Owner holding antibiotic pill on the finger to give to dog

Why pet owners are switching to online vet care with Dutch

  • Prescriptions delivered free to you

  • Fast access to Licensed Vets over video

  • Unlimited video visits and follow-ups

Dogs can face health issues that require antibiotics to treat or prevent infections. As devoted pet parents, witnessing our furry friends in discomfort is undoubtedly distressing. Despite the genuine concern for their well-being, various challenges might deter pet owners from seeking timely veterinary care. Issues such as difficulty scheduling appointments due to a fully booked veterinary clinic, the stress associated with a vet visit, or financial constraints may lead some pet owners to explore alternative avenues. 

But can you buy antibiotics for dogs without a vet prescription? Unfortunately, no. Antibiotics can only be prescribed by a licensed vet; there's no way around this. Before a vet will prescribe your dog any medication, they'll need to determine the underlying cause of their illness. Giving your dog antibiotics without consulting a vet can be dangerous, especially because there's no way for pet parents to know whether their dog has an infection or another type of condition. 

Keep reading to learn more about antibiotics for dogs and why you need a prescription for them. 

definition of dog antibiotics

What Are Dog Antibiotics? 

Antibiotics are medications designed to combat bacterial infections. These medications either kill the bacteria causing the infection or inhibit their growth. Antibiotics play a crucial role in veterinary medicine, helping address a wide range of bacterial ailments that can affect a dog's health and wellness. 

Veterinarians commonly prescribe antibiotics to treat bacterial infections such as respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, skin infections, and more. It's essential to note that antibiotics are only effective against bacteria and have no impact on viral infections. 

Certain types of antibiotics for dogs are specifically designed to target specific types of bacteria. This is why getting an accurate diagnosis and professional veterinary guidance is so important. 

Why do Antibiotics Need a Vet Prescription?

There's no way to buy antibiotics for dogs without a vet prescription. The main reason is that antibiotics can be used incorrectly, potentially harming your pet. Additionally, you must know exactly what you're treating to use antibiotics effectively, and you can only know that with the help of a vet. 

Veterinarians are trained to diagnose the specific cause of an animal's illness. Antibiotics are effective against bacterial infections, but not all conditions are caused by bacteria. Vets help determine whether an infection is bacterial, viral, or of another origin, ensuring the appropriate treatment is given. 

Additionally, different antibiotics target specific types of bacteria. A vet's expertise is vital in selecting the right antibiotic based on the type of bacteria causing the infection. This targeted approach is crucial for the treatment's effectiveness and ensuring your dog's health and happiness. 

Dosage and duration can also only be determined by a vet. Vets calculate the correct dosage of antibiotics for dogs based on their weight, age, and overall health. Additionally, they prescribe the appropriate duration of treatment to ensure complete elimination of the infection. 

Antibiotics can also have side effects, and not all antibiotics are suitable for every dog. Veterinarians assess the dog's overall health and consider potential interactions with other medications before prescribing antibiotics. Regular check-ups during the course of treatment allow for monitoring and adjustments if needed. 

In many regions, antibiotics without a veterinary prescription are illegal. This framework prevents self-diagnosis and uncontrolled use of antibiotics. 

Woman comforting sick dog by kissing its head

Are There Alternatives to Antibiotics? 

There are no alternatives to antibiotics for dogs you can buy over the counter. While you can't get antibiotics without a vet prescription, there are several steps you can take to prevent infections and sometimes treat them at home. However, treating a dog's illness at home is never safe, especially if you don't know what that illness is. 

It's best to avoid home remedies for any pet ailment without consulting your vet. Receiving a diagnosis from a vet helps ensure you're treating the right issue. 

Treating the source

If your dog has a skin infection, it may be secondary to allergies. While antibiotics can help treat skin infections, they don't prevent allergies. Therefore, treating allergies may help minimize skin infections. 

If you've confirmed with your vet that your dog has a specific allergy, removing that allergen from their daily life may help clear up the skin infection. For instance, changing your dog's kibble may prevent future skin infections if your dog is allergic to their food.1 

Keep in mind that this isn't always true. Once your dog has a skin infection, changing their diet to eliminate food allergies may help prevent future skin infections but may not help treat an existing one. Ultimately, your dog's diet can't kill existing bacteria. 

Again, you must confirm your dog has an allergy in the first place to treat the source, and this method doesn't work for all types of bacterial infections.

Non-prescription treatments

In some cases, you may be able to treat the area locally without a vet's prescription. For instance, if your dog has a bacterial ear infection, you can use non-prescription cleaning agents and ear drops to minimize symptoms and ease discomfort. 

Antibiotics are still the most effective way to eliminate bacterial infections in dogs. If your dog is suffering or in pain, there's no reason not to get antibiotics from a vet. 

Antibiotics for dogs always require a vet prescription

Can I Get a Prescription for My Dog Without Going to the Vet? 

Obtaining a prescription for your dog without consulting a veterinarian is neither responsible nor legal. Vets play a crucial role in assessing your dog's health, diagnosing conditions, and prescribing medications like antibiotics. Self-diagnosis and treatment can lead to ineffective or inappropriate medications, worsening your pet's condition. 

If you're wondering how to get antibiotics for dogs without a vet prescription, you simply can't. However, you can sometimes get dog antibiotics without going to an in-person vet clinic. 

Pet parents may find it challenging to get their dogs to the vet quickly. Scheduling difficulties or your dog's resistance to the vet may also make going to a clinic virtually impossible. That's where Dutch comes in. 

Telemedicine platforms like Dutch provide a viable solution for pet parents seeking a convenient alternative to traditional in-clinic visits. Dutch allows you to connect with licensed veterinarians online, facilitating remote consultations to discuss your dog's symptoms, receive professional guidance, and, if necessary, obtain a prescription for antibiotics from our online pet pharmacy. We'll even deliver those antibiotics directly to your doorstep as part of your Dutch membership.

Black woman chatting with an online vet for her dog’s antibiotics

Dutch offers a more convenient and efficient way to address your pet's health concerns while ensuring that a qualified veterinary professional oversees the diagnosis and prescription process. 

Here's how we solve many common pet parent problems: 

  • Convenience: Vets can be busy, and getting your dog timely treatment to alleviate their health issues can be challenging for pet parents who can't always get their pets in during office hours. With Dutch, you can schedule an appointment at the most convenient time for you and your dog. 
  • Hassle: Some dogs suffer from anxiety, making it challenging to get them to the vet clinic. Simply put, many dogs don't like the vet, and even getting them in the car to go to the vet can be a hassle for pet parents and anxiety-inducing for their pets. With a Dutch membership, you can skip the in-person vet visits and treat your dog's ailments from the comfort of your home, reducing their stress and making getting them the care they need easier. 
  • Financial constraints: Vet visits can be expensive, sometimes preventing loving pet parents from getting their dog care. A year of Dutch is typically cheaper than taking your pet to the vet for common ailments. We can treat everything from ear infections to skin issues, UTIs, and more with fewer overhead costs than a clinic, allowing us to pass the savings on to our members. 

Keep in mind that telemedicine for pets is designed for common pet concerns. It's not a solution for emergency medical care. If you believe your dog is suffering from something life-threatening, take them to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic as soon as possible; don't wait to make an appointment. 

Final Notes 

While the health of our beloved pets is a top priority, obtaining antibiotics for dogs without a vet prescription is neither responsible nor legal. Antibiotics play a crucial role in treating bacterial infections, and their proper use requires the expertise of a licensed veterinarian. Diagnosing and treating your dog yourself can lead to ineffective medications, potentially worsening their condition. 

Seeking professional veterinary guidance ensures accurate diagnosis, appropriate antibiotic selection, proper dosage, and the consideration of potential side effects. For parents looking for a convenient and alternative solution to traditional in-clinic visits, try Dutch. With a Dutch membership, you can connect with licensed vets online, schedule remote appointments, and receive professional guidance tailored to your dog's specific needs. 

We can also provide prescriptions and deliver them directly to your door, offering a more accessible and stress-free approach to pet healthcare. Choose Dutch for a reliable and convenient way to address your pet's health concerns and ensure they receive the care they deserve.



  1. Khuly, Patty. "Antibiotic Alternatives in Theory and in Practice (and Five Pet-Friendly Options)." PetMD, www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2009/june/antibiotic-alternatives-theory-and-practice-and-five-pet-friendly-options-6826.

Memberships to keep your pet healthier

billed $132 yearly
20% off of all memberships
billed monthly

All memberships include:

  • Fast access to licensed vets
  • Virtual care for up to 5 pets
  • Customized Rx treatment plans
  • Unlimited video calls & follow-ups
  • Guaranteed low prices on medication
  • Free shipping on every order

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Dutch?

Dutch is an online veterinary pet telehealth service, created by pet parents and board-certified veterinary specialists. We use a science-backed approach to provide pets relief for their everyday physical and behavioral health issues. Dutch connects you with licensed veterinarians over video chat and messaging to help you get care for your dog or cat quickly wherever you are — without the stress or expense of a vet visit. We also partner with pharmacies who can deliver prescription medication (in applicable states only) and over-the-counter treatments directly to your door. Dutch isn’t a veterinary practice or pharmacy, but a company that helps facilitate these services for pet parents to make veterinary care more accessible to all.

What is a visit with Dutch like?

When booking a video call with a vet, you'll be asked a few questions about your pet’s health issue. Depending on the issue, you may also be asked to fill out a longer questionnaire about their symptoms and share photographs of them so our veterinarians can better understand what’s going on. You’ll then pick an appointment time that works best for you.

During your video call, one of our licensed veterinarians will talk to you about the symptoms your pet is experiencing, ask you questions, review your pet’s medical history if you’ve provided it, and answer any questions you have. The vet will ask to see your pet and their environment. And they may ask you to perform some simple checks on them if needed.

After your video call, the vet will send you a message with a custom treatment plan to help your pet feel better, including a link to buy any recommended prescription or over-the-counter medications. Place your order and we’ll ship it free.

How much will it cost for Dutch to treat my pet?

The Dutch membership starts at $7/mo for unlimited access to the vet. No more long waits for appointments or surprise bills.

In addition to the base membership plan, our veterinarians may also recommend additional medication (Rx and/or OTC) that you will have the option of adding to your plan at an additional cost.