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My Dog Ate Aquaphor: What Should I Do Now?

Dogs tend to eat the most bizarre of things, some of which may be toxic. Consequently, some dog owners pet-proof their homes in a bid to curb their dog’s curiosity and keep them safe. But despite taking such safety measures, your dog might still find its way into things it shouldn’t; a jar of Aquaphor, for instance.

If your dog ate Aquaphor, it should be okay except for experiencing diarrhea. Regardless of that, you should call your vet to discuss your treatment options and get informed on additional symptoms to look out for.

What should you do if your dog ate Aquaphor?

Aquaphor ingestion should not be a cause of panic as it is mostly harmless. Aquaphor has a laxative effect, so when your dog consumes it, it will likely result in diarrhea and possible vomiting. The severity of the laxative effect will depend on the quantity consumed and your dog’s breed, size, and weight.

And although Aquaphor is non-toxic, diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration if left unchecked. So you should also call your veterinarian for advice on how to treat diarrhea and how to proceed diet-wise. 

How to Treat Diarrhea in Dogs

Usually, the treatment for diarrhea in dogs depends on what’s causing it. If your dog ate Aquaphor, your vet may suggest a bland diet for a few days as part of the treatment plan.

Bland diets are low in fat and fiber, with the most common being boiled rice and boiled lean chicken. These easy to digest foods help soothe your dog’s intestinal tract and promote ideal stool formation. Before starting a bland diet, most veterinarians suggest:

  • Withholding food and water for a couple of hours after vomiting or diarrhea
  • If in that period your dog doesn’t vomit or has diarrhea, you may start to offer water but in small amounts at a time
  • If after 2 to 3 hours your dog doesn’t get sick, slowly begin a bland diet

Bland diet instructions

  • Mix boiled lean meat (chicken, hamburger, or turkey) with equal parts of boiled white rice. Do not use butter, salt, garlic, or other seasonings.
  • Start with a small portion, such as one tablespoon or a meatball-sized amount. If there’s no vomiting after two hours, you can offer a little more.
  • Increase the quantity and frequency gradually. For example, you can increase the amount to ½ cup then a cup every 3 or 4 hours.
  • Slowly continue to decrease the bland diet and increase the regular food over a couple of days until your dog is back to his/her everyday diet.

Warning: A bland diet is nutritionally incomplete, so you should only feed it to your dog for a few days. If diarrhea or vomiting persists, take your dog to the vet.

The long term feeding of a homemade diet should always be under the supervision of a veterinary nutritionist to avoid consequences such as low calcium levels in the blood.

Another solution the veterinary may suggest to help treat diarrhea is Pepto Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate). However, you should only administer Pepto Bismol if directed by a vet for the right dose. Additionally, it should not be used long-term.

When should you go to the vet?

Aquaphor is non-toxic, and a dog can consume it safely in small quantities. It is, however, likely to result in diarrhea and vomiting. So it is advisable to contact your vet to discuss the situation to ensure you give your dog the best care.

Here are some signs that your dog’s diarrhea needs medical attention:

  • If the stool is black, tarry, or bloody (bright red)
  • If your dog appears lethargic
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Signs of abdominal pain such as groaning or sensitivity to touch
  • Loss of appetite
  • If diarrhea lasts longer than 48 hours

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Why Do Dogs Eat Aquaphor?

It’s quite normal and natural for dogs to eat things they shouldn’t, from rubber bands to styrofoam to even aluminum foil. Here are some of the reasons why your dog may eat Aquaphor:

– Curiosity. Dogs explore the world using their mouth, and they may accidentally swallow things they pick, some of which may be toxic.

– Boredom. Dogs are quite intelligent and tend to get bored fast. So to keep themselves busy, they may begin chewing on or eating things in your house then end up swallowing them.

– Stress. If your dog is stressed, perhaps by being left alone, it may comfort itself by chewing on objects or eating things that aren’t food items.

– Habit. Your dog may feel compelled to eat non-food items, which is known as pica. Your dog may crave one particular object or a variety. Coprophagia, the medical term for eating feces, is the most common form of pica in dogs.

– Hunger. If your dog is especially hungry, it will go searching for anything to eat, so ensure to feed your dog the right amount of dog food.

Can You Use Aquaphor on Dogs?

Yes. You can use Aquaphor on dogs to help with a variety of skin problems, including wounds, post-op scars, scrapes, rashes, and dry skin.

The topical ointment does not contain an antibiotic but creates a semi-permeable barrier, which allows oxygen and water vapor to pass through. This helps keep the wound moist by preventing it from drying up and scabbing, which in turn promotes healing.

Aquaphor also prevents contamination and helps stitches come out cleaner. You can also use it to soften dry areas on your dogs, such as a crusty snout, peeling paw pads, or elbow calluses. Veterinarian Donna Solomon recommends applying a thin coat of Aquaphor on a dry area twice a day.

Tip: You want to leave the Aquaphor on for 10-15 minutes before allowing your dog onto your furniture, as it can be greasy and will rub the grease off onto your furniture.

Warning: Aquaphor is not intended for internal use. Never put it in your dog’s ears or nose.

How to prevent your dog from eating Aquaphor again

Here are a few measures you can take to keep your dog from ingesting Aquaphor and other items:

Store Aquaphor in a place where your dog cannot reach, such as a medicine cabinet or a drawer.

Consider an alternative treatment for your dog’s dry skin, such as coconut oil or shea butter.

Keep your dog under close supervision, which is critical when training him/her to not eat just anything. When you can’t watch your pup, consider using a crate or kennel. Although some pet parents think crate or kennel training is cruel, it can give your dog a sense of security.

Puppy proof your house and backyard; it could save your dog’s life and spare you veterinary bills.

Use clear labels on prescription vials to ensure you’re administering the correct drug to your dog.

Do not allow your dog to play in areas where chemicals are stored.

Correct your dog’s behavior with a simple, firm “no” or “drop it” whenever you notice it mouthing something it shouldn’t.

Is Aquaphor Safe for Dogs?

Aquaphor is safe for dogs. If ingested, it doesn’t pose any danger, but it may result in diarrhea or an upset tummy. Aquaphor ingestion may occur by your dog gaining access to a jar of the product or licking it off after you apply it on their skin.

Note: Licking may or may not be a factor. It depends on how easily accessible the area getting treated is to your dog’s curious mouth.

Because Aquaphor is safe for dogs, you can use it to curb puppies’ destructive chewing tendencies by mixing it with cayenne pepper. Use the mixture on things your dog loves to chew on, such as table legs and baseboards, as it serves as a deterrent.