Welcome to the ultimate guide to doggy skincare! We all love spoiling our pups, and sometimes it means we venture beyond traditional dog products and into our own human grooming stash. One common wonder product that we all have tucked away is vaseline – a jack-of-all-trades solution for any dry skin woe. But, can our four-legged friends benefit from using petroleum jelly, too? In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of doggy skincare and answer the burning question: can I put vaseline on my dog? Keep on reading to find out the answer. 

Table of Contents

Can I Put Vaseline On My Dog: Intro

So, can I put vaseline on my dog? This one’s definitely a popular question amongst dog owners, as most of us have been using this well-known and widely available product for decades. And the same goes for our canine pals.

If you are a dog owner, you have probably heard some conflicting advice on whether or not it is safe to use vaseline on your furry best pal. Although it can have many benefits, it’s essential to know the dos and don’ts of using vaseline on your dog.

Indeed, applying vaseline on a dog’s paws can be helpful in certain situations. On the other hand, we sometimes mindlessly use certain human products on our canine pals that actually might not be the best choice for them. Not to say that this is done knowingly, but rather we tend to act on the old wives remedies that we’ve all heard and blindly trusted. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the answers to this hot topic – is vaseline safe for dogs’ paws and can I put vaseline on my dog? 

What Is Vaseline?

Vaseline, also known as petroleum jelly, is a blend of mineral oils and waxes that has a distinctive consistency and texture that resembles, you guessed it, jelly. To be exact, vaseline is an American brand of petroleum jelly, but you’ll be able to find petroleum jelly products by many different brands all across the globe.

Petroleum jelly is most commonly used to treat dry and cracked skin, but it can also be beneficial when dealing with burns, wounds, and skin sores. However, it’s important to note that petroleum jelly itself isn’t a moisturizing agent. Rather, it locks in moisture and creates a protective barrier on top of the skin. 

In human skincare, vaseline has been used for decades. In recent years, TikTok has introduced us to a trend called skin slugging. This essentially means that vaseline or any type of high-quality petroleum jelly can be used as the last step of a skincare regimen to seal in all the moisture from other skincare products. 

Since vaseline has skin protecting properties, it’s often used on dogs as well. However, in both human and canine uses, vaseline does come with a set of risks as well. Depending on the exact ingredients used in the formula, petroleum jelly could potentially trigger allergies, increase the risk of skin concerns, or cause problems when ingested or inhaled. 

Of course, the key here is to look at the exact ingredient list and the brand in general. Unfortunately, there are some brands out there who sell petroleum jelly products that are made with harmful, even toxic ingredients. Knowledge is power! 

Can I Put Vaseline On My Dog?

As you’ve probably heard, many dog owners actually use vaseline on their dogs’ paws to treat dryness or prevent skin irritations and injuries in extreme weather conditions. 

For instance, when the weather is super hot and the pavement is scorching, having that protective barrier on your pup’s paws will likely minimize the risk of burning their skin. Likewise, vaseline is often used to protect dogs’ paw pads from very cold temperatures when walking on snowy or icy ground. 

But even though this practice is quite common, is it actually safe? Can I put vaseline on my dog? Petroleum jelly isn’t toxic for dogs, that’s for certain. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe to use on all dogs, either. 

While it’s generally safe to apply vaseline onto your dog’s skin, it’s important to be cautious when doing so. Vaseline is a petroleum-based product, and if ingested in large amounts, it can cause gastrointestinal distress, including stomach aches, diarrhea, or vomiting. 

Indeed, putting tiny amounts of vaseline on your dog’s paws and nose can protect them from environmental elements and thus prevent skin irritations, dryness, and injuries. Nonetheless, you should also keep in mind the potential risks, especially if your pup tends to lick on their paws after you’ve applied the vaseline. For example, if your pup ingests the vaseline on their paws, they may soon experience digestive problems. This is especially true for those sensitive tummies! 

Word Of Caution

Additionally, if your dog has an open wound or sore, applying vaseline can actually slow the healing process by creating a barrier that traps dirt and bacteria against the skin. That’s why you should always consult with your veterinarian before applying any products to your dog’s skin, especially for the first time. They can advise you on what’s safe and appropriate for your dog’s unique needs.

Furthermore, many petroleum jelly products actually contain harmful and carcinogenic ingredients that should be avoided at all costs. Even on yourself! That’s why it’s so vital that if you do choose to apply vaseline on your dog, you opt for the highest quality vaseline that’s made with proven safe ingredients. 

You Can Use Vaseline On Your Dog In These Cases:

As we’ve established by now, you can put vaseline on your dog in small quantities and in certain situations. Here are some cases where you can use vaseline on your dog:

  • Dry or cracked skin: Vaseline can be used to moisturize dry or cracked skin on your dog. Although vaseline itself isn’t a moisturizing agent, it can prevent further skin irritations and itching by forming a protective barrier on your pup’s skin. Be sure to apply it in small quantities only on the affected area, such as the paws, to prevent your pup from licking excessive amounts of vaseline.
  • Minor cuts and wounds: Applying vaseline to a minor cut or wound can help protect it from dirt and bacteria, prevent bleeding, and promote the healing process. However, petroleum jelly products can also have the exact opposite effect, especially if you haven’t properly cleaned and moisturized the skin that’s injured before applying the vaseline. 
  • Paw protection: Probably one of the best uses for vaseline is to apply it onto your dog’s paws and nose to prevent them from drying out and cracking in extreme weather conditions. It’s especially useful during the winter months when sidewalks are salted or during hot summer months when the pavement gets too hot.
  • Getting things moving in the stomach: If your pooch has eaten something that needs to be passed, some veterinarians suggest feeding a small amount of vaseline as it has a laxative effect. Nonetheless, this home remedy should only be used under your vet’s guidance! 

Remember, before using vaseline or any other petroleum jelly product on your dog, you should always consult with your veterinarian beforehand to ensure that it’s actually safe and the right treatment for your dog!

Do Not Use Vaseline On Your Dog If:

But what about those instances when you should NOT use vaseline on your dog? Here are some things to consider:

  • Open wounds or sores: If your dog has a large open wound or sore, you should not apply vaseline on it, as it may interfere with the healing process and increase the chance of infection. Instead, you should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible to treat the injury according to your vet’s guidance.
  • Allergies: Some dogs can develop allergic reactions when exposed to petroleum-based products like vaseline. In fact, if your dog already struggles with allergies and sensitivities, it might be best to avoid petroleum jelly products altogether.
  • Sensitive areas: Areas like the nose and eyes are very sensitive, so it’s especially crucial to be cautious when applying any sort of product around them. If you do apply vaseline onto your dog’s nose to prevent it from drying out, make sure you only apply a tiny-tiny amount to prevent your pup from ingesting it. 

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Can I Put Vaseline On My Dog’s Paws?

Can you put vaseline on a dog’s paws to prevent skin irritations and cracking due to extreme temperatures outside? Well, if the only option you have available immediately is vaseline and your pup really needs to go outside, using vaseline on your dog’s paws in a very small quantity just a few times should be safe enough. 

However, we do recommend you opt for a paw balm that’s specially formulated for dogs and doesn’t contain any potentially irritating ingredients whatsoever. These paw balms should also be safe when ingested, as we all know how much dogs love to lick their paws. Don’t go anywhere just yet, as we have an awesome recommendation coming up later on in this guide. 

What If My Dog Licks Vaseline?

If your dog licks the vaseline you’ve applied onto their paws, you’ve got to carefully monitor them for any signs of discomfort or illness. Although in small amounts vaseline isn’t toxic to dogs, it can cause digestive problems, especially for pups that already struggle with tummy issues and sensitivities. 

If your dog ingests a small amount, they may experience mild diarrhea or vomiting. However, if they ingest a large amount or if you notice any sudden changes in your dog’s behavior and general wellbeing, you should seek veterinary attention immediately. 

By the way, if your dog is constantly licking their paws, it’s very likely that they may turn brown or develop dryness. This usually indicates that there’s an underlying issue to be dealt with, such as allergies, yeast or bacterial infections, injury, or even parasites. 

See Also:

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Is Vaseline Safe For Dogs’ Paws?

But is vaseline safe for dogs’ paws – that’s another tricky question. Yes, vaseline in general is safe for dogs’ paws. However, there are many other alternatives that are much better and safer for our furry best pals. 

If you have nothing else at hand, vaseline can be a safe alternative to a paw balm to protect your dog’s paws from the elements outside. On the other hand, there’s the added risk of potential skin irritations and digestive issues. Moreover, if your pup has already injured their paw pads, applying vaseline on open sores and wounds can make the issue even worse, as it tends to trap in bacteria and dirt.

All in all, it would be best to avoid using petroleum jelly products on your dog’s paws and nose altogether and instead opt for a pet-safe moisturizer or a paw balm instead. These have been specially formulated to both moisturize the skin and protect the skin barrier, and they likely won’t trigger any allergic reactions or cause digestive issues when your pup licks it.  

The Dos And Don’ts Of Using Vaseline On Your Dog

Now that we’ve answered your question “can I put vaseline on my dog’s paws?”, it’s time for a quick recap to sum it all up. 


  • Use vaseline as a temporary option before you buy a proper paw balm specially formulated for dogs. 
  • Only apply a small amount of vaseline on your dog to prevent them from ingesting large amounts of it – this can cause digestive problems. 
  • Opt for a tried and true vaseline that doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. 


  • Don’t use vaseline or any other petroleum jelly product on your dog if they’re allergic or sensitive to it. 
  • Don’t apply a thick layer of vaseline – again, you’ll want to prevent any potential digestive issues in case your pup licks it.
  • Don’t apply vaseline to open wounds, as it can lead to bacterial overgrowth, infections, and prevent proper healing. 
  • Don’t use vaseline as a replacement for veterinary care. If your dog has a medical condition or a severe skin irritation, your vet will be able to properly diagnose and treat the condition with appropriate medications and pet-safe remedies. 
  • Don’t use scented vaseline, as they may contain harmful ingredients or chemicals that can be toxic to dogs. They can also cause additional irritations due to the added fragrance. 

What Can I Use Instead Of Vaseline To Moisturize My Dogs’ Paws?

We’ve been rambling on about whether or not you should vaseline on your dog’s paws, when in reality, there are excellent products out there that have been specially formulated for our canine pals. 

One of our top picks for protecting your dog’s paws is this 3-in-1 Paw Balm by Pet MD. This paw balm is specially formulated to relieve dogs’ dry noses, elbows, and paw pads. It’s made with ingredients like shea butter, olive oil, almond oil, beeswax, calendula, chamomile, and many other natural ingredients that both moisturize and soothe the skin. 

Use this paw balm to soothe dry and cracked skin or prevent irritations from extreme weather conditions. This product does it all! It’s a scientifically advanced formula that’s manufactured in the US and recommended by veterinarians. 

Although this product is fast absorbing and non-toxic, you’ll want to distract your pup with a treat or toy from licking it right after you’ve applied the balm. This way, the balm gets to properly sink into the skin and do its job. 

Natural Alternatives To Vaseline You Can Use On Your Dog’s Paws


Beeswax is a great natural alternative to vaseline that you can use to help moisturize your dog’s paws and protect them from environmental elements. If you noticed, the 3-in-1 Paw Balm by Pet MD actually contains natural beeswax due to its many amazing benefits. 

Beeswax is a natural wax that helps moisturize the skin, as well as form a protective barrier to prevent any further irritation and dryness from either hot or cold pavement. In addition, beeswax has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent infections and reduce inflammation on your dog’s paws. 

If you’re all about DIY home remedies, you can make your own dog paw balm by following this recipe. It contains beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil – the latter two we’ll now discuss. 

Shea Butter

Shea butter is another natural skin care ingredient that’s safe for both humans and our canine pals. It’s derived from the nuts of the shea tree and it’s rich in antioxidants and Vitamins A, E, and F. It helps moisturize and soften dry and cracked skin, and it can work wonders on dry paw pads and even your dog’s nose. Shea butter is another ingredient that’s also found in many paw balms, including the one we mentioned earlier. 

Coconut Oil

Lastly, we have coconut oil – also a popular alternative to ready-made paw balms and even vaseline. Coconut oil can help moisturize the skin and soothe discomfort that stems from dry and cracked paws. It’s also said to have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can help protect your pup’s paws from infections. This is also a common ingredient used in commercial paw balms and homemade paw balm recipes. 

Is Coconut Oil Safe For Dog Paws?

When applied topically, coconut oil is considered safe for dog paws. It can actually be beneficial for their paws, especially if they are dry, cracked, or irritated. 

However, it’s important to make sure you’re using high-quality, unrefined coconut oil and to apply it in moderation. Too much coconut oil can cause digestive issues and diarrhea in dogs. If you’re unsure whether coconut oil is appropriate for your pooch, make sure you consult with your veterinarian first.

Can I Put Vaseline On My Dog: FAQs

Can I Put Vaseline On My Dog’s Dry Skin?

Yes, you can use Vaseline on your dog’s dry skin in small amounts. However, be aware that vaseline is a petroleum-based product and may not provide the best moisture to your dog’s skin. It can also cause skin irritations if your pup is allergic to it, and digestive problems in case you apply too much of it. If you don’t have anything else at hand and need instant relief, using vaseline sparingly a few times likely won’t hurt. However, we do recommend you look into dog-safe paw balms that tend to nourish the skin much better and provide more lasting hydration.

What Ointment Is Safe For Dogs?

If you’re looking for an ointment to soothe dry and cracked skin, minor cuts, or scrapes, then a specially formulated paw balm would be your best bet. In terms of home remedies, natural shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil can be excellent alternatives. Nonetheless, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before using any ointments on your dog in case they have any sensitivities or allergies.

Can I Put Vaseline On My Dog’s Hot Spot?

No, you shouldn’t put vaseline on your dog’s hot spot. Petroleum-based products can make the area more inflamed, and may even trap in heat, bacteria, and moisture, which could worsen the condition. Instead, you should contact your vet for a proper assessment to get the right treatment for your dog. 

What Can I Put On A Dog’s Sore Skin?

A specially formulated paw balm will be your top pick for soothing your pup’s sore skin. You can also opt for soothing dog shampoos and paw washes that are designed to target this problem. In addition to that, chamomile and calendula ointment can also be some good home remedies to look into. 

Why Is My Dog’s Skin Red And Itchy?

Itchy and red skin can be a sign of various issues, such as allergies, parasites, infection, or irritation from an environmental source. If it’s an ongoing issue, we strongly advise you to take your pup for a vet’s appointment, as medications may be necessary. For more information about itchy skin in dogs, we recommend you check out this guide and take a look at some of the best dog shampoos that are targeted for itchy skin

Can I Put Vaseline On My Dog: Final Thoughts

All in all, vaseline can be a great temporary alternative if you don’t have a proper paw balm just yet. However, be sure to use it with caution, as excessive use of petroleum jelly can do more harm than good. With the right application and proper moderation, you can give your pup some relief from dry skin and protect them from environmental elements when you’re out and about. 

However, we do recommend that in the long run you invest in a dog-safe paw balm that’s specially designed to moisturize and soothe cracked skin, and protect their precious little paws from any damage from hot pavement or icy ground. 

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