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Aquaphor is a petroleum jelly-based moisturizer that is used primarily by people to treat dry and irritated skin. It can help with diaper rash in babies and even skin burns from radiation therapy, and it contains emollients that soften skin.

Not only is Aquaphor beneficial for people, but it can also be used on dogs, and even if your dog decides to lick the petroleum jelly off its paws, nose, or anywhere else, there are no toxic ingredients that will cause harm to your pup. You should look for signs of diarrhea or vomiting if your dog has consumed a large amount, but any negative reactions are rare.

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What Is Aquaphor?

Aquaphor is a petroleum jelly. It acts as a moisturizer and emollient to soften skin and help treat rough, scaly skin, as well as other skin problems. It is commonly used on chapped lips as well as to treat minor burns.

The emollients help hold moisture against the skin, which not only prevents drying but can also help treat skin that is already dried out. It is safe to use on people of all ages and rarely causes bad reactions.

Can You Use It on Dogs?

owner applying petroleum jelly to pet dog for protection
Image Credit: Pearl, PhotoPix

As well as being beneficial in humans, especially for its soothing properties, Aquaphor can also be safely used on dogs. It does not contain any harmful ingredients, and it is not toxic. This means that it won’t irritate the area applied and it won’t cause illness if your dog ingests it. While many topical human products are too acidic for dogs, the pH of Aquaphor is close to neutral.

You should only use a small amount of the jelly on dogs. Put it on your fingertip and gently rub it into the affected area. If you’re applying it to paws, consider adding booties or shoes that will keep the Aquaphor in place. You can remove them after about an hour when the petroleum jelly has had a chance to soak in properly.

If applying it to your dog’s nose, try to prevent them from licking it off and discourage them from drinking water or eating for the next hour. Aquaphor can be applied twice a day until your dog’s condition clears up, or even as a means of protecting against future flare-ups because it is safe for regular use as well as one-off applications.

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The 5 Uses of Aquaphor for Dogs

Aquaphor is a moisturizer, and it is beneficial for dry and cracked skin. It can be used to help treat the following conditions:

1. Paw Pad Hyperkeratosis

Applying vaseline cream on dog's paw pads to protect from salt or chemical deicers in snow

Paw pad hyperkeratosis is a condition caused by excess keratin production in the paw pads. It causes the skin to thicken and harden, and it can lead to cracking and even the formation of open sores in affected areas.

It can be especially painful for your dog as they walk and run on their paws and may be exacerbated by walking on rough terrain and hot or cold surfaces. Apply a thin layer of Aquaphor to the affected paws and put doggy booties on for an hour. Repeat this application twice a day until the skin softens.

2. Prevent Nappy Rash

If your dog has to wear pads or they are prone to urinating in their sleep, the skin around the area can become irritated and inflamed. A layer of Aquaphor can protect the skin from urine or fecal scalding, otherwise known as nappy rash.

3. Dry Noses

dry nose in a dog

Hyperkeratosis is a condition that can affect the nose as well as a dog’s paws. The extra keratin produced causes the skin around the nose to thicken and harden, and this can lead to cracking.

Your dog uses their nose to smell, and they tend to head into bushes, grass, and water bowls nose first, which means that cracked skin here can prove very painful. When applying the Aquaphor to the nose, try to do so at least an hour before mealtimes and before you head out for a walk, to give the jelly a chance to soak in.

4. Minor Burns

If your dog has suffered a tiny burn e.g. from a candle you can apply Aquaphor to help lift the dead skin and allow your dog to heal. If the burn is anything more than minor, you should consult a vet, as they will need antibiotics and pain relief.

5. Pressure Sores and Calluses

French bulldog with elbow calluses

Dogs spend a lot of time lying down and dogs can develop calluses over their bony parts, like the point of the elbow from laying on hard surfaces. In most cases, lying down won’t cause irritation or any adverse effects, but if your dog lies on abrasive surfaces or lies in the same position for too long, without moving, it can eventually lead to pressure sores. This is more common in older and immobile dogs because they won’t get up to turn over or change position.

If your dog is just starting to develop pressure sores or calluses, you can apply Aquaphor to soften the skin. While calluses won’t harm your dog, pressure sores can lead to open wounds which can get infected and require veterinary treatment.

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Other Home Remedies for Dogs

Aquaphor isn’t the only canine remedy you likely have lying around the house either. Consider the following for minor complaints.

1. Chamomile Tea

You can find chamomile in some dog foods and even dog treats, but you might find it difficult to convince your dog to drink a cup of chamomile tea. However, it can be used externally. Make some chamomile tea, put it in a spray bottle, and use it to help soothe minor rashes and skin irritation.

The chamomile tea shouldn’t cause stinging and if your dog does lick it off, it isn’t toxic, so it won’t cause any illness or other problems for your pup.

2. Epsom Salts

epsom magnesium salt to mix with water

Epsom salts break down in water into magnesium and sulfate. They are used by people who want a relaxing and soothing bath, and they can be beneficial for our pets, too.

They can be used to help treat wounds and swelling, but you should ensure your dog is checked by a vet first to ensure that the injury isn’t too serious.

3. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an emollient, which means it holds moisture against the skin, in the same way that Aquaphor does. Finely ground oatmeal, also known as colloidal oatmeal, is even used in sensitive dog shampoos because it not only helps clean a dog’s coat, but can also help soothe itchy skin, and it is sympathetic, so it won’t cause additional irritation for your dog.

Grind oatmeal yourself in a food processor, mix it with water, and apply it to dry and itchy skin areas.

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Is It Okay If My Dog Licks Aquaphor?

Aquaphor is nontoxic, so whether your dog licks it off you or their own paws or nose, it shouldn’t cause any ill effects. If your dog does consume a large amount of the petroleum jelly product, it might cause some diarrhea or vomiting, which would need to be treated by a vet.

Can I Put Aquaphor on My Dog’s Open Wound?

As well as being effective on dry and cracked skin, Aquaphor can be used on minor wounds. Apply a small amount. If the wound is more than a slight abrasion or cut, you should see a vet, first, however.

dog at the veterinarian at the follow-up check on the wound on the leg
Image Credit: thka, Shutterstock

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Aquaphor is a petroleum jelly-based moisturizer and emollient that people use to treat chapped lips and dry skin. It can also be used on dogs because it is non-toxic, and it offers the same soothing results on dogs as it does on people. Apply a small layer on the affected area and try to ensure it has time to soak in before it rubs off.

Featured Image Credit: Towfiqu ahamed barbhuiya, Shutterstock


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