Antiseptics for Dogs

Updated November 21, 2016

Dogs injure themselves and will have minor wounds that need to be cleaned out to avoid an infection. There are many antiseptics on the market to choose from, or you can use what you already have in the first aid kit. Safety of your dog and proper healing of its wound should always be your top priority.

Pre-Packaged Antiseptics

At your local pet store, you will find countless antiseptic products available. There are spray-on products that are water based, creams and lotions, as well as foaming shampoos and conditioners. Any or all of these products will work well, although if you need to clean a wound that is dirty, spray-on products are your best bet as they can help remove debris.

In the First Aid Kit

Most of the products marketed for dogs contain the same or similar ingredients as the antiseptics you may already have in your first aid kit. Any chlorhexidine or povidone-iodine cleanser can be used on your dog; you can also use the antiseptic sprays designed for humans.


Applying a prepackaged antiseptic to your dog's wound is not difficult; simply follow the directions on the package label. However, if you are using a product meant for humans, pour it into a small bowl and dilute with a small amount of water to create a pale colour. Using a syringe, squirt the antiseptic on the wound and pat dry. Continue until it is free of debris.

Its Purpose

Antiseptics kill bacteria, or at least prevent their growth at the wound site, allowing the injury to heal without incident.


Injured dogs are more likely to bite than any other time. Have another person work with you as you treat the wound, keeping the dog's head away from you as you apply the antiseptic. It's instinctual for a dog to defend itself when it's in pain, even if it's a pet with no history of biting.

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