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dog licking lips

My Dog Ate Vaseline — Tell Me What to Do! 

Vaseline is a common household product, so the chances of a dog getting into it are relatively high. We give you the lowdown on dogs eating Vaseline.

If your dog ate Vaseline, don’t panic — in most cases, ingesting small amounts of Vaseline will not be harmful. While Vaseline isn’t the most nutritious for your pup to consume, it’s not poisonous and will usually just pass through their system with no issue.

Keep an eye on your dog for the next 24 hours to make sure they don’t have any adverse effects and give them plenty of water to drink. 

What Happens if a Dog Eats Vaseline?

Most times, if your dog consumes a small amount of Vaseline, they will be fine. Some dogs may experience an upset stomach or diarrhea, but this is typically not serious and will resolve on its own.

If your dog ate a large amount of Vaseline, they might have more serious side effects, like excessive vomiting and diarrhea that can lead to dehydration. If your dog has any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian for guidance on how to proceed.

Some vaseline products contain ingredients that could harm your dog if ingested. Cocoa butter, xylitol, and essential oils are all ingredients that are safe for humans but can be toxic to dogs.

If your dog ate Vaseline that contains any of these ingredients, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Is Vaseline Toxic to Dogs?

Vaseline is petroleum jelly that is made from mineral oil and wax. While it’s not poisonous, it can be harmful if your dog consumes too much.

Added coloring or flavors can be harmful, particularly cocoa butter, which contains theobromine. Theobromine is a toxic substance to dogs that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, tremors, and even death in severe cases.

Xylitol, a sugar-free sweetener, is in many lip gloss formulations. Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs and can cause a drop in blood sugar, seizures, and even liver failure.

Other added ingredients that may be harmful include essential oils, fragrances, or known allergens, which can be toxic if ingested.

Call your veterinarian or ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if your dog ate any vaseline with these ingredients.

How Much Vaseline Is Too Much?

The amount of Vaseline that is toxic to dogs will vary depending on the size and breed. For example, a small dog or puppy can be more prone to adverse effects after eating Vaseline than a larger dog.

Laxatone, a laxative and hairball remedy for dogs and cats, is petroleum jelly and mineral oil with added flavor. So, small amounts of Vaseline are not likely to cause serious harm to most dogs.

The concern with consuming large amounts of Vaseline, or any petroleum jelly product, is the risk of dehydration from diarrhea and vomiting.

Symptoms To Look for if My Dog Ate Vaseline

If your dog ate a small amount of Vaseline, keep an eye out for common side effects of an upset stomach or diarrhea.

Dehydration is a serious concern for dogs if they have consumed a large amount of Vaseline or products that contain harmful ingredients like cocoa butter or xylitol.

Look for the following symptoms of poisoning and call your veterinarian right away if you see them:

  • Dry gums that are tacky to the touch
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sunken eyes

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on how much Vaseline your dog ate and their individual reaction to the product.

Dehydration can quickly become a life-threatening emergency in dogs, so it is important to seek medical attention if your dog is showing any of these symptoms. 

Your veterinarian will want to know how much Vaseline your dog ate and the product’s ingredients, so it is helpful to have this information on hand when calling.

What Should I Do If My Dog Ate Vaseline?

First, determine how much Vaseline they consumed and the type of Vaseline. Vaseline is petroleum jelly, which is not harmful to dogs, but any added ingredients can be toxic.

If your dog only ate a small amount of Vaseline, they may have no reaction at all or only mild symptoms.

Mild symptoms may include vomiting and diarrhea. Call your veterinarian for advice if your dog displays any of these symptoms. They may recommend an over-the-counter medication such as Pepto-Bismol or Imodium AD to ease gastrointestinal upset.

Consuming large quantities can cause vomiting and diarrhea, leading to dehydration. So watch for symptoms such as lethargy, lack of appetite, excessive diarrhea, and dry gums. If you see any of these symptoms, call your veterinarian.

More severe symptoms may occur if the Vaseline contains toxic ingredients, such as cocoa butter or xylitol. These ingredients are toxic to dogs and may cause seizures, collapse, abnormal heart rate, and tremors.

Call your veterinarian or local animal hospital immediately if your dog ate Vaseline with toxic ingredients.

dog looking guilty after eating vaseline

How To Prevent My Dog From Eating Vaseline

One way to prevent your dog from eating Vaseline is to keep it out of their reach in a cabinet, drawer, or on a high shelf. You can also put the Vaseline in a container your dog cannot open.

When applying petroleum-based products that may contain ingredients toxic to dogs, like lotion or lip gloss, do so in an area that your dog cannot access. Wipe up any spills and wash your hands thoroughly to remove any residue.

Consider using a child-proof container if you have young children in the house who may accidentally leave products within your dog’s reach.

You may also want to use a pet-safe alternative to Vaseline, such as coconut oil. Coconut oil is safe for dogs to consume and can be used for the same purposes as Vaseline.

Keep in mind that dogs can be resourceful and determined to get their paws on something they want, so always use caution and keep products containing Vaseline out of reach.

Why Do Dogs Eat or Lick Vaseline?

The taste or smell of Vaseline may appeal to your dog, mainly if it contains flavorings or scents that are attractive to them. Vaseline also has a greasy texture similar to some foods that dogs love, such as bones and meat fat.

Another possibility is that the container appeals to your dog as a chew toy and will gnaw on it until they reach the Vaseline inside. Enrichment toys or bones filled with peanut butter or cheese can be a suitable alternative to prevent this from happening.

Your dog may also try to get attention by eating or licking things they know they’re not supposed to. If you notice this behavior as you’re getting ready to leave the house or working on something on your computer, that may be a hint that they want more attention.

Some dogs develop pica, which is the compulsive consumption of non-food items. If your dog seems fixated on licking or eating Vaseline and nothing else seems to deter them, this may be a sign of pica, and you should talk to your veterinarian.

Can Vaseline Kill My Dog?

Vaseline is not toxic and will not kill a dog. Petroleum jelly, the main ingredient in Vaseline, is non-toxic and non-irritating and is sometimes used to treat burns and skin irritations or as a laxative.

Vaseline is a safe product to use around pets, and small quantities will not cause any adverse effects.

The consumption of large amounts of Vaseline can cause vomiting and diarrhea, resulting in dehydration, which can be fatal.

Vaseline products that contain toxic ingredients, such as cocoa butter or xylitol, can cause more serious symptoms. If ingested, call your veterinarian or local animal hospital immediately.

Final Thoughts

Your dog eating Vaseline is generally not a cause for great concern. The exception would be when they eat large quantities or eat a petroleum product containing toxic ingredients.

Do your best to prevent your dog from getting to Vaseline products, and if they do consume them, monitor the dog closely so that you can address any symptoms quickly.

Superb Dog Editor

Superb Dog Editor