Human Medicines that Work for Pets… or Not

By isak, June 4, 2009

Several human medicines are effective for cats and dogs. The dosages are, of course, lower because the pets are smaller. It’s always a good idea to call your vet before giving your pet any type of human medicine to be sure it is safe and will work for your pet’s condition. Be sure you tell your vet of any other medications your pet is taking at the time in case there could be interactions.
(Also see “10 Poison Pills for Pets” for meds to NOT give your pet.)

  • A&D Ointment — Antibacterial ointment for scrapes and wounds.
    Dogs & Cats: Apply thin coating 3-4 times a day for 7-10 days.
  • Anbesol — Topical anesthetic for mouth pain.
    Dogs: Dab on liquid with cotton swab once or twice a day for up to 2 days.
    Cats: Do not use more than one time.
  • Anti-bacterial soap
    Can be used to clean any wound or injury.
  • Aspirin — Pain & inflammation relief
    Dogs: Can be given short term to dog. Buffered Aspirin (Bufferin) is easier on the stomach but regular (non-coated) aspirin can also be used.  Aspirin may be given once or twice a day with food. Less than 10 lbs: 1/2 baby aspirin; 10-30 lbs: 1 baby aspirin; 30-50 lbs: 1/2 regular aspirin; 50-100 lbs: 1 regular aspirin; over 100 lbs: 2 regular aspirin.
    Cats: NEVER!
  • Aveeno Oatmeal Medicated Bath — For soothing itchy skin.
    Dogs & Cats: Use as bath rinse as often as 3 times a week.
  • Benadryl — Antihistamine.
    Dogs: 1 mg per lb twice a day.
    Cats: Safe to use, but not very effective in cats, and other antihistamines are more commonly prescribed.
  • Betadine Skin Cleanser — Antiseptic liquid soap for cleansing on or around wounds.
    Dogs & Cats: Use full strength to wash affected area.
  • Betadine Solution — Antiseptic solution for flushing or soaking injured area.
    Dogs & Cats: Dilute with distilled water to the color of weak tea, then apply.
  • Bufferin — Pain reliever.
    Dogs: 10-25 mg per 2.2 lb two or three times a day.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Burow’s Solution — Topical antiseptic.
    Dogs & Cats: Moisten cotton ball and apply to wound.
  • Caladryl — Soothing topical lotion for pain and itching.
    Dogs & Cats: Caladryl (calamine) lotion is not recommended as it can actually be toxic to dogs. The most toxic component is zinc oxide. Zinc can cause stomach upset, vomiting and diarrhea. However, this usually is only a problem if the lotion was eaten. Repeated ingestion of zinc oxide can cause serious problems
  • Cortaid — Anti-itch cream.
    Dogs & Cats: Apply once or twice daily as needed.
  • Dramamine — For car sickness, nausea.
    Dogs: 2-4mg per lb 3 times a day.
    Cats: 1/4 of 50-mg Tablet (12.5 mg) once a day.
  • Dulcolax — For constipation.
    Dogs: 5- to 20-mg tablet once a day or 1/2 to 2 pediatric suppositories (10 mg) once a day.
    Cats: 5-mg tablet once a day or 1/2 pediatric suppository once a day.
  • Epsom Salts — Soothing soak for irritated, itchy skin.
    Dogs: 1 cup per gal of water, then soak affected area.
    Cats: 1 cup per 2 gal of water, then soak affected area.
  • Gas-X (Simethicone) — for gas
    Dogs: small: 1/4 adult dose; medium: 1/2 adult dose; large: 1 adult dose.
    Cats: 1/4 adult dose.
  • Hydrocortisone — Relieves itchy, raw or irritated skin.
    Dogs & Cats: can be used topically to reduce itching from hives, hot spots, and insect bites and stings. Apply a small amount up to two times daily.
  • Hypo Tears — Eye lubricant.
    Dogs & Cats: Apply 4-12 times a day.
  • Iodine — Topical antiseptic.
    Dogs & Cats: Paint on wound.
  • Imodium (loperamide) — For diarrhea.
    Can be given to some dogs and cats for diarrhea.  WARNING: Certain dog breeds related to Collies may have adverse reactions to Imodium (loperamide).  Do not give this medicine to Collies, Shelties, Australian Shephards and Long-haired Whippits. See this site for more detailed information.
  • Ipecac Syrup — Emetic to promote vomiting.
    Dogs: 1 tsp per 20 lb, up to 3 tsp.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Kaopectate — For diarrhea.
    Dogs: 1/2 – 1 tsp per 5 lb, to a maximum of 2 Tbsp every 8 hours.
    Cats: Not recommended for cats since the formula was changed as they contain an aspirin derivative that is toxic to cats in high doses.
  • Lanacane — Topical anesthetic.
    Dogs: Apply to sore area with gauze pad.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Massengill Disposable Douche — Odor neutralizer for skunk spray, body odor.
    Dogs & Cats: Mix 2 oz per gal of water, use as a soak for 15 min, then bath as usual.
  • Metamucil (unflavored) — For constipation.
    Dogs: 1 tsp per 10-25 lb, mixed in food.
    Cats: 1/2 tsp (small cat) to 1 tsp (large cat), mixed in food.
  • Mylanta Liquid — For digestive upset, gas.
    Dogs: 15 lbs or less — 3 Tbsp; 16-50 lbs — 4 Tbsp; 51 lb or more — 6 Tbsp.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Neosporin — For preventing wound infection.
    Dogs & Cats: Apply 3-5 times daily as needed.
  • Pedialyte — For dehydration.
    Dogs & Cats: Mix 50/50 with water, offer as much as dog or cat wants.
  • Pepcid AC/Tagamet/Zantac — For vomiting.
    Dogs: 5 mg per 10 lb once or twice a day.
    Cats: 2.5mg or 1/4 of a 10mg tablet ONCE a day
  • Pepto-Bismol — For diarrhea, nausea, indigestion, vomiting.
    Dogs: 0.5 ml per lb or 1/2-1 tsp per 5 lb, to a maximum of 30 ml or 2 Tbsp up to 3 times per day, or 1 tablet per 15 lb up to 3 times per day.
    Cats: DO NOT USE
  • Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia — For constipation.
    Dogs: 2-4 tsp per 5 lb every 6 hours.
    Cats: 1/2-1 tsp once a day.
  • Preparation H — For sore anal area.
    Dogs: Apply up to 4 times daily.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Robitussin Pediatric Cough Formula — Cough suppressant.
    Dogs & Cats: Ask your vet.
  • Solarcaine — Topical pain reliever and anesthetic.
    Dogs: Apply to sore area once or twice a day for up to 2 days.
    Cats: DO NOT USE.
  • Tylenol — Pain reliever.
    Dogs & Cats: DO NOT USE. Cats are extremely sensitive to acetaminophen, and the liver and kidney function of dogs can be severely damaged.
  • Vicks VapoRub — For congestion.
    Dogs & Cats: Smear a small amount on your pet’s chin for easier breathing.
  • Witch Hazel — Astringent/topical antiseptic.
    Dogs & Cats: Dab on affected area.

see also Antibiotics for Dogs

From a reader: I have a pit-bull. I found out that she was crazy allergic to chicken  and also struggles with bacteria issues that make her itch.The vet suggested we try Malaseb medicated shampoo. It has been a life saver! It neutralizes the bacteria that causes the itchy belly/paws. She is so much happier now. I highly recommend it and you can get it several places online.

From another reader: Destin contains zinc oxide. When ingested, minor toxicosis results. With repeated exposure to zinc oxide on the skin, pets can develop zinc toxicity, which can damage the red blood cells. You can read more here.
The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats
Walker Valley Vet


  1. Marlo says:

    My 2 year old chiweenie is having problems with the inside tips of both ears. She is constantly scratching. They appear dry and pumpy with little red dots. This is only on the inside tips it doesn’t go further down. Each day I clean with Castile soap diluted, when dry I’ve used caster oil and massage it in. Colloidal silver is used as well. I seem to be able to ward if off for about two days. Are there any long term treatments you would recommend?

    • isak says:

      Long term would be trying to identify the source of the problem.

      Is this a new problem? Does she have floppy ears or upright ears? Because it’s only on the inside tips of her ears, is it possible that she is having a reaction to something she sleeps on that the tips of her ears are touching? Have you changed detergents or her bedding?

      Is there anything new in her diet?

      You might try something like Neosporin for 2-3 days and skip the soapy bath. We can see if it’s a soap related issue that way.

  2. Judy says:

    My cat is about 5 months old and he’s an indoor cat but I also have a dog which is kept outside, my neighbors have a ton of dogs and they have a ton I fleas so my dog of course gets them too. Sometimes he’ll come in the house and my cat had fleas for awhile I was able to get rid of them but he’s still scratches and he’s managed to cut himself and idk how to get him to stop?? Idk what I should put in the cut either… Help..

    • isak says:

      You can clean the cut with some soap and water, then put some antibiotic ointment — like Neosporin — on it (if it’s in a place he cannot reach). If it’s in a place he can reach, wash it a couple times a day to keep it clean.

      There is a product called Beneficial Nematodes that you can apply to your yard. These nematodes feed on fleas. Give them a try. They are pretty long lasting. I am getting ready to order some myself.

  3. Risa says:

    I have a female English pointer named Mandy that is 11 years old. She has always had pretty bad allergies and likes to chew on her paws, she’s just always been this way. Well now she is constantly itching to the point where her stomach and genital area is almost raw. I do not want to take her to the vet because they will put her on steroids and with the medication she is on for incontinence, it doesn’t interact well and she will have constant accidents which i know are not her fault. The vet doesn’t think about this and tells me that this is what she needs, but i highly disagree. I feel that there must be a way of treating this without an actual medication from the vet, i just don’t know what to do to help heal this problem and am now wondering if this is all due to a yeast problem because she has licked and bitten herself so much. Any suggestions on the best way to give her done relief and clear up her belly area? She is already taking benadryl 2x a day but it’s just not helping with the underlying issue. Now she is scratching her face, it’s always one side of her face by her lip and now that is starting to become irritated and red. Do i use witch hazel, some kind of cream, special bath, anything? I’m open to any suggestions.

    • isak says:

      Licking her paws is often an indication of a yeast imbalance which can be from the food she eats, especially if it contains grains. Does she have any fleas? That can cause allergic reactions, too.

      Does she ever have problems with her ears? Yeast will often affect their ears, too. You might give her probiotics. You can try plain yogurt, but you can get a better response if you use acidophyllus capsules or even a good canine probiotic like Probiotic Miracle or Enzyme Miracle.

      There is also a lotion and a shampoo called Septiderm that works well with hot spots and itchiness. If the spot is kind of raw, you can apply some neosporin. Good luck. Allergies are a frustrating condition.

  4. june says:

    for the lady who has a dog with sore all over it. I found a puppy with no hair and sores on it. There is a type of castor oil referred to as the purest and best product ( the Palm of Christ )Castor Oil. I applied, not rubbed in, just applied it. I got a mange shampoo from the vet or get it from pet smart. applied the oil daily for overnight and gave a bath with the special mange shampoo for dogs daily. and dried her off with a medium heat hairdryer , very fast. It took a week for the sores to disappear and I stopped the oil too. in a month she had grown in some pretty golden hair and no sores. I bathed her daily when I arrived home from work at 5:00pm. Till the sores disappeared. No problem after that. She became Holly my beautiful Golden Girl Basenji cross breed. She laughed rather than barked. Eventually the cross breed adjusted that over time and her exposure to other dogs.

  5. Melody says:

    FYI for anyone who has a dog with arthritis or joint pain. There is a medication called Metacam that is also known as puppy juice. I used it on my older Keeshond years ago for the first time when he was having problems getting up from the floor and could no longer jump up on anything. The first night I gave it to him I noticed a small difference. After three days he was running around like he was a young dog again. Best product ever!!! The downside is it is a prescription you have to get from your vet. The big bottle is a better deal than the small but at the time it was $140.00. I did find a website where you can purchase it for less but you still have to submit a prescription from your vet. My Pomeranian had an anal gland problem recently and after the vet took care of that, he also prescribed Metacam as it is an anti inflammatory and pain reliever.

  6. Savannah says:

    My almost 5 month old kitten seems to be having trouble with her teething! I know she’ll eventually get the teeth in no problem, but how can I help her pain? She’s been scratching at her mouth to the point where it’s all scanned up and losing some fur.
    I’d think it was food allergies but I’ve been feeding her the same food since bringing her home a month ago, and this weekend is the first time I noticed the problem…

    • isak says:

      Can you look inside her mouth to be sure there isn’t another problem? She could have something stuck in her teeth or have an injury to her mouth that is causing her to paw at her face.

      You can buy teething toys for your kitten or even make some yourself. Many teething rings for kittens are made of soft plastic or rubber. Supervise your kitten when they are playing with these as her sharp, little teeth can break off small pieces that could be swallowed.

      You can make your own kitten pacifier by cutting a small piece off a washcloth for her to suck on. A small fleece braided tug will work as well. Soak this in low-sodium chicken broth or juice from a can of tuna packed in water, and then freeze it before giving it to her.

      If your kitten has a favorite cloth toy, you can do the same with thing. Soak it in water or broth and then freeze it. It may be a little messy, but your kitten will thank you for it. And these may help a loose tooth to come out.

  7. Leanne says:

    Hi my cat seems to have had an allergic reaction to something im guessing it was the bob martin litter freshner she now has a bald patch between her shoulder blades which she kept scratching and licking so i put a cone collar on her to stop her licking but she is still scratching is there any human cream i can put on her to stop the itching. She had an allergic reaction to flea treatment before and the vet told me to use anicare cream but its not releaving the itch for her please advise

    • isak says:

      Have you tried a mixture of vinegar and water to relieve the itch? You can apply it as needed and it will not hurt if she licks it. It generally relieves itching in a few minutes.

      There is also a pet product called Septiderm that works very well with itchiness and hot spots on cats and dogs.

  8. annette says:


    I too have a ten year old oriental cat that gets constipated badly.Give olive oil,slippery elm mixed up in food and actiflux when it gets really bad.Diet minced chicken has worked a treat,make up minced chicken sweet potato canned fish mixture that can be frozen.Sardines in tomato sauce are also good.Looking for more advice though especially in relation to diet.Fussy fussy cat.

    Thanks for your help Annette

    • isak says:

      Wow, you sound certainly more creative than me at coming up with interesting remedies and meals. If there are no medical issues that are causing the constipation, it may be something as simple as not getting enough liquids. In that case, you could:

      • Feed canned food — increased water content will improve hydration and soften the feces
      • Add water to dry food if your cat will not eat canned food
      • Use water fountains or running water sources
  9. Alejandra Garcia says:

    Can you please tell me what can I do about my cats, first I got A new cute siamese kitten from a shelter then she got spayed so I couldn’t give her a bath, but then I noticed that she had some kind of dandruff around the spine, so I tried to wipe it off, then I got all this bites all over but she had no fleas at all, and then She gave my beautiful Maine coon a horrible cold, and now they both have this scabs on the ears and the kitten has hardly no hair on her tail and she’s a little hair ball, and I keep on getting this bites, and we had never, ever experienced that. Our cat’s are indoor only. And our house is very clean in fact we just had our carpet cleaned, and I already spent a lot of $$ getting my cats better from that cold. Please help!I read it can be ring worm.

    • isak says:

      I’m not sure from your description what you have, but if it is now affecting the second cat, you do have something going on and I think you should take the kitten (or both) to the vet. While there are many distinct feline skin disorders, they all may present with similar signs, although certain “reaction patterns” are more common in some disorders than others. Examples of some of the more common reaction patterns seen in feline dermatology are hair loss (alopecia) and small widespread scabs and crusts (miliary dermatitis).

      It certainly does not sound like over-grooming or allergies — the most common feline skin disorders — if both cats have the same symptoms. Plus you are getting bitten?

      Ringworm presents as symmetrical hair loss and can be accompanied by redness. You didn’t mention if the patches are a symmetrical “ring.”

      Have you tried washing the affected area with a watery mixture of Dawn dish detergent on a wash rag, and rinse it clean, then rub the areas with a small amount of edible mineral oil (in the event they lick or clean it off)? The oil may suffocate whatever is biting all of you.

      Let us know how this works out.

  10. Harry says:

    Thanks Izak. The cat’s wound is healing well. I have another question about another
    cat. My 15 year old female seems to have problems with constipation. We feed her
    canned wet cat food with some water added, and a quarter teaspoon of Miralax mixed in
    every morning (recommended by a vet several months ago). She’s better, but still struggles sometimes. Can you recommend a food, wet or dry, which will help her with
    her bowel movements (or other solution your might prefer)? Thanks! Harry

    • isak says:

      Great news about the healing wound. Good work!

      Cats get constipated for a variety of reasons. The simplest are: lack of exercise, too little water, or by swallowing too much hair when they groom.

      What is the consistency of your girl’s bowel movement in general? If it’s hard, that indicates a need for more liquid in her digestive tract. Miralax treats constipation by drawing water into the colon. However, it’s generally not used for the long term unless your vet recommends it. I would avoid dry food altogether because it absorbs liquid once it is in her stomach and can actually create more constipation for her.

      What is the canned food she is eating? Is it a high fiber version? Increasing canned food intake is another way to help constipation, since it also increases overall water intake (canned food is about 70% water). You can also try adding a dollop of plain canned pumpkin (not the pie filling, but the plain pumpkin) to her food regularly.

      Does she drink plenty of water?

  11. Harry says:

    My healthy 3 year old male cat had something sticking out about a half-inch near his mouth. At first I thought it was just dried food on his fur. This morning I noticed the protrusion was gone, and there is a small wound near his mouth that looks like a puncture wound. He does not appear to have pain when I touch near the area. I would like not to have to spend $50 to $100 in vet cost if I can avoid it. I am going to try Equate triple antibiotic (Walmart’s Neosporin equivalent) and watch it for a day or two. Is there any non-prescription internal antibiotic that I can give him? Thanks! Harry C, Chandler, AZ

    • isak says:

      Sounds like he pulled it out himself, eh? Between times where you add the Equate to the wound, you could rinse the wound with some salt water or epsom salts or a product called Simple Saline (I love this product!) to aid with drying things out a bit, then dry the wound off and add the Equate. As for a non-prescription antibiotic for your cat, you could look for something called Fish-Mox. It’s amoxicillin labeled for use in fish aquariums. It’s the same amoxicillin prescribed for people and pets, but it’s sold without a prescription — generally where fish and fish aquariums are sold. It comes in capsules which you could break apart and sprinkle on his food. However, if you rinse and re-dress the wound 2-4 times a day, you may be okay without the antibiotic. Just watch him.

  12. terry says:

    I love this site. My 10 yo peekaboo 14 lbs has recently started drinking 16 oz water per day , up from 6-8.

    Urine is yellow with stout odor.

    Otherwise he is a lively,enthusiastic. He eats well and behaves normally.

    Should I be concerned? Thank you, Terry

    • isak says:

      That is a substantial increase. If it has lasted more than a couple days and there has been no change to his routine that would account for this (like hot weather or increased exercise), I would recommend having your vet check him out. It could be an early indicator of a problem that is best treated now. Maybe a uterine infection or a kidney issue or something else.

      Let us know what you find out.

  13. Connie says:

    Please dont be telling people to give these things to their animals! I had a friend that gave her dog an aspirin and it killed it!!

    • isak says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s dog. Were there special circumstances with her dog’s health?

      It is OK to give your dog aspirin, but you need to follow the right dosage. Never give your dog ibuprofen or Tylenol. Aspirin can relieve pain effectively, and relatively safely, in your dog when used for SHORT PERIODS.

      Which Dogs Should NOT Be Given Aspirin?
      There are some health conditions which can interact with aspirin in a dangerous, even fatal, way.

      If your dog has any of these issues, please do not give him aspirin without consulting your veterinarian first.

      • Any health condition which causes them to bleed easily
      • Internal ulcers or bleeding issues
      • Liver disease
      • Kidney Disease
      • Vitamin K deficiency
      • Von Willebrands’ Disease
      • Pregnant or nursing dams
      • Puppies under 8 weeks old
      • Dogs or puppies who are taking corticosteroids
      • Dogs or puppies who are currently taking any other medication
      • Regular ‘people’ aspirin formulas shouldn’t be given to a dog for more than 5 days maximum.

      Aspirin that has been specifically formulated for dogs is the recommended choice, but remember that these also have a recommended duration of use.

      To avoid the common side-effect of stomach or digestive system irritation, choose ‘buffered’ or ‘enteric-coated’ tablets.

      Opinions vary on whether or not dogs are able to absorb the full dosage of medication from enteric-coated tablets because it takes a long time for Fidos’ stomach acids to break down the coating.

      Buffered aspirin is a better choice because it contains ingredients which help to minimize the inflammation or irritation but still allows the drug to be absorbed properly.

      The absolute best choice for your dog is a buffered aspirin which has been specifically formulated for dogs.


  14. Lester says:

    No nothing has changed in her diet although me and my sister feed our dog different food and they get into each others bowl from time to time. The only other thing I can think of is that she had a tick in her the other day but it never latched on and I pulled it right off. You think that could be it? She is up to date with all her shots

    • isak says:

      I don’t think the tick caused this because you mentioned that she had it some time ago, but no knowing exactly what is causing the allergy, it’s kind of hard to treat. However it can be hard to pinpoint the problem. It could be something that is in bloom right now or even a change in your detergent — there are many things it could be. Try the saline wash. You may not need to do it everyday. If it persists, you might try an antihistamine.

  15. Lester says:

    I have a pug pit bull mix. Last year she has greenish yellow pus coming out her eyes. I took her to the vet and they proscribed antibiotics. Even after I was done with the treatment it’s persisted a short while longer. I can of feel like it cleared up on it own when it was all said and done. It now happening again almost exactly a year later. I’m starting to think it’s seasonal allergies. Is there anything I can do that is more cost effective for me? I heard over the counter saline works. But it there a anti bacterial cream that would be safe to us in her eyes?

    • isak says:

      Unless you know the source is bacterial, I wouldn’t recommend trying to treat her eyes with anything stronger than the simple saline solution for eyes. I use it for one of my dogs when her allergies kick up and it works great.

      Has anything in her diet changed? A different food?

  16. Hazlinda says:

    My kitten is around 5 months of age. There is an abscess wound on her right neck. What kind of antiseptic flush will be good for her? Does dilluted Betadine helps?
    Thanks in advance!

    • isak says:

      I think that will do. Even Neosporin ointment. If it’s on her neck, it sounds like she will not be able to lick the ointment.

  17. Pam Kern says:

    A lot of flea shampoos and treatments require that kittens be 12 weeks or older. For kittens less than 12 weeks, you can use Prell shampoo, or regular (blue) Dawn dish soap if you can’t find Prell. Both work really to kill off fleas on smaller kittens.

  18. pat dye says:

    My 7 yr old dog has yeast all over his body and is miserable. I have spent $100s at vet but he seems to get worse. He been on antibiotics-steroids-special shampoos . Help!!!!

    • isak says:

      Have you looked for the source of his allergies? It could be diet-based. Both MDs and veterinarians advise patients with yeast to get the sugars out of their diets. You’ll need to carefully read his pet food and treat labels and avoid any product containing honey, high fructose corn syrup, and even white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Feed low-glycemic veggies. Eliminate potatoes, corn, wheat, rice – all the carbohydrates need to go away in a sugar-free diet. Second, add some natural anti-fungal foods to his diet, like a small amount of garlic or oregano. These foods are both anti-fungal and anti-yeast and can be beneficial in helping reduce the yeast level in your dog’s body.

      Antibiotics destroy bacteria, so I would also suggest adding Acidophilus to his diet. You can buy it in powdered form from places like CalVet Supply or you can buy capsules in general from anywhere vitamins are sold. This adds friendly bacteria back into your dogs digestive tract.

      Here are a couple shampoo recipes that may also help your boy:
      1. 1 gallon water
      1 cup of vinegar or 1 cup lemon juice.
      You can also use 20 drops of peppermint oil. All three will make your pooch smell nice. One word of warning about using both lemon juice: it can bleach a black dog’s fur. If you have a black coated dog, you should go with vinegar to avoid a lightening effect.

      2. 1 cup Dawn anti-bacterial soap
      1 cup white vinegar
      2 tbs of water

      Oatmeal shampoos are not recommended because oatmeal is a grain which provides a food source for that yeast on your dog’s skin.

      A dab or two of witch hazel applied by cotton balls can help, too, but look for witch hazel that is made with ethanol (grain alcohol, the type contained in consumable liquors) or vegetable glycerin, an edible coconut oil derivative that is used in natural soaps and cosmetics for its emollient, skin-soothing qualities — not isopropyl alcohol, a substance that is toxic if ingested in large enough amounts.

      When a traditional veterinarian sees a dog with allergies – a sign of an overactive immune system – he or she will typically prescribe steroid therapy to shut off the immune response. (This improves symptoms but does not fix the underlying cause of the allergies.)

      When your dog’s immune system is turned off with drugs, it can’t do its job of regulating and balancing normal flora levels, so your pet ends up with yeast blooms.

      When conventional vets see dogs with allergies and possibly secondary skin infections, often they prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics are well-known to destroy all good bacteria along with the bad, wiping out healthy yeast levels in the process, so these drugs often make a bad situation worse.

      Another reason an allergic dog, in particular, can end up with a lot of yeast is he can actually develop an allergy to his yeast. Intradermal tests often reveal that a dog is having an allergic response to his own natural flora.

      This situation can be very problematic because the dog’s allergic response can affect his whole body. These dogs are often red from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail – their entire bodies are flaming red and irritated.

      So dogs with an underactive immune system or that are immuno-suppressed can end up with a yeast infection, as well as dogs that have overactive immune systems, or allergies. Source

      Let us know how things work out for you.

  19. kelma eckhart says:

    this is the more informative web. it saved me alot of$ my poodle jack has had ear infection sence i bought him . he’s 7yrs. and still gets it almost 3 times a yr.he has cost me over 1500.00 over 7yrs.

  20. worried cat mummy says:

    I could really use some advice. My poor little cat keeps getting scabs come up on her From where shes itching and licking herself too much. Been to vets they put a cone on her for 2weeks and gave her injection. Been back today and had another injection. These vets dont seem to no what it is or what to do for her. Is there anyone who can give me advice on what i can get for her to rub on her to help?? Thanks in advance xx

    • isak says:

      I just brought a neighborhood cat in from outside. He was covered in scabs and was very itchy. He had also lost a lot of weight. In his case, it was an allergy to fleas. Though I could only see one or two fleas on him, putting flea preventative on him has helped stop that non-stop scratching he was doing and his hair is growing back in.

      There are things you can put on her to help with the scratching, but make sure that anything you use is edible because she will lick it off. I used Aloe Vera and I have put flea meds on the cat I brought in. I have read that cocoanut oil is good and I have ordered some to check it out.

      You can also try a product like Wondercide which contains cedar oil. This repels fleas, but I am not sure how edible it is in the long term.

      To keep the fleas under control, you can lightly rub diatomaceous earth on your cat. This will kill the fleas on the outside and eventually as she licks it off, kill the worms inside her (from the fleas).

      Good luck.

  21. Suzie says:

    My dog skinny is 13 years old, he is a 30 pound dauchund (named because he was a very chubby puppy). I just recently got him back after 2 years and his teeth are decaying to the point of rotting his gums. I just want him to not be in pain. I’m doing the anbesol but what pain reliever can I use on top of it? Seems to be varying ideas on aspirin type for which is safest. Can you use ibuprofen?

    • isak says:

      So you named him Skinny because he was chubby??? Too funny.

      First off, Ibuprofen? No! It can cause kidney failure in dogs and cats. An older pet could be even more at risk.

      Second, it’s more than a painful condition. If he has rotting teeth and gums, he has an infection going on and relieving his pain will not relieve the infection. You need to address the problem at its source. I recommend that you take him to the vet and get meds for the infection. Sounds like he may need a dental where they clean all his teeth and remove those that might need it. This is bigger than you can do at home because rotting teeth — especially in an older dog — can have far reaching problems. It can affect his immune system and, in turn, create more problems than you have now.

      So do a good thing for him and have a vet check him out. At the least, they will give him some meds to kill the infection in his mouth and from there, you guys can create a plan to get Mr. Skinny back in good health. He deserves it.

  22. Gracie's Grandma says:

    My dog seems to have trouble with “scooting” after she uses the bathroom, in particular when it is not a solid stool. I have found that putting a very warm soak with Epsom salts on her behind (do this at least 3x a day) will do wonders to help this situation. However, sometimes it will take weeks for the rectum to clear up and sometimes it may require an antibiotic from vet. Dogs typically do this because they are not able to express their anal glands when having a BM, the soak helps to release the anal glands as well as give relief for the itching. Wearing gloves helps in this process and I typically keep the washcloth warm by submersing in warm water several times during process. Naturally by now she has her own wash cloths lol. Also, because my dog had the loose stools, I now sprinkle over her food a packet of Probiotic to keep her solid, 1 packet in am and 1 packet in pm. You can buy the Probiotic on line without a prescription – brand name is FortiFlora by Purina Veterinary Diets. A whole lot less expensive on-line than purchased through vet. Sometimes green beans will also help with loose stools.

  23. Mary Vecchione says:

    I have had several cats get a open sore on the underneath of there necks … I have put ointment on them and it has healed …I have one cat now that has an open sore under her neck now but my question is what is causing this to happen to them ? My property is clean and kept up and every 3 months sprayed… They all go in and out side as they please and I put flea treatment on them as well… I see where Hydrogel is good to use on cats so I will try using that also …any suggestions would be appreciated …
    Thank You …

    • isak says:

      From what I have seen, this is generally caused by a cat scratching themselves. Perhaps from a flea bite or maybe even another kind of bug. Under their necks is a very easy place to incur such a scratch patch. If you keep a close eye on them, you should be able to catch them “in the act” of scratching. With their claws, it’s easy for them to create a sore spot.

      It could be allergies, but that usually involves a larger area.

      Hot spots on cats can be treated with Epsom salt. Make a saturated solution by dissolving as much Epsom salt as you can in warm water. Pet Education recommends dissolving 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in 1 gallon of water. Place a clean cloth on the affected area for five to 10 minutes. Repeat two to four times a day.

      Good luck.

  24. Dai Jones says:

    I could use all the help I can get here and you guys seem to be a knowledgable group.
    My wife and I adopted a stray here in Malaysia, my best pal Sammy. As you will see from this short video Sam was in bad shape. Happily he is much improved but this guy is living in a body that is driving him crazy. He recovered much of his hair but still has great patches of itching skin. These seem to be getting worse. He seemed to make a recovery with Ivumectin but this no longer seems to work. he has been on all manner of fungicides, antibacterials etc to little or no effect.
    I am not sure that we will ever be able to cure the root causes. However, I would like to make his life more tolerable by relieving his constant itching. We have obviously tried a ton of stuff but can you guys please make some suggestions for us? We would all appreciate some help. Thank you

    • isak says:

      Maybe he needs to strengthen his immune system to fight this last battle. You can add a dog food supplement to your dog’s diet to increase immunity and help him fight off illness. Some good supplements include:

      • Neem oil, which boosts the production of T cells, a vital part of your dog’s immune system.
      • Vitamin C is antiviral and antibiotic.
      • Omega fatty acids make your dog’s digestion more efficient and can increase his energy levels. They are good for his hair, skin, eyes, and internal organs. Good sources of omega fatty acids include evening primrose oil, flaxseed oil and fish oil.
      • Zinc supplements boost the immune system by increasing white cell production and promoting the fast healing of wounds.

      Maybe oregano drops.

      Or google “canine immune boost” for other ideas, too. Good luck. Sounds like Sammy is lucky to have you!

  25. Dawn says:

    It’s not safe to use hydrogen peroxide on cats. Only use iodine.

  26. Kathryn says:


    Use Tolnaftate (1%). This is the same antifungal cream that is in human athlete’s foot treatment (at several times the cost of generic Tolnaftate).

    It costs about $3 at grocery stores, WalMart, etc. It is also a topical anesthetic and animals love that it makes the pain stop.

    It always works for any skin condition, even those supposedly caused by “allergies”. I Promise.

  27. priscilla says:

    my english bulldog has allergies between his toes i changed his food bought him boots and he still breaks out im putting out a lot of money to the vet and different meds is there anything u ncan tell me to help i tried panalog, antifungals, antibiotics, i thought about desitin but then i decided against it because of your artical saying its toxic to dogs iodine,benadryl, betadine its just awful.

    • isak says:

      Have you tried adding probiotics to his diet and giving him a water & apple cider vinegar foot soak?

      • A combination of warm water, organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide works to treat yeast infections and sooth irritated paws with its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. To make this solution, pour 1 cup of organic apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of hydrogen peroxide into 1 gallon of warm water. Soak your dog’s paws in the liquid for 30 seconds and allow the skin to air-dry.

      • Warm water and iodine in your dog’s bath gets rid of any allergens or toxins on her feet and between her paw pads, disinfects any wounds she may have, and will treat any ongoing yeast infection caused by constant licking or chewing. Add just enough iodine in the water to turn it the color of iced tea, then stand your pet in the solution for 30 seconds. Pat the paws dry with a clean towel and your pup is good to go. Don’t worry if she licks her paws after, iodine is non-toxic for dogs.

  28. Rachael McGill says:

    I am a licensed pharmacy Technician Instructor and we all learn that tylenol is toxic to cats and dogs it can shut down liver and kidney function. I really think this needs to be removed. At know time is a pharmacist going to give a cat or a dog tylenol they are going to warn the vet against this.

    • isak says:

      Thanks for your input. It’s much appreciated. I amended the statement about Tylenol. If it is NOT on the list as a no-no, people may use it. So I think it’s better to tell them not to use it.

  29. Sandra Buckett says:

    Thanks for this list. My dog Bella ruptured a disk in her spine + is on Steroids. Because of the problem she’s all chaffed from her urine. l read your list. Thanks for this.

  30. Rottie malin mom says:

    Highly recommnend keeping Non toxic Vetericyn on hand for skin issues like hot spots , rashes etc-
    Use it on dogs .cats, etc- check out reviews and call company with any questions-

    I really like the Vetericyn VF Hydrogel formula and keep the regular spray on hand too

    It’s is the go to non toxic product for our pets
    I buy on line in larger bottles at a fraction of pet store cost

    Generic betadine or providine on hand too

    Ask your vet about these products and use

  31. Rottie malin mom says:

    Big fan of Vetericyn spray and Vetericyn. VF hydrogel for skin irritations , hot spots etc- use it on my scrapes too!
    Use it on the dogs and hairless cats with great results! No prescription required! It is non toxic too! Very important for multi pet households where they often groom or lick each other-

    This is my go to skin spray! I buy on line with free shipping- really like the hydrogel –
    Company will answer any of your questions about the product Vetericyn
    Used on livestock too

  32. Earlgrey says:

    I cured my cats naturally of mouth sores and this also works for other illness :

    – rub 2% foodgrade Lugol’s Iodine on the infected area twice a day for one week then once a day with a Q-tip-apply more often if severe infection


    – add 3 drops of foodgrade Lugol’s in a small bowl of water daily for 3 months then 2X a week, if cats very ill- daily

    – sprinkle half cap 200mcg 3X a month in food

    – sprinkle some psyllium husk powder once a week on food

    – foodgrade DE on food daily for 2 months then 1X a week

    – Cod Liver oil by Nordic Naturals

    – clean cats teeth with olive oiled Q-tip

    – Nutrex Bioastin 12MG Hawaiian Astaxanthin- 2X a week on food

    – Weruva Cat food

    – Do not vaccinate pets- vaccines cause cancer

    – Do not give antibiotics to cats, cause parasite overgrowth




  33. Mary says:

    Tylenol is TOXIC to dogs. No, no, no!!! Please consult a vet.

  34. Jasmine says:

    My cat rooty has a sore on her chin Is there anything I can put on it that won’t get her sick she is 13

    • isak says:

      Is it a simple sore? If so, you can try a bit of triple antibiotic ointment, maybe Neosporin. Just a tad. Anything more and she may try to clean it off. Keep an eye on her, but this is generally a safe way to go.

      You might apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound first.

  35. Deanna says:

    hey my dog mocha has really bad separation antitoxy but i pay for all her stuff and can’t afford vet med’s do you have any suggestions oh and she has huge sores on her ears and last moth she chewed all of her hair off and she tries to eat the house

    • isak says:

      For separation anxiety — do you leave her with a towel or something that smells like you? Do you leave her with toys — like Kongs or sterilized bones — that she can chew on/play with while you are gone? Have you looked inside her ears to see if there is a problem? Often sores on the outside are a result of itchy ears because of something happening inside her ears. Maybe she needs them cleaned out? You can put something like triple antibiotic ointment on the outside. The inside can be cleaned with a mixture of vinegar and water — put a little in her ears and rub it in, then wipe out what you can with a paper towel or cloth. Chewing her hair off — have you checked her for fleas? Some dogs are more allergic to fleas than others and will really chew themselves.

      How old is she.

  36. Yashira W. says:

    Wonderful list. Very informative. I have a question: I have 2 pitbull puppies. 11 weeks old today. 1 is about 14lbs and the other is 13.7lbs about. My question is that thwy have outgrown their harnesses and it actually dug into their skins a bit. Nothing bad..but what can I use to get it healed right? Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    They are named: Ki (mine) & Ghost (husband) both female 🙂

    • isak says:

      Triple antibiotic ointment — like Neosporin — a couple times a day should help. And new harnesses. 🙂

      ps… great names!

  37. Mari Miniatt says:

    Thank you for this list. Our one cat had a sore that became inflamed. I didn’t want to get it infected. I was so glad there were choices in my medicine cabinet that would help him.

  38. Lisa M says:

    Read on other websites, that calamine lotion and or caladryl is toxic if pet ingests…..zinc oxide worst culprit. Wouldn’t use if for that reason alone.

  39. Horace says:

    For arthritis I have been giving my 15 year old dog non enteric baby aspirin a one pill dose of 80mg.
    When is back legs are really bad I give him one pill twice a day. You can buy the Walmart house brand at good prices. It is the orange chewable ones.
    He has suffered for years from skin cysts involving several operations to remove them. If I can get them when they are small enough continuous dabing of hydrogen peroxide 3% drug store solution eventually stops them from growing. I say eventually because you need to continuously keep at it until the turn white. Witch hazel also works if you alternate between it and the peroxide.
    Days to weeks of applying them with a tissue or q tip finally stops them from growing. If the get to big in the wrong place it is close to a thousand dollars to remove them. This saved me a ton of money..

    • Sandy says:

      Horace, enteric coated aspirin isn’t recommended in dogs. The coating on the aspirin is hard to digest and they’ll pass it in their stool. It’s best to give them buffered aspirin

  40. Mickey says:

    I’ve been trying to find information like this for some time now. All these sites say “Ask your vet!” I wonder though, where does the vet get information like this and why isn’t it available to anybody who needs to know?

    • isak says:

      You should always consult a vet before giving your pet any meds. However, what people often are not aware of is that some pet meds have a human version or even a generic version which can cost much less. Also, WalMart pharmacy can fill many of your pet prescriptions at what is often a hefty savings. One of my dogs was on phenobarbital for his seizures. This med from WalMart cost me $4/month; from the vet, it was much more.

  41. Tiffany Sherese says:

    Hey! Im a broke college student and I recently adopted a stray dog a few months ago. I managed to save up enough money and get her shot but the other day she was under my deck at home and i dont know what she did but she has a cut about 5inches long on her back. Its not wide just long looking but I cant afford the vet. Is there anything I can put on it to prevent infection and help it heal? Ive just been using hypoallergenic hand soap to clean it. I figured that would affect her the least. Any advice would be great! My email is

    • Amber says:

      Hey, Tiffany I know this is a little late for you, but here is some information for you. I know in California the organization called actors and others helps with vet costs. You can probably check your State by typing in google: Organizations that help with costs of vets and then put your state, and city. I know that actors and others will only help after you get a diagnoses of what ails your pet. It might be different for your state. So that will mean you will have to pay for the vet for blood and stool first. But you can always get a credit card to pay for it. Hope this helps, for anyone who is having financial difficulties. They also do spay and neuter but you would have to get 2 organizations to pay for that. I know in California it costs $25 for vet, $25 for stool, and $125 for blood. That would be $175 and on a credit card that would not cost more than about $25 a month.

    • Amber says:

      Tiffany use triple antibiotic instead of hand soap cause you will probably doing more harm a than good with that. You can get triple antibiotic at any drug store,or target, Kmart. You know what can also be good it would be colloidal silver, the only way you can buy it is on-line for $19.99 plus about $6.00 for shipping and handling at It is good for pets and people, in fact it was widely used before their was anti-biotics. Just put some on the sore or you can give orally, just look on-line for dose of your pet do not forget to add weight of pet. Have a scale? weigh yourself mark it down and then hold your dog and weigh again, Subtract your weight to find out your pets weight.

  42. Ansley Crook says:

    Awesome and very helpful list thank you so much! My 6 year old calico Pockets recently received her first bath and we discovered sores and what looks like ulcers on her behind around her anus. They aren’t bleeding and no sign or evidence of them being puss filled, just sore and painful looking, what would be a safe ointment or cream to use on her behind to allievate pain and reduce these things? They almost look like external hemerroids but that’s not what they are. Thank you and again epic list thank you so much!

    • isak says:

      You may apply a small amount of Neosporin ointment, on a cotton swab or ball, to the wound after applying a small amount of a product such as hydrogen peroxide to clean the wound. Because Neosporin is an ointment to prevent infection, it is generally safe to use on cats. While Neosporin is not highly poisonous, it is not intended to be ingested. Cats frequently lick themselves in order to bathe, and any wound on which you put antibiotic ointment may irritate the cat, causing it to lick and bite at the area more frequently. During this time, the cat may ingest the ointment. To prevent such an occurrence, you should watch your cat for a few minutes after application and then use a damp cloth to wash the majority of the ointment away. Good luck.

  43. Amanda says:

    I have a cat that suffers from dry skin. She scratches herself so bad sometimes she gives herself a rash or makes herself bleed. Patience also loves to sit next to my solar heater which makes it worse. I put neosporin on it and after a while it does help. But I was wondering if I could use some anti itch cream that I have. I don’t have the cortaid that’s listed. I have aveeno and I have smart sorce brand anti itch cream. Could I use this on her without it hurting her when she grooms herself? Whenever we put the neosporin on her we make a cone to put around her head to let it soak in and so it doesn’t hurt her. So I will do the same thing with this I just want to make sure after I take the cone off and she licks it that it wont hurt her.

    Thank you so much for your time and help.
    Patience also thanks you. 🙂

    • isak says:

      What a cute name — Patience.

      You are very smart to consider what effect anything you put on a cat will have on them because they do lick themselves to clean themselves. I’m not sure what ingredients are in what you want to use, so I can’t really say if they would be safe to apply to Patience. Do you know why your cat is so itchy? It would be best if you could target the source — fleas, allergy to her bedding, food allergy — then maybe you could relieve her itching once and for all. Perhaps you could bath her in an oatmeal-based shampoo to sooth her skin and wash away what might be irritating her? Some shampoos have avocado and/or aloe in them that is said to help with itchiness. Or maybe a food additive — like kelp — sprinkled on her food will help.

  44. Susan silcock says:

    My female dog is very itchy and irritated around the genitalia area, she is still liking after going to vets, she has been prescribed anti biotics, I am washing the area and applying sudocrem, she seem mores comfortable when walking, she just keeps sitting down, and doesn’t want to go out, not even for her toilet duties, and suggestions please?

  45. Shela says:

    NEVER give human meds to any animal unless you have cleared it with your vet. Remember cats groom themselves and if you put anything on them they will eventually lick it off, sorry but some of the advice you have given here is TOXIC to cats. Be wise people….speak to your vet!

  46. Sandy says:

    Thank You for this information, not only did you help me but two other members of my family and their pets. Keep it coming!
    Thanks ,
    Sandy & Baa-boo

  47. cheryl burns says:

    Hi one of my dogs bruiser is a 40 kilo rottwieler x american staffy and for the past 2 years duing the winter season his outside toe and nail is becoming infected, last year our vet removered is nail leaving just enough to allow regrowth and with the help of antibiotics fixed the problem momentarily, it returns several time during the season, the other problem besides that is I have recently lost my job and simply can not afford the vet fee or the pain relieve meds and antibiotcs needed is there a safe alternative or human antibiotic that I can give to bruiser thank you

    • isak says:

      Can you tell me what meds/antibiotics Bruiser was on previously?

      • Rita ONeil says:

        Sorry about Bruiser, & i see its been a while hope hes doing ok? I would soak his paw as much as he will let you ( once a day in a bucket or tupper ware thing in really warm water w/ epsom salt, dry apply BAG BALM” really works wonders on everything. Then follow the pain advise they give. Really hope all is well w/ you & yours 🙂

  48. Randy Hehn says:

    What about Senna for constipitation?

  49. isak says:

    From MariaO @catanddogdoctor on Twitter:

    Tylenol is extremely toxic to cats!

    Bufferin can cause gastric ulcers and kidney liver damage

  50. Jenn Richardson says:

    Thnsk for posting this info!
    For nausea and.or car sickness give your dog a gingersnap or two about a half hour before a trip in the car, It really works!

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