Last Updated on
Vaseline is a legendary petroleum-based protectant that is said to improve scaly skin as well as dry or cracked paws among other uses for dogs.
How great are the benefits?
The effectiveness is actually debatable. What’s certain is that many people (pet parents included) swear by Vaseline!
In any case, you’ll be happy to hear that it is rarely harmful. Only if your dog somehow managed to eat a bunch would it be concerning.
Vaseline Can Be Used On Dogs
Though there is another product that we think is superior (which we’ll name in a bit).
When applying Vaseline it’s important to prevent licking, especially excessive licking. While petroleum jelly does not have a high potential for toxicity, ingesting a lot of it could result in your dog having an upset tummy and/or diarrhea.
Licking may or may not be a factor — it depends if the area being treated is easily reached by your dog’s curious mouth!
Our Recommendation: An all-around better alternative is natural and organic ResQ skin treatment.
Petroleum Isn’t Poisonous
Over 140 years later and Vaseline remains a well-known brand, yet it is not without controversy.
There is a surprising fact you should know about before using it on your dog:
Just like mineral oil, it is a derivative of oil refining.
Sounds scary right?
Thankfully it’s not a problem even though skin will absorb some petroleum jelly. Apparently it’s not hazardous because carcinogenic elements have been removed.
Caution: Vaseline is not intended for internal use. Never put it in your dog’s ears or nose. Paws are fine.
Go Easy With The Vaseline
While petroleum jelly is relatively safe, a downside is that it can have an opposite intended effect. Acne is a good example of this (although Fido probably isn’t self-conscious about pimples).
In all seriousness, Vaseline can sometimes be counter-productive for your dog’s skin problems.
Some say it blocks pores — sealing in existing moisture only which, in turn, can ultimately dry out the affected area.
Petroleum jelly, particularly when used in excess, can prevent healing since the skin may not be able to properly breathe. It is, after all, only intended to be a protectant.
How About Other Ointments?
Vaseline is similar to Neosporin in that dogs should not be consuming it. Nevertheless, they can both be applied without incident.
Without knowing the reason(s) why you are considering Vaseline, we really can’t point you to the optimal treatment.
For all we know your dog could simply have scaly skin, allergies, Demodectic Mange (AKA Demodicosis) or any number of dermatological conditions.
Have your vet do a check-up. Only then can the best treatment be prescribed.
Vaseline, much like Calamine lotion, can only do so much. In fact, as we alluded to earlier, PJ may only protect vulnerable patches of skin.
Dog Shampoo to The Rescue
It is often the case that a specially formulated shampoo, not Vaseline, really helps to alleviate dermis issues in dogs.
Human shampoo, on the other hand, won’t be beneficial and could actually worsen the situation.
The Bottom Line
Petroleum jelly can be used on dogs. It’s not poisonous as long as you prevent licking of Vaseline.
But harm is possible if enough of the product gets in your dog’s mouth and is ingested. Diarrhea is known to occur in such cases.
Take basic precautions and Vaseline is an option for cracked paws and other mildly dry areas of the skin.