Doxycycline for Dogs

An antimicrobial drug, Doxycycline is used extensively to treat a wide range of canine health conditions. Some of these health issues include leptospirosis, urinary tract infections, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Chlamydia, tick-borne Lyme disease, etc. On the other hand, Doxycycline can prevent and keep secondary or minor microbial infections at bay while treating the primary condition.

However, Doxycycline may not be effective against viral or fungal infections as this medication is grouped under the class of broad-spectrum antibiotics.  

Doxycycline at a Glance

Brand Name


Generic Name



Tetracycline class of broad-spectrum antibiotic

FDA approval

             FDA approved only for humans

Availability (off-the-counter or prescription)


Suitable for

Cats and Dogs

Dosage availability

As 100mg tablets

Is Doxycycline Safe for Dogs?

Vets usually prescribe Doxycycline for treating bacterial infections afflicting dogs, such as Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, mycoplasma, toxoplasmosis, psittacosis, and leptospirosis. Though Doxycycline is, by and large, approved as an extra-label medication for canines, you must get a vet's prescription to administer the drug. Make sure you administer the entire course of the drug as advised by the veterinarian and strictly follow the guidelines.


Doxycycline works effectively against many microbes and bacteria such as Escherichia. coli (E. coli), Wolbachia, and Serratia. The drug's action checks the protein production in bacteria, slowing down and arresting cell division and growth, eventually killing them. You'll need to offer Doxycycline consistently for the long-term as the drug's protein-synthesis blocking action takes effect slowly.

Doxycycline Dosage for Dogs

Doxycycline dosage prescribed by the vet for your dog will broadly vary based on the infection type and duration. For the most part, Vets prescribe 2.27-4.53   mg/lb (5-10mg/kg) of Doxycycline every 12-24 hours, depending on the weight of your Fido. Your vet could also fix the dosage after carefully evaluating the dog's particular needs for the drug.

Though you're not required to offer food to your dog while administering the medication, nourishment helps keep side effects at bay. Offering Doxycycline without food increases the likelihood of your dog suffering from side effects such as vomiting and nausea. Nevertheless, make sure you let the dog drink plenty of clean, filtered water for the entire treatment period.

In this respect, it's crucial to offer a little amount of water following the medication administration if you notice swallowing or breathing problems. Your dog will recover from the infection and recuperate quickly, provided you administer the dose simultaneously daily. Since the therapeutic action of Doxycycline takes place gradually, vets typically prescribe the drug as a prolonged therapy or treatment procedure.  

Therefore you should complete the full course of the medicine instead of stopping it the moment you observe improvement in symptoms.

Likely Side Effects

Almost all dog breeds tolerate Doxycycline with a sound effect, which implies that canines usually do not exhibit side effects. Nevertheless, some common side effects, including but not limited to vomiting, diarrhea, breathing, and swallowing issues, might occur or predominate. Besides the above side-effects, Doxycycline could also cause:-

  • Gastrointestinal issues (that could become acute resulting from overdose)
  • Hair loss
  • Limb malformations in puppies not yet born (a significant risk factor for pregnant bitches)

Like all other drugs, doxycycline may also cause an allergic reaction, ultimately leading to anaphylaxis. Get in touch with your vet as early as possible if and when you spot allergic reaction symptoms. At the same time, watch out for signs of drug interactions if your dog is already taking medications for a specific medical condition.

Before starting a treatment course, you'd better discuss how Doxycycline could interact (with other medicines) with your vet.

When Should You Not Offer Doxycycline to Dogs?

Doxycycline is susceptible to interacting with anticoagulants, barbiturates, antacids, cathartics, bactericidal, sodium bicarbonate, kaolin/pectin, methoxyflurane, iron dextran, insulin, theophylline, and digoxin. Never administer Doxycycline to your dog if the canine is allergic to the drug, and exercise caution in offering the medication if your pet is:-

  • Diagnosed with some form of acute liver disease
  • Lactating and pregnant
  • Aged less than seven months

Disclaimer: The above content is based on multiple research articles referred to online. Global Dog Breeds intends to share information, but it's strictly advised to consult a veterinarian and seek advice before using any medications described. We believe each condition and dog is unique, and only after careful evaluation from a qualified professional should you be offering any medications to your pet.

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