holistic dog care

Is Bactine Safe For Dogs Ears? The Risks And Benefits

Is Bactine Safe For Dogs Ears


One common question you will hear going rounds among dog owners is, is Bactine safe for dogs’ ears?

An ear infection is a common issue that dogs face, and it can be painful and uncomfortable. If you’re looking for a solution, you may have heard of Bactine.

It is a popular antiseptic spray often used to treat minor cuts and scrapes in humans. But is it safe to use on your dog’s ears?

With so much conflicting information, it’s essential to separate fact from fiction to make an informed decision. So as dog owners, can we use bactine on dogs?

As you already know, Bactine is safe for dogs and is often used to treat minor cuts, scrapes, poison oak, and other skin conditions. However, you are strongly advised against applying Bactine in your dog’s ears.

If the injury is on the outside of the ears, it’s okay only to apply a small amount and wipe the excess before the bactine absorbs into their skin. If you think your dog has an ear infection, the best action is to visit a vet.

What Is Bactine?

Bactine is an over-the-counter antiseptic and pain reliever for minor cuts, burns, and scrapes. Bactine contains benzalkonium chloride, lidocaine HCl, and other inactive ingredients that work together to provide pain relief and prevent infection.

Benzalkonium chloride has strong antiseptic properties, while lidocaine HCl is a local anaesthetic that helps to relieve the pain associated with minor injuries.

Bactine can be applied directly to the affected area with a cotton swab or sprayed onto the wound for pain relief and protection against infection.

Ear Infections In Dogs      

Because ear infections are a common issue that dogs face, pet owners must be aware of the types of ear infections that can affect their furry companions.

Dogs can experience three ear infections- otitis externa, media, and interna. The most frequently occurring type of ear infection in dogs is otitis externa, an outer ear infection.

This type of infection occurs when there is inflammation in the outer ear canal, resulting from allergies, water getting trapped in the ear canal, or bacteria or yeast.

Otitis media and interna are infections in the middle and inner ear canals. These infections are less common but can be more severe and require prompt medical attention.

Middle and inner ear infections in dogs often result from the spread of infection from the external ear.

If left untreated, these infections can lead to severe complications such as hearing loss or facial paralysis.

Signs of Ear Infection in Dogs

It is also important for pet owners to be aware of the symptoms of ear infections in dogs. They include;

  1. Indications of hearing loss – If your dog is not responding to your voice or commands, it could be a sign that there is an infection in the ear. It’s important to note that other factors, such as aging or injury, can also cause hearing loss.
  1. Loss of coordination or balance – This can be caused by the infection affecting the inner ear, which is responsible for balance and spatial orientation. If your dog is stumbling or walking in circles, it’s important to have them evaluated by a veterinarian.
  1. Rubbing at the ear – Many dogs with ear infections often rub or scratch their ears. The infection can cause itching and irritation; the dog may try alleviating the discomfort.
  1. Discharge from the ears – Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge from the ear is another indicator of an ear infection in dogs.

This discharge may have a foul odor and can be a sign of an infection. It’s important to clean your dog’s ears regularly to prevent infections.

  1. Odour in the ear – Odor in the ear is a sign of an ear infection in dogs. The odor can result from bacteria buildup and yeast in the ear canal. If you notice an unpleasant smell coming from your dog’s ears, it’s time to take action!
  1. Redness inside the ear – The skin inside the ear may appear inflamed or irritated, and there may be visible redness or swelling.
  1. Scabs – Scabs inside the ear can be a symptom of an ear infection in dogs. These scabs may be caused by scratching or rubbing at the ears and can be a sign of irritation or inflammation.

Alternatives To Bactine – Safe for Dogs Ears

You can also use several effective natural alternatives to treat minor cuts and scrapes. And when choosing an alternative to Bactine, please remember to consider the severity of the wound and any allergies or sensitivities one may have.

  1. Herbs

Herbs such as calendula, chamomile, and tea tree oil can also serve as natural alternatives to Bactine for treating minor skin irritations and infections in dogs.

These herbs possess antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe and heal the affected area.

However, it is important to note that not all herbs are safe for dogs, and you need to discuss their use with a veterinarian to ensure proper dosage and application.

  1. Disinfectant Solutions

Disinfectant solutions specifically formulated for use on animals can be an alternative to Bactine to effectively clean and disinfect dog wounds or affected areas. Examples include chlorhexidine solutions, commonly used to cleanse and prevent dog infections.

  1. Colloidal Silver

It’s believed to have antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infection and promote healing. However, you should use colloidal silver cautiously, as excessive or prolonged use may lead to decreased activity, an enlarged heart, and altered neurotransmitter levels.

  1. Garlic

Garlic is known for its potent antimicrobial and immune-boosting properties. Some dog owners use garlic as a natural alternative to disinfect and promote healing in minor wounds. However, it is important to note that garlic can be toxic to dogs, particularly in large quantities.

  1. Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is a type of honey derived from the nectar of the Manuka tree in New Zealand. It is known for its potent antibacterial properties and can promote wound healing in dogs.

Manuka honey creates a protective barrier, reduces inflammation, and helps prevent infection. However, it is important to use medical-grade Manuka honey with a high Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) and consult a veterinarian to ensure proper application and dosage.


Is bactine safe for dogs ears? The safety of using Bactine for dogs’ ears requires careful consideration. While Bactine is a widely available over-the-counter antiseptic, its suitability for canine ear health is not definitively established.

It is crucial to consult with a veterinarian before using Bactine or any other product on your dog’s ears.

Ultimately, ensuring the well-being of your dog’s ears necessitates personalized advice from a veterinarian who can assess your dog’s specific condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment.