Can I Put Vaseline on My Dog?
Dogs can suffer from dry, irritated skin as much as people can. Just because your dog’s skin is covered by a layer of fur doesn’t mean it is impenetrable. When your skin starts to feel dry, you use some moisturizer – maybe even a thin layer of Vaseline to seal in that moisture.
But what can you do when your dog’s skin is dry, cracked, or irritated? Can you use Vaseline on a dog? Keep reading to find out.
Is Vaseline Safe for Pets?
When answering a question regarding the safety of something for pets, you’re usually asking whether it is safe for consumption. There is no world in which you would purposefully feed your dog Vaseline, but dogs can be strange at times and there’s always a risk of consumption. Obviously, you don’t want your dog to eat a jar of Vaseline, but it makes sense to wonder if it will do him any harm if he licks it off his paws or skin. Generally speaking, a little bit won’t do any harm.
If you’re going to use Vaseline on your dog, know that it should only be applied externally to the skin. You can use a small amount of Vaseline to soothe dry, cracked paws or other areas of dry skin. Keep in mind that there is no evidence to show that Vaseline actually heals the skin, but it can restore moisture and act as a barrier against other harmful substances. Just make sure you only use a little bit and you massage it into your dog’s skin so it’s not just sitting on the surface.
What Are Some Alternatives to Vaseline?
Vaseline is not considered toxic for pets, but that doesn’t mean it is 100% safe. There is a certain degree of controversy surrounding the use of petroleum jelly on pets because it is a derivative of oil refining. The good news is that the carcinogenic elements have been removed and a small amount shouldn’t do your dog any harm. If he ingests a lot of it, however, it could lead to diarrhea and upset stomach.
Because there are some risks involved in using Vaseline on your dog, you may want to consider whether there are any safer alternatives.
If your dog suffers from dry, itchy skin you may be better off using a moisturizing or medicated shampoo than applying any topical ointment. Dog shampoos and conditioners can restore moisture to your dog’s skin without leaving behind a residue that he might consume. If your dog’s skin problems are severe, talk to your vet about a medicated ointment or try a natural alternative like coconut oil or aloe vera. Just make sure to do your research first, so you’re sure it’s safe.
Whether a product is specifically designed for dogs or not, you still need to be careful about using it on your dog’s skin. Always read the label carefully to ensure that you’re using the product correctly and contact your veterinarian if your dog has a reaction.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor's degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.
More by Kate Barrington