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Is It Safe to Use Peroxide, Neosporin on Pets?

While there are many over-the-counter products that can be used on animals, Dr. Patrick Tate recommends first checking with your veterinarian.

Each week, Dr. Patrick Tate, chief of the veterinary staff and a general practitioner at , answers reader questions about pets. This week's question comes from reader Terri Sue Thompson.

Question: Is it safe to use peroxide and Neosporin on our animals if they have a cut or scratch?

Answer: There are quite a few over-the-counter "human" drugs and remedies that are safe for use with animals. However, always consult your veterinarian before trying out any type of product on your pets.

Neosporin (along with other types of antibiotic creams or ointments) is safe to use on skin wounds of dogs and cats. Unfortunately, animals often lick the medication until most of it is removed. Thankfully, antibiotic creams and ointments are not harmful to pets when ingested in small amounts.

Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use in cleansing the wound of an animal, but can sometimes cause a painful burning sensation. Instead of using hydrogen peroxide, I would recommend a warm, soapy solution. An antibacterial hand soap diluted with water cleans well, but does not irritate the pet’s skin. Note: hydrogen peroxide should not be used in the ears.

A few other “human” products that can be safely used on dogs and cats are:   

  • Hydrocortisone cream or ointment for treating a non-infected, localized rash
  • Epsom salt solutions for soaking inflamed or infected extremities
  • Oatmeal baths for soothing irritated skin 

There are numerous books, magazines, websites and television programs dedicated to the topic of pet health care. Not all information from these sources is accurate or helpful, and some “remedies” can even be harmful. Use caution when attempting to self-treat your pet without the guidance of a veterinarian or other animal healthcare professional.  

Do you have a question for Dr. Tate? Email your questions to Webster Groves Patch Editor Sheri Gassaway. Be sure to attach a photo of your pet, and we'll feature it along with your question!

 
Ron G. December 02, 2011 at 01:54 PM
My vet has also advised I can use pepto bismo for for diarrhea. I get the pill form and break it up and put it in some food. Also boil hamburger and chicken with rice and give him this diet for a few days...
Denise February 26, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Question when a dog gets sprayed by a skunk I was told to use bakingsoda, peroxide and blue dawn dishliquid will this harm him. I was told by someone that the peroxide is poison when applyed to the skin
Chief Tony May 04, 2013 at 05:51 PM
We got that recipe out of MO. Conservation Magazine and used it on our dogs and cat, with no problems. Had to take the cat into the Vet, because he fought the skunk, the Vet wrote the recipe down because it worked so well.
Marie Drebitko May 26, 2013 at 12:02 AM
I'm a animal lover in general with all ..I need help.. I have 2cats and I rescued a ferial cat which was near death. The vet had to sadate the cat to find out all about the cat,sex age problem.. It's been 6 weeks and she has been seen 3 more times under sadation. How long if at all will she become trustworty. She is very vilent with me, not so much with males. The vet doesn't want to see her and she has turned my 2 cats lives upside down. I don't want her put down,please help.

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