Antibiotics (and Alternatives) for Dogs: Reviewed

Written by Abby Parks
Updated: November 22, 2022
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Key Points

  • The #1 Best Overall over the counter (OTC) alternative medications for dogs is SalutemPet Forte Health Natural Herbal Supplement.
  • We’ve reviewed the best OTC alternative medications for dogs that may provide relief and/or immune system support for some medical conditions.
  • If you suspect that your dog has a infection, please consult your veterinarian before administering any kind of antibiotics or alternative, natural, or OTC medication.

Antibiotics for dogs help treat a range of bacterial infections. They come in liquid, pills, or ointment form, depending on what they’re being prescribed to treat. It’s important to note that dog antibiotics are administered in different dosages than antibiotics prescribed for human use. So you should never give antibiotics that were prescribed for your use to your pup.

If you believe that your dog has an infection of any kind, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. They may ask you to bring your dog in for an examination and tests. If they decide that your pet doesn’t require prescription antibiotics, ask them if one of the OTC alternatives reviewed below would benefit your dog. Some of these products may provide pain relief and immune system support, which may be all your canine buddy needs for this particular ailment.

  1. SalutemPet Forte Health Natural Herbal Supplement
  2. SalutemPet Forte Health Natural Herbal Supplement
    • Alternative liquid antibiotic includes Cranberry, Echinacea, Pau D’arco, Clove, Oregano
    • 100% natural herbal treatment
    • Treats bacterial and viral infections, kennel cough, fungal infections, parasitic issues, urinary issues, and more
    Check Amazon
  3. Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment
  4. Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment
    • Medicated formula combats yeast, bacteria and fungus
    • Ideal for use after waterplay/swimming or bathtime
    • No stinging
    • Fights odor and discharge
    • Safe and effective for use on dogs and cats
    Check Amazon
  5. AMBER NATURALZ - VIBACTRA Plus - Immune Support Plus
  6. AMBER NATURALZ - VIBACTRA Plus - Immune Support Plus
    • Vibactra contains herbs to promote overall health
    • Helps maintain microbiome and inflammatory response, supports immune functions
    • Treats dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, and rabbits
    Check Amazon

The Top Picks for Antibiotics and Alternatives for Dogs: Ranked and Reviewed

#1 Best Overall: SalutemPet Forte Health Natural Herbal Supplement

SalutemPet Forte Health Natural Herbal Supplement, our overall best, is organic and gives your dog maximum immune support. Some of the natural ingredients includes oregano, clove, garlic, and cranberry, to combat inflammation in all areas. This remedy is formulated to provide dogs of all breeds and sizes with safe, chemical-free relief for UTIs, kennel cough, and other conditions without a veterinarian’s prescription.

All ingredients used have been grown, harvested, and processed in the United States using sustainable methods. Some dogs refuse to consume this supplement when it’s added to their food, so getting it into them may be a bit of a struggle.

Pros and Cons of SalutemPet Forte Health Natural Herbal Supplement

ProsCons
This organic herbal supplement is formulated to provide maximum immune support.Some dogs refuse to eat this supplement when it’s been added to their food, so you may have to force them to take it.
Some of the key ingredients include oregano, clove, garlic, and cranberry, which may combat inflammation.
The manufacturer claims that this product provides relief from UTIs, kennel cough, and other conditions.
The ingredients for this formula have been grown, harvested, and processed in the US using sustainable methods.
Best Overall
SalutemPet Forte Health Natural Herbal Supplement
  • Alternative liquid antibiotic includes Cranberry, Echinacea, Pau D’arco, Clove, Oregano
  • 100% natural herbal treatment
  • Treats bacterial and viral infections, kennel cough, fungal infections, parasitic issues, urinary issues, and more
Check Amazon

2. Best Dog Antibiotic for Skin: PetSilver Wound Spray with Chelated Silver

PetSilver Wound Spray with Chelated Silver is an alternative to prescription products for skin-related issues. The spray is formulated to treat wounds and the manufacturer reports that it’s safe for your dog to ingest if licked accidentally.

We were unable to find research verifying the efficacy of chelated silver. Proponents claim that this substance is a potent natural antibiotic that is safe for human and animal use. PetSilver Wound Spray with Chelated Silver is designed to be applied to wounds “as a preventative measure against infections and to cleanse wounds.”

Some buyers reported that this spray had minimal or no effect.

Pros and Cons of PetSilver Wound Spray with Chelated Silver

ProsCons
This alternative product is formulated to treat and cleanse wounds.We were unable to verify whether chelated silver has antibiotic properties.
The manufacturer claims that it’s safe for your dog to ingest if licked accidentally.Some pet parents said that this spray had minimal or no effect.

3. Best Liquid Dog Antibiotic for Ears: Curaseb Cat & Dog Ear Infection Treatment

Curaseb Cat & Dog Ear Infection Treatment allows you to dispense a safe dosage that helps effectively combat ear infections and inflammation. Another valuable benefit that this product offers is effective deodorizing, neutralizing odors that come from wax and biofilm.

This veterinary-grade product contains ketoconazole, an antifungal medicine that’s used to treat fungal (yeast) infections and prevent their recurrence. So, in addition to combating infections, it can be used for routine cleaning, which your dog may not mind since it doesn’t sting, though it does have a strong medicinal odor.

This product is manufactured in small batches for quality control.

The one problem that users reported is that the cap is difficult to reattach after use. If you dislike the idea of having this strong-smelling product spilling, you may want to consider a different option.

Pros and Cons of Curaseb Cat & Dog Ear Infection Treatment

ProsCons
This veterinary-grade product contains ketoconazole, an anti-fungal medication that can also prevent recurrence.It’s difficult to reattach the cap after use.
In addition to combating ear infections and inflammation, this medication deodorizes and neutralizes odors that come from ear wax and biofilm.
It’s manufactured in small batches to control quality.
Best for All Ages
Curaseb Dog Ear Infection Treatment
  • Medicated formula combats yeast, bacteria and fungus
  • Ideal for use after waterplay/swimming or bathtime
  • No stinging
  • Fights odor and discharge
  • Safe and effective for use on dogs and cats
Check Amazon

4. Best Antibiotic Ointment for Dogs: Sulfodene 3-Way Ointment for Dogs

Sulfodene 3-Way Ointment for Dogs is effective for treating bacterial or fungal skin conditions that cause itching and pain, frequently leading to infection. This ointment provides an effective barrier against germs, flies, and water.

The active ingredients in this ointment are Benzocaine 1.5%, Salicylic Acid 1.6%. Benzocaine is a local anesthetic and salicylic acid helps the skin shed dead cells. While these ingredients may provide some relief, some of the inactive ingredients, including tea tree oil, cornmint oil, and clove oil, can be toxic to dogs.

Some buyers reported that their dogs disliked the smell so much that they were unable to apply the product to their skin.

Pros and Cons of Sulfodene 3-Way Ointment for Dogs

ProsCons
This ointment is designed to treat bacterial or fungal skin conditions.Some of the ingredients are known to be toxic to dogs.
It also provides a barrier against germs, flies, and water.Some purchasers reported that their dogs disliked the odor so much that they were unable to apply the product to their dog’s skin.

5. Best Natural Antibiotic for Dogs: AMBER NATURALZ – VIBACTRA Plus – Immune Support Plus

AMBER NATURALZ – VIBACTRA Plus – Immune Support Plus provides strong immune support for all areas of your dog’s body. In fact, this product is formulated to provide immune support for dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, and rabbits.

The manufacturer claims that this product contains antioxidants to fight free radicals and support immune function while maintaining a healthy microbiome and inflammatory response.

The active ingredients in this formula include a proprietary blend of herbs, spices, barks, and citrus fruits. The inactive ingredients are kosher concord grape wine, filtered water, and organic grain alcohol USP. The wine and alcohol could be toxic to dogs if given in a large enough dosage. Since the product is designed to be given four times a day, getting the dosage right matters.

Pros and Cons of AMBER NATURALZ – VIBACTRA Plus

ProsCons
The product is designed to provide immune support for a wide variety of pet animals, including dogs.Some of the ingredients could be toxic to dogs if administered in an excessive dosage.
The manufacturer claims that the product fights free radicals, supports immune function, and maintains a healthy microbiome and inflammatory response.The product must be administered four times a day, so getting each dosage right is critical.
Best Natural Antibiotic
AMBER NATURALZ - VIBACTRA Plus - Immune Support Plus
  • Vibactra contains herbs to promote overall health
  • Helps maintain microbiome and inflammatory response, supports immune functions
  • Treats dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs, and rabbits
Check Amazon

6. Best Dog Antibiotic for Urinary Tract Infections: Amazing Cranberry for Dogs Pet Antioxidant

The Amazing Cranberry for Dogs Pet Antioxidant is perfect for dogs that resist taking pills. These chews feature healthy ingredients like MSM and fish oil, cranberry and apple cider vinegar.

This product is formulated to help prevent bladder and kidney infections, and reduce bladder pain. The manufacturer also claims that it supports overall immune health and can be taken by puppies, adults, and senior dogs. These chews also contain probiotics for better digestibility.

This product is free from the following allergens: wheat, corn, animal digest, grains, soy, egg, potato, shrimp, crab, shark, gluten, avocado.

Dogs with dental issues may have trouble chewing this product, which has the consistency of a tablet.

Pros and Cons of Amazing Cranberry for Dogs Pet Antioxidant

ProsCons
These chews contain healthy ingredients such as MSM and fish oil, cranberry, apple cider vinegar, and probiotics.Dogs with dental issues may not be able to chew this product, which has a tablet-like consistency.
The product is formulated to prevent bladder and kidney infections, and reduce bladder pain and support overall immune health in dogs of all ages.
The formula is free from an extensive list of allergens.

Types of Infections Common in Dogs

Ear infections and UTIs are some of the more common conditions that dogs get. Skin irritations from flea bites and allergies are also typical dog infections. Because some of these infections are antibiotic-resistant, owners need a range of solutions to consider.

Alternative vs. Commercial Antibiotics

Natural antibiotics use ingredients like clove oil that are known for their infection-fighting properties. (Please note: Cloves contain eugenol, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, but is also toxic to dogs.) Although many commercial antibiotics require a veterinarian’s prescription, natural options are always available without a vet prescription.

Choosing an Antibiotic Type for Your Dog

Although most of us think of antibiotics being available as pills or tablets, many alternative products are available as drops and ointment. The type of antibiotics that you use will depend on the type of infection your dog has and how easily you can get the medication into your pet. For example, dogs who resist pills may do better with drops added to food.

The Different Types of Antibiotics for Dogs: Pros and Cons Compared

Liquid/Drops

ProsCons
They’re easier for dogs that dislike pills to take.Sometimes, getting the dosage right is tricky.
Drops often have flavoring dogs enjoy.Drops are better targeted to certain types of infections, such as ears.

Pills/Tablets

ProsCons
They’re commonly available .Dogs often resist taking pills/tablets.
It’s easy to figure out the dosage.

Ointment

ProsCons
These are generally effective for skin infections.Ointments are only useful for skin issues.
They often contain ingredients that soothe irritated skin.

Summary

Being able to buy antibiotics and other alternative medications without a veterinarian’s prescription for dogs online is undeniably convenient. While some of these products do fall under the antibiotic umbrella, we hesitate to place most of them in that class. At best, many of these treatments offer temporary pain relief or immune system support.

The danger in treating ailments without a veterinarian’s direction is that:

  1. Your dog may not receive the proper, perhaps even life-saving, medication it needs in a timely manner.
  2. Certain OTC medications contain questionable, even potentially toxic ingredients, such as tea tree, clove, or cornmint essential oils.
  3. Some alternative medications may exacerbate your dog’s ailment.

Some alternative medicines are safe when used as directed for the conditions for which they were formulated. But don’t take a risk with your furry best friend’s health. Reach out to your veterinarian for advice before administering any medication.

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About the Author

Abby Parks has authored a fiction novel, theatrical plays, short stories, poems, and song lyrics. She's recorded two albums of her original songs, and is a multi-instrumentalist. She has managed a website for folk music and written articles on singer-songwriters, folk bands, and other things folk-music oriented. She's also a radio DJ for a folk music show. As well as having been a pet-parent to rabbits, birds, dogs, and cats, Abby loves seeking sightings of animals in the wild, and has witnessed some more exotic ones such as: Puffins in the Farne Islands, Southern Pudu on the island of Chiloe (Chile), Penguins in the wild, and countless wild animals in the Rocky Mountains (Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goats, Moose, Elk, Marmots, Beavers).

Antibiotics (and Alternatives) for Dogs: Reviewed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Can I get antibiotics for my dog without seeing a vet?

Yes, there are antibiotics that you can get without a vet prescription. If you suspect that your dog has an infection, please consult your veterinarian before administering any kind of antibiotics. If you administer the wrong class of antibiotic, it could make the infection worse. Also, giving your dog over the counter (OTC) antibiotics could keep your dog from receiving the proper medical treatment in a timely manner.

Can you get antibiotics at a pet store?

Many pet stores, including online pet stores, carry antibiotics that are safe to use for dogs.

How much are antibiotics for dogs?

Antibiotics for dogs span different price ranges; however, many are available for as low as $7 to $10.

What antibiotics are safe for dogs?

Some of the most popular antibiotics that humans use, like doxycycline, amoxicillin, azithromycin, and ampicillin, are safe for dogs, as well as natural antibiotics.

How long does it take for antibiotics to work in dogs?

In most cases, dogs will start seeing the relief in as little as a few hours, with 24 hours being the most typical.

When should I give my dog antibiotics?

You should give your dog antibiotics when it is diagnosed with an infection.

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