Bacterial infections in dogs are common because germs are present everywhere, in the food, environment, air, and inside your pet’s body (that’s called commensals bacteria). The immune system of a living body is responsible to provide protection against these harmful infectious germs.

A strong immune system (the defense system) of a dog decreases the risks of bacterial infections in dogs or may help to get recover fast from illness.

This article is important if you’re looking for best over the counter antibiotics that can help in treating a broad range of infections caused by bacteria.


What is an Antibiotic?

Anti means “against” and biotic means “micro-organisms or microscopic living bodies (i.e. bacteria)“. Antibiotics are drugs that are used to treat bacterial infections in dogs, cats, humans, and other mammals. Penicillin, Cephalexin, Amoxicillin, etc are examples of effective anti-bacterial medicines.

Can Dogs Use Human Antibiotics?

Most antibiotic drugs like Cefpodoxime, Doxycycline, Amoxicillin, Penicillin, etc have been used in both humans and dogs.

Dogs can use certain antibiotic drugs that are FDA-approved for both humans and dogs. However, it is suggested to avoid humans antibiotics for dogs and dog antibiotics in humans.

Why Humans Should Never Consume Dogs Antibiotics?

I will answer with an example. Cefpodoxime proxetil is a cephalosporin antibiotic medicine that is FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved for both humans and dogs.

ORELOX by Sanofi Aventis pharmaceuticals is the brand name of the Cefpodoxime proxetil drug that is indicated for the treatment of bacterial infections in humans. Generic: Cefpodoxime is also FDA approved for the treatment of infectious diseases in dogs but the Brand name Orelox is specially formulated for Humans.

SIMPLICEF by Zoetis pharmaceuticals also contains Cefpodoxime proxetil and is indicated for the treatment of bacterial infections in dogs. It is specifically formulated for dogs and humans should avoid it.

Most pet medicines have liver flavor and humans dislike the taste while most human medicines are bitter in taste for dogs.

However, the short answer is that Humans should avoid dog medicines and Dogs should avoid human medicines.

Only a veterinarian may prescribe the perfect medication for a dog. Using human antibiotic drugs as an OFF-Label or Extra-Label drug is not recommended unless suggested by a veterinarian.

How to Buy Dog Antibiotics Over the Counter (OTC)?

First of all, I want to emphasize that Antibiotics are prescription drugs and they are only available or could be purchased with a valid (doctor’s) prescription.

Antibiotics drugs like Cephalosporins, Macrolides, Fluoroquinolones, etc are not available over the counter and FDA discourages the use of antibiotics as self-medication could be harmful.

Why do I need a Prescription for Antibiotics for Dogs?

You must need a valid doctor’s prescription before trying to buy antibiotics (that are used to treat bacterial infections). It is because unnecessary and non-recommended use of antibiotics may cause antibiotic-resistant for that drug.

Germs may develop resistance to that drug and it becomes hard to treat infections. Only a veterinarian doctor may decide on the perfect Antibiotic, Dosage plan, and Period of treatment.

Over the Counter Antibiotics for Dogs

Oral antibiotics could not be purchased without a valid veterinarian prescription for a dog. However, some topical antibiotic drugs are available as OTC drugs.

Fusidic acid, Polymyxin, Bacitracin, Mupirocin, Benzoyl peroxide, Clindamycin, etc are available in topical form and could be used for the treatment of topical bacterial infections in a dog, cat, or other small animals.

However, oral antibiotic drugs like Simplicef, Albon, Baytril, Clavamox, Clavacillin, etc are not available over the counter because their non-professional, non-recommended, or unnecessary use may unmask the risks of antibiotic resistance in the body.

Antibiotic resistance is harmful, fatal, and may cause life-threatening outcomes. This condition is when common antibiotics become fail against germs and germs (bacteria) develop resistance against these drugs. Hence, common antibiotics become useless.

So, more strong to stronger antibiotics are used to treat these bacterial infections that have more side effects for a dog.

Summary: OTC Antibiotics for Dogs

So know you’re familiar with the use of antibiotics in dogs and the possible risks factors that are associated with non-recommended or unnecessary use of antibiotics in dogs which may cause antibiotic resistance.

Oral antibiotics are not available over the counter (OTC). However, topical antibiotics are available over the counter for the treatment of bacterial skin infections in dogs, cats, and other domestic animals.

Bacitracin, Mupirocin, Polymyxin, Clindamycin, Benzoyl peroxide, Neomycin, etc are the best examples of OTC topical antibiotic drugs for dogs. These are effective and may treat a broad variety of infectious disorders in dogs caused by bacteria.

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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