Your dog just ate something it shouldn’t have. It had found your tub of Vaseline and taken a few gulps. Since it is a petroleum byproduct, you might be concerned that the ingredients can harm your dog’s internal organs. While Vaseline as a product is pretty safe for humans, there are warning signs to look out for when a dog ingests this petroleum jelly.
Don’t fret! We have the perfect solution to help you deal with this situation. In this article, we discuss what you need to do if your dog accidentally ate Vaseline.
Is Vaseline Harmful for Canines?
Due to dogs’ heightened sense of smell, they might be attracted to the scent of some products, including Vaseline. They may lick it from the container or from your skin.
In short, Vaseline isn’t particularly harmful when ingested in small amounts. Indeed, when children ingest a small amount of Vaseline, it can cause soft stools. There’s also a risk of choking, but that is relatively rare.
Dogs have a stronger metabolism than children. In most cases, your pooch will not be affected, nor show any immediate reaction, when it consumes a small amount of petroleum jelly. Some vets even recommend feeding Vaseline to dogs since it’s a laxative. Thus, it will help push out any hard foreign object from its digestive tract.
However, petroleum jelly is still an industrial byproduct derived from refining oil. So even if it’s not harmful when ingested in small quantities, you should keep your dog away from it. Regular exposure may lead to certain complications that might require medical attention.
How Much is Too Much?
There isn’t a set amount that makes Vaseline toxic or dangerous. If your dog consumes the entire jar of a few milligrams, it may develop some complications.
It’s not just individual sensitivity to Vaseline, either. How your dog reacts also depends on its size and age. Bigger and younger dogs can inherently tolerate a higher amount of Vaseline than smaller and older dogs.
If a dog has had an intolerable amount of Vaseline, you’ll notice a change in their behavior.
Symptoms of Vaseline Overdose
The most common symptom is loose stool. You’ll notice that the dog’s feces is more watery than usual. This happens because Vaseline is an oil and laxative. It increases bowel movement and helps solid waste matter move out quicker.
If the dog consumes excessive amounts of Vaseline, then it will experience loose stool in various quantities. In some cases, this may lead to diarrhea that can affect your dog for several days.
The worrying consequences of diarrhea is dehydration and lethargy. They’ll stop being active and might even refuse food and water. This is a medical emergency and you should rush your pet to the vet before things get out of hand.
Another severe condition to look out for is Aspiration pneumonia. Some dogs can develop this dangerous condition after ingesting Vaseline. When ingesting Vaseline, they might inhale it. When petroleum jelly enters your dog’s lungs, it risks developing pneumonia.
Primary signs include heavy breathing, discomfort, coughing, and fever. In severe cases, you’ll notice blue gums.
What To Do if Your Dog Ate Vaseline
In most cases, you do not have to worry about anything. The effects of Vaseline aren’t going to be strong, nor last too long. So your dog should be fine.
But if you see the above symptoms like loose stool and coughing, you should talk to your vet. After examining your pet, they might recommend certain medications to ease the stomach or counter the pneumonia.
In most cases, the goal is not to let the dog become too dehydrated. Follow the vet’s advice on how to avoid this and what you should feed your dog (it’s usually a bland diet of cooked rice and chicken). Never try to induce vomiting. Since Vaseline is an oily substance, it’s unlikely to come out along with the vomit.
Even worse, it may weaken the dog and put him at risk of dehydration. If you think your dog has consumed a large amount of Vaseline, then you should rush to the vet and have your pet checked out.
Preventing Dogs from Eating Vaseline
The best way to avoid any complications is to prevent your dog from consuming the Vaseline in the first place.
As mentioned before, the scent of Vaseline prompts some dogs to sample the product by licking at it or even taking a few bites. So as a precaution, it would be best if you kept it out of the reach of your pet. Store the tub inside a cupboard or drawer. Prevention is really better than a cure – and it is definitely not as expensive as a visit to the vet!
A Quick Summary
Dogs should never eat Vaseline, even though it’s generally considered to be non-toxic for pets. After all, it’s still an industrial product, and it’s better to keep your dogs away from such products.
This fact is especially true if you have elderly dogs. Their digestive tract might not be in any condition to tolerate dehydration and stomach upsets. Thus, they’ll face more severe problems than younger dogs.
Once you notice any symptoms after your pet had eaten Vaseline, it’s best for your dog – and your own peace of mind – to schedule a vet visit as soon as possible.