Is Hydrocortisone Cream Safe for Dogs? 

Hydrocortisone cream is a commonly used topical medication that is used to relieve itching, inflammation, and other skin irritations in humans. However, when it comes to our furry friends, using hydrocortisone cream on their skin requires careful consideration. While hydrocortisone cream can be safe and effective for treating certain canine skin conditions, it is important to understand the potential risks and consult with a veterinarian before administering this medication to your dog. 

When to Use Hydrocortisone Cream on a Dog 

In general, dog-friendly hydrocortisone cream is a safe treatment to alleviate discomfort and treat symptoms for dogs. Before administering this cream to your pup, you must consult your veterinarian first to determine if it’s appropriate and your veterinarian will provide specific application instructions. To avoid any issues, you must follow these directions closely. If your dog has the following skin problems, hydrocortisone cream may be an effective treatment: 

  • Rashes 
  • Skin allergies 
  • Bug bites 
  • Hot spots 
  • Inflammatory skin diseases 
  • Ear infections 

Potential Risks 

If your dog licks the area where you applied the cream, they can experience side effects. Depending on the amount ingested and the ingredients, symptoms can range from mild to severe. These may include: 

  • Panting 
  • Pacing 
  • Increased hunger/thirst 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdomen pain 
  • Black-tarry stool 


Hydrocortisone cream will only alleviate the discomfort, not fix the root of the problem. If your dog’s skin is red and inflamed, take them to the veterinary clinic so your veterinarian can prescribe the appropriate treatment. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your dog’s skin issues or hydrocortisone cream, call Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 today!