Like kids, dogs are known to acquire skin rashes, as well as small cuts and scrapes. And though it may seem logical to reach for a tub of Vaseline to treat your pup’s minor irritations or injuries, there are better options for treatment.
Is Vaseline Toxic For Dogs?
While Vaseline is technically non-toxic for dogs, most pups will be tempted to lick it off their skin. This could lead to upset tummies, diarrhea, and the concerning realization that your dog is consuming a great deal of petroleum jelly, which is a derivative of oil refining.
Vaseline is touted as a super-moisturizing solution to dry skin and rashes. But while the application of Vaseline may feel soothing, there’s no evidence that the jelly actually heals skin in any way. In fact, it may be drying out your dog’s pores by sealing them off from the air. Furthermore, Vaseline is highly refined and “triple purified” in order to remove harmful carcinogenic components, but other petroleum-jelly based knock-offs don’t adhere to the same standards.
So Should I Put Vaseline On My Dog Or What?
The takeaway? It’s probably best not to put Vaseline or any other petroleum-based product on your dog.
When your dog is itchy, flaky, red, or bumpy, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian first. There could be a more serious underlying issue happening, such as food allergies or a parasite infection. When treating a simple common rash or other skin injury though, there are safer at-home remedies to try than Vaseline. Given that oil-based salve is intended for human use only, stick to all-natural topical ointments made specifically for dogs.
What CAN I Put On My Dog?
Options for safe, non-toxic treatments for itchy or (mildly) scraped-up dogs are increasingly in abundance. To start with, an all-natural dog shampoo specifically designed to treat skin conditions may be the better place to start, instead of salve. Not only is shampoo washed off instead of likely licked off by your dog, it may have a longer lasting soothing effect for itchy skin. Other options include organic dog lotions and sprays, made with ingredients such as grape seed and avocado oil, honey, and/or oats.
If approved by your vet, you can also consider experimenting with simple make-it-yourself remedies. For instance, dogs can potentially be treated with at-home oatmeal baths made with colloidal oatmeal. Store-bought topical ointments can be replaced with coconut oil (also edible!), aloe vera (preferably harvested straight from the plant!), or a 50/50 baking soda and water mixture. Some people also swear by a 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water mixture as a solution to itchy skin. Simply funnel the mixture into a spray bottle, and apply as needed. All of these simple ingredients may alleviate dogs’ itchy skin, as well as reduce inflammation and redness.
The best part of avoiding petroleum-based products? There’s no health and safety risk if your best friend consumes, say, a few licks of oatmeal or a bit of non-toxic and organic itchy skin dog spray. Thus, while Vaseline is technically non-toxic, it’s likely wise to stick to something far safer (and vet approved) for Fido.
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Featured image via Letteda/Flickr Creative Commons