Natural Antibiotics Alternatives for Dogs

Antibiotics, when administered to dogs, is known to cause undesirable side effects and contribute to secondary infections like respiratory infections and ear infections. If you desire alternative methods to antibiotics, there are several natural herbs that purport to offer results without the unpleasant side effects. As always, do adequate research and make sure to consult a vet before starting your dog on any treatment, natural or otherwise.



Alfalfa helps reverse side effects from long-term use of manmade antibiotics because it is high in vitamin K. Alfalfa is rich in antioxidants and helps build the immune system. However, alfalfa may cause an adverse reaction in canines, so it should not be administered in large quantities.


Licorice is an antimicrobial herb that may be safely given to a dog. Licorice is great for upper respiratory illness because it acts as an anti-inflammatory and expectorant. However, exercise caution when giving licorice to dogs with diabetes because licorice may raise blood sugar levels. Also, do not give licorice to dogs with heart problems.


Mullein is a weed found throughout North America, another antimicrobial herb you may safely give your dog. It is an excellent choice of herb for respiratory illness in dogs.

Oregon Grape

Oregon grape is a powerful natural antibiotic used to fight bacterial and fungal infections in dogs. It is a very versatile herb and can treat infections in ears, eyes and respiratory system. However, do not give Oregon grape to a dog with acute liver disease or who is pregnant or nursing.


Garlic is another natural antibiotic that may work well for dogs in small doses. If given in high doses, garlic may cause a potentially fatal disorder called Heinz body anemia. There are several opinions for the correct dosage for your pet. Generally, a half clove to a full clove of garlic per 10 pounds of body weight is safe. Garlic supports and boosts immunities, making it a great herbal antibiotic alternative for dogs. It is not recommended for dogs with anemia. Always check with your veterinarian before administering garlic.

By Heather Mckinney

About the Author
Heather Mckinney has been writing for over 23 years. She has a published piece in the University Archives detailing the history of an independently owned student newspaper. Mckinney holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from University of Texas at San Antonio.