As a child, I remember my mother slathering Vaseline on her hands, particularly in the winter. She would then put socks on her hands, to keep the Vaseline from getting on her clothes and bedsheets. She swore by Vaseline to heal her dry cracked hands.
It was easy to see that it worked. The next morning, her hands would be soft and healed to a degree. However, Vaseline might not be the best choice for your pooch.
Can I put vaseline on my dog’s paws?
Many owners put Vaseline on their dogs’ paws. After all, it’s affordable, and probably already in your medicine cabinet. It does seem to be effective, but is it the best choice?
The History of Vaseline
Vaseline was discovered in the 1800s. Robert Chesebrough was a chemist who visited the Pennsylvania oilfields. While there, he learned that the workers would rub “rod wax” onto their wounds to help them heal.
He saw dollar signs, and rightly so. He went home, and began working to refine the “rod wax”. What the workers called rod wax was actually a by-product of oil production. Chesebrough used bone char to filter the substance. He ended up with the clear jelly that we now know as Vaseline.
Cheseborough marketed his product by using it on his own self-inflicted wounds. It helped the wounds heal faster. Once it went to market, many others were raving about its benefits.
How Does Vaseline Work?
Vaseline worked to help heal wounds because it creates a barrier. This barrier keeps moisture in, and prevents contaminants from getting into wounds. In the 1800s, hand washing wasn’t common. Sanitation was much less of a priority than it is today.
It’s easy to see how Vaseline could have seemed like a miracle cure in these circumstances.
Is Vaseline Safe for My Dog?
There are some concerns with using Vaseline on your dog. It is considered minimally toxic. This means that it shouldn’t harm your dog in small amounts, but it’s not necessarily the best thing for them.
Dogs Lick Themselves
One of the problems with Vaseline is that dogs love to lick themselves. If something is hurting or irritated, they will spend extra time licking the area. This is their way of keeping it moisturized and clean. Their tongue removes dirt and debris, while their saliva has antibacterial properties.
Because Vaseline is an oil by product, it has a laxative effect when ingested in larger amounts. Mineral oil is commonly sold as a laxative for this reason.
There’s also a concern that petroleum-based products can have contaminants. These contaminants can be cancerous. Vaseline goes to great lengths to ensure that these are removed from their product. However, other brands do not necessarily have the same standards.
Vaseline Barrier Can be Problematic
Lastly, what makes Vaseline effective can also cause issues. Vaseline creates an excellent barrier. While this keeps out bacteria, it also keeps out moisture. Over time, this can make the skin drier. It also prevents oxygen from getting in. Oxygen is essential to healing, and a lack of oxygen can encourage fungi growth.
Should I Use Vaseline on My Dog?
Vaseline is ok to use occasionally, but it’s not the best choice for your pooch. There are other products that are safer and better suited to your dog. More on them soon!
What can I put on my dog’s dry paws?
If Vaseline isn’t the best option, what should you put on your dog’s paws? The good news is there are several options for you to consider.
The most well known, and original, paw wax is Musher’s Secret. It was designed to protect dog’s paws in snow, ice, and salt. These conditions can take a toll on a dog’s paws. They can become frostbitten, dry, and cracked.
Musher’s secret contains a blend of natural ingredients. These include beeswax, Carnauba, and Candelilla Wax, and vegetable oils to provide vitamin E. It creates a barrier, similar to Vaseline. However, the natural waxes allow the paws to breathe, and provide extra moisture.
It’s also completely safe for your dog to lick. Musher’s Secret says you can limit licking by applying it right before going out, but licking it will cause no harm to your dog.
The product is best known for offering protection during the winter months, but it’s also great for summer. In the summertime, the pavement can heat up. This can cause burns to your dog’s paws. The barrier created by Musher’s Secret allows them to tolerate higher pavement temperatures without harm.
There are other paw waxes on the market as well. Most of them contain similar ingredients, and are an excellent option for treating your pooch’s paws.
Beeswax is an excellent natural protectant. It’s used in a wide variety of skincare products. It’s popular for making candles. It’s also safe to use on your dog’s paws. It creates a breathable barrier similar to paw wax. It provides some moisture, but it’s often best to combine it with oils to repair dry or cracked paws.
You may have heard of Burts Bees line of products for humans. These products are generally high quality and semi-natural. They’ve recently released a lotion made especially for your dog’s paws and nose.
Burts Bees Paw and Nose lotion contains rosemary, coconut oil, and olive oil. It’s safe for your dog to lick, and helps repair and moisturize their paws. It’s ph balanced for your pooch as well.
Just like with paw wax, Burts Bees isn’t the only company that makes paw lotion. However, they do have a track record of creating quality products. If you want to try another brand, just be sure to do your research first.
How can I moisturize my dog’s paws naturally?
Want to heal your dog’s dry paws naturally? There are lots of natural options. Some of them may be in your own beauty stash, while others you’ll find in the kitchen.
All of the items listed are completely natural, and safe for your dog.
Coconut oil is a natural star when it comes to beauty and skin health. It provides excellent moisturizing. It is antibacterial, anti fungal, and anti inflammatory. It’s gentle enough to be used every day, and will not disrupt your pooch’s ph balance.
It is also safe for them to look. In fact, a dose of coconut oil can improve their skin and coat health. They aren’t likely to get too much from licking their paws. However, if they ingest too much, they can get diarrhea. This is true for any oil, not just coconut oil.
Shea butter is made from the nuts of the Shea tree. It’s commonly used as a cooking oil in Africa, where the trees grow natively. To make it safe for human consumption, it is processed in a traditional, and time consuming, way.
The Shea butter you purchase for external use is likely processed using chemicals. These chemicals should be removed during the process. Shea butter is considered natural and nontoxic. It is an excellent moisturizer, and has protective qualities as well.
It’s often recommended for humans who have dry cracked skin, and it can also work well for your dog. When ingested in small amounts from licking, it is perfectly safe. Large amounts of Shea butter can cause stomach upset, due to the fat content.
Vitamin E oil or lotion can also be used on your dog’s paws. Vitamin E is sometimes recommended as a supplement for dogs with skin issues as well. However, too much vitamin E can cause blood clotting problems.
It absorbs into the skin quickly, so it’s best to monitor your dog for a minute or two after applying. This will prevent them from getting too much vitamin E from licking their paws.
If you choose a vitamin E lotion, you’ll need to be sure the other ingredients are also dog safe.
Diy Paw Cream
You can also make your own dog paw cream. This will act similarly to paw wax.
- 2 oz. or 2 tbsp. olive, sunflower, or sweet almond oil
- 2 oz. or 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 oz. 1 tbsp. shea butter
- 4 tsp. beeswax
You’ll also need a container to put your finished wax in. You can use a bowl, but a tin is better suited to hold the hot solution.
Add all ingredients into a small pot or a double boiler on low heat. Once they are melted and well blended, pour them into your chosen container to cool. Once the wax has cooled and hardened, it’s ready to use.
The great thing about this recipe is that it can be adjusted to better suit you and your dog’s needs. If they are frequently out in the snow, you may want to increase the beeswax a bit to create a stronger barrier.
If you want to make a lotion or oil instead of a wax, simply remove the beeswax. You can then increase or decrease the Shea butter as well to get a thicker lotion consistency or a lighter oil solution.
Lastly, you can add essential oils to your paw wax. However, be sure they are dog safe. Frankincense has a wonderful scent and anti-inflammatory properties. Lavender and Chamomile are soothing for the body and mind. Rosemary is safe, and also has antibacterial properties.
You can choose one to two essential oils, but use them sparingly. They are safe for your dog to smell, but you don’t want them ingesting them. A few drops in a batch of paw wax is likely safe, because any oil will be very diluted.
Can I put vaseline on my dog’s eyes?
Many things that are safe for other areas of your dog’s body are not safe for the eyes. Is Vaseline? Vaseline on your dog’s eyes isn’t likely to be licked off, which eliminates some of the concerns around its use. It is considered safe to use on the eyes of both dogs and humans. In fact, dermatologists and vets use Vaseline.
It’s recommended to use Vaseline brand, because of their purity standards. You don’t want any contaminants near your dog’s eyes.
Vaseline Alternatives for Your Dog’s Eyes
There are also plenty of alternatives that are safe to use on your dog’s eyes. Beeswax is safe for the eyes. If you have a product that contains beeswax and other ingredients, check the label. If it’s not safe, it should state that it shouldn’t be used around the eyes. Ingredients like peppermint can cause eye irritation and infection.
Coconut oil is also safe to use on your pooch’s eyes. Either of these options will help moisturize and protect your dog’s eyelids.
If the eyes themselves are dry or irritated, you can use saline eye drops. Never use medicated eye drops without speaking to your vet.
Can I put Vaseline on my dog’s nose?
Most dogs can lick their nose, so Vaseline isn’t the best option. The products that can be used on your dog’s paws should be safe for their nose as well.