Clavamox For Dogs: Dosage, Side Effects, And Alternatives

Medically reviewed by James Davis, PharmD

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Your dog is playing with pet siblings when all of a sudden, it loudly yelps in pain. Being a loving pet parent, you run over to see what is wrong. You are stunned when you see your dog lost a tooth. Upon looking into his mouth, you realize there is a significant problem, infection.

The dog's mouth is riddled with what looks like mold. You try to brush its teeth, but the teeth are not coming clean. The only option left is to go to the veterinarian's office and have the dog examined. Your vet confirms your original thoughts and says the dog has a periodontal infection. The vet then says that infections in the mouth can spread to critical internal organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver.

The dog gets a Clavamox prescription, and you go home ready to start the healing process.


Clavamox is an FDA-approved antibiotic used for bacterial infections in animals. It is a mixture of amoxicillin (an antibiotic) and clavulanate (a chemical that helps amoxicillin work better). It is available in a chewable and drop form, and generic brands are available. Humans use the drug combination under the brand name Augmentin. Human tablets can be dosed for use in dogs by a veterinarian.


Clavamox is FDA approved for use in dogs and cats for skin, soft tissue, gum, and urinary tract infections caused by bacteria susceptible to Clavamox (some bacteria may be resistant). These infections include wounds, abscesses, and cellulitis.

Many drugs have off-label uses. If a veterinarian judges that it's appropriate, they may also prescribe Clavamox for other infections.


One of Clavamox's most serious (but rare) side effects is an allergic reaction. Clavamox is in the penicillin family, and penicillins are known for being somewhat more likely to cause allergic reactions than other antibiotics. In a dog, allergic reactions can present as swelling, rash, difficulty breathing, increase in heart rate, fever, vomiting, and seizure. If your dog appears to have any of these, seek emergent veterinary help immediately.

Thankfully, allergic reactions are rare. More common side effects are gut-related, including vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and appetite change.


Clavamox dosing is weight-based at 6.25mg per pound of body weight twice a day.

There is no difference in effectiveness between chewable and drops, although drops may be easier to dose for certain weights that would require a combination of whole tablets. The drops must be kept refrigerated and shaken well before each dose.

Thankfully, allergic reactions are rare. More common side effects are gut-related, including vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and appetite change.

  • Tablet - The manufacturer recommends giving doses in whole tablet strengths. Tablets are available at 62.5mg, 125mg, 250mg, and 375mg.
  • Drops - The drops are available in a 50mg (amoxicillin)/10mL liquid, which makes administration convenient because weight-based dosing works out to 1ml/10lbs of bodyweight.


If the dose your dog requires is close to the strength of a manufactured chewable and your dog likes the chewable, they are likely the most convenient dose form.

If your dog is at a weight that would require two or more tablet strengths to reach an ideal dose, it might be more convenient to use the drops. The drops must be refrigerated and shaken well before each dose but can be added to food or given directly. Because they can be added to food or treats, the drops can effectively be "flavor enhanced" by the pet owner. For picky dogs, this may be a good thing.


Clavamox is generally well-tolerated and usually used for short durations.

A dog should not take Clavamox if they have an allergic reaction or have a history of allergic reactions to either amoxicillin or penicillin. Unless the veterinarian believes it's worth trying and explains to the dog owner how to test penicillins in the dog safely.

An owner and veterinarian may consider not using Clavamox if it causes vomiting/nausea or diarrhea in a dog or if it's caused those previous reactions.


Alternatives to Clavamox depend on the infection type and the bacteria that caused the infection. A veterinarian is the best person to choose an option. Each condition varies based on location in the body, the bacteria causing it, and the health status of the individual dog getting treatment.

  • Broad Acting Antibiotics – Clavamox is a broad-acting antibiotic often used post-surgery to prevent infections, which means other broad-acting antibiotics will probably work just as well. Some of the other antibiotics that may be an alternative are Amoxicillin, Ampicillin, Clindamycin, and Enrofloxacin, to name a few .
  • Natural Products – There are some natural products that may work well to ease the pain or other symptoms from your pet’s infection while the antibiotics a veterinarian prescribes cure the infection itself. It is important to note that infections should be taken seriously and that antibiotics are almost always the best choice to cure infections. During the examination process, discuss natural products with the veterinarian along with the antibiotic they prescribe as part of a holistic approach to curing your pet’s infection, treating their symptoms, and helping them stay healthy long-term. Some natural products that can help with infection symptoms include:

    CBD – Stress and overactivity can lead to slowed healing, as can repeated attempts to pick at a wound or infection. Research and owner reports show that CBD can often calm down anxious, agitated pets and relieve their pain as they heal.

    Manuka Honey – can be used with antibiotics to help wounds heal and prevent infection or reinfection. Manuka honey is anti-inflammatory, which means it can aid with pain and inflammation, and it provides a protective barrier that helps break down dead tissue and prevent infection, which can enhance healing. Make sure to dress any sores or wounds according to your veterinarian’s advice.

    Turmeric – Taken orally, turmeric can reduce signs of inflammation in dogs and relieve certain kinds of pain.

    These are just a few of the natural products that may help a dog requiring an antibiotic like Clavamox for infection. However, check with your vet before starting or stopping any medications, natural or otherwise. The best way to ensure your pet’s infection is treated correctly is to see a veterinarian.

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