Best Dog Skin Infection Treatment

Your dog's skin is her first line of defense against germs and contaminants from the outside world. Infections of the skin can lead to deeper infections if they leech into a dog's bloodstream and begin attacking the body from the inside.

Always keep the best dog skin infection treatment in your canine first aid kit for use at the first signs of infection.

Seek your veterinarian's help if your dog contracts a skin infection. They will certainly know the suitable, safe antibiotics for the dog's skin.

While it may look like a little spot on a dog's skin, skin infections in dogs are a serious matter, and the smallest skin infection can spread quickly.

Dog Skin Infection Treatments

Beginning signs of a dog skin infection include:

  • redness
  • bumps on the skin
  • open sores
  • constant licking or scratching of the infected area
  • shaking of the head or scratching of the ears

Dog skin infections can be caused by a fungus (like yeast), bacteria, or parasites. There may be an underlying cause, like allergies.

For example, if your dog has itchy skin and scratching due to allergies, this will cause an open sore or wound on the skin that will later become infected.

Using a skin infection treatment for dogs is an effective way to prevent more serious issues. At times, your vet will recommend dog antibiotics for skin infections.

Below, we discuss more on what you need to know about these treatments, as well as review and rank the best dog skin infection treatment available over the counter:

How to Treat Skin Infections in Dogs

How to Treat Skin Infections in Dogs like demodicosis in dogsThere are several causes and dog skin infection types, but the majority of products will work regardless of the exact reason.

Your vet should always be the first source on the best dog skin infection treatment to use and how to use it.

Before you pick the product, figure out your dog's skin condition and the reason for infections. The last thing you want to happen is for your dog to have a bad reaction to an over-the-counter antibiotic cream for dogs.

Skin infections in dogs that come with itching are caused by fleas in most cases (and, subsequently, dog flea dermatitis allergy).

As well as atopic dermatitis, staph, parasites, and Demodex mites (mange or other mites in dogs).

Sarcoptes mites (or scabies in dogs), allergies, and, finally, bacteria, which is a result of a pet having any mentioned dog skin conditions.

Best dog skin infection treatment products will treat the majority of these skin infections in dogs but in different ways.

For instance, some dog infection medicines will only heal the external scarring but not really whatever is wrong on the inside.

You can pick between dog shampoo, spray, liquid solution, wipes, or ointment.

What you choose depends on how and where you're going to use it and the type of dog skin infection your pet has.

Rule Out Internal Causes of Your Dog's Skin Condition

Consider if the reason your dog is itching is due to a more serious health condition that may need a very specific treatment.

Dog skin conditions and problems can be caused by serious diseases like cancer, Cushing's disease, autoimmune disease, hyperthyroidism, or hormone imbalances in the canine's body.

While they usually do not cause itching in dogs, they may be interrelated with the above-mentioned skin infections in dogs.

“As there are numerous causes of skin lesions in dogs, it is important to determine the underlying cause to help guide treatment recommendations.”
– Dr. Alison Diesel, DVM [source]

This is why it's important to seek veterinary care quickly.

You can use the best dog skin infection treatment products while you're waiting to get an appointment.

But your vet will give your dog a thorough examination to see if there are any underlying conditions that lead to these dog skin conditions in the first place.

Why and When to Use Over the Counter Dog Skin Infection Treatments

The reason many pet owners choose to use some of the best OTC dog skin infection treatments is that more and more dogs are becoming resistant to prescription antibiotic treatments that veterinarians prescribe.

Due to overuse, the bacteria have become immune to these treatments, and some over-the-counter products work better.

According to new research, veterinarians now often recommend using topical treatments for skin infections in dogs instead of expensive, prescription-based antibiotics.

“Although we’re used to thinking of topical products as adjunct treatments used in addition to antibiotics, that thinking has changed, and dermatologists are now advocating that topicals be used instead of antibiotics wherever possible”
– Dr. Douglas J. DeBoer, DVM [source]

While topical treatments like the ones mentioned below – ointments, sprays, and liquid solutions among the best dog skin infection treatments – should be the first step towards battling skin infections in dogs.

It's also recommended to combine several options, such as using antiseptic wipes and bathing a dog with antibacterial shampoo (like the Curaseb one, for example) to treat these infections more effectively and quickly.

Bathing Your Pooch with Dog Skin Infection Treatments

Skin infections in dogsSome pet owners are worried that bathing dogs with skin infections will dry out their skin and cause more problems, but that is a misconception, and it has never been true.

Weekly and, in some cases, daily baths are still recommended for dogs with skin infections.

These baths will rid your dog of possible causes of skin infections like bacteria, allergens, and other agents (e.g., yeast and mites).

Your veterinarian will recommend the exact bathing schedule based on the exact cause of a dog's skin condition.

Occasional baths during the week, paired with topical treatments like an antimicrobial spray or medicated solution, have been observed to be very effective.

Such as in the 2015 study by Olivry, where it was demonstrated how combined treatment works best for dog dermatitis.

“We know that bathing removes allergens and infectious agents like bacteria and yeast, and helps restore epidermal function in humans. Can it do the same in dogs? It’s a bit unclear, but I’ve observed it helps a lot with my atopic patients. Some can even be controlled that way alone.”
– Dr. John Plant, DVM [source]

If your pet is dealing with a skin condition, consult with your own veterinarian to get one of the best dog skin infection treatments, preferably several different types.

Every case will vary, and dog antibiotics for skin infections may end up more effective for your pooch. So, this shouldn't fully rule out antibiotics for dogs' skin.

Let your vet make a thorough examination and develop a treatment plan of how you're going to tackle this on your dogs.

Always use the products as directed and as advised by your veterinarian.

Top 7 Best Dog Skin Infection Treatment Brands

1Zymox Pet Spray with Hydrocortisone by Pet King Brands

Find it on Amazon ($13.99)

Zymox Topical Hot Spot Spray for Dogs and Cats with .5% Hydrocortisone, 2ozThe first on the list of best dog skin infection treatment products is a brand that's already established itself as the top product for ear infection treatments for dogs. Pet King Brands’ Zymox Pet Spray with 1% Hydrocortisone contains the patented naturally-derived LP3 Enzyme system of Zymox, which is a technology that destroys bacteria, fungi, and many viruses.

No prior cleaning to the affected area is required in its application.

It works for dogs and cats and is recommended for atopic dermatitis, pyoderma, wounds, ringworm, hot spots, and other skin infections.

The addition of hydrocortisone reduces inflammation of affected areas.

What Makes It a Recommended Dog Skin Infection Medicine

You will find Pet King Brands’ Zymox Pet Spray to be effective for the treatment of skin irritations due to allergies, as well.

This is because it contains hydrocortisone, which works on skin problems of various origins, not just viral, bacterial, or fungal. It works fast, too.

Skin that’s raw from intense scratching will generally dry up in days; there will be an almost instant relief from itching, and paw-chewing will stop in a matter of hours.

And infections and breakouts will clear up in a week or less.

You may have noticed that this dog skin infection treatment comes in a very small bottle, so while it’s pretty effective, it’s very expensive, too.

Active Ingredient: Hydrocortisone 0.5%.
Other Ingredients: Aloe vera, benzoic acid, benzyl alcohol, propylene glycol, glucose oxidase, glycerin, isopropyl myristate, lactoferrin, lactoperoxidase, lysozyme, potassium iodide, propylene, glycol, purified water, sodium benzoate, tripropylene glycol, zinc gluconate.


  • Contains naturally-derived LP3 enzyme, a technology that destroys bacteria, fungi, and many viruses
  • Contains 1% hydrocortisone
  • No pre-cleaning of the skin needed
  • Suitable for dogs and cats

  • Expensive: The very small size of the bottle and may not be the best value for the money


2All Purpose Nu-Stock Ointment (2-Pc) by Pierce's

Find it on Amazon ($31.99)

Pierce's All Purpose Nu-Stock, 12 Ounces each, 2 Tubes, for Animals Pierce's Nu-Stock Ointment is used as a topical solution for typical skin irritations, including itching, mange, ear mites, ringworm, swelling, loss of hair due to constant scratching and chewing, wounds, bruises, and burns.

It is applicable to dogs, cattle, and horses.

Unlike Classic's Lime Sulfur Dip, this dog skin infection treatment does not involve the tedious process of diluting, dipping, and drying.

It’s simply topically applied on the affected area and reapplied after 3 days until the affected area completely heals.

What Makes It The Best Dog Skin Infection Treatment

Possibly one advantage of Pierce's Nu-Stock Ointment over others is its wide range of applications.

For instance, medications for wounds and mite infestation are usually two different things, but Durvet brings the two in just one ointment.

The strong odor of sulfur might not be what you would prefer, but this foul-smelling ointment works.

When applied to your pet’s fur, it would look like your dog got smeared with some greenish-yellow goo.

But healing is fast, and that’s all-important.

Ingredients: Special Mixed Oils, Sulphur, Natural Resins.


  • Contains no steroids
  • Kills mites on contact
  • Promotes regrowth of hair
  • Applicable to dogs, cattle, and horses
  • Easy-to-use topical ointment

  • Strong sulfur odor (smells like rotten eggs)
  • This is a greasy topical treatment that may smear onto a dog's bedding, furniture, flooring


3Curaseb Medicated Antiseptic Pads
by Bexley Labs

Find it on Amazon ($13.99)

BEXLEY LABS Curaseb Medicated Topical Wipes for Dogs & Cats - Relieve Skin Issues, Hot Spots & Acne - 50 Wipes Bexley Lab’s Curaseb Chlorhexidine Medicated Wipe works on a wide range of skin maladies caused by fungi and bacteria. The active ingredients in this medicated shampoo are chlorhexidine gluconate and ketoconazole.

It’s made in the USA and is highly recommended by veterinarians to treat yeast infections, hot spots, redness, skin rashes, and other skin irritations and itching in cats and pets.

What Makes It The Best Dog Infection Medicine

You will find Bexley Labs Curaseb Antifungal & Antibacterial Chlorhexidine medicated wipes potent enough to have a quick effect on your pets’ skin problems but mild enough not to cause redness or further irritation.

It’s gentle even on slightly broken skin.

It's easier than shampooing.

It also has a pleasant cucumber-melon scent.

This third-best dog skin infection treatment will help provide instant relief for dogs suffering from intense itching.

It will effectively stop their vigorous scratching and alleviate their discomfort.

This antiseptic wipe is also useful in cleaning and deodorizing face folds, wrinkles, paws, and underarms. On top of that, it contains Vitamin E and Aloe, which helps soothe and nourish rashes, redness, and other skin irritations.


  • Works on skin infections caused by bacteria and fungi
  • Active ingredients are chlorhexidine gluconate and ketoconazole
  • Made in the USA
  • Formulated for dogs and cats

  • Thinner than other antiseptic pads
  • Other owners don't like scented wipes for dogs


4Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Shampoo by SynergyLabs

Find it on Amazon ($9.65)

Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Shampoo for Dogs & Cats, 16oz – Helps Alleviate Scaly, Greasy, red Skin – Paraben, Dye, Soap-Free Ketoconazole and Benzethonium Chloride are the active ingredients in SynergyLabs Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo. It is a biocide with antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Aside from this biocide, this medicated shampoo also contains aloe vera and lanolin, which help heal and condition the scalp.

It is effective against dermatitis, pyoderma, ringworm, and other skin irritations and breakouts of various origins.

What Makes It The Ideal Dog Skin Infection Medicine

We think that SynergyLabs’ Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Antiseptic & Antifungal Shampoo is much easier to implement as a treatment than other products of the same formulation.

That eventually brings about better results within a short period of time.

There’s no question about the convenience of applying for medicine while bathing your dogs regularly.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Proprietary Surfactant Blend, Ketoconazole USP, PEG-75 Lanolin, Glycol Distearate, Fragrance, Benzethonium Chloride, Preservative, Tetrasodium EDTA, Aloe Vera, FD&C Red #40


  • The active ingredient is Ketoconazole and Benzethonium Chloride
  • Antibacterial and antifungal
  • Contains lanolin and aloe vera to help soothe and heal the skin
  • Paraben-free

  • Some dogs and owners may not like its medicinal scent.


5 Classic's Lime Sulfur Dip
by Classic's Lime Sulfur Dip

Find it on Amazon ($18.36)

Revival Animal Health Vet Basics Lime Sulfur Dip- Concentrated Solution- for Dogs, Cats & Horses- 16oz Classic's Lime Sulfur Dip is antimicrobial and antiparasitic at the same time. It is the sulfurated lime solution, which works on diseases caused by microorganisms and parasites. It’s a concentrated liquid, so it has to be diluted first before application.

You may place the diluted liquid in a pail and dip the pet into it or use a sponge to apply the diluted medicine on the affected spot.

What Makes It The Best Dog Infection Medicine

This had been widely used for treating pets with ringworm.

If you have been through a long battle with ringworm in your pet and have used and spent a lot on prescription medications, but nothing worked, then Classic's Lime Sulfur Dip could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

Classic's Lime Sulfur Dip has had similar success on scabies, mange, and raw skin caused by insect bites and constant scratching.

It must be mentioned, though, that sulfur dip has the lingering smell of rotten eggs.

Other than that, it’s safe on most pets, including dogs, very effective, and quite cheap.


  • Antimicrobial and antiparasitic
  • Easy to use by dipping your dog or sponging this best dog skin infection treatment on the affected area
  • Safe to use on puppies and kittens

  • The very concentrated liquid so needs to be diluted before use
  • Because of the sulfur, this has the lingering smell of rotten eggs


6Antiseptic and Antifungal Medicated Spray
by Pet MD

Find it on Amazon ($16.99)

Pet MD Topical Spray for Dogs, Cats, and Horses with Essential Fatty Acids, Aloe and Vitamin E - 8 oz Similar to Curaseb, this antiseptic and antifungal spray from Pet MD contains chlorhexidine and ketoconazole as its active ingredients. It also contains aloe vera, which helps soothe the skin.

This is used by directly spraying on the affected area.

It is used to treat minor cuts, insect bites, dermatitis, pyoderma, ringworm, and allergies.

What Makes It The Best Dog Skin Infection Treatment

The Pet MD Antiseptic & Antifungal Medicated Spray has essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, which are beneficial to the skin.

It is a non-stinging formula and is gentle enough to wipe around the face and clean folds, underarms, and groin area. It cleans, deodorizes, and relieves itching.

This spray has a slightly sticky consistency, which helps to keep the medication adhered to the skin better. It effectively stops dogs from chewing and licking their paws.

There are two reasons for that. The medicine has an awful taste that discourages dogs from licking.

And, as soon as the medicine starts working, the itchiness is reduced.

Some dogs are wary of the spray and pump idea, so if your dogs are like that, you may use cotton swabs to apply this best dog skin infection treatment.

Active Ingredients: Chlorhexidine Gluconate 2% and Ketoconazole 1% in solubilizing vehicle.
Other Ingredients: Water, Propylene Glycol, Glycerine, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Leaf Juice, Dioctyl Sodium Sulphosuccinate, Lactic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Fragrance, Benzyl Alcohol.


  • Antiseptic and antifungal
  • Active ingredients are chlorhexidine and ketoconazole
  • Non-stinging
  • Made with aloe, essential fatty acids, and Vitamin E to soothe and heal the skin
  • Has a bad taste that discourages licking

  • Some dogs may not like the spray bottle and be afraid of the sound it makes
  • Less effective than stronger products mentioned above


73-Way Ointment for Dogs
by Sulfodene

Find it on Amazon ($9.26)

Farnam Sulfodene Dog Wound Care Ointment, Relieves Pain & Prevents Infection For Dog Cuts, Scrapes, Bites and Injuries, 2 Ounce Sulfodene 3-Way Ointment for Dogs is a treatment for superficial cuts and wounds, scrapes, bites, and skin irritations brought about by scratching or chewing. Its application prevents infections by providing a barrier between the skin and germs or other disease-causing organisms.

It also provides relief from pain and hastens to heal. The active ingredients are benzocaine and salicylic acid.

It also contains botanical oils to help in skin rehabilitation.

What Makes It A Great Dog Infection Medicine

If you’re concerned that your dogs would lick the ointment off and get sick, you may want to know that dogs would always try to lick their topical medications.

Rest assured, though, that licking Sulfodene 3-Way Ointment for Dogs once or twice will not make them sick.

They’d soon find out how awful the taste of this medication is, and that would stop them from further taking a nibble.

One good thing we know about this dog skin infection treatment is how well it relieves the itchiness or irritation and allows the skin to heal.

Some dogs may need a cone or have to be watched to make sure they don’t mess with their medication, but it’s generally well-tolerated by dogs.

Active ingredients: benzocaine 1.5% and salicylic acid 1.6%
Other ingredients: Menthol, sorbitan monooleate, polysorbate 80, cajeput (melaleuca leucadendron – tea tree oil), thyme oil, comment oil, clove oil, sodium edetate disodium, benzalkonium chloride, butylated hydroxytoluene, echinacea, emu oil in a beeswax/petrolatum base.


  • Active ingredients are benzocaine and salicylic acid
  • Contains botanical oils to help in skin rehabilitation
  • Prevents infection and relieves pain
  • Promotes faster healing

  • For use on superficial cuts and wounds to PREVENT infection, not to treat an infection that has already developed
  • Should not be consumed by the dog

Steps to Treat Dog Skin Infection at Home

The manner in which you treat your pooch will depend on the severity of their dog skin infection. After consulting your vet, you can have a suitable over-the-counter antibiotic cream for dogs.

In most cases, you will start off by wiping the affected area with a clean, damp cloth. You will later dry it out and apply a sufficient amount of dog infection treatment. 

You may need to hold your dog firmly to apply the ointment since they can get too sensitive. Avoid irritating the area by rubbing the dog infection medicine too hard. 

Your pooch will be tempted to lick the medicated areas. So, you might want to get an Elizabethan collar for your dog as well. 

You can also soothe the pain and provide relief to your pooch by giving your dog antibiotics for skin infections, along with products that contain natural tea tree oil.

Reasons Why Your Pooch Keeps Getting Bacterial Dog Skin Infections

There are many causes of dog skin infections. Your vet will be able to determine the reason and the appropriate antibiotics for the dog's skin.

However, if the dog skin infections persist, then there is an underlying abnormality in your Fido's immune system. 

There are also other factors that may always have an effect on your dog's skin, including food hypersensitivities, environmental allergies, parasites, and endocrine disease. 

Dog Breeds That Are More Prone to Skin Infections

There are certain dog breeds that are more prone to skin infections. If it’s not due to their genetic susceptibility, their hair type can be a contributing factor.

Here are a few of the many dog breeds prone to skin infections:

  • Shih Tzus
  • American Cocker Spaniels
  • West Highland White Terriers
  • Poodles
  • Bulldogs
  • Chinese Shar-Pei
  • English Setters
  • Boxers

The Best Dog Skin Infection Treatment – Summary

A dog skin infection may not seem much until it affects a large part of your dog's body. Fortunately, there are several dog antibiotics for skin infections that will help you avoid the worst-case scenario. 

On the other hand, there has been a new study that skin infections in dogs don't respond well to over-the-counter antibiotic creams for dogs.

That is why this article features safe, non-antibiotic dog infection treatment for your Fido's skin condition. The last thing you want is for your pooch to suffer from a bad reaction to antibiotics for the dog's skin. 

Aside from making this list of dog skin infection medicine as your guide, you can always consult your vet. They will recommend the most suitable dog infection treatment along with the right practices in taking care of your dog's skin.

ALSO READ: 3 Best Dog Yeast Infection Home Remedies

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Best Dog Skin Infection Treatment (Over the Counter)

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Kelly works as a veterinary technician in Austin, TX as well as regular animal rescue volunteer. She's been an animal lover and dog owner since childhood, and has worked in different dog related fields over the last twenty years. Currently she lives with three dogs and a cat.