Some dog parents use Vaseline as a protective barrier for their pup’s paws during the winter. But what if the dog licks the Vaseline, and is this common household item toxic for dogs?
Even if you don’t use Vaseline as a paw balm for your furbaby, your pet can still get hold of a tub of Vaseline or a lip balm at some point. The most common questions are – is it toxic for dogs, and what should you do if your pup ate Vaseline?
Read on for a detailed guide regarding the potential dangers of your dog ingesting Vaseline and what to do if this happens. We have also included a guide for Vaseline’s safe and healthy uses for canines.
My Dog Ate Vaseline – Is it Toxic to Canines?
Vaseline, which is petroleum jelly, is luckily not highly toxic to dogs. So you shouldn’t worry too much if your pup has licked some or ingested a small amount of it.
Petroleum jelly is made of a mixture of natural wax and some mineral oils and is a staple found in most households due to its efficiency as a balm for cracked lips and hands and moisturizing dry skin. It is also an excellent barrier protecting the skin from microbes and bacteria.
Unless it has some potentially toxic ingredients added, lip balm or Vaseline is not dangerous for dogs, especially in small quantities.
In fact, some Vaseline can be used on dogs safely and can help soothe and protect their paws in cold and snowy weather. Petroleum jelly can also help for healing dry skin and dry scabs. It can also be used upon your vet’s instructions for treating other issues in canines.
But if you are worried that your furry friend has eaten a lot of it or if it has worrying adverse effects, you should contact your veterinarian for advice.
Why Are Some Dogs Tempted to Lick or Eat Petroleum Jelly?
Dogs have a much more heightened sense of smell than humans. They can be attracted to particular lip and other balms based on petroleum jelly, especially those with added flavors.
Plus, your furbaby may lick you after you have applied Vaseline on your lips or body simply out of love and affection.
Puppies are curious and can find a tub or pot of Vaseline intriguing and fun to chew on too.
Overall, chances are that canines usually lick or eat Vaseline by accident rather than because they find it very palatable.
Suppose your four-legged companion regularly eats petroleum jelly or other non-edible items. In that case, you should talk to your vet because the reason may be pica or another medical or behavioral issue.
Can My Dog Die From Eating Vaseline?
It is improbable that the ingestion of Vaseline can lead to death in dogs.
In fact, in many cases, your pup may not be affected by the Vaseline at all.
Canines cannot digest petroleum jelly, so it will pass undigested through their gastrointestinal tract and leave the body unchanged. Since it is soft, Vaseline cannot cause blockage or obstruction in pups either.
The most common effects caused by the consumption of Vaseline by dogs include a mild GI upset, diarrhea, or vomiting.
In extreme cases, when a dog eats a large amount of Vaseline, this can lead to dehydration which needs to be addressed on time.
There is a danger of more serious adverse effects and harm to the dog’s health if it eats a balm that includes aloe vera, cocoa butter, or other potentially dangerous ingredients for canines. In such cases, you should call your vet immediately for advice.
The Steps to Take If Your Pup Eats Vaseline
If your pup eats a tiny amount of pure petroleum jelly, you shouldn’t be worried about serious side effects or health issues. But if your pet has gulped up a large amount of it, or has ingested a balm that contains potentially toxic ingredients, then you should follow these steps:
Take Away Any Leftover Vaseline
If you have caught your furbaby in the act of licking and eating Vaseline, then take away the jar or tub immediately to prevent it from eating even more.
Place the leftover petroleum jelly safely out of reach by your dog, and clean the mess, so that your pet cannot lick and swallow more of it.
Do Not Attempt to Induce Vomiting
Usually, when a dog eats some Vaseline encouraging it to throw up is not really necessary.
Inducing vomiting by yourself can actually make your furry friend even sicker and can cause more harm than help the animal.
You should leave this procedure to the veterinarians instead.
Inducing vomiting in dogs at home can be dangerous and can even lead to aspiration pneumonia from breathing in some of the vomit. This can be a life-threatening condition.
So, unless your veterinarian has given you specific and exact instructions for inducing vomiting, do not attempt to do it by yourself at home!
Watch Your Dog for Changes in the Behavior and Adverse Effects
Monitor your four-legged friend closely for any persistent side effects from eating large quantities of Vaseline, which usually include vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upsets.
Also, take note if your dog displays unusual behavior such as lethargy after the incident.
Call the Vet
If the gastrointestinal symptoms are severe and do not seem to resolve themselves soon, or if the dog is refusing food and is lethargic, you should call your veterinarian.
Be ready to give the vet detailed information regarding the age and weight of your pup, as well as the type of Vaseline and the approximate quantities it has ingested.
Check the ingredient list on the balm or other product’s container for additives like aloe vera or cocoa, which can be toxic for dogs.
Also, ensure that your pet has not eaten the container or part of it. This can lead to an obstruction which often requires immediate treatment and emergency surgery.
Can I Safely Apply Vaseline on My Dog’s Skin?
While Vaseline can be used as a protective barrier for the pup’s paws, especially on very hot or very cold and snowy days, it is still recommended to opt for pet-specific paw balms instead.
Petroleum jelly is an industrial rather than a natural product, and as such, it is not suitable for ingestion by humans or dogs.
If you are planning on applying the Vaseline on a dry spot or a wound on your dog’s skin, you can be pretty sure that it will lick it if it can reach it. So, once again, use a safe and dog-specific product instead.
The high-quality paw balms and products have passed through vigorous safety testing.
Also, avoid using any other human cosmetic products on your furbaby. Even the best human shampoos, conditioners, creams, and balms can harm canines. The reason is that they can contain ingredients that are safe for us but toxic for dogs. Plus, human and dog skin differ in pH, so your cosmetics can actually damage your pet’s skin.
If your furry companion has a skin problem or a wound, the right thing to do is to talk to your veterinarian. At the clinic, the cause of the dry skin will be determined and treated professionally and safely.
Here are some answers to the most common questions from dog parents concerning Vaseline and pups. Please note that you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if you are worried about your pet eating a Vaseline-based product.
Can Vaseline Help Dogs With Constipation?
Even though Vaseline is made of natural waxes and mineral oils and will pass through the pup’s GI tract undigested, giving it to your dog purposefully to treat constipation is not recommended.
Your veterinarian will prescribe safer and more efficient options, such as liquid paraffin as a natural and dog-friendly laxative instead. Some other remedies to resolve constipation in canines include switching to softer wet food, pumpkin puree, or giving the pup dietary fiber supplements.
Your vet can give it other stool softeners or administer an enema if needed.
Is Vaseline Efficient And Safe For Helping A Dog Pass A Non-Edible Object?
Never give your pet Vaseline in an attempt to help it pass an item it has ingested. This should be performed by a veterinarian who will use liquid paraffin or another lubricant to attempt to resolve a blockage caused by a non-digestible object.
But again, do not give your pup liquid paraffin unless you have been given exact instructions and approval by your veterinarian.
Using a method like this is not suitable for all cases and for all dogs. In fact, it can be dangerous and make the pup’s condition even worse. Sometimes, the object inside can damage and injure the digestive tract.
So, suppose you fear that your pet has suffered an obstruction. In that case, you should take it to the veterinary clinic immediately, where the needed examinations and tests such as x-rays will be performed to determine the best treatment. Emergency surgery is often needed to remove the object causing the blockage.
Is It Safe to Use Vaseline to Protect the Paws of My Dog?
Vaseline is very efficient for treating cracked and dried paws and protecting them during cold, snowy, or hot days. It acts as a barrier that protects the paws from the elements.
But if your pup has a persistent problem with cracked or dry paws, you should speak to your vet so that the cause is found and treated.
Also, it is always better to use pet-specific balms and products for your dog rather than human ones.
My Pup Licked Me After I Applied Some Vaseline – What Should I Do?
In the majority of cases, licking some Vaseline or a Vaseline-based product will not cause any harm to your pup. But remember that some cosmetics and topical medications can be harmful and even toxic for canines, so be careful what you apply to your skin if your furbaby tends to lick you.
If you are worried about potential poisoning, call the pet poison helpline or your veterinarian immediately!
Dogs often end up eating things that they shouldn’t eat. This can be dangerous in some cases, but thankfully Vaseline is not toxic to pups, especially when ingested in small quantities.
But if your furry companion has swallowed an alarming amount of Vaseline, or a balm that contains potentially toxic ingredients such as aloe vera or cocoa butter, then you can expect some mild to severe side effects in pups.
Excessive vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration, which requires immediate attention and treatment by a veterinarian.
The best thing to do as a dog parent is to keep any foods, products, and items that may interest your dog but can be harmful or downright dangerous for it out of reach and safely away.
If you are worried about your pup eating too much or the wrong kind of petroleum-based product, you should call your veterinarian for peace of mind.