Clavamox is a commonly prescribed antibiotic for a variety of bacterial infections. If your dog has recently been prescribed Clavamox then you might be wanting to know a bit more about it, whether it has any side effects, and why it has been prescribed for your pet. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Clavamox is a broad-spectrum antibiotic commonly prescribed for dogs to treat various bacterial infections.
  • Clavamox is used to treat infections of the skin, respiratory system, ears, dental issues, and urinary tract infections.
  • The dosage of Clavamox depends on the dog's body weight, and it should always be prescribed and dosed by a veterinarian.

What is Clavamox for Dogs?

Clavamox is a brand name for amoxicillin-clavulanate, otherwise known as amoxiclav. It usually comes in tablet form, and there is a liquid formulation licensed for use in puppies.

Clavamox is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, and it’s particularly favored by veterinarians for its ability to treat a wide variety of infections. It contains Amoxicillin (a type of penicillin) as well as Clavulanic Acid, and it’s this combination that increases the range of bacteria it is effective against. 

How is Clavamox Used in Dogs?

Clavamox treats infections caused by Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and E. coli. A vet might prescribe Clavamox to treat infections of the skin such as those secondary to allergies, respiratory infections, dental infections, ear infections, or urinary tract infections. Clavamox is not effective against fungi or viruses.

Your veterinarian will always need to examine your dog before prescribing Clavamox to determine what type of infection your dog has, what type of bacteria might be involved, and to ensure they choose the right drug for the bug. The wrong antibiotic can mean that the infection won’t clear up or that it could promote resistance to that antibiotic.

Sometimes your veterinarian will want to do some further testing such as taking swabs or samples to culture in a lab before prescribing Clavamox.

What is the Dose of Clavamox for Dogs?

The Clavamox dosage for dogs depends on their body weight, so the vet will need to weigh your dog to calculate the dose. This is to ensure that the right concentration builds up in your dog’s blood in order to tackle the infection. Too low a dose could mean the infection is not treated properly, leaving bacteria behind at the end of the course and promoting resistance to Clavamox. Too high a dose could cause side effects for your pet. 

It’s important never to give Clavamox without first discussing the dose with your vet. You shouldn’t give your dog old antibiotics from previous prescriptions as they may be out of date and therefore less effective. You should always follow the veterinarian’s instructions. It's especially important that you complete the full course.

Too short a course can mean the infection can come back as some bacteria are left behind. It’s common to see significant improvement in your pet’s condition within 2-3 days of starting Clavamox, but it can take a lot longer than this to fully clear the infection. 

How is Clavamox Administered in Dogs?

Clavamox is a tablet that is administered orally. If your dog will not take the pills by themself, try hiding the tablets in a small amount of food to entice them to take them. Your veterinarian can help guide you on how to administer the tablets. 

Liquid Clavamox is also available and is licensed for use in puppies, who are much harder to give tablets to. This liquid is easy to give using a syringe or pipette either into a little food or milk or straight into your puppy's mouth.

Finally, Clavamox is available in an injectable form, which your vet might give as a starting dose before sending your dog home with a course of oral tablets. The injection is short-acting, so it should always be followed up by completing the full course of tablets at home.

Related reading: How Often Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

Side Effects of Clavamox for Dogs

Clavamox is generally safe, but it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and rare allergies in dogs. Additionally, avoid using it during pregnancy and lactation.

Here's a breakdown of each side effect to be aware of before administering it to your dog:

Vomiting and Diarrhea

Clavamox may occasionally disrupt your dog's gut bacteria, leading to vomiting and diarrhea. If these issues worsen, consult your vet and consider discontinuing the medication.

Allergic Reactions

Though uncommon, some dogs might develop allergic reactions to Clavamox, resulting in skin rashes, facial swelling, or breathing difficulties. If you observe these signs, seek prompt veterinary attention.

Penicillin Allergy Risk

If you're allergic to penicillin, be cautious while handling Clavamox. Inform your vet about any allergies before giving the medication.

Pregnancy and Lactation

The safety of Clavamox during pregnancy and lactation is uncertain due to limited studies. Always consult your vet before administering any medication to pregnant or lactating dogs.


Clavamox is a widely prescribed antibiotic for dogs that is used to treat common infections such as skin infections, respiratory infections, as well as urinary tract, ear, and dental infections. You must always follow your veterinary doctor’s instructions for dosage, frequency, and length of treatment to ensure that your pet recovers well.

Like all drugs, it can have side effects, but it is generally a very safe medicine with mild and rare side effects. It’s also a very cheap antibiotic and is readily available. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Clavamox safe for my dog?

Clavamox is a safe drug and is very widely and commonly used. It has a low risk of mild side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea. Like all medicines, there is always a very small risk of severe allergic reactions. 

Can Clavamox be used to treat fungal or viral infections in dogs?

No, Clavamox is not effective against fungal or viral infections. It's a broad-spectrum antibiotic designed to treat bacterial infections such as those caused by Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and E. coli.

Is it safe for my dog to consume Clavamox if they are pregnant or lactating?

The safety of Clavamox in pregnant or lactating dogs is unclear. It's recommended to seek advice from your veterinarian before administering any medication in such situations.

Can I give my dog a dose of Clavamox based on previous prescriptions?

No, you should never give your dog Clavamox without discussing the dose with your vet. An incorrect dose could be ineffective or harmful. Always consult your veterinarian for current prescriptions.