Read This Before Putting Calamine Lotion on Your Dog!

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Dogs often get skin-related allergies (especially when they spend lots of time outside).

You want to know if Calamine lotion is safe.

Can I Give My Dog Calamine Lotion?Here’s the deal:

The main active ingredient is zinc oxide and, for that reason, we don’t recommend Calamine lotion for dogs.

While not toxic for the skin, licking at it may cause an upset stomach or worse. Keep reading to learn more…

For Dogs, Seek Alternatives To Calamine Lotion

The concern is similar to the application of Neosporin.

Both are applied topically, with the main issue (when it comes to your dog) being potentially harmful ingestion.

Canine consumption of Calamine must be avoided. Though it is effective for soothing skin, zinc oxide can easily cause a pet dog to experience nausea and vomiting.

It’s Problematic For Pets

So we’ve established what the main issue is:

The primary active ingredient in Calamine lotion (AKA Caladryl). Too much of this metallic element can certainly harm a hound.

Anything with high levels of zinc is too risky.

Play it safe. It should not be tasted or swallowed.

Quite honestly it is best to simply avoid using Calamine lotion on your dog.

The Potential Side Effects

Upset stomach is not the only problem your dog could be dealing with after consuming some Calamine.

Here’s what else is possible:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Gum discoloration
  • Lethargy

Luckily, most dogs are unlikely to ingest amounts that can trigger serious symptoms.


Liver and kidney damage, anemia, heart problems and seizures are also real concerns.

Zinc’s Terrible Toxicity

It cannot be stressed enough: Too much zinc may have toxic effects on a pet pooch.

Swallowing a penny, for example, can be extremely harmful.

Be sure to monitor your dog if you have seen them licking at Calamine lotion.

A vet’s assistance is needed ASAP if they take a turn for the worse.

Alternatives To Calamine

A veterinarian may recommend a steroid or antibiotic for a wide variety of common canine skin problems.


Some natural remedies are equally effective (compared to Calamine lotion).

Lemon has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce your dog’s itching. It is easy to apply and doesn’t make a mess.

Basil and mint may alleviate skin discomfort by acting as a anesthetic.

For an over the counter pharmaceutical with a proven track record, Benadryl is an option.

Bathing And Homeade Pastes

Try bathing your dog in oatmeal or baking soda — mix these in with warm bath water.

Focus on areas most affected.

For best results, apply as a paste throughout the day. Homemade pastes are better than Calamine.

Use safe, and equally effective, remedies for your dog. If a pet can possibly lick at Calamine lotion then don’t use it!

The Bottom Line

Calamine lotion reduces itchiness, but it isn’t safe enough for dogs.

The zinc, if licked, won’t sit well with their stomach.

There are harmful effects from Calamine lotion consumption.

Get your dog properly diagnosed if they have recurring rashes, hives or other skin problems.

What Do You Think? Have Your Say Below…

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12 thoughts on “Read This Before Putting Calamine Lotion on Your Dog!”

  1. Since I switched my dogs to a raw diet with veggies (and they get no kibble whatsoever), all skin issues have disappeared. It’s expensive, but not nearly so much as vet bills and all the stuff they prescribe!

  2. Can you give me ingredients for an anti-itching relief recipe? I also need it to help with her red sores that have scabbed over.

  3. My Cocker Spaniels suffer from allergies. They get covered in black scabs and scratch at themselves all of the time, especially in the warmer months and suffered from hair loss. I changed their food to Orijen which is an expensive food that is more balanced and healthy for my babies. My vet also told me to cover their feet and bodies when they go out.

    At first I got expensive dog booties with rubber bottoms and velcro. They were great, but after 6 months I needed a replacement. I found a natural rubber cover for their feet called PAWS. You get 12 booties in a package and they cost half as much as just one pair (4 booties) of the first kind I got. They look like balloons with a wide opening.

    My vets were amazed at how much my dogs liked them! It’s especially nice because they also keep their feet and a little bit of their fur clean. My dogs are light colored. I cover my dogs with t-shirts when they go out (as recommended by my vet) and I put coats on them in the colder months.

    I also have to wash them once a week in warmer months and every other week in the colder months. It’s a shampoo my vet prescribed and told me to wash them at that frequency. All of this has worked wonders for my babies. Their hair grew back and they don’t scratch or have scabs on their bodies any more!

  4. I have a 9 year old black German Shepard. Recently he’s been constantly biting and scratching on the inside of his thighs. I looked and found raw skin and dark scab-like things around the bottom of the hair shafts. He seems to be losing some hair as well.

  5. My 7-year-old miniature pincher scratches her rear end on the sofa’s arm and back. Obviously, her butt itches. I use baby wipes once daily to clean her anus much as you do with an infant. That has helped some, but she continues to scratch herself. I’ve covered the area with washable blankets because she leaves feces stain each time she scratches.

    I have used a triple antibiotic ointment and a diaper rash ointment around her anus for relief, but neither works. What can I give my dog to relieve the itching and change the behavior? This started about 6 months ago.

    1. Anal glands may need to be expressed if a dog is scooting its rear on furniture or the floor. Small dogs have more issues with this than larger breeds. You can look up how to do this yourself or you can have it done by a groomer. If expressing them externally doesn’t help, you may need to see a vet so they can do it internally. I’ve done it on my Chihuahua and it helped him a lot.

    2. This sounds like an anal sac issue. They can become inflamed. It would need vet treatment.

  6. Catherine says:

    What can I give my 15 month old dog that has seasonal itching issues? Only in the warmer months, she has been fine all winter. She had the same problem last year.

    1. My dog has the same issue. She’s about 4 years old and has like 5 breeds in her so allergies are my life. I’ve honestly found that a low gluten and grain free diet with pumpkin is amazing. Also, the shampoo and conditioner called Zymox is great as it helps keep itching down.

      Another thing is to kept dust and scented soaps away. I’ve gone through so many allergy medicines including Amitriptyline and all it does is knock her out like a zombie. Chlor-tabs are the best bet. Hope this helps!

  7. I have a Lab/Pyrenees with very dry skin and itchy all the time. She digs on her tail bad. I have been to the vet and he wants to do tests that will cost a fortune. He gave me a script of some kind of anti-anxiety pill (called Amitriptyline) and I don’t really like giving it to her. It helped some in the beginning but now nothing. He doesn’t want me to feed her anything but Purina One and it still doesn’t seem to be helping.

    I’d like to find homemade recipes for her would that help. She weighs 91 pounds. She does run around with her sister in the yard. I have tried to find out if there is anything there that could be eliminated to no avail. I’m on a limited budget and can’t afford all the tests he wants to do.

    1. 1 tablespoon a day, on your dog’s food, of extra virgin olive oil. You can give them more if it doesn’t cause loose stool. It works great for itchy skin and a beautiful coat. It will also promote fur growth. Works great!

    2. Vets love to relieve you of your money. I had all those tests done and desensitizing jabs. Nothing worked. Apoquel does though.

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