Written By Wag! Staff
Published: 09/18/2020Updated: 03/15/2024
Veterinary reviewed by Dr. Linda Simon, MVB MRCVS
Amoxicillin for Dogs | Wag!

Amoxicillin is a common, safe and inexpensive antibiotic that treats a range of bacterial infections in both humans and dogs. Your vet may have prescribed amoxicillin for your dog’s UTI or perhaps a respiratory infection.

If so, you’re probably wondering exactly what it is, the recommended dosage and how amoxicillin will help them.

Read our guide to amoxicillin for dogs to understand: 

  • What amoxicillin is 
  • What conditions amoxicillin can treat in dogs 
  • Amoxicillin dosage for dogs
  • Possible amoxicillin side effects in dogs

Does your current pet insurance cover amoxicillin? If it doesn’t and you need one that does, check out our online comparison tool. It’s quick and easy to compare the best pet insurance plans to find the right one for you and your dog. 

How can amoxicillin help my dog?

This broad-spectrum antibiotic treats a wide range of bacteria which is why you’ll be prescribed amoxicillin for your dog’s ear infection but it’s also the best option for dogs with skin conditions. 

If your pet has any of the following conditions then dog amoxicillin will be the most effective antibiotic to treat it with: 

Amoxicillin attacks the formation of the bacteria’s cell wall which not only destroys it but also prevents the growth of certain strains of bacteria. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • E. coli
  • H. influenzae
  • Streptococci 
  • N. gonorrhoeae
  • Pneumococci
  • Proteus mirabilis

You’ll find amoxicillin for dogs sold under the following brand names: 

  • Amoxil 
  • Amoxi-Tabs
  • Amoxi-Drop
  • Bimox
  • Moxatag 
  • Novamoxin

Efficacy of amoxicillin for dogs 

You’ll be pleased to hear that amoxicillin starts working very quickly – often within as little as one to two hours after the first dose.

Although it’s important to be aware that the effects might not be noticeable instantly, you should see your dog’s condition improving within a few days. 

Studies in the UK and USA,published in BMC Veterinary Research, looked at amoxicillin for dogs with UTIs. As the medication is broad spectrum against Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria that cause UTIs, around 50 to 75% of pathogen isolates were sensitive to it. In uncomplicated cases, rates were up as high as 90%. 

Even if your dog seems to be getting better, make sure you give them the full course of antibiotics according to your veterinarian’s instructions. This is important to prevent reinfection and antibiotic resistance. 

If symptoms persist for five or more days with no improvement or your pet seems to be declining, talk to your vet. 

How is amoxicillin given to dogs? 

Amoxicillin can be prescribed as an oral capsule, a tablet or you may receive it as a liquid. 

It’s given orally. This can be without food but if your dog vomits then make sure the next time you give it to them it’s with food or at mealtimes. 

We all know getting dogs to take tablets can be tricky and they are often keen to spit it out. If this sounds like your dog, try placing the tablet in a tasty piece of food such as cheese. Make sure they have access to plenty of fresh water when taking their medication. 

If you are giving them liquid amoxicillin then make sure you shake well first and measure it carefully. 

Amoxicillin dosage for dogs

The amoxicillin dosage prescribed for dogs will be dependent on a variety of different factors, including: 

  • The brand 
  • Type of infection 
  • Your dog’s age 
  • Their weight 

That being said, the recommended dose for most dogs is 5 milligrams (mg) per pound (lb). 

Amoxicillin is typically administered up to twice a day for five to seven days, or for 48 hours after symptoms subside completely. But it’s important to follow the specific instructions given by the vet for your dog. 

Side effects of amoxicillin in dogs

As with all medication, amoxicillin can have side effects in dogs. It’s best to be aware of what they are so you know what to look out for. 

The most common side effects are: 

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea 
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

Possible side effects of amoxicillin for dogs also include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Skin rash
  • Loss of coordination
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling

Taking amoxicillin with food typically prevents gastrointestinal symptoms. Mild side effects usually clear up within 24 hours. Serious side effects are rare. But if you are worried you should stop giving them the medication and speak to your vet straight away. 

Antibiotics destroy the natural gut flora which is why gastrointestinal symptoms are more common. You can speak to your vet about giving them probiotics to help replace this. 

Swelling, particularly around the face, and difficulty breathing can be a sign of an allergic reaction.

Allergic reactions to amoxicillin

Amoxicillin is related to penicillin and should not be given to dogs with an antibiotic allergy, amoxicillin allergy or a penicillin allergy. If your dog has had an allergic reaction to a penicillin-type drug before make sure you tell your vet.

The signs of an allergic reaction to look out for include: 

  • Rash 
  • Watery eyes 
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive scratching
  • Swelling and hives
  • Trouble breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fever
  • Seizures
  • Anaphylactic shock

If you notice signs of an allergic reaction, take your dog to the vet immediately.

How much does amoxicillin cost? 

Amoxicillin is a common medication and therefore shouldn’t be expensive. 

A single capsule can cost anywhere from $0.39 to $3.00. A round of amoxicillin could cost you between $20 and $50. The larger the dog, the more it will cost you. 

Some brands will be more expensive than others, so you may want to ask if there is a less expensive alternative if you are struggling to afford the medication. 

Dog amoxicillin may be included in your pet insurance plan. Compare plans to give yourself peace of mind that you are covered for the treatment.

Amoxicillin - safety considerations 

If your dog is taking any other medication then it’s important to be aware that amoxicillin  may interact with it. 

You should be cautious with the following drugs:

  • Another class of antibiotics called bacteriostatic antimicrobials
  • Immunosuppressive drugs that treat cancer (methotrexate)
  • Drugs that treat uric acid stones and gout (probenecid)
  • Blood thinners (warfarin)

Amoxicillin is generally safe to combine with other broad-spectrum antibiotics. Some combination antibiotics contain amoxicillin and clavulanic acid, which is highly effective at treating gum disease and certain skin infections. 

Your vet may prescribe amoxicillin in addition to other antibiotics for infections in which the bacterium is unknown or unidentified.

If your dog is taking other medications, prescribed or otherwise, let your vet know before giving the first dose. This includes vitamins, herbal remedies and supplements. 

Amoxicillin for dogs – frequently asked questions 

Although amoxicillin is a safe and common medication for dogs, if you haven’t given it to them before then you are likely to have some questions.

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Of course, if there is anything else you need to know or anything you’re worried about then always speak to your vet.

Do I need a prescription for amoxicillin?

Yes, amoxicillin is a prescription-only drug. This means you can’t get amoxicillin for dogs without a vet prescription. If you suspect your dog has an infection you should make an appointment to see your vet straight away. 

The vet will need to see and examine your dog to diagnose the condition and ensure amoxicillin is the right medication for them. If it is, you’ll be given a prescription based on exactly the dose they need. If it’s not, you may be prescribed a different medication. 

Can dogs take amoxicillin meant for humans? 

No. You shouldn’t give dogs human amoxicillin. This may not be the right antibiotic for your dog’s infection. If it is, then the vet will work out the correct dose based on your dog’s weight among other considerations. 

Dog amoxicillin vs human amoxicillin - what’s the difference? Well, alongside potentially getting the dose wrong, human amoxicillin could contain inactive ingredients or preservatives that may be dangerous to your dog. 

Should I refrigerate liquid amoxicillin?

Yes, you should refrigerate liquid amoxicillin.

While capsules and tablets can be stored at room temperature, liquid amoxicillin is best kept in the refrigerator. Be sure to check the label and follow the directions. 

Any unused liquid amoxicillin should be discarded when your dog has finished their required dosage. 

What should I do if I miss a dose?

Administering amoxicillin around the same time each day is important. 

If you miss a dose, then give your dog the missed dose as soon as you remember. 

If it’s nearly time for the next dose, skip the first one and then return to your dog’s normal dosing schedule. Do not give your dog extra doses or two doses at once. 

Setting a reminder on your smartphone or calendar can help you stick to the schedule.

Can I give amoxicillin to pregnant or nursing dogs?

Amoxicillin is generally considered safe for pregnant and nursing dogs. However, you should monitor your dog closely and follow your veterinarian’s instructions.

Is it possible for my dog to overdose on amoxicillin?

Yes. But, this isn't easily done as there is a relatively high safety margin. 

However, if your dog does overdose this can have serious and potentially fatal consequences. Amoxicillin overdose can cause inflammation and significant damage to the kidneys. 

Signs of overdose include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Loss of coordination
  • Excessive panting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Increased heart rate
  • Facial swelling
  • Hives/rashes
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive or discolored urine

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these signs. Your vet may induce vomiting or administer activated charcoal to remove amoxicillin from your dog’s system. Severe cases of overdose may be treated with intravenous fluids.

Always give the recommended dosage of amoxicillin and keep medications out of your dog’s reach.

Do you want to have peace of mind that your pet’s routine healthcare needs are covered? Check out Wag! Wellnessto see the available plans. This covers everything from a physical wellness exam to annual boosters. You can even add on extras such as grooming.  

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