When you’re a pet parent you get used to all the weird things your pet seems to find delicious, so it might not come as a surprise that some dogs develop a taste for vaseline.
If your dog ate vaseline, you should call your veterinary and inform him about the fact, because even if vaseline isn’t particularly harmful to dogs and maybe it will just cause some stomach ache, large ingestions might turn into a life-threatening situation.
What should you do if your dog ate vaseline?
If your dog eats vaseline, also called petroleum jelly, taking the cream away from them should be the first step.
Dogs are very sensitive to changes in their diet, therefore it would be wise to keep an eye out for any symptoms of discomfort, like tummy ache or vomiting.
Even if ingesting small quantities of vaseline should be harmless, vaseline doesn’t get digested at all; so it will come out as it went in and it might cause some troubles along the way.
What you should not do if your dog ate vaseline.
Do not try to induce vomiting in your dog. Induce vomiting is usually the first thing most pet parents consider when their dog ingests something they shouldn’t, but it’s actually a very serious and dangerous procedure that should be done only when strictly necessary.
When in doubt, it would be wise to call your veterinarian and listen to their advice. Even though ingesting vaseline isn’t usually dangerous, your dog’s condition is one of a kind and only someone who knows their medical history can assert whether your pet is safe or not.
Is vaseline safe for dogs?
Vaseline is not toxic for dogs, but it goes without saying that if your dog ate a jar of vaseline there will be consequences.
Vaseline on dogs is mostly used to treat wounds or dry skin. It’s not a product that will cause an immediate reaction or put your dog’s life in danger when used properly.
Some veterinarians actually use vaseline to help push a foreign object through a dog’s digestive system, but that does not mean you should try to replicate this procedure at home.
Usage of vaseline as a lubricant is not always the best course of action to take, because in the case of sharp objects it might actually cause lacerations in the intestines.
It’s important to remember that vaseline is an industrial product deriving from oil refining, which is not something you want your dog to eat. A long exposition or repeated ingestion of vaseline could actually turn out really dangerous.
Depending on your dog age, size, and health conditions, there might be symptoms or consequences impossible to predict, so consulting your local professional is always a good idea.
What happens if a dog eats vaseline?
If your dog ate petroleum jelly, they are likely to feel sick.
As mentioned before vaseline doesn’t get digested by your dog and it will pass through their system as it is, probably only lubricating your dog’s digestive tract and nothing more if they’re lucky.
Depending on the quantity ingested, there may be bigger or smaller consequences, and they’re all usually related to gastrointestinal problems.
The biggest concern should be diarrhea, which is also the most common symptom related to vaseline ingestion in dogs. You can expect a few messy days after your dog ate vaseline, as you will have to clean up after them many times.
Diarrhea can get dangerous because it causes severe dehydration, so your dog will need to be provided with enough water to keep the balance. However, when dealing with gastrointestinal problems, water might increase the sense of nausea and also make diarrhea worse.
For all these reasons, when it comes to managing the aftermath of the ingestion of vaseline for dogs, it would be a good idea to discuss with your veterinarian how to proceed.
Make sure to describe the amount of vaseline ingested and all related symptoms. They might advise you to reduce the food intake of your dog for a couple of days, in order to help the vaseline pass through faster.
Don’t take any initiative regarding your dog’s diet unless you’ve consulted a professional first. Dogs have very sensitive stomachs that don’t easily adapt to sudden changes in diet.
Most cases of vaseline ingestion won’t need a medical examination or any expensive procedures, but anything out of the ordinary should nonetheless be reported to your veterinary.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) warns about some rare but dangerous side-effects of vaseline ingestion.
If your dog ingests a large quantity of vaseline, it is possible that they might inhale it from inside their intestines, especially if it comes up during vomiting. Vaseline could end up in your dog’s lungs and cause aspiration pneumonia.
Dogs affected by this disease develop a powerful infection of the lungs, which gets inflamed. A large number of fluids will accumulate in the lower respiratory tract and will make it difficult for your dog to breathe properly.
They will require an emergency visit, as aspiration pneumonia can turn out fatal.
Severe symptoms of aspiration pneumonia include:
- Blue gums
- Wet or heavy breathing
- Lethargy or weakness
The diagnosis of this disease is only possible through a careful medical examination by the veterinarian. If you notice any of these symptoms, bring your dog to an emergency clinic as soon as possible.
How to prevent your dog from eating vaseline again.
It is not uncommon to use vaseline for dog treatments and some dogs might develop an interest in the cream and start to lick it off their skin.
To prevent them from doing so, consider wrapping the interesting part in some bandages or change the product to one that is less attractive to them.
Vaseline, as well as any other product that can be harmful to your pets, should be stored away from your dog and possibly somewhere they can’t ever reach.
One smart trick to prevent your dog from eating vaseline is to mix it with cayenne pepper. Of course, this should not be done when you’re applying vaseline on your dog’s skin, but only to stop them from licking vaseline off something else.
It is particularly useful with dogs that have chewing tendencies and destructive behavior. Applying a bit of vaseline on the wall or on the legs of a chair will serve as a deterrent and keep your dog away from it.
Can dogs eat vaseline?
Dogs should not eat vaseline, because it’s an industrial product that should have nothing to do with their diet.
Small amounts of vaseline could cause some discomfort for your dog like diarrhea, and as a consequence some troubles for you as well. While in the case of large ingestion your dog might be in a life-threatening situation.
So if you discover that your dog swallowed vaseline it’s better to stay on the safe side and call your veterinarian to discuss the matter.
For all of these reasons, remember to always play safe and keep vaseline away from your dog.