Home Pets A Step by Step Guide to the Different Types of Dog Medications

A Step by Step Guide to the Different Types of Dog Medications

Most Common Dog Medications

For a long time in the past, there weren’t any medications to help a sick dog. They were left on their own to get better and heal or don’t live to see another day. Thankfully, this changed and as medicine and technology advanced, so did dog medication. Nowadays, there are many ways to treat almost any dog disease, and these goods can come in the form of pills, syrups, injections, tablets and creams to make them feel better.


If you’re a new dog owner, you probably don’t know anything about dogs’ antibiotics and when to use them. There is a big chance that your dog will get sick, and the vet will prescribe antibiotics. They were discovered and developed in the 19th and 20th centuries, and since then, they’ve changed and saved a lot of lives. There are a few classes of antibiotics to treat different diseases and conditions. These are cephalosporins, penicillin, aminoglycosides, cephamycin, tetracyclines, sulfonamides, macrolides and quinolones.

giving dog his medication
source: k9ofmine.com

Some of them are for cuts on the paw, and some help with more severe diseases such as UTIs. The most common veterinary antibiotics are:

  • Amoxicillin;
  • Cephalexin;
  • Clindamycin;
  • Doxycycline;
  • Gentamicin;
  • Tetracycline;
  • Metronidazole.

They are most commonly prescribed when infections happen. Harmful bacteria can cause infections in the dog’s organism and can happen to any part of the dog’s body, ears, eyes, tissue and organs. The most common dog infections are:

  • Ear infection;
  • Eye infection;
  • Urinary tract infection;
  • Tissue infection;
  • Skin infection;
  • Gastrointestinal infection;
  • Respiratory infection.

Most of the time, antibiotics need to be given orally. They can be tablets, capsules and liquids. You can put tablets and capsules in pill pockets for convenience and practicality. This way the dog won’t have issues swallowing the pills. If you give it by hand, make sure you push it back to the throat and massage it to encourage the dog to swallow. Liquids are easier to give. You can use a syringe or a dropper to insert the liquid into the side of the mouth or mix it with some food.

dog medications
source: lifesavvy.com

Creams and ointments are applied directly to the skin where the infection or the wound is. If your dog can lick it, cover it with something or give the dog a cone. The usual dose for antibiotics is two times a day, but based on your chosen vet prescriptions, the dosage can change.
Same as humans, dogs can have potential side effects from antibiotics. Those can include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, yeast infections, loss of appetite or allergic reactions. In this case, contact the veterinarian immediately to stop the side effects and change the therapy.


A lot of dogs get affected by worms and parasites at some point in their life, and it’s something we can’t avoid. But fortunately, we have the right medication and the vet’s assistance to help them. Parasites are tiny or even microscopic organisms that carry diseases in themselves and can cause grave illnesses to your dog. There are two types of parasites: internal and external.

dog getting pills
source: spacecoastpetservices.com


The dog ingests these parasites, and they affect its gastrointestinal tract. They can get it from contaminated food, water, soil or animal feces. These parasites can lead to blindness, anemia, or even death if not treated immediately. Some of the most common parasites are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, tapeworms, giardia and coccidia.


The most common external parasites are fleas and ticks that can come from a walk through the woods, the tall grass in the park, or areas inhabited by deer. They can cause anemia and dermatitis and some deadly diseases such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, tick paralysis, and ehrlichiosis. They should be treated with suitable vet prescriptions medications to prevent the worst from happening. You can recognise that your dog has parasites if it vomits, has diarrhea, loses weight, is lethargic or starts to lose hair.

To prevent these contaminations, a young puppy should get worm treatment every 2-3 weeks until it’s 12 weeks old. After that, the vet will prescribe the suitable injections yearly. Some of the most common medications for external parasites are:

  • Fipronil;
  • Permethrin;
  • Flumethrin;
  • Pyriprole;
  • Etofenprox.
  • And for internal parasite treatment:
  • Pyrantel;
  • Oxantel;
  • Fenbendazole;
  • Nitroscanate;
  • Emodepside.

Your vet can prescribe all of these to prevent any complications. These deworming products are administered orally or via injections. The treatment can last 30-60 days, depending on the dog and how long it has these parasites. In some serious cases, vets can recommend surgery to save the dog’s life.


Fungal infections happen when there is an overgrowth of the natural flora in your dog’s organism. This means that the chemical balance inside the body is affected, and it manifests in itching, redness, inflammation and sores. Sometimes it even affects internal organs. Dogs with floppy ears often experience these fungal infections during the summer because of the hot weather. When this happens, the vet will prescribe antifungal medication that can be applied topically and orally.

pet meds
source: empr.com

Topical treatment involves applying creams and bath rinses to the affected area. Some of the most common medicines are:

  • Terbinafine;
  • Ketoconazole;
  • Fluconazole;
  • Posaconazole;
  • Voriconazole.

When using cremes, always wear gloves to protect yourself and stop the spread of these infections to other parts of the body. These creams kill the infections and soothe the irritation:

  • Clotrimazole;
  • Itraconazole;
  • Econazole;
  • Miconazole.

Fungal infections are prevalent in dogs, and if treated the right way and on time, there is no risk of something worse happening. If left untreated, it may lead to severe skin problems, and your vet will include antibiotics.

In Summary

Dogs are a man’s best friend. They are our responsibility, and we should treat them as a part of our human family. If you ever notice anything unusual in their behaviour, check with their vet immediately because sometimes, even the slightest change or irritation can lead to major issues.