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Sometimes, pets come down with serious infections that require a trip to the vet’s office. Although we’d most all rather keep our pets comfortable at home under our own care, in some cases, our furry friends require professional treatment from animal doctors, which can often end in us bringing home medication for our pet.

What is Cephalexin?

Cephalexin is an antibiotic primarily used to treat bacterial infections in humans, although many veterinarians prescribe it to cats and dogs, too.

Is Cephalexin safe for dogs?

In most cases, yes. Veterinarians can best determine whether or not Cephalexin is safe for your dog. They will be able to weigh the benefits against the risks before they decide to prescribe it to your pet.

In dogs, Cephalexin can treat:

  • Bronchitis
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Skin infections

Please note this list is not exhaustive.


Keep in mind that dosage may differ from one pet to another, based on their weight, age and other medical conditions they have or medications they take. Their veterinarian will know best in regards to the safest dosage. That being said, 1-800-PetMeds outlines the general dosing amount as follows for dogs:

  • 5-15mg per pound of body weight every 8-12 hours

Please note: dosing amounts will differ for cats. Always consult a veterinarian before administering this drug to your animal.

Side Effects

During treatment with Cephalexin, your dog may experience side effects including but not limited to:

  • Allergic reactions, resulting in difficulty breathing, rash, etc.
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Bruising
  • Swollen mouth

If your dog experiences any side effects, contact their veterinarian immediately.

Final Thoughts

Cephalexin is FDA-approved for veterinary use. It’s important to remember never to administer medicine to your pet without a veterinarian’s guidance. And, if you suspect your pet might be sick, call their veterinarian for a check-up.

Disclaimer: this article does not constitute or replace medical advice. If you have an emergency or a serious medical question, please contact a medical professional or call 911 immediately. To see our full medical disclaimer, visit our Terms of Use page.

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