple antibiotic which is commonly known as Neosporin. Neosporin consists of the additional ingredient known as neomycin sulfate.

Although the triple antibiotic is not considered to be safe for dogs because the additional ingredient may cause hearing loss in the animal, surprisingly, vets do prescribe polysporin widely.

However, even vets do not allow polysporin triple antibiotics in areas where the dog can reach or eat. The ointment has the potential to cause severe allergic reactions and irritation as well.

Why is polysporin bad for dogs?

There are several reasons why you should not use polysporin for your dog. There are alternatives to polysporin that are safer for your pet and can be used without the fear of affecting their health:


Polysporin, being an antibiotic ointment, composes of two main ingredients, Bacitracin And Polymyxin B.

Since these two components are safe for dogs, the drug is also considered to be safe for your pets. However, that is not the case. This ointment is particularly made to be used by humans and has been made so for that purpose.

A medicine that has been made for dogs is deemed far safer than one that is made for humans.

Allergic reaction:

Although the composition of polysporin on paper seems safe for dogs, the ointment can cause or trigger many allergic reactions in dogs.

Due to this reason, even when a vet prescribes polysporin for a wounded dog, they would ensure that your dog does not have allergies. The problem with polysporin is that it may react to other medications that your dog is on.

Fatal if ingested:

Although it would not cause health issues if you apply polysporin on your dog’s skin, given there are no allergic reactions, polysporin can be fatal to a dog if ingested by any chance.

Dog lick their paws, body, and mouth.

Sometimes they even rip off a bandage and lick the ointment. This could be made them to have gastronomical issues, vomiting, and irritation.

What antibiotic ointment can I use on my dog?

As you might know already, polysporin is a popular antibiotic ointment that can be found in every household. For humans, it works to heal minor wounds and burns but it might not be safe to be used freely on dogs because it tends to cause allergic reactions.

Hence, you might want to know about antibiotic ointments that you can use on your furry friend without fear of inflicting pain on them. Here are a few:

Veterinary formula chlorhexidine gluconate ointment:

Anything that is veterinary approved should be more trustworthy for pet parents than ones that are not.

Chorhexine gluconate is an element that is commonly used in ointments and sprays to treat wounds in both cats and dogs.

Such ointments have antibacterial, as well as, antifungal properties that can relieve both short term and long-term irritation.

What’s great about these ointments is that they are not known to cause allergic reactions and can be used to treat food or flea allergic reactions on the skin as well.

Oxytetracycline hydrochloride and Polymyxin B Sulfate ointment:

There are often concerns from pet owners that they cannot find antibiotic ointments that they can safely use around the eyes, nose, and mouth area of their pets.

One such treat consists of Oxytetracycline hydrochloride and Polymyxin B Sulfate which has always been famously used to treat wounds around the eyes of many animals including dogs.

From ulcer wounds to bacterial inflammations, this antibiotic ointment can be used on a dog’s face without side effects.

Silver sulfadiazine (SSD) ointment:

The only information that you would need to ensure is whether your pet has sulfur allergies before using any SSD ointments.

Silver Sulfadiazine or popularly called SSD ointment 1% is widely prescribed as an antibiotic ointment for dogs. A little goes a long way with these ointments, which can, not only heal active wounds but also prevent infections.

How to clean and treat dog wounds properly?

To treat your dog’s wounds, you need to make sure you do it properly. Let’s get to know the proper process to treat them.

Set at a comfortable position:

At first you need to get the dog in a position where both you and your pet are comfortable. You might need a helping hand to just distract or restrain your dog for the time.

Remove hair:

If the wound is in a spot where there is a lot of hair, remove the hair first with the help of clippers, razors, or scissors.

Wash the wound:

Next, you would need some warm water to wash off the wounded area.

The wounded area should be cleared of any debris that it might have collected. Then you would need to use a cloth or paper towel to make the area dry.

Treat with antiseptic: 

Following that, treat the area with an antiseptic solution that is both safe for pets and non-stinging.

Apply antibiotic:

Finally apply an antibiotic drug ointment and cover it with the bandage if you need to.

Final Thoughts

Using polyporin on dogs may be risky as the antibiotic ointment can potentially trigger allergic reactions. Veterinarians prescribe polysporin to dogs, specifying that it should be used in areas the pet cannot reach. The ingredients composing polyporin are considered to be safe for dogs.