Herbal Antibiotics for Dogs

Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics for Dogs 1

The antibiotic penicillin is often referred to as a “wonder drug.” Prior to its discovery, people perished from minor injuries and infections. Minor scrapes and cuts were infected. Common illnesses like strep throat and pneumonia wreaked havoc on the body. Penicillin and other modern antibiotics can undoubtedly save lives. Their use, however, has come at a cost. That’s why it’s important to consider herbal antibiotics for dogs along with other natural remedies.

Why Consider Alternatives To Antibiotics

Antibiotics harm your dog’s intestinal flora. According to new research, even if you give your dog probiotics after antibiotic treatment, much of the healthy bacteria in his gut is permanently eliminated. Dr. Martin Blaser spoke about this.

He contends that antibiotics have considerable long-term effects on gut bacteria. According to research, antibiotics should be avoided by pregnant women and young children. Dr. Martin Blaser of New York University’s Langone Medical Center spoke about this. He contends that antibiotics have considerable long-term effects on gut bacteria.

Resistance persists for years after farmers stop using the medications. This is because drug-resistant flora is passed down through the generations by mothers.

It’s not just about the animals. Antibiotic overuse has also resulted in antibiotic-resistant illness in humans. As a result, there are currently dangerous infections that antibiotics are unable to treat. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware of the issue.

And these aren’t the only problems with antibiotics

Anti -Suppression

You suppress your dog’s symptoms whenever you take a “anti-” drug. It might help your dog’s problem for a while. Suppression, on the other hand, can exacerbate the condition. And it usually reappears later… sometimes in a worse state. Antibiotics should therefore be reserved for serious, even life-threatening infections. Use them sparingly for problems like diarrhea, skin and ear infections, and minor cuts. Antibiotics can be replaced with a variety of natural remedies.

Natural Alternatives For Pharmaceutical Antibiotics

Instead of antibiotics as a first line of defense … try one of the many natural options available. They’re effective and they’ll help your dog avoid immune system complications.

Oil Of Oregano

The use of oregano oil in poultry feed has received a great deal of press. Oregano oil possesses antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, and antifungal effects, according to studies. Antibiotics are being replaced by oregano oil by many farms. This aids them in keeping their poultry and cattle disease-free. Bell & Evens in Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania, is owned by Scott Sechler, who produces antibiotic-free poultry.

For the past three years, he has utilized oregano oil in his meals. He has been chastised by critics. But, since he stopped taking antibiotics, Scott reports that oregano oil delivers the finest antibacterial results. Carvacrol and thymol, according to science, are responsible for oregano oil’s health advantages. These are strong phenols that can destroy bacteria and organisms that are dangerous to humans.

You must, however, use oregano oil. Carvacrol is not present in the oregano spice you use in your pasta sauce. That’s why the oil is such an effective antibiotic. When shopping for oregano oil, search for something that has been wild harvested or manufactured in the Mediterranean. This oil is steam distilled, which protects the oil from harm caused by overheating. Oil of oregano is a natural antibiotic substitute that can be applied locally or taken internally. It’s also possible to diffuse it.

Never give it to your dog undiluted. Instead, dilute 2 to 3 drops in a teaspoon of almond oil or MCT oil. You can give this to your dog 3 times a day. 

For topical use, you can also mix 1 drop of oregano with 1 tsp of almond oil to up its antibiotic power.

Avoid oil of oregano for dogs who experience seizures. 

Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is a type of honey that comes from New Zealand and Australia. It comes from the manuka tree’s nectar (tea tree). Manuka honey is a fantastic antibiotic for the skin. The antibacterial qualities of honey have piqued the curiosity of medical researchers. This is due to the widespread presence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Researchers discovered that some honeys, particularly manuka honey, inhibit MRSA growth. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is a dangerous superbug that thrives in hospitals. The antimicrobial hydrogen peroxide is found in all honey, although it is extremely unstable. Catalase, an enzyme contained in human skin, may readily degrade it.

A New Zealand biochemist found what the ancient Maoris had always known more than 20 years ago. Other phytochemical antibacterial characteristics persist after hydrogen peroxide is removed from Manuka Honey. These are powerful and stable factors. Years of investigation failed to uncover this… it was just labeled “non-hydrogen peroxide activity.

herbal antibiotics for dogs

This occurs in some other forms of honey, but is most powerful in manuka.

For cuts, wounds, and abscesses, manuka shines as a topical antibacterial. Simply dab it on the affected region. Mix it with colostrum to stimulate wound healing if you want to take it to the next level. Manuka honey can also aid in the treatment of gastritis and other digestive issues. This is because of its anti-inflammatory and probiotic properties.

Its antibiotic, anti-fungal and antiviral properties also make it an effective remedy for … 

When you buy manuka honey, look for one with at least UMF10+.

UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor. A higher number means higher Methylglyoxal (MGO) … and that means more therapeutic benefits. 

For internal use start off slow and work your way to these doses:

  • Under 20 lbs … ½ tsp twice daily 
  • 20 to 60 lbs … 1 tsp twice daily 
  • 60 lbs or more … 2 tsp twice daily 

You shouldn’t give manuka honey to diabetic dogs or dogs under 1 year of age. 

Olive Leaf 

Olive leaf comes from European olive trees in the subtropics and is …

  • Antimicrobial 
  • Antibacterial 
  • Antiviral 
  • Antifungal 

This is due to the active element in olive leaves, oleuropein. It strengthens the immune system and inhibits the growth of infections such as bacteria, yeast, and viruses. Olive leaf, on the other hand, contains secoiridoids, flavonoids, and triterpenes. These aid in enhancing its healing abilities. Unlike antibiotics, olive leaf is a natural option that does not disrupt your dog’s gut microbes. It kills the harmful bacteria while leaving the microbiome alone… As a result, the gut remains healthy.

Olive leaf can help with many health issues in your dog, including:

Olive leaf is available as a powder, pill, or tincture. But make sure it’s certified organic. Herbal products come in a variety of quality levels, with organic being the healthiest.

If you choose to use powder, you can dose your dog based on his size. 

  • Small Dogs … ¼ tsp daily 
  • Medium Dogs … ½ tsp daily 
  • Large Dogs … 1 tsp daily

You can also make tea from dried leaves. 

Steep 1 tsp of dried leaves in a cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain the leaves and let the liquid cool. A 50 lb dog can have up to 1 cup daily.  

Olive leaf can cause digestive upset in some dogs. If your dog is nauseous, vomiting or other stomach upset, try a different option. 

You can give up to 500 mg of olive leaf per 50 pound of body weight per day (capsule or powder) if you’re treating yeast infections with it. However, take it slowly at first and work your way up to the maximum dosage. Olive leaf can produce a yeast die-off, which can make symptoms worse.

To help with intestinal parasites, look for an olive leaf extract with 12% oleuropein or more and give it twice a day for 8 weeks. 

  • Small Dogs … 300 mg twice daily
  • Medium Dogs … 500 mg twice daily
  • Large Dogs … 1000 mg twice daily

Essential Oils 

Antibiotics are frequently given to dogs who have Lyme Disease. However, they can be costly, difficult to administer, and have potentially hazardous side effects. John Hopkins University researchers decided to look for a different solution.

They came to the conclusion that essential oils were the best option. Oils produced from plants are known as essential oils. In 2017, John Hopkins University researchers studied 34 essential oils. They discovered 23 oils that were more effective than Doxycycline, a common antibiotic used to treat Lyme disease.

Yes, you read that correctly. 23 of the oils outperformed one of the most powerful antibiotics.

And 3 of these essential oils were especially effective …

  • Oregano 
  • Clove Bud 
  • Cinnamon bark 

All viable cells were entirely eliminated without any regrowth in culturing on fresh medium, according to research.

The researchers conducted a second study to test 35 additional oils as a follow-up. In this study, 16 essential oils outperformed the top three most powerful antibiotics. In the first study, garlic was just as beneficial as oregano and cinnamon bark. That’s something you’ll want to keep in mind when I talk about the next natural antibiotic. This suggests that essential oils could be a viable antibiotic substitute.


When it comes to dogs, garlic has an unfair bad rep. A study from the year 2000 played a significant impact in this. The dogs were given 5 grams of garlic per kilogram of body weight every day by the researchers. That’s a tremendous amount! For a Golden Retriever, this equates to around 5 entire heads of garlic.

Sulfoxides and disulfides are found in garlic. These can harm red blood cells, resulting in anemia. However, this is only true if you feed your dog a lot of garlic… an amount that far exceeds any normal amount.

photography of garlic on wooden table
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

In moderation, garlic is very beneficial and safe. It can prevent blood clots, deter pests, prevent tumors and eliminate waste. 

Another major advantage of garlic is that it can be used instead of antibiotics. You may recall it as one of the best essential oils for Lyme illness. And that it outperformed the top three antibiotics. It contains antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial effects.

In fact, it’s been used for generations to keep wounds from becoming infected and to treat infections. Alliinase enzymes mix with alliin when garlic is crushed. Allicin is the end product of this process. Many of garlic’s health advantages are related to allicin. Allicin has antibacterial properties and is efficient against a wide spectrum of microorganisms. This contains E. coli strains that are multidrug resistant. It can also assist in the treatment of yeast infections and parasites.

If you want to give your dog garlic, use garlic that is fresh, raw and organic. 

To prepare the garlic, peel the cloves and mince, chop or crush them. Let it sit for a couple of minutes before use. But don’t wait too long or the beneficial allicin will degrade. 10 minutes is sufficient.

The amount of garlic you give your dog will depend on his weight. 

  • 5 lbs … ⅙ tsp 
  • 10 lbs … ⅓ tsp 
  • 15 lbs … ½ tsp 
  • 20 lbs … ⅔ tsp 
  • 20 lbs … 1 tsp 


Plantain is a widespread weed that may be found practically anyplace. It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It contains allantoin, a phytochemical.

Allantoin can …

  • Kill germs
  • Speed up healing
  • Stimulate skin growth

As a result, it’s an excellent option to topical antibiotics. Plantain can be used to make a lotion for skin inflammation. Combine plantain, calendula, and aloe vera in a salad. This can be used on your dog’s bites, rashes, or sores.

You can also use it on its own. That makes it a great option for when your dog gets injured while out and about. 

Chop up the leaves of a plantain plant and apply them to your dog’s wound. If you overtrim your dog’s nails and cut the quick, you can use plantain. Tea can also be steeped to treat ear infections. Juice fresh plantain plants in a juicer or blender for internal troubles. Combine with a tiny amount of warm water to make a paste. If you wish to strain the liquid, it is entirely up to you.

Give your dog 1 tsp per 20 lbs of body weight with his meals each day. 

You can also try capsules or liquid extracts. 


Goldenseal is a type of herb. The roots and leaves are frequently utilized in traditional medicine. You might have tried it for a cold, stomach ache, or respiratory illness. Berberine, a plant component with antibacterial properties, is present. Antiviral and anti-inflammatory activities are also present. As a result, it’s a fantastic alternative to antibiotics.

When you buy goldenseal make sure it’s from a cultivated organic source. Avoid using wildcrafted goldenseal, as it could endanger the species. 

You can buy goldenseal tincture for topical use.  

To use it as a disinfectant, put a small amount on a washcloth and apply it to the skin 3 times daily. 

It’s also possible to make your own tea if you don’t want to use tincture. To make goldenseal tea, boil a gram of powdered goldenseal in a cup of water. 

Goldseal is also good for internal use. It helps with …

  • Worms 
  • Giardia 
  • Kennel Cough 
  • Influenza
  • Digestive infections 

Give 5 to 10 drops of tincture or ¼ cup of tea per 20 lbs daily. You can also use 1 tsp of powdered goldenseal per 20 lbs daily. 

Goldenseal is also useful for ear infections. Mix 1 tbsp of olive oil with 2 to 3 drops of goldenseal root extract in a cup. Use an eyedropper to place 2 to 3 drops of the mixture in the infected ear.


Yarrow is a widespread weed having antibacterial characteristics, similar to plantain. Many bacteria, including staphylococcus, are killed by yarrow essential oil.

You can use yarrow as a topical antibiotic for:

  • Cuts and wounds
  • Burns
  • Ulcers
  • Swelling 
  • Inflamed skin 

You can use a yarrow tincture as an alternative for antibiotics or you can make tea. Place 8 tablespoons of fresh yarrow or 4 tbsp of dried yarrow in a quart of boiled water. Steep for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid and let it cool. 

Put the tea in a spray bottle and apply to the affected area 3 to 5 times daily. Store tea in the refrigerator for a few days. 


Calendula are orange and yellow flowers are often used for healing. You may know them as pot marigolds. 

It’s a flower that has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antimicrobial qualities. It also soothes pain and aids in the healing of wounds. It’s also an excellent antibiotic substitute.

You can apply it as a lotion, which you can make yourself with calendula tincture. 

  • Add ¼ tsp table salt to 1 cup of purified water. 
  • Add 20 to 40 drops of calendula tincture. 
  • Put the lotion on a cotton ball and dab it onto the wound 2 to 4 times daily. You can also drip or flush the wound with this solution. 

Like many of the other solutions on this list, you can also make your own tea with dried calendula. Add 2 tsps of dried calendula to 1 cup boiling water. Steep, cool and strain the tea. 

Put the tea into a spray bottle and spritz your dog to relieve itching … or soak a cloth and apply it to the wound. For internal use, put several drops of tincture on your dog’s food or add some dried herb. 


Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice that you most likely already have on hand. Turmeric has been studied in over 6,000 studies for its health benefits.

It has even proven to be better than many expensive drugs including …

  • Steroids 
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs 
  • Chemotherapy 

It can also be used as an alternative to pharmaceutical antibiotics.

Curcumin, the primary component in turmeric, is antimicrobial and antibacterial. It’s also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Curcurmin’s antibacterial activities were investigated in a 2015 study. Curcumin was found to be effective against all germs examined. Turmeric is a safe topical alternative. You may also give it to your dog to ingest.

For topical use, mix turmeric with organic aloe vera and apply to your dog’s wounds or scratches. For internal use, buy a water soluble supplement or make a golden paste. 

If you want to add turmeric to your dog’s diet you can also use turmeric golden paste. Fat also helps with turmeric absorption so it’s always a good thing to add (along with black pepper).

Use an Alternative to Antibiotics

As you can see, there are a variety of antibiotic alternatives available. So, before you go for an antibiotic, think about one of these natural alternatives. It will aid your dog’s recovery and protect him from the long-term effects of harmful drugs.

Read More:

2019 AR Threats Report

Turmeric For Dogs: 5 Surprising Health Benefits

Why Essential Oils Outperform Antibiotics For Treating Lyme Disease In Dogs

Selective Essential Oils from Spice or Culinary Herbs Have High Activity against Stationary Phase and Biofilm Borrelia burgdorferi

Identification of Essential Oils with Strong Activity against Stationary Phase Borrelia burgdorferi

Can Dogs Eat Garlic?

Hematologic changes associated with the appearance of eccentrocytes after intragastric administration of garlic extract to dogs

Garlic: a review of potential therapeutic effects

The Functional Medicine Approach to COVID-19: Additional Research on Nutraceuticals and Botanicals

Antimicrobial effects of yarrow (Achillea millefolium) essential oils against Staphylococcus species

Antibacterial synergy of curcumin with antibiotics against biofilm producing clinical bacterial isolates

Published by Amber L. Drake

Dr. Amber L. Drake is a celebrated author and a distinguished cancer specialist, renowned for her comprehensive research in canine cancer prevention and nutrition. She is widely recognized for her commitment to helping dogs lead long and joyful lives, as well as for her contributions to veterinary medicine education. As the CEO of Canine Companions Co., the Founder of the Drake Dog Cancer Foundation and Academy, and the Co-Founder of Preferable Pups, she has become a respected and influential figure in the canine community, earning the admiration and respect of dog enthusiasts around the globe.

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