Can You Put Germolene on a Dog?

Have you ever wondered if you can apply the antibacterial ointment Germolene to your canine companion? Many pet owners keep this versatile ointment on hand for minor cuts, scrapes and skin irritations. But can you …

Can You Put Germolene on a Dog?

Have you ever wondered if you can apply the antibacterial ointment Germolene to your canine companion? Many pet owners keep this versatile ointment on hand for minor cuts, scrapes and skin irritations. But can you put Germolene on a dog?

What is Germolene?

Germolene is an over-the-counter antibacterial and antiseptic ointment made by the company Bayer. The active ingredients are chlorhexidine gluconate and lidocaine.

Chlorhexidine has antibacterial and antiseptic properties to prevent infection. Lidocaine acts as a mild anaesthetic to temporarily numb pain and relieve itching or discomfort.

In addition to these medicinal ingredients, Germolene contains other components like glycerol, cetostearyl alcohol, liquid paraffin, and aromatic oils that help soothe the skin.

The ointment is commonly used for minor wounds, burns, skin ulcers, boils, blisters, spots and other skin irritations in humans. It helps prevent infection while also reducing pain and swelling.

Is It Safe for Dogs?

The short answer is yes, Germolene is generally considered safe for use on dogs. However, there are some important caveats to discuss.

The chlorhexidine component is routinely used by veterinarians for cleansing dog wounds and skin infections. It is well-tolerated with minimal side effects.

The lidocaine content is low at just 1% concentration. This small amount can safely numb and relieve pain when applied topically to the skin. However, dogs should not ingest large quantities as it could cause dangerous toxicity.

The other ointment base ingredients like glycerol and liquid paraffin are non-toxic for dogs. So there are no significant safety concerns over applying small amounts of Germolene.

However, it’s a dense, greasy ointment that dogs may lick off and swallow. So only apply sparingly and minimise licking to prevent stomach upsets or other issues. Consider using an Elizabethan collar to stop licking.

Also be aware, some dogs may be allergic to topical anaesthetics, antiseptics or the base components. So first application should be a small test area to check for skin reactions.

When Can It Be Used on Dogs?

Germolene can be used for a variety of minor skin injuries in dogs, such as:

  • Minor cuts, grazes or abrasions – Helps prevent infection & pain
  • Skin ulcers or boils – Reduces itching, pain & inflammation
  • Hot spots or acute moist dermatitis – Soothes itchy skin lesions
  • Blisters, pimples or spots – Antibacterial & drying action
  • Superficial burns or scalds – Protects wounds & eases pain
  • Bee, wasp or ant stings – Relieves pain & swelling fast
  • Skin reactions to plants – Takes the sting & itch away

It should not be used for deep, puncture or heavily contaminated wounds. These require veterinary attention and antibiotics.

Only apply to superficial skin damage where the ointment can contact the entire affected area. Do not use over large areas of body surface.

Use sparingly as directed and monitor for side effects like skin irritation or stomach upsets. Discontinue use if reactions occur.

How to Apply Germolene to Dogs

Follow these steps for safe and appropriate application:

  1. Clean wound area thoroughly first with saline wash
  2. Apply a thin layer only to superficial skin surface
  3. Spread gently without rubbing into wound
  4. Use cotton wool pads rather than fingers
  5. Monitor treated area for side effects
  6. Prevent licking for at least 30 minutes
  7. Reapply 2-3 times daily if needed
  8. Seek vet advice if no improvement in 5-7 days

Take extra precautions like an e-collar if dogs excessively lick at ointments. Never apply over wide areas of body surface in dogs. And be very careful they do not ingest significant amounts.

Only use for short durations unless advised by a vet. Routine use beyond 7 days is not recommended without veterinary guidance.

What Dogs Should Not Use Germolene?

As a precaution, certain dogs should not have Germolene applied topically without veterinary approval:

  • Puppies under 8 weeks old – Immature immune & liver function
  • Pregnant & nursing dogs – Safety has not been established
  • Dogs with liver or kidney disease – Impaired ability to metabolize ingredients
  • Diabetic dogs – May alter blood glucose control
  • Dogs on other medications – Risk of drug interactions

Also use cautiously or avoid altogether on:

  • Dogs with skin allergies or hypersensitivities
  • Breeds prone to skin issues like Shar Peis & Bulldogs
  • Senior dogs with thinner, fragile skin

Consult a vet before use if any uncertainty about suitability.

Precautions When Using Germolene on Dogs

When using Germolene or any other topical ointment on dogs, adhere to these general precautions:

  • Test first – Apply a small amount and look for skin reaction
  • Use sparingly – A very thin film is sufficient
  • Minimise licking – Bitter sprays, e-collars or supervision
  • Observe closely – For side effects like upset stomach
  • Avoid eyes & mouth – Immediately rinse if contact occurs
  • Check expiry date – Use unexpired products only
  • Store safely – Prevent accidental ingestion

Be very cautious and diligent when using any human medicated preparation on dogs. Seek prompt veterinary care if you have any concerns about effects.

Home Remedies Similar to Germolene for Dogs

Some people prefer natural alternatives to manufactured ointments. Here are a few home recipes with similar soothing, antibacterial properties:

Honey & Chamomile

  • 2 teaspoons medicinal honey
  • Chamomile tea bag or 1 teaspoon dried flowers
  • Small bowl

Steep chamomile in a half cup hot water for 5 minutes. Allow to cool then mix in honey. Apply compresses to affected skin. Provides natural wound healing and pain relief.

Calendula Salve

  • 1 cup petroleum jelly
  • 1⁄2 cup dried calendula flowers
  • Cheesecloth
  • Glass jar

Simmer flowers in water for 30 minutes. Drain and mix with small amount of petroleum jelly. Once combined, fold in remaining jelly. Pour into a jar and allow to set overnight. Apply to minor cuts, rashes or burns.

Aloe Vera Gel

Fresh aloe gel soothes inflammatory skin conditions in dogs like eczema, rashes or insect bites. Simply split open a leaf and smooth the gel directly onto clean skin. It reduces swelling, pain and itching sensations.

Answering Common Germolene Questions

Still unsure about using Germolene and other antiseptic creams on your dog? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Can it be used on open wounds?

Yes but only apply lightly to superficial wounds after cleaning. Avoid using on deep cuts, punctures or heavy bleeding due to risk of sealing in infection. These require veterinary attention.

What if my dog licks it off?

This may cause minor stomach upset. Prevent licking for 30 minutes after application. Bitter anti-lick sprays or Elizabethan collars can be helpful. If significant ingestion occurs, call your vet for advice.

How much should I apply?

Only a thin film is needed. Take care not to use too liberally or pack into wounds. The ointment may cause local skin reactions if overused.

When should I seek veterinary care?

See your vet promptly if wounds worsen despite using Germolene. Likewise if side effects, continued discomfort or signs of infection develop. More serious wounds require antibiotics and specialized care. Do not delay getting veterinary treatment.

Can I use it on my dog’s hot spots?

Yes, hot spots can be itchy and painful open sores. Germolene helps fight infection while soothing inflamed skin lesions associated with acute moist dermatitis. But any underlying conditions still need diagnosis and management from your vet.

Is it safe if my dog licks his paws?

Only small traces from paws should not cause issues. But refrain from direct application to the feet or between toes where licking is inevitable. And fit an e-collar if excessive licking, chewing or grooming wounds on other body areas.


Germolene offers a practical way to manage minor scrapes, cuts rashes or burns on dogs when applied judiciously. While generally safe for canine skin, take care using this or any other antiseptic preparation on your pet.

See your vet promptly about wounds not responding to first aid care, or if any uncertainties about usage or side effects. With some common sense precautions, Germolene can provide helpful antibacterial, analgesic and anti-inflammatory relief for mild doggie skin injuries.

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