What do Antibiotics do for Dogs?
Antibiotics are medications that the vet prescribes when dogs have an infection, cold, or are recovering from surgery and there is a high risk of infection.
Pet owners have begun to be wary about the over-prescription of antibiotics as antibiotic-resistant bacteria started to make headlines. This is where natural antibiotics for dogs kick in – they help fight infections while causing fewer side effects.
Vet-prescribed antibiotics can cure serious infections that could lead to permanent and sometimes fatal results. Homeopathic remedies use natural foods (oil of oregano, turmeric, olive leaf) and plants (aloe vera, goldenseal) that work as natural antibiotics to aid in the healing and treatment of infections.
What are Natural Antibiotics for Dogs?
Natural antibiotics for dogs are different oils, herbs, plant extracts, and foods that have antibacterial or antimicrobial properties.
They are not necessarily a substitute for prescription antibiotics, but they can be used to aid the healing process, help prevent future infections, and sometimes a preliminary at-home treatment for less severe infections.
Conventional antibiotics help both humans and animals to get rid of infections and prevent new ones. There are many differences between canine cells and bacterial cells; antibiotics attack only the bacteria cells.
Canine antibiotics are used to fight bacterial infections in the body and may need to be used alongside anti-inflammatory drugs (meds that fight inflammation). For example, the dog’s ears and eyes often get infected. Skin infections like hot spots are also common in dogs.
- Amoxicillin is a broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribed by veterinarians to treat various infections in dogs and cats.
- Amoxicillin should only be used to treat bacterial infections and not viral or parasitic infections.
- It has also been known to treat wounds, skin infections, tooth abscesses, infections of the lower respiratory tract and many others.
What are the Benefits of Using Natural Antibiotics for Dogs?
The main benefit of natural antibiotics for dogs is that they come with a low risk of side effects. Even if such side effects occur, they are minor and do not last for long.
A dog’s immune system can usually kill bad bacteria and other pathogens before symptoms start, but sometimes the bacteria grow too fast, or the immune system is compromised and needs help. Antibiotics either kill the bacteria or prevent them from multiplying, so the dog’s immune system can fight them off. They can be used internally or externally for skin and ear infections.
Antibiotics cannot treat viral infections but may be used if there is a secondary bacterial infection. Natural antibiotics can also have antiviral and antifungal properties.
There are several benefits of using natural antibiotics for your pets. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Most ingredients can be found in a regular garden. Therefore, they are easy to process.
- Many of these substances have powerful antiseptic and potent antibiotic properties.
- They are relatively cheap and can be easy to source.
- These ingredients can be bought in an over-the-counter form.
- They do not have side effects that many other substitutes have on the body of your pet.
Should I Use Conventional Antibiotics or Natural Antibiotics for My Dog?
Natural antibiotics are great for mild infections caught in the early stages. Conventional antibiotics can cause side effects like hives, rashes, yeast infections, itchy skin, and stomach upset.
Natural antibiotics can be used to prevent infection of wounds and used to clean the ears. Conventional antibiotics can kill the good bacteria in the body, which can lead to secondary infections.
Natural antibiotics can treat infections that have become bacteria-resistant or for dogs who are very sensitive to antibiotics. Viral infections cannot be treated with conventional antibiotics, and natural antibiotics for dogs often have antifungal properties in addition to antibiotic properties.
Dog Pneumonia. Pneumonia can be fatal if left untreated in dogs and cats. Conventional antibiotics are recommended to treat pneumonia caused by a bacterial infection, as they can cause death through breathing difficulty that can prevent the brain from receiving oxygen and sepsis.
The vet can perform tests to find the specific bacteria causing the infection and choose a tailor antibiotic. In severe cases, hospitalization is needed.
Dog Ringworm. Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the skin of dogs. It can affect any area, including the ear. Natural remedies can be used in the early stages of the infection. If the ringworm is not responding to treatment, then conventional antibiotics will need to be used.
When not treated properly, ringworm can spread to the whole body and cause discomfort. Ringworm can be treated at home using apple cider vinegar mixed with water 50/50 and sprayed on the infected areas.
Dog Staph Infection. Staph infections are common in young and older dogs, along with those with lower immune systems. It can be caused by bacterial or fungal infections, disease, and allergies.
Natural antibiotics can also be used as a last hope for staph infections that do not respond to antibiotics like Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Topical natural remedies using bacteria-fighting natural antibiotics like oregano oil or Manuka honey and antiseptic shampoo can help treat staph especially if it becomes resistant to conventional antibiotics.
If you are not sure whether your dog needs a conventional antibiotic or natural home remedy, consulting with a vet is necessary. This is where the OneVet insurance plan comes useful – as it gives a24/7 access to licensed vets online and up to $3.000 in emergency funds.
What is a Good Natural Antibiotic for a Dog?
When it comes to natural antibiotics for dogs, there are several options. Some of these natural antibiotics have additional features like disinfectant, antiseptic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular natural antibiotics for dogs.
Colloidal Silver as a Natural Antibiotic for Dogs. Colloidal silver has great antibacterial properties and is taken orally, used topically, or injected. According to VetInfo.com, it can be used to treat bacterial, viral, and fungal infections.
Oregano Oil as a Natural Antibiotic for Dogs. Oregano oil has been praised for its antibiotic properties (antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic, and antifungal). It can be used topically (one drop mixed with a teaspoon of coconut oil in a spray bottle) or orally (tincture of two or three drops mixed with a teaspoon of olive oil).
Manuka Honey as a Natural Antibiotic for Dogs. Honey used topically is great for healing wounds. As a topical antibiotic, Manuka honey keeps wounds moist, prevents infections, and aids healing. It can also be used orally to help dogs fight off respiratory infections such as kennel cough.
Garlic as a Natural Antibiotic for Dogs. Garlic has broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and is a popular natural remedy. Since garlic has a compound that is toxic to dogs, when using it to kill pathogens, it must be used in particularly small amounts.
Essential Oil as a Natural Antibiotic for Dogs. Essential oils are great for fighting bacteria and can even help with behavior issues like anxiety. Calendula and lavender oil have potent antifungal properties and can be helpful in preventing fleas and ticks.
Coconut Oil as a Natural Antibiotic for Dogs. Coconut oil is a topical and oral antimicrobial that helps with healing wounds. Coconut oil can also be used in the ear to help clean the ear to prevent mites or rubbed on gums to help with periodontal disease. When used orally, the coconut oil dose depends on the dog’s body weight.
Turmeric as a Natural Antibiotic for Dogs. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help dogs with joint inflammation and mobility. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric can help with swelling, pain, and inflammation in dogs. Turmeric also contains a compound called curcumin, which has antimicrobial properties that can help fight off infections. We recommend Vet-Virtue Turmeric Soft Chews for Dogs, made with organic turmeric as a natural antibiotic for dogs.
What can I Give My Dog for Antibiotics?
Amoxicillin, Terramycin, and Enrofloxacin are among the most commonly used conventional antibiotics for dogs. They come with various health benefits, have a relatively low risk of side effects, and can be used for both small dogs and large dogs. Plus, they can be conveniently added to the dog food.
Amoxicillin for Dogs. This is a broad-spectrum antibiotic and possibly the most common one available in the market today. This is works in a preventative way by not allowing bacteria and other microbes to form a cell wall. Care should be taken that this is used only for bacterial infections and not viral.
Terramycin for Dogs. This is a broad-spectrum antibiotic ointment that helps fight eye infections that are caused by bacteria. This is used to counter various eye problems which include pink eye, inflamed cornea, corneal ulcer, and inflammation of the eyelids. In order to apply easily, this medication is applied topically.