Can you use Aquaphor on dogs? If you have already applied this balm to your dog’s body and are now worried it isn’t safe, I have good news. You can relax. It is generally considered to be safe for use with dogs. However, there are some important things to keep in mind before you start slathering this topical ointment all over your dog. In this article, I will review the general best practices for using Aquaphor on dogs, so you can make an informed decision and choose whether your dog really needs it.
- What is Aquaphor?
- Can you use Aquaphor on dogs?
- Using it on dog paws
- Using it on dog ears
- Is it safe to put on a wound?
- Can you put it on stitches?
- Is it OK for my dog to lick?
- Using this balm to treat itchy skin
What is Aquaphor?
This product is a popular balm designed for use on dry, irritated skin. It aims to soothe broken skin and help to repair dryness faster. You’ll see these products in most drug stores, and might even be able to find them in local supermarkets.
We aren’t the only ones who can suffer from dry, unhappy skin. Our dogs can too, especially on their paws and ears, and especially as the weather gets colder. So, it’s not unusual to search for remedies that can soothe your dog’s skin. This is where Aquaphor comes in.
Can You Use Aquaphor On Dogs?
Aquaphor is considered sufficiently safe that many canine veterinarians actually recommend keeping some on hand in case you need it for your dog in an emergency. But this doesn’t mean you should just start using it freely without asking your dog’s veterinarian for guidance first.
This is especially true considering that this balm has come a long way since it was first introduced stateside in 1925. Today, there are many different Aquaphor products in different formulations. So you need to be sure you use the right product for your dog’s needs.
Can You Use Aquaphor On Dogs Paws?
Imagine if you walked around everywhere without shoes on. How dirty and perhaps sore, itchy or abraded might your feet feel? Your dog lives her whole life barefoot. During summer, she may walk on really hot surfaces that cause dryness or even burns. In winter, icy pathways and commercial salts and de-icing products may cause dryness, itching, cracking and irritation of the paw pads.
Aquaphor is designed to create a protective barrier to help the skin stay moist, hydrated and healthy. Where minor wounds or abrasions exist, this balm works to keep the area clean, oxygenated and properly hydrated as the skin heals. So, it can be a good product for your pet’s paws.
However, if your dog licks off anything you put on her paws, Aquaphor may not be able to do its job effectively. In this case, you may need to use an Elizabethan collar or ask your dog’s vet about other treatment and paw care options.
Can You Use Aquaphor On Dogs Ears?
Many dogs are prone to ear infections, especially breeds with floppy ears that limit airflow to the inner ear canal. If your dog develops an ear infection, you might see him trying to scratch or rub his ears with his paws or against a hard surface. This in turn can cause skin abrasions to the sensitive ear skin.
After clearing it with your dog’s veterinarian to be sure this is the right approach, Aquaphor is generally considered safe for use on the ears with one caveat. You should only use it externally on your dog’s outer ears. You don’t want to put it inside your dog’s ear canals, which are already quite moist. If used inside the ear canals, this balm might have the opposite effect and actually make the infection worse.
Can You Use Aquaphor On Dog Wounds?
This balm can be an effective wound healing agent for minor skin wounds. Generally speaking, a vet might steer you towards it if your dog has hotspots, a localized skin rash, dry or cracking skin or a superficial skin wound like a shallow scrape or cut.
If your dog has a deeper wound or a wound that requires stitches, or if you are not sure what caused the wound, it is smart to consult your veterinarian before using Aquaphor or any remedy. And here again, you will need to watch your dog closely to be sure he doesn’t just lick off the product right after you apply it.
Can You Put Aquaphor On Dogs Stitches?
Dogs will be dogs, and sometimes that means your pup comes home from the veterinarian with a brand new set of stitches. Here, your best course of action is to follow the discharge instructions your dog’s veterinarian gave you and use whatever products (if any) are recommended for at-home wound care.
Don’t apply anything that they haven’t ordered, even if you notice dryness around the stitches. You can increase your dog’s risk of infections and problematic recovery by applying the wrong things.
Is Aquaphor Safe for Dogs to Lick?
Aquaphor is a petroleum jelly-based product. It contains around 40 percent petroleum jelly and a few additional ingredients like lanolin (alcohol), glycerin and pathenol, a moisturizing form of vitamin B5, among others. So essentially, what your dog will be licking off is petroleum jelly.
Petroleum jelly is generally considered non-toxic as long as your dog only has a couple of licks. Very small dogs should not even ingest that much. This product can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and diarrhea in dogs when eaten in quantity.
As well, different Aquaphor products may contain slightly different ingredients depending on what area of the body they are used on. So always check with your dog’s veterinarian before choosing one to use on your dog.
Aquaphor for Dogs Itchy Skin
Unlike so many other products made for humans, Aquaphor doesn’t contain any fragrances or ingredients that are irritating or drying to canine skin. Essentially, it functions as an extra-protective moisturizer, which can help to ease itchiness caused by dry canine skin.
Can You Use Aquaphor On Dogs? The Bottom Line
This product is safe for most dogs, as long as they don’t try to lick it off. It can help dry, cracked paws, as well as itchy skin. But, you should always use it under your veterinarian’s guidance to ensure you’re picking safe formulas.
Other Ways to Help Your Dog
- Taylor, H. ‘Useful Over the Counter Products’, Grande Avenue Veterinary Center (2015)
- Llera, R. & Yuill, C. ‘Care of Surgical Incisions in Dogs’, VCA Animal Hospitals (2022)
- Leuschner, F. (et al), ‘[Pharmacological and Toxicological Properties of the Saluretic Xipamide (4-Chloro-5-Sulfamoyl-2’, 6’-Salicyloxlidide)]’, Arzneimittelforschung (Journal of Drug Research), (1975)
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