Is Vaseline Safe for Dogs? (Paws, Nose, Ears or Eyes)

Is Vaseline Safe for Dogs? Photo of a dog with vaseline by its side.

When we have dry skin or a wound that is healing, most of us will slather on some vaseline to help. Can your dog use it too? Is Vaseline safe for dogs? Let’s take a look and see!

While vaseline doesn’t have toxic ingredients for your dog, vaseline isn’t safe for your dog, either. If your dog eats it (which happens when it inevitably lick the vaseline off), they can quickly eat enough of it to cause vomiting and other symptoms of stomach upset.

You’ll want to know if or when you can use it and what to use instead, as discussed below!

Can I use vaseline on my dog?

As discussed above, no. Vaseline is a petroleum jelly made from waxes and oils that will be rich in your dog’s stomach and cause some serious digestive problems in a hurry.

If you have a way to keep vaseline on the outside of the dog, it’s essentially harmless. There are no toxic ingredients to the vaseline itself.

But dogs will almost always lick it off of their paws/nose/wherever else you use it, making it tricky to use effectively!

How toxic is vaseline for dogs?

You can breathe easier knowing that vaseline isn’t toxic to dogs. It is refined and processed thoroughly between being a petroleum product and the final salve that you have sitting in your medicine cabinet!

Most experts say that vaseline is unsafe for dogs but not toxic. Even in situations where your dog gets sick from it, it’s a short-term complication, and dogs will make a full recovery.

Is vaseline good for a dog’s dry skin?

Many dogs will have dry patches that are just begging for you to layer on the vaseline, right?

However tempted you might be, you’ll need to resist it! Not only is it not recommended, as mentioned, but there’s also no proof at all that it works on your dog’s skin.

It creates a barrier to lock moisture in, but it also prevents the skin from breathing. If anything, it irritates the problem more than it helps!

The other main concern is that the dry skin may be more than just a random patch of chafed skin. There could be an underlying condition such as allergies, injury, or even a bump or growth that needs further help.

If you notice a patch of skin that is unusually dry, you’ll want to book an appointment with your vet to make sure that everything is okay.

The use of Vaseline on dogs

Despite not being recommended for use with dogs, there are a lot of common questions surrounding vaseline use. These include: Is vaseline safe for a dog’s paws, nose, ears, eyes or wounds?

Can you guess the answers to all of these questions? Of course you can! A dog’s eyes are the worst place to consider for vaseline, which should go without saying! This sensitive area wouldn’t handle any kind of petroleum jelly product, even if recommended for dogs!

The bottom line: don’t use vaseline on your dog! This leads us to figuring out what we should use instead!

What to use on my dog instead of vaseline?

To match the FAQ above, we’ve put together a list of suggestions to help you care for all of their in-need parts! Take a look:

What can I use with my dog’s paws?

There are many different kinds of paw balms out there that you can roll or massage into their pads’ rough skin, which will help keep them smooth and fresh.

You can also use it on their paws themselves if they need a little TLC from a worn section, but just make sure you understand what’s causing the problem!

What can I use with my dog’s nose?

Many balms, as introduced above, will say “paw and nose balm.” In this case, you can use it on their nose or their snout/face and know that it is perfectly safe.

You will want to double-check that it does state “nose” on it, of course, since sometimes you can just get paw balms and nose balms separately.

A dog’s nose is amongst its most sensitive parts, so be careful to only use safe products on it.

What can I use with my dog’s ears?

Most will want to use a product on their ears to help with chafing or dry skin (particularly if they have stand-up ears).

However, you’ll want to only use medicated products or balms for this that have been approved for use by your vet.

The ears do need specialized care with wipes and creams. You can buy eye and ear wipes if you want to use at-home, non-medicated products!

What can I use with my dog’s eyes?

Simply, eye drops. Your vet will be able to recommend ones that will help keep the eye and its immediate area as comfortable as possible while a wound or injury recovers.

However, you can also use specially formulated wipes for the delicate eye area, such as tear stains or dry, irritated skin. Just make sure they are commended for eye use!

What can I use with my dog’s wound?

If your dog has a wound that’s healing, you’ll need to consider the wound itself. Is it healing on its own, or is something else going on? Has it been checked over?

If both of those things are approved and your vet has seen your dog, you can use a healing balm similar to the paw and nose one.

Your vet can recommend one with antibiotics in it, too, to help keep the area safe as it heals and scabs over, which will speed up the healing process.

Some important tips on dog skincare

So, now that you’ve learned all about dog skin care, there are a few last-minute pointers to help you always prioritize your dog’s health and safety — which is what this is all about.

Firstly, ask your vet before trying any kind of pet-safe product. There’s a lot to be said for online shops and reviews and in-depth articles, but your dog’s regular vet is still going to be the chief professional opinion on what is safe and not safe for your dog.

If you buy a product for your dog, bring it in to show your vet before you use it on your dog. Allergic reactions can be severe very quickly in dogs, so having your vet give it a professional look and even a trial right there in the office is a good idea.

Secondly, you’ll always want to do a test before you simply use it on sensitive, healing skin! This is what humans call a “patch test.”

Pick an area of skin on your dog and use a tiny amount of the product on that area. See how the skin reacts over a few hours or days. If the skin is okay, you can use it on those sensitive areas. If your dog reacts to it, it’s best to know that on healthy skin rather than unhealthy, healing skin!

In closing

Vaseline isn’t harmful to your dog’s skin, but it isn’t recommended either. When ingested, it can cause short-term stomach upset and digestive concerns.

Luckily there are plenty of dog-safe products that you can use for all of their skin concerns and needs that will do the trick much better with no risk!

Treating your dog’s skin right is all about understanding what’s safe and unsafe. As discussed, vaseline is not as safe as we think, so understanding its potential risks and what to use instead will be a crucial piece of information!

Why not pass it onto someone else who might not be aware of this seemingly innocent product’s risks?

Photo of author
Andre Neves

Hi, I'm Andre and I'm the owner of Sula the Border Collie. I love writing about this amazing dog breed here. I joined the Council to be able to reach and educate more people on the joy of having a pet dog.