Antibiotics for Dogs

icon November 23, 2023

Antibiotics are powerful medications used to treat bacterial infections in both humans and animals, including our beloved canine companions. When administered correctly, antibiotics can be a lifesaver for dogs suffering from bacterial illnesses. However, it's crucial for pet owners to have a clear understanding of antibiotics for dogs, their appropriate use, and potential risks associated with their misuse. In this article, we will explore the significance of antibiotics in veterinary medicine and provide guidance on how to use them responsibly.

Common Antibiotics Given to Dogs

Antibiotics are commonly prescribed to dogs to treat bacterial infections. The choice of antibiotic depends on the specific infection and the dog's individual needs. Here are some common antibiotics that are often prescribed for dogs:

  • Amoxicillin: This is a broad-spectrum antibiotic and is frequently used to treat a variety of bacterial infections in dogs, including respiratory, skin, and urinary tract infections.
  • Cephalexin: Cephalexin is another broad-spectrum antibiotic that is effective against a wide range of bacterial infections. It's commonly used to treat skin and soft tissue infections.
  • Clavamox (Amoxicillin/Clavulanic Acid): Clavamox is a combination antibiotic that includes amoxicillin and clavulanic acid. It's used to treat more resistant bacterial infections and is often prescribed for urinary tract infections, skin infections, and respiratory infections.
  • Enrofloxacin (Baytril): Enrofloxacin is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic that is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including urinary tract infections and certain types of skin infections. It should be used with caution in young dogs as it can affect their joint development.
  • Doxycycline: Doxycycline is a tetracycline antibiotic commonly used to treat tick-borne diseases, respiratory infections, and certain skin conditions in dogs.
  • Metronidazole: Metronidazole is an antibiotic that is effective against certain anaerobic bacteria and protozoa. It's often prescribed for gastrointestinal infections and conditions like giardiasis.
  • Ciprofloxacin: Ciprofloxacin is another fluoroquinolone antibiotic that can be used to treat a variety of infections in dogs, including urinary tract infections and skin infections.
  • Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ or Bactrim): This combination antibiotic is used to treat urinary tract infections and other susceptible bacterial infections.

What Kind of Antibiotics Can a Dog Take that Humans Take?

While some antibiotics that are prescribed for humans can also be used in dogs, it's important to note that the choice of antibiotic, dosage, and treatment duration should always be determined by a veterinarian based on the specific condition and needs of the dog. Here are some antibiotics that may be used in both humans and dogs:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Cephalexin
  • Clindamycin
  • Doxycycline
  • Enrofloxacin
  • Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ or Bactrim)

It's important to emphasize that while these antibiotics may be used in both humans and dogs, the dosages and treatment plans are different for each species. The decision to use a particular antibiotic in a dog should be made by a veterinarian based on the dog's specific condition, the type of bacteria causing the infection, and other individual factors.

The Role of Antibiotics in Canine Health

Antibiotics for dogs vary depending on the specific disease or condition they are being treated for. Here are some common diseases or conditions in dogs and the antibiotics that are often prescribed for them:

1. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs):

Common antibiotics: Amoxicillin, Clavamox, Cephalexin, Enrofloxacin, Trimethoprim-Sulfamethoxazole (TMP-SMZ).

2. Skin Infections (Pyoderma):

Common antibiotics: Cephalexin, Clavamox, Enrofloxacin, Doxycycline.

3. Respiratory Infections (e.g., Kennel Cough):

Common antibiotics: Doxycycline, Enrofloxacin, Amoxicillin.

4. Ear Infections (Otitis):

Common antibiotics: Enrofloxacin, Gentamicin, Clavamox.

5. Gastrointestinal Infections (e.g., Diarrhea):

Common antibiotics: Metronidazole, Tylosin.

6. Lyme Disease (caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi):

Common antibiotics: Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, Ceftriaxone.

7. Tick-Borne Diseases (e.g., Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis):

Common antibiotics: Doxycycline.

8. Bladder Infections (Cystitis):

Common antibiotics: Amoxicillin, Clavamox, Enrofloxacin.

9. Pyelonephritis (kidney infection):

Common antibiotics: Enrofloxacin, Amoxicillin, Clavamox.

10. Bacterial Pneumonia:

Common antibiotics: Enrofloxacin, Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, Clavamox.

11. Bone and Joint Infections (Osteomyelitis and Septic Arthritis):

Common antibiotics: Clindamycin, Cephalexin, Amoxicillin.

12. Dental Infections (Dental Abscess):

Common antibiotics: Clindamycin, Amoxicillin.

What is the Strongest Natural Antibiotic for Tooth Infection?

Tooth infections can be quite painful and serious, and it's important to address them promptly with the guidance of a dentist or healthcare professional. That said, there are natural substances that have antimicrobial properties and may help alleviate symptoms associated with tooth infections:

  • Clove Oil: Clove oil has both analgesic (pain-relieving) and antimicrobial properties. Applying a small amount of diluted clove oil (mixed with a carrier oil) to the affected tooth or gum may provide temporary relief from pain and help combat infection. Be cautious not to use undiluted clove oil directly on the gums, as it can be irritating.
  • Saltwater Rinse: A warm saltwater rinse can help soothe the gums and may help reduce inflammation and infection. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and use it as a mouthwash, swishing it around your mouth before spitting it out.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Mixing turmeric with water to create a paste and applying it to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.

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How Long Does It Take for Antibiotics to Work?

The time it takes for antibiotics to work in dogs can vary depending on several factors, including the type of infection, the specific antibiotic used, the severity of the infection, and the individual dog's overall health and immune system function. In many cases, you may start to see improvement in your dog's condition within 48 to 72 hours of starting antibiotic treatment. If you don't see any improvement in your dog's condition after 72 hours of starting antibiotic treatment or if your dog's condition worsens, it's crucial to contact your veterinarian. 

Will Antibiotics Stop Working If Your Dogs Miss a Dose?

Missing a single dose of antibiotics for your dog is generally not a cause for immediate concern, and it typically won't lead to antibiotics suddenly becoming ineffective. However, it's important to follow your veterinarian's prescribed dosing schedule closely for several reasons:

  • Incomplete Treatment: Missing a dose can disrupt the consistency of the antibiotic treatment. Incomplete or inconsistent treatment can allow some bacteria to survive and potentially develop resistance to the antibiotic.
  • Bacterial Resistance: Over time, if bacteria are exposed to antibiotics but not fully eradicated, there is a risk that the surviving bacteria could become resistant to that antibiotic. This can make future infections harder to treat.
  • Ineffective Treatment: Skipping doses can reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotic treatment, and it may take longer for your dog to recover from the infection.

Side Effects of Antibiotics

Antibiotics are essential medications for treating bacterial infections, but they can have side effects in both humans and animals, including dogs. It's important to be aware of potential side effects and to use antibiotics under the guidance of a veterinarian. Here are some common side effects of antibiotics in dogs:

  • Gastrointestinal Disturbances: This is one of the most common side effects. It can include symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and loss of appetite. Some antibiotics are more likely to cause gastrointestinal upset than others.
  • Allergic Reactions: Dogs can develop allergic reactions to antibiotics, which can range from mild skin reactions (itching, hives) to severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis), which can be life-threatening. If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction, such as swelling, difficulty breathing, or a rash, seek immediate veterinary attention.
  • Digestive System Imbalances: Antibiotics can disrupt the natural balance of bacteria in the gut, potentially leading to conditions like antibiotic-associated colitis or overgrowth of harmful bacteria like Clostridium difficile. This can result in severe diarrhea and other digestive problems.
  • Photosensitivity: Some antibiotics, such as tetracyclines, can make a dog's skin more sensitive to sunlight, potentially leading to sunburn. Dogs on these antibiotics may need to be kept out of direct sunlight during treatment.
  • Liver or Kidney Damage: In rare cases, certain antibiotics can have adverse effects on the liver or kidneys. Monitoring of liver and kidney function may be necessary in some cases.
  • Joint Issues (in young dogs): Fluoroquinolone antibiotics, such as enrofloxacin, should be used with caution in growing puppies as they can affect joint development and potentially lead to joint problems.
  • Respiratory Issues: Some antibiotics may cause respiratory side effects, including coughing or labored breathing.
  • Neurological Symptoms: Rarely, antibiotics can lead to neurological side effects, such as seizures or disorientation.

Where Can I Get Antibiotics for My Dog?

You can buy antibiotics for dogs without a vet prescription from Puainta's official online store. However, it is essential to consult your veterinarian online after purchasing the antibiotics to determine the precise dosage and treatment duration for addressing the infection.

Amoxicillin and Clavulanate Doxycycline for Dogs Enrofloxacin for Dogs Metronidazole for Dogs Cefadroxil for Dogs

Amoxicillin and Clavulanate

Doxycycline for Dogs Enrofloxacin for Dogs Metronidazole for Dogs Cefadroxil for Dogs


Antibiotics are valuable tools in veterinary medicine, helping to treat bacterial infections and improve the health and well-being of our canine companions. However, responsible use is essential to ensure their effectiveness and minimize potential risks. Always consult with a veterinarian, follow their guidance, complete the full course of antibiotics, and take preventive measures to keep your dog healthy and reduce the need for antibiotics in the first place. By using antibiotics responsibly, you can help protect your dog's health and contribute to the global effort to combat antibiotic resistance.



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