Can You Use Neosporin on Hamster? {What You Should Use Instead}

My hamster’s wound is healing on its own, but I know that Neosporin helps speed up healing on my own cuts. Can you use Neosporin on Hamster? If you’re not sure, you’ve come to the right place.

Are there any dangers of Neosporin for hamsters? How do I stop my hamster from scratching a wound?

In this article, we will look into antibiotic ointment treatment for hamsters and we’d like to share this information with you.

Can You Use Neosporin on Hamster?

Minor cuts, scrapes and abrasions can be treated with Neosporin. However, it is not advised to apply this product intended for humans on the sensitive skin of hamsters. There are mixed opinions on this subject with no real consensus are agreement.

The active ingredients are neomycin and polymyxin B, and these are deemed toxic for hamsters. The fear is that your hamster will inevitably ingest some of the residue when applying Neosporin on their wound which could cause serious health issues.

How Do I Stop My Hamster From Scratching a Wound?

If your hamster has a wound, applying petroleum jelly like Vaseline, can help stop the scratching. This substance is safer to use than Neosporin and can help to hydrate the skin while the wound heals underneath. It can be applied anywhere on their body such as legs, arms, feet, tail, just do not apply to their eyes.

A little goes a long way, so try not to use too much petroleum jelly and only apply it once or twice a day on your hamster’s wound.

How Long Do Hamster Wounds Take To Heal?

If the wound on your hamster is not too large and doesn’t need a visit to the vet, all you need to do is make sure that your hamster doesn’t scratch and lick it too much which would inevitably make it worse.

If the wound is left to heal, it should do so fully in about 2 weeks. Wounds are stressed or non-stressed. Apply some petroleum jelly to stop the scratching and dry cracking of the wound to help speed up healing.

Can I Put Coconut Oil on My Hamster?

Coconut oil helps to keep the wound on your hamster by keeping it hydrated. The only issue is that your hamster may enjoy the taste and constantly lick it if reachable. It is natural and helpful for minor cuts and skin irritations.

Coconut oil can moisturize the fur externally and is non-toxic when ingested. I would recommend coconut oil based on my experience with hamsters and guinea pigs who responded well to it. It had kept their minor scratches and wounds moist and able to heal properly.

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Can I Put Antibiotic Ointment on My Hamster?

Small amounts may be used. Experienced veterinarians would agree and would apply ointments on wounds for the animals they treat.

The only issue is using too much and watching your hamster ingesting it by constantly licking at it. Keep your hamster entertained with other chew toys and distractions in order to leave the Neosporin or other brands of antibiotic ointment on their skin alone.

The Benefits of Neosporin for Hamsters

Neosporin with a tiny dab on a hamster’s wound is recommended by some vet’s and discouraged by others. There is no clear consensus on this.

The active ingredients are toxic if ingested, but you might be able to distract your hamster for a while until the ointment seeps in and dissipates.

Leaving a clump of it on their skin could lead to excess amounts becoming more enticing to lick off. Clean the wound first with soap and water then apply the smallest amount to speed up healing.

The Dangers of Neosporin for Hamsters

Neosporin was never intended to be used on small rodents. Nevertheless, there are plenty of experienced professionals who say that a tiny dab could be effective as long as your hamster is not ingesting it with copious licks when too much is applied.

Neomycin and polymyxin B are toxic for your hamster. If you notice the skin swelling or your hamster or they are having difficulty breathing, stop using it and go to the vet for immediate help.

Can a Hamster Ingest Neosporin?

A hamster is a sensitive rodent that should not be ingesting anything else but the food intended for them. They will groom themselves and ingest some debris in this process. We hope they are not ingesting chemicals or toxic substances that they come into contact with.

If you are applying Neosporin to their fur and using amounts that leave residue, moisture or too much cream, they will attempt to lick if it off if they can reach it. This is toxic and not advised.

You have some option available to you such as:

  • Spritz the Neosporin by mixing it in a spray bottle with salt water. Spray minimally in sensitive areas and this will lessen its potency.
  • Keep Neosporin away from their eyes, ears and mouth.
  • A tiny amount on the end of a Q-tip is all you need.

Accidental ingestion of the tiniest traces of Neosporin might be acceptable. Larger doses that are accidentally ingested require immediate medical attention.

Keep a closer than usual eye on your hamster who is bearing treated with Neosporin to make sure there are no adverse reactions.

Do Hamster Cuts Heal?

Yes. Hamsters are hardy and resilient little rodents who have survived centuries with ordeals that we could never imagine.

They have so many predators and risk aversion leads them to crawl, flee, climb and escape from so many threats. They risk falling, getting wounded and fleeing the jaws and claws of predators to live another day.

I overreacted to my hamster’s first cut. A was frantic and needed someone to tell me to take a deep breath. I was assured that my hamster would recover quicker than I would with the same cut.

This was more of a scrape and she had rubbed against something sharp without us noticing. The wounded area was already being tended to by my hamster who was licking it.

We decided to spritz the area with salt water in a spray bottle and we left it alone for the rest of the evening. The following morning, the minor cut had almost fully recovered and we felt no need to visit the vet.

Deeper cuts, bleeding or possible infections need an immediate visit to the vet who will suggest topical solutions, ointments or a possible injection with medications that they will have to recommend and we cannot.

Is Neosporin Safe for Hamsters?

Neosporin is safe on hamsters in only the tiniest of dosage. You will have to be careful, because this product was not intended for hamsters. The active ingredients in Neosporin are bacitracin zinc,
polymyxin B sulfate and neomycin sulfate.

None of these chemicals are safe to ingest for humans or hamsters. We should apply a tiny amount equivalent to the tip of a pen at the end of a Q-tip and work it into the wound to make sure there is nothing left to lick off.

A little goes a long way and the application of Neosporin on a hamster. More than twice a day at this miniscule dosage is not recommended.

Keep this ointment away from their eyes, nose and mouth. Remember to use caution and proceed at your own discretion.

How Long to Leave Neosporin On?

If you apply the small amount of Neosporin on a hamster twice a day at the most, you should not be able to see its residue remain as moisture on their skin. There should be no trace amount of Neosporin in the future.

Separate the patches of fur or cut them to make sure the wound is free and clear. Clean the area with salt water. Use very small amounts of anything, even salt water.

Applying Neosporin at the very end of a Q-tip means that this ointment will not have any leftover amounts on surrounding areas. It will work and dissolve its way into the wound without you having to remove it.

No Neosporin is left on the skin and you will not notice it after a few minutes to an hour. Once again, applying Neosporin more than twice a day is not recommended. You may actually do more harm than good by causing itchy, scaly, red skin that develops into dermatitis or other complications.

What Can I Put on a Hamster Wound?

You can try to apply natural soap and water first to clean a hamster’s wound. There are topical antiseptics like betadine that may work in small amounts but be careful that your hamster doesn’t ingest it.

Here are some other suggestions that helpful members of the hamster community along with veterinarians have recommended and shared for hamster wounds:

  • Coconut oil
  • Tea tree oil hydrogen peroxide
  • Salt water solution
  • Saline water
  • Vaseline (petroleum jelly)

We hope your hamster recovers soon and you think twice about Neosporin unless your vet recommends it. There are plenty of other options.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.