Can you use bactine on dogs?

Dogs are energetic and lively animals, keen to explore and interact with the world. As such, they often get into a few hairy situations and can come out a little worse for wear. Everyone knows that cleaning a wound, especially an open one, is very important to prevent infection as an infected wound can lead to damage more serious than the wound itself. This can leave you asking- what can I clean my dog’s wound with?

Bactine is a popularly used antiseptic for when we pick up minor cuts and scrapes. And there can be nothing worse than watching your furry friends feeling similarly sorry for themselves after a few bumps and bruises. So, you may be wondering, can you use bactine on your dog? And will it even help?

The two main components of bactine are benzalkonium chloride and lidocaine. Benzalkonium chloride, an antiseptic, helps to fight any bacteria that may have found its way into an open wound and lidocaine, a topical anaesthetic, helps to numb the surface of the area it is applied to and therefore reduce pain and itching. As skin wounds in dogs, such as cuts or bruises, react similarly to those in humans, bactine can also be an effective treatment for dogs.

Times to use bactine

Bactine and other antiseptic cleansers appropriate for dogs can be used not just on cuts and scrapes but on rashes, worn paw pads, insect bites and hot spots. Of course, if you are unsure about any situation in which you think your dog requires medical attention it is always best to seek your vet’s advice before proceeding. Additionally, bactine and other products are not a suitable remedy for injuries such as deep cuts and puncture wounds- these sorts of injuries require the immediate medical attention of a vet.

Things to look out for

Important things to note when using bactine to treat your dog’s wounds include the following:

  • Only a small amount of bactine is necessary for treatment of wounds and you should consult your vet if the wound does not improve with time.
  • Bactine can sting a little when first applied and this may cause some minor distress in your dog- if your dog appears to be in a state of major distress due to the use of bactine then you should stop applying it immediately and consult your vet.
  • Bactine can cause minor toxicity issues if ingested and, as most dog owners know, dogs are keen to lick anything they can, so it is important to try and prevent this. Either keeping an eye on your dog and stopping them manually from licking their wound or using the well-known cone can prevent your furry friend from ingesting bactine.
  • Bactine should not be applied to a fresh wound- it is important to stop any bleeding first and clean the wound with warm, clean water before applying bactine.

Alternatives to bactine

If you don’t have any bactine to hand, or are just wary to use it, then there are several alternatives available. It is always safe to wash a surface wound with clean, warm water, though this may sting. Additionally, natural remedies, such as minor wound care spray can be effective in helping to cleanse a small wound and reduce the itchiness of rashes and bites.

Overall, if you have any doubt over whether a wound requires serious medical attention, then you should consult your vet as soon as possible. Even if you are simply wondering what the best option for a minor wound is then your vet will be able to offer advice.