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Colloidal Silver for Dogs: Safety, Uses, and Risks

colloidal silver blog

Used for centuries as a natural option for addressing a wide variety of ailments in humans, colloidal silver is now gaining increasing popularity with dog owners looking for holistic alternatives to many modern medicines. Proponents of colloidal silver tout it as the answer to nearly any infection or irritation. 

That said, there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence behind the effective use of colloidal silver for dogs. Is it really the cure-all that people think it is? Is it entirely safe to give to your pup? Check out this guide for all of the information you need to know about colloidal silver and its safety, use, and the risks it poses to dogs. 

What Is Colloidal Silver? 

Colloidal silver is a liquid suspension of tiny, almost microscopic particles of silver. Typically suspended in water, the silver particles are so small that they are actually considered nanoparticles and can’t be seen with the naked eye. 

Referring to it as silver may be confusing, as the substance itself isn’t silver in color at all. Colloidal silver is usually yellow or a deep golden color. 

True colloidal silver is the highest quality silver and doesn’t contain any additives. Therefore, less of the substance is stored in the body when ingested than other forms of silver. For thousands of years, people have sworn by colloidal silver as a highly effective alternative antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent. 

Despite its long history of use, it’s crucial to approach colloidal silver with a discerning eye, considering modern standards and evolving knowledge. While its benefits are extolled by many, it is important to consider scientific evidence and safety to make informed choices for our beloved canine companions. 

In the sections that follow, we will delve deeper into the applications, mechanisms, safety considerations, and potential risks associated with colloidal silver’s use in dogs.

What Is Colloidal Silver Used For? 

Silver has long been used for sterilization and its antibacterial properties. In fact, silver is still used today in products such as bandages and wound dressings, personal hygiene products, and cosmetics. Research indicates that colloidal silver may: 

This is particularly promising for those humans and pups with skin allergies because colloidal silver may soothe itching and dryness and support the regrowth of healthy skin tissue. Whether dealing with general skin irritation from environmental factors or healing a wound from the dog park, colloidal silver may support healing. 

Colloidal silver may also be used to address: 

  • Eye infections such as pink eye 
  • Respiratory issues such as pneumonia, bronchitis, and asthma 
  • Ear infections 
  • Viral infections such as canine distemper
  • Antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections 

While this sounds like a miracle cure, we urge caution. Without proper evidence, we must be careful when self-diagnosing or treating our pups — and ourselves. Let’s look at how colloidal silver could work in the body and its potential risks. 

How Does Colloidal Silver Work? 

It’s not entirely clear how or why colloidal silver reportedly works so well for various health issues. One school of thought is that the tiny silver ions present in the colloidal silver solution can easily penetrate individual molecules and destroy pathogens of all kinds. 

This can include parasites, viruses, fungi, and bacteria. However, when it works, it works quickly. Proponents of colloidal silver report that it provides fast results. 

For dogs, colloidal silver can be administered orally, topically, or misted with a nebulizer for inhalation. The great news is that it’s nearly tasteless, odorless, and doesn’t sting when applied directly to eyes, ears, or skin. 

This means colloidal silver is relatively easy to put in your pup’s water or food or even directly in their mouth. The application method depends on the nature of the issue you aim to address — inhaled mists and sprays are most appropriate for respiratory issues, while topical ointments may be best for skin issues. 

Is Colloidal Silver Safe for Dogs? 

Silver has been used as an antibacterial agent for centuries. However, just because humans have used colloidal silver in the past does not necessarily mean it is safe by modern standards, especially for our dogs. 

Pet parents should always consult their veterinarian before giving their dog or cat new products, particularly those with potential health risks. With colloidal silver, medical experts often point to a lack of credible scientific studies surrounding its safe use. Moreover, the FDA does not approve of using colloidal silver in pets. 

Silver is considered a “transition metal,” meaning it is somewhere between toxic heavy metals like lead and mercury and essential nutritional minerals like iron and zinc. This doesn’t necessarily mean that colloidal silver isn’t toxic — potential risks of overexposure to silver, which we will cover in greater detail below, include damage to major organs and nervous system, eye and skin irritation, and even cancer. 

With colloidal silver, there is a risk that the good bacteria in your dog’s gut will be eliminated in addition to the bad bacteria. This can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues. 

Given these potential safety concerns, it’s important to highlight that topical use of colloidal silver is notably safer for your pup than oral use. If you decide to orally administer colloidal silver to your dog, give your pet a prebiotic and probiotic to keep their gut health in check. 

What Are the Potential Risks of Colloidal Silver?

Colloidal silver is widely thought of as a possible natural alternative to antibiotic medication for fighting all kinds of infections. As you may know, antibiotics don’t just kill bad bacteria. They also kill good bacteria, which both humans and pets need to keep their microbiome in healthy working order. 

Destroying good bacteria harms more than just your pup’s digestive health, however — it also harms their immune system, hindering their ability to resist diseases of all kinds. This negative implication of colloidal silver is most common in long-term oral use, which can impact the overall homeostasis of the intestinal tract. 

Another significant concern with using colloidal silver for your dog is the potential for organ damage. As a transition metal, silver will eventually accumulate in the liver, kidneys, brain, and other major organs and tissues. 

Other side effects include: 

  • Muscle weakness 
  • General malaise, lethargy, and sluggishness 
  • Weight loss 
  • Kidney issues 
  • Altered liver enzymes and other liver issues 
  • Neurological damage exhibited in tremors and or seizures 

It’s important to keep your pup hydrated while administering colloidal silver, as your dog’s elimination organs will become overloaded, attempting to flush out silver toxins. There is also a chance that colloidal silver may interact with certain prescriptions, leading to poor absorption of some antibiotics and thyroid medications. 

Although rare, prolonged or excessive exposure to colloidal silver can result in a permanent skin condition called argyria. When silver builds up in your dog’s body, their skin can turn a blue-grey color.

The risk of developing argyria is relatively low as long as pet owners use high-quality, true colloidal silver. If you choose to give your pup colloidal silver topically or orally, never use it for more than two weeks. Additionally, colloidal silver should not be given to puppies.

How Can CBD Support Overall Wellness Without the Risks? 

Not all-natural pet products and supplements are harmless. As you can see, giving your dog colloidal silver, while full of promise to address a wide range of concerns, has some serious risks that can significantly impact the long-term health of your pup. 

ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA is proven safe in a long-term safety study. We also have the only CBD + CBDA product proven to work in a clinical trial, and a breakthrough study has shown the safety of these products in regard to interactions with other products.. 

Our chews, soft gels, and oils can help your furry friend with a range of concerns, including joint discomfort, skin issues, and both stress and neuro support. At ElleVet, we put safety, quality, and science first so pet parents and veterinarians can be confident in our product. 

For any questions about ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products or how CBD can help your canine friend live their best life, give us a call (844-673-7287) or send us an email ([email protected]). We are here to help.  


Release Strategies of Silver Ions from Materials for Bacterial Killing | ACSPublications

Antifungal Effects of Silver Nanoparticles (AgNPs) against Various Plant Pathogenic Fungi – NIH 

The effectiveness of topical colloidal silver in recalcitrant chronic rhinosinusitis: a randomized crossover control trial | NIH

Canine distemper | American Veterinary Medical Association