4 min read


Can Dogs Use Hydrocortisone Cream?



4 min read


Can Dogs Use Hydrocortisone Cream?


Many people suffer from various skin conditions, some of which require treatment through the use of a topical steroid. One of the steroid creams that is commonly prescribed to or purchased by those with certain skin issues is called Hydrocortisone Cream. This topical steroid is able to address a range of skin problems and many people find that it is very effective. 

However, although it is often used by humans, can this cream also be used by dogs that are experiencing skin issues? Well, the good news is that you can use this steroid cream on your dog if they are displaying certain skin issues.


Signs of Possible Skin Problems

Hydrocortisone cream is used to help with skin inflammation and itching, which could be caused by allergies, infections, and through other causes. The properties in this steroid cream help to relieve the itching and reduce inflammation, which provides humans with relief. 

However, dogs are also prone to skin problems including inflammation and itching, and using this cream on your dog could help to provide some relief. It is best to check with your vet before you use the cream, in case there are any issues, and you should avoid putting it on open wounds.

Some of the signs to look out for with your pooch include constant licking and scratching in a particular area. If you do notice this, you should check the skin under their coat to see if there are signs of redness, inflammation, and rawness. If so, you can apply some hydrocortisone cream directly to the affected area. 

Make sure you apply it to the skin rather than the coat of the dog otherwise it will not prove effective and your dog may simply lick it off. It is important that your pet cannot get to or lick at the cream because this could cause a range of side effects. 

Your dog will often display various body language signs that may indicate it has a skin problem that is causing itching, soreness, and discomfort. Obvious signs are scratching and licking at a particular area all the time. 

However, you may also find that your pooch is more subdued, with their tail tucked between their legs, and that they look generally down in the dumps. This is what dogs are often like when they are in discomfort, so if they are showing signs such as these, along with scratching and licking, you should check for signs of a skin problem.

There are also some other signs your dog may be feeling unwell due to a skin problem. For instance, they may not have the same appetite as usual or they may show little interest in playing or going for walks. In addition, they may come across as having no energy due to less movement than usual, but this is often due to the discomfort that is experienced while moving.

Body Language

<p>Some signs to watch for after applying hydrocortisone cream are:</p>

  • Scratching
  • Biting
  • Tail Tucking
  • Licking

Other Signs

<p>Other signs that indicate your dog is having a bad reaction include:</p>

  • Moving Around Less
  • Loss Of Appetite
  • Loss Of Interest
  • Subdued

History of Hydrocortisone Use on Dogs


Historically, hydrocortisone cream was developed for use by humans in order to help relieve itching and inflammation caused by various factors. The FDA has never approved the cream for use on pets, which is why dog owners need to be careful. Following research that has been carried out into the use of this steroid cream on dogs, it has been discovered that if the cream is ingested by pets through licking and swallowing, it can cause various side effects. This includes stomach upsets and other side effects.

A lot of research has also been carried out into canine skin problems over the years and a range of canine medications have been developed as a result of this research. It is important to remember that hydrocortisone is not a treatment that will help with all canine skin conditions and it will only deal with the symptoms rather than the cause.  

As a result, you need to ensure that you visit your vet if the symptoms persist, so that the cause can be identified and addressed. The vet will then be able to determine whether there is an appropriate canine treatment that can be prescribed for your pooch.                

Science Behind This Steroid Cream


This steroid cream is a corticosteroid that is used for topical applications in humans in order to address skin issues caused by infections, allergies, and other problems. It is not an approved medication for canines, but it can be used in small quantities on dogs if they have inflammation and itching of the skin. However, it needs to be applied with caution so that your dog is unable to lick it off and swallow it. In addition, it should not be applied to open wounds and sores. 

Applying Hydrocortisone on Your Pooch


Most dogs are prone to skin infections and problems caused by allergies, parasites, infections, and other factors. It is important to ensure that you check your dog’s skin before you apply any of this steroid cream just in case there are any sores or open wounds. You can also then assess the extent of the problem, as you may want to visit your vet before considering the use of hydrocortisone cream. If you see your dog licking, biting, or scratching at a particular area of their body, you should do a thorough check to look at the condition of the skin.

If there are inflammation and redness but no open wounds or sores, you can apply a little of the steroid cream. It is important to part the fur as much as possible so that you get the cream onto the skin rather than onto your dog’s coat. If the cream simply goes on the coat rather than the skin, it will not prove helpful in relieving the discomfort for your pet. 

In addition, it will increase the chances of your dog licking and swallowing the cream, which could result in nasty side effects. Make sure you only use a little bit of the cream and if you have any concerns about using it, make sure you speak to your vet first.

It is also important to remember that, as in humans, hydrocortisone does not sort out all skin issues, so if the problem persists after you have applied the cream to your pooch, it is advisable to make an appointment at the vet’s to get it checked out. This will enable the root cause of the problem to be identified and then your dog can get the proper treatment to provide relief. 

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Using Hydrocortisone on Your Dog Safely

  1. Avoid applying on open wounds and sores.
  2. Apply to skin, not to the dog's coat.
  3. Apply a small quantity of cream.
  4. Check the skin where your pet is licking and scratching.

Written by a Boston Terrier lover Reno Charlton

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 03/05/2018, edited: 04/06/2020

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