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Is Preparation H Toxic to Dogs?

Is Preparation H Toxic to Dogs?

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If you see your pup’s anus inflamed or reddened, you will probably assume that it is a sign of hemorrhoid.

However, whether dogs also suffer from hemorrhoids is debatable. There is a group of veterinarians who believe that dogs don’t get hemorrhoids due to their horizontal postures—which tend to align their digestive systems into suboptimal positions.

Then there is also a group that asserts that dogs that strain to defecate can suffer from hemorrhoids.

Anyway, it is never beyond the realm of possibility for our canine friends to suffer from hemorrhoids. However, it is not nearly as common as you can imagine.

Still, dogs can suffer from a wide range of painful, hemorrhoid-like conditions, which occur around or within their rectal tissues. These include irritated tissues, tumors, adenomas, hyperplastic tissues, and anal gland problems among others.

Any of these conditions can be quite uncomfortable for the affected dog, so it is best to find a solution as fast as possible before it becomes more painful or metamorphoses into another problem.

Talking of fast solutions, one of the medications that many parents opt for whenever they see hemorrhoid-like conditions in their dogs is Preparation H.

For starters, Preparation H is a brand of human medication that is manufactured by Pfizer and is commonly used to treat hemorrhoids.

 Its formulation varies from one country to another. For instance, some of its versions have phenylephrine and shark silver oil while others have hydrocortisone as the active ingredient.

Others also contain caffeine moisturizers blended with witch-hazel.  

But is Preparation H safe for dogs?

Protein Allergy in Dogs

Preparation H is the go-to treatment option for human hemorrhoids, but where does it stand with regards to application on our canine friends? Is toxic to them?

The short answer is: Preparation is not toxic to dogs and can safely be used on dogs—the same way it can be used on humans.

To begin with, Dolores Animal Hospital approves its use on dogs by listing it as one of the human medications that work for both humans and pets.

Secondly, some versions of Preparation H use hydrocortisone as their main active ingredient, and approves the use of hydrocortisone on dogs, cats, and horses.

South Bay Veterinary Clinic also supports the use of Preparation H on dogs. According to this article published on their site, these vets say that “if your pet has really irritated himself and her rectal area is reddened or inflamed, you can always opt for Preparation H to soothe the area allowing the animal to be more comfortable.”

Always Talk To Your Vet First

At Healthy Homemade Dog Treats, we don’t fully support the use of human medications on dogs. Instead, we strongly advise our readers to consult their local veterinarians before applying Preparation H or any other human medications on their dogs.

Because of the painful nature of most health conditions that tend to mimic hemorrhoid symptoms, it is important to get your dog checked before you try to use hemorrhoid medication on him.

Your vet will not only confirm to you whether or not it is dog hemorrhoid but also help you rule out possibilities of other serious problems as well as give you the best recommendations for treating your pup’s health condition successfully.  

A vet will also ensure that your dog receives the most appropriate treatment option and care for the health condition in question.  

Discourage the Dog from Licking Off the Medication

Although Preparation H is not toxic to dogs, you should remember that your pup’s instincts may prompt him to lick off the medication once it is applied.

To ensure your dog’s safety, consider using a few strategies that can discourage him from licking off the medication:

  • Apply the medication just before feeding your pup.
  • Give the dog some of his favorite treats to divert his attention from licking his body.
  • Take the dog for a short walk after applying the medication.
  • Cover the affected area with socks, a cone, or a suitable e-collar alternative (see the best options below) to prevent him from licking the area.

Opt for alternative treatment options

If you are in doubt about the safety of Preparation H or any other human topical cream or medication, it is pertinent to look for alternatives that are known to treat hemorrhoids or hemorrhoid-like conditions, including:

I. More Fiber

Give your dog fiber-rich foods (like pumpkins) to add bulk to his bowel.

 Pumpkin is not only rich in fiber but most dogs also love it, which implies that you won’t need to change your pup’s diet completely.

Some vets also recommend combining high-fiber diet foods with stool softeners (see the best options below).

II. Witch Hazel

Applying cold witch hazel on your dog’s backside can also go a long way in soothing the inflammation and easing itchiness as he heals.

III. Aloe Vera

Like witch hazel, applying commercial aloe Vera on the affected part will help soothe it and promote healing.

Steer clear of natural aloe Vera from the plant though as it can toxic if your pup ingests it through licking.

IV. Water

Consider giving your dog plenty of water to keep his bowels moving regularly.

 If he can’t drink a lot of water or if he doesn’t seem thirsty, try giving him more exercise or playing with him outside.

 The extra movement will not only make him thirsty, allowing him to take more water but it will also aid bowel movement and help him avoid unnecessary constipation.

Especially when you decide to increase his fiber intake, giving him more water is vital to move the extra fiber and food through his digestive tract and for his stools to absorb moisture.

V. CBD Oil

Many dog parents have confirmed the efficacy of CBD oil in relieving pain, reducing inflammation, lowering stress, and providing more fiber in dogs—which are all vital for recovery in a dog suffering from hemorrhoid-like conditions.


Is Preparation H toxic to dogs? Well, as we have discussed, Preparation H is not toxic to dogs.

So, using the medication to treat your dog’s painful hemorrhoids or hemorrhoid-like conditions is safe.

However, it is important to remember that it is not designed for canines and shouldn’t replace medications that are specifically designed for dogs.

Most importantly, talk to your vet first before using Preparation H on your Fido.