Can you put cortisone cream on dogs? The answer may surprise you!

Can you put cortisone cream on dogs? The answer may surprise you!

Cortisone cream is a popular medication used by humans to relieve itching, inflammation, and other skin irritations. However, pet owners also find themselves in need of such treatments for their furry friends. Dogs are often exposed to environmental factors that can cause skin irritation, and it’s crucial to find a viable solution as soon as possible. In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about using cortisone cream on dogs, and why it may not always be the best solution.

What is cortisone cream?

Cortisone cream is a topical medication containing a synthetic version of the glucocorticoid hormone cortisol, one of the body’s naturally occurring hormones. Cortisol is produced by the adrenal glands, located above the kidneys. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce swelling, redness, and itching in the body’s tissues. Cortisone creams typically contain 0.5% to 2.5% hydrocortisone.

Can you use cortisone cream on dogs?

Yes, you can use cortisone cream on dogs, but it’s not advisable to do so without first consulting your veterinarian. Cortisone creams are generally safe for dogs when used correctly and according to your vet’s instructions. Improper use of cortisone cream can lead to negative side effects on your dog’s skin and fur. Using cortisone cream without a vet’s recommendation or prescription may expose your dog to the risk of developing chronic skin irritation.

What are the benefits of using cortisone cream on dogs?

There are many benefits of using cortisone cream on dogs, including:

1. Reduction of itchiness and inflammation – Cortisone creams help reduce the itching and redness caused by allergic or irritant contact dermatitis, insect bites, and other skin irritations.

2. Quick Relief – Cortisone cream is absorbed into the skin quickly, providing immediate relief to your dog’s discomfort.

3. Safe to Use – When used in moderation and with a veterinary prescription, Cortisone cream is safe to use on your dog’s skin.

4. Convenient – Cortisone cream is available over the counter in most drug stores, making it easy to access.

What are the potential side effects of using cortisone cream on dogs?

While cortisone cream is generally considered safe for dogs, using it excessively or improperly can lead to various side effects. Some of these side effects include:

1. Hair Loss – Using cortisone cream on designated areas can cause hair loss due to the product’s absorption into the dog’s body.

2. Infections – Cortisone can compromise your dog’s immune system’s ability to fight infections, leading to secondary infections like bacterial or fungal infections.

3. Thinning of the Skin – Long-term use of potent cortisone creams may lead to thinning of the skin, making the skin susceptible to injuries and tearing.

4. Allergic Reactions – In rare cases, a dog may experience an allergic reaction to the cortisone cream. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to cortisone cream include redness, swelling and itchiness.

When should you not use cortisone cream on your dog?

There are a few cases when using cortisone cream on your dog is not advisable. Such cases include:

1. Deep skin infections – If your dog’s skin infections are deep or chronic, cortisone cream may not be effective in eliminating the infection.

2. Open skin wounds – Cortisone cream should not be used on open wounds or burns as this can cause further irritation and delay healing.

3. Immune system disorders – Dogs with compromised immune systems are prone to infections, which may not be responsive to cortisone creams.

4. Pregnancy and Nursing stage – Pregnant dogs or nursing dogs should not be administered with cortisone cream as it can affect the developing fetus, or pass through the milk and affect the nursing puppy.


Cortisone cream is an effective medication that provides quick relief for your dog’s itchiness, inflammation, and other skin irritations. However, it’s important to consult with your vet before administering this type of medication to your dog. Using cortisone cream improperly or excessively can lead to adverse reactions, including hair loss, infections, thinning of the skin, and allergic reactions. Always seek veterinary advice if your dog shows signs of skin irritation or infection.


Q: Can you put cortisone cream on dogs every day?

A: No, it’s not recommended to use cortisone cream on dogs daily. Prolonged use of cortisone creams can cause the side effects mentioned above. Consult with your vet before using this medication on your dog.

Q: Can I use human cortisone cream on my dog?

A: No, you should never use human cortisone cream on your dog without your vet’s recommendation. Dogs have a different metabolism than humans and thus require different doses of medication.

Q: How long should you use cortisone cream on your dog?

A: Duration of medication depends on the type of skin irritation your dog is experiencing, and your vet’s recommendation. Typical usage of cortisone creams ranges from three to seven days.


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