Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics for a Dog With Cancer

by Heather Mckinney
    Safe natural treatments exist for your dog.

    Safe natural treatments exist for your dog.

    dog image by Ramona smiers from

    When a dog has cancer, its immune system is compromised. Antibiotics are administered, which cause side effects and secondary infections like respiratory infections and ear infections. If you desire alternative methods to treat these problems, there are several natural herbs that offer the immune support and antimicrobial properties found in commercially made antibiotics, without the unpleasant side effects.


    Alfalfa is an herb used to fight cancer in dogs. It helps reverse side effects from long-term use of antibiotics because it is high in vitamin K. Alfalfa is safe for a dog with cancer, since it is rich in antioxidants and helps build the immune system. Alfalfa may cause an adverse reaction in canines, so do not administer in large quantities.


    Licorice is an antimicrobial herb you may safely give a dog with cancer. "Antimicrobial" means it has the same properties that most antibiotics have. 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 alternative for dogs with cancer. It is not recommended for dogs with anemia, so it is a good idea to check with your veterinarian before administering garlic.

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    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.

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