Antibiotics are relatively safe and common human medications. But are they safe for dogs and when should you use them?
After all, dogs get hurt and sick from infections too.
You’ve likely wondered if you and your dog can take the same medicine.
After all, your pup can eat many of the same foods as you.
To help answer these questions and more, we’ve gathered vital information about safe antibiotics for dogs.
What are antibiotics?
Let’s start with the basics.
Antibiotics are medications that fight off bacterial infections. Bacteria, otherwise known as germs, are everywhere, and both humans and dogs are susceptible to infections.
Antibiotics either kill the germs outright or help stop them from spreading. This gives your immune system time to fight back against the infection.
However, it would be best to take the medication when necessary. If you take it too often, the bacteria can adapt and learn to resist the medications.
Taking antibiotics too frequently lessens their effectiveness over time by boosting antibiotic resistance.
Are antibiotics safe for dogs?
Short answer — yes, but not too often. The same logic applies to dogs; relying too heavily on antibiotic interventions will reduce their effectiveness.
Dog antibiotics may chemically have the same active ingredients as human varieties. But understand that the medication is typically dosed differently and may contain other inactive ingredients.
Never give human antibiotics to your dog. Similarly, don’t take its medication either (even if it saves you a trip to the clinic).
When do dogs need antibiotics?
Dogs need antibiotics for the same reason that people do — infection.
Sometimes our immune systems aren’t strong enough to fight off invasive germs and drugs work to boost those defenses.
Antibiotics can help save your and your dog’s lives by treating bacterial infections.
Vets may prescribe antibiotics for common canine ailments like urinary tract infections, ear infections, respiratory infections, and eye infections.
Your vet may also prescribe antibiotics after surgery or help your dog heal after a severe injury.
Can dogs have amoxicillin?
Not all classes of antibiotics are dog friendly. But your vet might prescribe several safe antibiotics such as Azithromycin, Bacitracin, Cephalexin, Doxycycline, and Tetracycline.
Amoxicillin, a penicillin-based antibiotic, is one of the most popular antibiotic pills in the world. It can treat a range of bacterial infections. It’s also safe for dogs.
Your vet will determine whether amoxicillin or another canine-safe drug is the best choice for your dog.
When your dog takes antibiotics, look for side effects or signs of an allergic reaction.
What symptoms should you watch for?
Antibiotics are usually efficient in wiping out dangerous bacteria.
Nevertheless, their methods might sometimes be too effective, killing off the good bacteria in your dog’s microbiome.
Dogs taking antibiotics may suffer from diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, or yeast infections.
Allergy symptoms can be mild, such as skin irritation or rash. But a severe allergic reaction can cause labored breathing, anaphylactic shock, and even death.
If you’re starting a round of antibiotics for your pup, be vigilant for any issues with breathing or swelling.
Treat common medication side effects
For other minor side effects, like stomach issues, some interventions can help. Always administer antibiotics with food; eating a meal before taking the antibiotics will help resolve stomach irritations like indigestion or bloating.
You might also consider adding a small dollop of Greek yogurt to your pup’s food. Probiotics can help prevent yeast infections.
You can also try canine probiotics, but the yogurt will be cheaper.
Just be sure you allow for several hours between administering the antibiotics and serving your dog yogurt. Probiotics can interfere with the medication.
Finally, add a few tablespoons of pureed pumpkin to your dog’s food bowl for diarrhea.
The fiber in the pumpkin will help your pup firm up its stool. Interestingly, pureed pumpkin can also help if your dog is suffering from constipation.
Call the emergency vet immediately if your dog is experiencing trouble breathing.
Just as humans may need antibiotics to battle infection, your pup might require them too.
These medications can be a lifesaving tool in the fight against common canine maladies such as urinary tract infections, ear infections, respiratory issues, and eye problems.
Vets also prescribe antibiotics to help pets heal after surgery or serious injuries.
Consult your vet and only use antibiotics when prescribed. Overuse can reduce effectiveness.
Although human and canine medications may chemically contain the same active ingredients, they are usually dosed differently and may also have different inactive ingredients.
Never give your dog any human medications, and don’t take your dog’s pills.