Natural Antibiotics for Dogs: Yes, They Exist and Work!

By Chelsea Hunt-Rivera / April 15, 2018
natural antibiotics for dogs yes they exist

It’s no mystery why your furry companion is called “(wo)man’s best friend.” We love our dogs and cats, and they are apart of our families. So it’s no wonder why there has been such a powerful, seemingly sudden shift from antibiotics to holistic, natural substitutes. When you know better, you do better, especially for your pet. Enter natural antibiotics for dogs.

natural antibiotics for dogs

Antibiotics for Dogs

How often do you leave the veterinarian office with your hands filled with antibiotics? A routine check-up can turn into a preventative medication load-up without you even realizing what happened.

Synthetic canine antibiotics are being over-prescribed by vets. Even in the slightest sign of infection, you’ve got yourself a weeks worth of a heavy drug for your pup. With this in mind, perhaps it’s why we have learned so quickly that the negative side effects can be pretty horrendous.

Side Effects of Antibiotics for Dogs

side effects of antibiotics for dogs

The side effects of antibiotics vary from one drug to the next. Here is a list of the most common side effects:

Additionally, a severe side effect is a drug allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic shock can result in difficulty breathing, extreme weakness, physical collapse, and even death.

Good Bacteria vs Bad Bacteria

Antibiotics kill bacteria. You may think to yourself, “great!” However, not all bacteria are harmful. In fact, we need certain bacteria for the body to function properly.

Administering antibiotics kills all bacteria; the bad as well as the good. The dog’s immune system is reliant on the good bacteria to aid in hormone production, producing vitamins, and fighting off the harmful bacteria.

In other words, your pet may be seeking treatment for a urinary tract infection, but end up with an ear infection or staph infections as well from a weakened immune system.

Therefore, when the antibiotics kill off the good bacteria, problems arise such as an overgrowth of yeast and real, potentially permanent damage to the immune system.

Clavamox for Dogs

As a quick example, the synthetic antibiotic, Clavamox, is a regularly prescribed drug for bacterial infections. Clavamox, like all synthetic antibiotics, kills off healthy bacteria. The deficiency of the healthy bacteria leads to additional issues. Very common side effects of Clavamox include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Labored breathing
  • Hives
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

Additionally, Clavamox has a number of medications that it negatively reacts with. Therefore, if and when a secondary infection occurs, there are a limited number of additional medications available.

Rilexine for Dogs

Consequently, this leads us to Rilexine, an additional synthetic antibiotic used commonly for treating secondary superficial bacterial. Rilexine has its own list of side effects. You see how this can get problematic, very quickly.

Nutrient Deficiencies

nutrient deficiencies of antibiotics

As we mentioned, antibiotics kill off healthy bacteria. One of the roles of this bacteria is to aid in the production of nutrients that are crucial for the dog’s cellular health.

When the good bacteria are killed off, the nutrient levels of the dog decrease significantly.

Take a look at the vitamins that antibiotics cause a depletion in.

  • B1
  • B2
  • B6
  • B12
  • C
  • E
  • K inositol
  • Magnesium

In turn, these deficiencies lead to a slew of additional medical problems.


Additionally, antibiotics can be highly dangerous if for any reason your dog’s liver and kidneys are unable to rid the body of toxins.

Unfortunately, your dog is faced with an exorbitant amount of toxins every day. From household cleaners to fertilizers to their food, the toxicity levels are massive. Things like unnecessary antibiotics and vaccines add to this toxic build-up. Thus, there’s only so much their organs can do before a life-threatening illness inevitably develops.

We Love Science!

Now, don’t get us wrong. We are fully aware of and grateful for the miracles of science. Certainly, there are a plethora of circumstances where your vet prescribing antibiotics is 1000% necessary. It can truly be the difference between life and death for your pet.

However, we get into a bit of trouble in situations where antibiotics are not mandatory, yet prescribed anyway. It seems as though every little thing needs to be fixed with a pill and that’s just not the reality.

It should be noted, when antibiotics are necessary, they should only be given short course. I.e., 7-14 days for a serious case of Lyme disease or a life-threatening bladder infection.

As a result of antibiotics being overly prescribed, there are now a number of bacterial strains that are resistant to the drugs. This has lead to, you guessed it, more drugs. And these additional drugs? They have their own separate set of side effects. It’s a vicious cycle, but luckily, there is a solution within reach.

Natural Antibiotics for Dogs

Natural antibiotics are derived naturally from herbs, plants, essential oils, and food. They have antibacterial or antifungal properties that aid in curing many ailments.

Furthermore, here’s the great news – they work! Natural antibiotics for dogs are not only effective, but they can eliminate the potential for immune system issues and gastrointestinal problems that are caused by synthetic antibiotics.

Herbal Antibiotics

garlic for dogs

While conventional, synthetic antibiotics are necessary when the infection has progressed, herbal antibiotics are wonderful natural remedies for the beginning phases of infection.

Check out these herbal antibiotics:

  • Garlic
  • Turmeric
  • Oregon grape root
  • Calendula
  • Ginger
  • Brewers yeast
  • Seacure
  • Hawthorn
  • Horsetail
  • Licorice
  • Alfalfa
  • Echinacea
  • Propolis

Our Top Natural Antibiotics for Dogs

As you can see, there are a great number of alternatives to explore. Now, let’s get a brief rundown of our favorites.

Oregano Oil

Science has shown that this essential oil has antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic and anti-fungal properties. These health benefits are derived from carvacrol and thymol. Carvacrol and thymol are phenols that are able to kill harmful bacteria.

Oregano Oil Dosage

The herbal supplement can be administered topically, orally, or through diffusion. Always dilute oregano oil.

Specialists recommend two or three drops of oil of oregano mixed in a teaspoon of coconut oil, up to three times a day.

Coconut Oil

coconut oil for dogs

Coconut oil has seen quite the rise in popularity. In addition to the multitude of ways pet owners can use it, coconut oil can also be used for your beloved pet.

It serves as a great carrier oil when using essential oils on the skin.

Not to mention, coconut oil also a topical and oral antimicrobial. It can be brushed on the gums to aid in preventing periodontal disease.

Colloidal Silver for Dogs

Colloidal silver is the suspension of microscopic silver particles in a liquid base.

Remarkably, these colloidal silver particles have the ability to destroy all types of pathogens.

Colloidal silver combats funguses, harmful bacteria, and parasites.

Additionally, colloidal silver kills off disease, strengthens the immune system, and can repair tissue cells.

Colloidal Silver Dosage

The powerful colloidal silver supplement can be administered orally or through nebulizing. Pet owners should try five to ten drops, two to three times per day orally.

Colloidal silver and its impressive capabilities make it one of the most popular natural antibiotics for your pet.

Apple Cider Vinegar

A household staple, apple cider vinegar can also be beneficial for your pet. By adding apple cider vinegar to your dog’s water can aid in preventing urinary tract infections.

Apple cider vinegar can also be used as an ear cleaner.

Oregon Grape Root

The herbal supplement, Oregon grape root, has powerful properties that mimic the effects of antibiotics. Oregon grape root contains berberine, which combats bacteria, fungal infections, yeast, and protozoans.

Also, experts advise that if you are using Oregon grape root for over two weeks, add a probiotic to your dog’s diet. This will ensure balanced gut flora.


Don’t worry, this is one of the natural, homeopathic remedies to aid in treating urinary tract infections, so it isn’t toxic like Mercury.

Homeopathic remedies usually come in the form of pellets. Be sure to follow the specific directions for treatment.


Echinacea has powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It supports the immune system and gets maintain and regulate normal function. In addition, echinacea’s makeup allows it to be extremely useful in fighting off all kinds of infections from ear infections to yeast infections.

Lavender Oil

Another essential oil that you may already own. Lavender oil not only calms the dog but also prevent fleas and ticks, which carry Lyme Disease

Topical Antibiotics

Perhaps the most common reason veterinarians prescribe antibiotics is for skin infections. Again, antibiotics weaken, not strengthen, the immune system. Therefore, your pet is more susceptible to additional infections and diseases.

Before taking home a synthetic, topical treatment, check out a few natural remedies.

Our Top Natural Topical Antibiotics for Dogs

There are a plethora of possibilities for naturally treating your pup using a topical formula for skin infections. Here’s a quick summary of some that you may want to look into.

Manuka Honey for the Skin

Manuka honey makes for a wonderful and powerful topical antibiotic. It has antibiotic, anti-fungal, and antiviral properties that allow it to aid in skin treatment for cuts, abscesses, and wounds.

Interestingly, researchers are especially curious about manuka honey for its antiseptic properties.

They have found that manuka honey can prevent the growth of MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), the antibiotic-resistant superbug that has invaded hospitals.

Additionally, the properties of manuka honey make it also an effective treatment for kennel cough, ringworm, and a number of other ailments.


Hypercal has two natural ingredients: Calendula and Hypericum.

  • Calendula is an antiseptic and is effective in treating fungal infections.
  • Hypericum aids in healing and ease pain symptoms.

The mixture makes for effective treatment of skin infections. It can be purchased as an already prepared cream, or you can make your own spray.

Hypercal is a great natural substitute and helps treat cracked pads, open wounds, burns, and skin abrasions.


Perhaps the best-known healer when it comes to wounds, yarrow aids in healing cuts, wounds, burns, and inflamed, irritated skin conditions.

Furthermore, yarrow also kills all types of harmful bacteria, including staph infections.


Goldenseal is another natural antibiotic that contains berberine. Berberine supports the immune system through promoting the production of healthy, white blood cells.

Applying the topical antibiotic directly to the skin can disinfect bites, cuts, and abrasions.


Plantain has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates the growth of new, healthy skill cells and helps wounds heal quickly.

Additionally, the natural topical antibiotic can also treat rashes, cuts, and insect bites. Plantain speeds up recovery and reduces skin itching and irritation.

Also, pet owners can make a lotion with plantain, calendula and coconut oil that is efficient at soothing symptoms of irritation.

Furthermore, administering plantain tea or infusion in the ear can treat ear infections.

The Verdict Is In

healthy dog

Whenever possible, natural antibiotics for dogs are the way to go. After all, they are safe and effective and will give your precious, furry friend the best chance of healing without an abundance of negative side effects.

From colloidal silver to manuka honey, the number of natural remedies available for treating infections is pretty impressive.

As always, consult with your holistic pet wellness doctor for more information on homeopathic remedies. We wish you luck in getting on track for a long, healthy road to happiness and health.


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About the author

Chelsea Hunt-Rivera

Chelsea Rivera is a Dedicated Pet Parent who loves to create amazing content for pet owners and is helping change pet wellness as the Head of Content for