Can I put Vaseline on my dogs paws? At the first sign of seasonal weather shifts, I start to think about how I can protect my dog’s paws. Too hot? What can you do? Too cold? The same question applies. If you’re anything like me, Vaseline has been in your medicine cabinet since you were a child. It can help with all numbers of issues! But, is it safe to use on your dog’s paws? In this guide, I’ll take a closer look at what Vaseline is, and when you can and should use it on your dog’s feet.
- What is vaseline?
- Can I put vaseline on my dog’s paws?
- Is vaseline safe for dogs?
- What to rub on dog paws
- What to put on dry paw pads
- How do you lubricate dog paws?
- What to never put on dog paws
- Can you make your own dog paw balm?
What is Vaseline?
Vaseline is a brand of petroleum jelly that has been around since the late 1800s! People like me most often use it for dry skin, particularly areas like the hands and lips. The standard recipe is plain, making it great for sensitive skin. But, you can find versions with different scents and perfumes.
Can I Put Vaseline On My Dogs Paws?
If you have already applied Vaseline to your dog’s paws and you are now worrying, do not fear. Vaseline is generally considered safe for use on dog paws. In fact, many veterinarians continue to recommend Vaseline as an alternative to the newer wave of dog paw balms on the pet market today. Not only is it easier to find, but it can also be more affordable.
Is Vaseline Safe for Dogs?
Before using anything new with your dog, it is always smart to find out if the product is safe. Could it irritate your pup’s skin? What if your dog licks or eats it?
Speaking of, here is an interesting fact about Vaseline, aka petroleum jelly. When your dog does eat something they shouldn’t and the thing gets lodged inside, veterinarians often prescribe feeding some Vaseline to help ease the object out the other end! Some pups have even been known to develop a taste for petroleum jelly after having it smeared on paws, ears or skin.
And if your dog ingests too much Vaseline? The worst that is likely to happen is that the petroleum jelly will have a mild laxative effect. So, as a general rule, vaseline is perfectly safe for dogs. Though, it’s always a good idea to use a small amount at first to make sure your dog doesn’t have an allergy.
What To Rub On Dog Paws
Vaseline and commercial paw balms do not represent your only options for what to rub on dog paws. You actually have several choices to try to see what works best for your pup.
Keep in mind that your dog will probably want to lick the area as soon as you apply these lubricants. One workaround is to give your dog a novel toy or long-lasting chewable treat to occupy them for several minutes while these remedies soak into the skin. Here are four popular options to rub on dog paws.
Shea butter has become incredibly popular for both human and canine skin protection. As a natural nut butter, shea butter hydrates and protects skin, soothes sensitive or irritated skin and protects against sun damage.
Coconut oil contains natural anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that give your dog’s skin an all-around immune system boost. Even better, this natural oil is solid at room temperature, making it easy to work with and long lasting.
Many veterinarians recommend vitamin E in oil or cream form as an alternative to Vaseline or pricey paw balms. Not only does Vitamin E have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, but it is also a natural lubricant that helps damaged cells repair themselves.
Beeswax is another great natural option to rub on dog paws. It acts like a little raincoat for your dog’s paws, keeping moisture that is already inside in and repelling moisture from the elements. Beeswax is also great for itch relief and acts as a natural sunscreen.
What Can I Put On My Dog’s Dry Paws?
One of the best perks of being a modern paw parent is how many choices you have for your pup’s health and wellness. For example, if your dog has dry paws, you can use any of the natural waxes or oils you just learned about in an earlier section here, opt for a do-it-yourself dog paw balm recipe (keep reading for suggestions), choose a commercial dog paw balm or ask your veterinarian for suggestions.
How Do You Lubricate Dog Paws?
You can help protect and lubricate your dog’s paws using these three tips as your guide. First, make sure your dog doesn’t come in contact with abrasive agents like de-icing solution, salt, chemicals or very hot or cold surfaces that could cause dryness and cracking, irritation or sensitivity.
Next, talk to your veterinarian about adding in dietary supplements like coconut oil or vitamin E that can help hydrate, nourish, moisturize and protect your dog’s skin. Finally, when needed, you can always apply oils, creams or balms that add back moisture and nourishment to the skin of the paw pads.
What Should You Never Put On Dog Paws?
While you have many options for hydrating, moisturizing, repairing and maintaining your dog’s paws and paw pads, there is one product you should never put on your dog’s paws. That product is human cosmetic moisturizers, creams or lotions. These products are formulated for the pH of human skin, which is a different pH than for canine skin. So what works great for you might be irritating or caustic for your pup.
Can You Make Your Own Dog Paw Balm?
At this point, you might find your thoughts are turning to do-it-yourself dog paw balm. If so, you are in luck. It is actually quite easy to make your own paw balm for your dog! If you are worried about the lickability factor, try testing a few essential oils to find one that doesn’t tempt your dog and add a drop or two of that oil to your recipe. Just be wary of any essential oils that are toxic to dogs. Most must be watered down to the extreme in order to be safe.
Can You Put Vaseline On Dogs Paws? A Summary
So hopefully any worries you had about using Vaseline on dogs paws have now been eased. Vaseline or petroleum jelly is safe enough and even veterinarian approved. But now you also have some additional ideas for ways to soothe dry, chapped, cracked, irritated or sensitive dog paws. Do you have a favorite paw balm or DIY dog paw balm recipe to share? Post your ideas in the comments!
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- Eads, K. ‘Tips to Protect Your Dog’s Paws from Hot Pavement’, Shallowford Animal Hospital (2022)
- Madson, C. ‘How to Properly Care for Your Dog’s Paw Pads’, Preventative Vet (2022)
- Roman, M. ‘Integrative Treatment of Gastrointestinal Blockage’, Main Street Animal Services (2013)
- Tidd, L. ‘How to Treat Your Dog’s Paw Pad Injury’, Germantown Veterinary Clinic (2022)
- Rhouma, M. (et al), ‘Anti-Inflammatory Response of Dietary Vitamin E and its Effects on Pain and Joint Structures During Early Stages of Surgically Induced Osteoarthritis in Dogs’, Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research (2013)