Skin disorders in dogs are common and they make pet owners upset a little. It’s because pet owners love their furry pale and can’t see their dogs in that kinda discomfort. Most skin allergies in dogs have common signs and symptoms like itching, irritations, swelling or inflammation, redness, rashes, blisters, hives, the severe feel of burning, etc.

The causes of itchy skin in dogs could be anything, i.e. food, environment, atopic dermatitis (eczema), or even contact with allergic materials. Unfortunately, dogs are prone to develop skin allergies. But the good news for pet owners is that they can easily treat all kinds of skin allergy disorders in dogs by using a topical hydrocortisone cream which is available over the counter (OTC) while in some areas (around the globe) required a valid prescription.


What is Hydrocortisone Cream?

Hydrocortisone belongs to the cortisone family of drugs. It is a mild corticosteroid and is used for the treatment of skin inflammation or swelling. It’s a highly effective treatment to relieve the symptoms of skin allergic disorders. Hydrocortisone has been used in humans for a long time in cream, ointment, spray, and lotion forms.

Hydrocortisone is the best topical treatment for treating the signs and symptoms of skin allergies.

Is Hydrocortisone Safe to Use in Dogs and Cats?

This topical medication is available in different strengths in the market, i.e. 1%, 2.5%, etc. However, 1% topical hydrocortisone ointment/cream treatment for dogs is recommended. It’s safe to use in dogs, cats, and other domestic animals by the recommendation of a veterinarian.

Over and unnecessary use of corticosteroid topical creams or lotions can damage the outer layer of the skin and cause sensitivity. In that case, a dog’s skin becomes more prone to allergies and adverse reactions.

Hence, topical hydrocortisone creams/ointments/sprays/lotions are safe to use in dogs (in recommended dose) and in a given period of time. Long-term and unnecessary use of steroids damage skin and worsen the condition. Always consult your dog’s vet before giving any kind of medicine to your pets.

How does Hydrocortisone help dogs with allergies?

Topical treatment for dogs itchy, swollen, irritating, and inflamed ears. It reduces swelling or inflammation and soothes irritations. However, it doesn’t work against the germs of bacteria, fungi (yeast), and viruses.

Your pet may need antibiotics or antifungal treatment for secondary bacterial or fungal infections caused by the symptoms of allergies.

What does hydrocortisone treat in dogs?

In the following section of the article, I am bound to share all the benefits, advantages, uses, and indications of topical hydrocortisone medication for a canine (especially a dog). Below are all the worse conditions that can be soothed with the usage of this drug.


Hydrocortisone is used for the treatment of dogs’ itchy skin. The causes of itching in dogs could be varied but to relieve symptoms on an urgent basis, this tube is really helpful and surely effective. Steroids suppress the response of the immune system of a body on the specific where the topical cream has been used. It can provide relief for a couple of hours but isn’t a permanent solution.

For the permanent relief of the dog’s itchy skin, you will need to bring your dog to a veterinarian. The vet will diagnose the root cause of itching which could be a food allergy, beef allergy, dermatitis, eczema, contact allergy, dust, pollen, grass, or other types of allergies caused by the environment.

Hydrocortisone topical application only treats the symptoms of allergies and doesn’t work on the root cause.


The most prone area of a dog to build the first signs and symptoms of allergies are ears. Bacteria may grow easily because of the warm, wet, and polluted (ears) environment, and scratching or licking increases the chances of a secondary bacterial infection in dogs caused by an allergy.


It’s a rapid fast treatment for rashes in dogs. It reduces swelling and inflammation. Provides instant relief from all kinds of skin rashes in dogs within a few hours of topical application. Hydrocortisone for dog’s rashes can be used in any form i.e. cream, lotion, ointment, or spray. Oral intake of hydrocortisone in dogs is prohibited.

For Dog’s Anus

Hydrocortisone cream reduces swelling or inflammation nearby the anus by relaxing blood vessels. It can also be inserted inside a dog’s anus if necessary by one inch (1 inch). It reduces swelling, itchiness, irritations, redness, and discomfort caused by itchy anus in dogs. We don’t recommend or suggest any medication for dogs, cats, or any other animals. Always consult a veterinarian before taking any kinds of medicines for your furry pale.

Other Benefits of Using Hydrocoritosne Cream in Dogs are;

  • Hydrocortisone cream can treat dogs’ lip blisters and lip eczema
  • Works great for the treatment of labial adhesions
  • Effective om treating lupus rash
  • Uses for the treatment of lichen sclerosis
  • Helps to remedy lichen planus
  • Used to relieve the symptoms of latex allergy
  • For treating legs allergy in dogs
  • Effective in treating keloids but doesn’t work on keloid scars
  • keratolysis
  • Swollen, itchy, and irritating paws
  • Vulvar itching, eczema, and rashes
  • It is used with antifungal drugs for the treatment of vulvovaginitis in (female) dogs
  • Vitiligo
  • Vaginal rashes
  • Viral rash
  • Sometimes used for treating varicose (swollen) veins

Can Hydrocortisone Cream Treat a Yeast Infection in Dogs?

Yeast infections in dogs are caused by a fungus (single: fungi). It may affect any part of a body including ears, vagina, paws, skin, nose, mouth, etc. Sometimes it becomes very hard to treat these kinda infections because they create a lot of mess and the symptoms include yellowish discharge from the infected area, itching, swelling or inflammation, bad odor (from the affected site), etc.

A fungal infection in a dog’s body increases the risks of developing a secondary bacterial infection which needs antibiotic treatment to cure and fast recovery.

Cefpodoxime, Cephalexin, Enrofloxacin, Doxycycline, etc are the best examples of broad-spectrum antibacterial drugs that are highly effective against a broad range of gram-positive, gram-negative, aerobic, and anaerobic types of bacteria (germs). However, all antibiotics are prescription drugs and are only available on a valid prescription.

What strength hydrocortisone for dogs?

Hydrocortisone topical treatment for dogs, cats, and other domestic animals is available in 1% and 2.5% cream/lotion/or spray.

Only a veterinarian may decide the perfect dosage of hydrocortisone (a corticosteroid drug) for your pet. However, 1% topical solution of hydrocortisone for dogs’ itchy skin, swelling, and irritations have shown good results without causing side effects.

High doses of topical hydrocortisone in dogs should only be used by the recommendation of a veterinarian or under the supervision of your dog’s vet.

Does hydrocortisone work on dogs?

Doubts should be cleared at this point. Corticosteroid topical medication for dog allergies surely works when it comes to relieving the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions.

This treatment just works on the indications of a pet allergy and never works on the root cause that could be a food allergy, environmental allergy, atopic dermatitis, folliculitis, etc.

Over the Counter Hydrocortisone Cream for Dogs

In the following section of this article, I am going to answer a question, i.e. “Can you use over-the-counter cortisone cream for dogs?” but before that, you must consider knowing “Is hydrocortisone available over the counter (OTC)?

All steroids are prescription drugs and should only be available on a valid veterinarian or doctor’s prescription. However, in some areas of the world, you can purchase hydrocortisone without a veterinarian prescription while in the United States of America you will need a valid prescription for buying it.

A mild form of hydrocortisone topical cream for skin disorders can be purchased over the counter (even in the United States of America). But you will need a little market research on it.

Where to buy hydrocortisone cream for dogs?

It’s far easier to buy hydrocortisone topical cream for a dog’s itchy skin online than drinking a glass of water (just exaggerating).

You can buy it from Amazon, Walgreens, CVS, and other online platforms that are providing 1% (mild corticosteroid) hydrocortisone cream without a veterinarian prescription. Or you should simply search on a search engine typing ‘Buy Hydrocortisone Cream Online’ and that’s it.

You will see the most trusted sites according to your area and location. There should be a bunch of sites providing hydrocortisone topical medication for you. Choose the site providing the best product at a reliable price.

Hydrocortisone cream for dogs side effects

No doubt, this corticosteroid drug is proven to treat skin allergies in dogs but sometimes it can show unwanted effects that you should never be ignored. Please take your pet to a veterinarian if this causes the following adverse reactions;

  • rashes
  • burning
  • severe itching
  • redness
  • if it worsens the pre-existing disorder

Is hydrocortisone cream safe for dogs to eat?

No, No, No, a big No. A dog, cat, or any other animal should never eat hydrocortisone topical applications, i.e. cream, lotion, spray, ointment, gel, etc. It’s harmful and may cause serious adverse reactions.

  • Unwanted consequences of eating hydrocortisone cream in dogs include;
  • Diarrhea
  • Sore throat
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Weakness, lethargy, and fatigue

eaten hydrocortisone (topical forms) may cause other problems that have not been shared above. Consult your pet doctor if you observe any of those symptoms.

Hydrocortisone cream for dogs fungal infections

A good question to answer is, “Does hydrocortisone cream treat fungal or yeast infections in dogs?“.

The short answer is NO. This steroid medicine is used to treat inflammation and swelling on the dermis and keeps the potential to soothe itching, irritation, rashes, and the other signs and symptoms of skin allergies in dogs.

But it doesn’t treat fungal or yeast infections caused by fungi (Germs). Antifungal medicines like Clotrimazole, Miconazole, Fluconazole, Terbinafine, etc are used for the purpose of curing a broad range of fungal infections. Always consult with a pharmacist, doctor, or veterinarian before giving any kind of medication to your pet.

Hydrocortisone cream for folliculitis in dogs

Folliculitis is a common skin infection when the follicles of hair become swollen. The inflammation and swelling of hair follicles in dogs are called ‘folliculitis’. Your pet’s vet may suggest topical corticosteroid drugs like hydrocortisone for your dog as it reduces inflammation and helps to relieve the other symptoms of folliculitis in dogs.

Hydrocortisone cream for dogs flea bites

Yes, you can use this cream to remedy the signs and symptoms of insect bites (i.e. flea bites) in dogs. Flea bites can cause severe skin allergies in pets. The common signs of flea allergy in dogs are;

  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Severe itching
  • Skin irritations
  • Redness on the dermis
  • Rashes
  • Hair loss

Hydrocortisone topical relieve the symptoms of flea bites in dogs and start showing results within a few hours of application. Commonly, it doesn’t show up any side effects or adverse reactions. But you must observe your furry friend’s condition carefully whether it’s getting better with the usage of this steroid cream or this steroid medication making the condition more severe.

Hydrocortisone cream for dogs hot spots

The veterinarians suggest hydrocortisone topical lotions 1% or 2.5% in dogs for the purpose of treating the severe symptoms of hot spots.

Hot spots in dogs cause hair loss, severe itching that makes your dog scratch or lick his skin, redness, rashes, inflammation or swelling, etc.

But the good news is that hydrocortisone treatment easily works and helps your dog get rid of this discomfort. You can apply 1% mild corticosteroid hydrocortisone cream to your pet’s skin once or two times a day for 5-10 days or as directed by a veterinarian.

Can I Use Human Hydrocortisone Cream for my Dog’s Itchy Skin?

The short answer is Yes. You can surely use this mild corticosteroid topical cream to relieve the symptoms of skin allergies in dogs. But keep in mind the potency of hydrocortisone should be 1% or a maximum of 2.5%. Human hydrocortisone in dogs can help to reduce inflammation or swelling on the skin, redness, rashes, itching, irritation, hives, and hot spots. Consult your pet’s vet for more details.

Hydrocortisone cream or spray for dogs

Both cream and spray work for swollen and itchy skin in dogs. But the thing that matters a lot is the strength of this corticosteroid drug in the topical application. The percentage of hydrocortisone in cream or spray matters and it shouldn’t be more than 1% or 2.5% (max).

5% OR 10% hydrocortisone applications may result in adverse reactions and can cost a lot of side effects.

Is hydrocortisone cream safe for dogs to lick?

No, dogs are not supposed to eat or lick this medicine. To must keep your pet restricted from licking the medicine because hydrocortisone cream/spray/lotion oral intake is fatal and cause some serious reactions.

Davis hydrocortisone cream for dogs the UK

It’s a good topical treatment for dogs that are suffering from severe skin allergic conditions. Nonetheless, it doesn’t work on the root cause of the disorder but anyhow works great to relieve the symptoms of allergies that could be itching, rashes, redness, swelling (inflammation), hives, etc.

Why is Hydrocortisone bad for dogs?

Steroid medicines should be avoided unless the benefits over-weigh the disadvantages and the risks associated with them. Unnecessary or long-term use of topical steroids may worsen the skin disorder and makes skin more prone (sensitive) to allergens (substances or materials that trigger allergies). Hydrocortisone topical cream is not recommended for dogs that have sensitivity towards corticosteroids.

Hydrocortisone lotion for dogs reviews

This topical medication is also used in combination with antibiotics (polymyxin, fusidic acid, bacitracin, mupirocin, etc) or antifungal (clotrimazole, terbinafine, miconazole, etc) drugs and works really great for the treatment of fungal, viral, and skin disorders in dogs.

Give your honest opinions about the benefits and bad effects of using this drug in the comments.

Doctor Xeeshan

Doctor Xeeshan

I am Doctor Xeeshan, located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. In this blog, I am providing authentic information about dog breeds, diseases, medications, etc.


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