Did you know that dog skin is far more sensitive than human skin?
Luckily, they have a thick layer of fur to protect it.
But they can still suffer from dry or flaky skin.
And their coats can dry out or become matted too.
Applying some oil to the affected area is a good way to moisturize it and help heal it.
But what kind of oil should you use? Can you put baby oil on dogs?
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about putting baby oil on your dog. It turns out, it is not a great option, so we’ll also give you some much better alternatives.
- 1 Can I Put Baby Oil On My Dog?
- 2 Can You Put Baby Oil On My Dogs’ Noses?
- 3 Baby Oil For Matted Dog Hair?
- 4 Is Baby Oil Safe For Dogs?
- 5 What Happens If My Dog Licks Baby Oil?
- 6 What Does Baby Oil Do For Dogs’ Skin?
- 7 What Oils Can I Put on My Dog’s Coat?
- 8 Is Johnson’s Baby Lotion Safe To Use On Dogs?
- 9 Other Options For Moisturizing Your Dog’s Skin And Coat
- 10 Can You Use Baby Oil On Dogs: Conclusion
Can I Put Baby Oil On My Dog?
You can put baby oil on your dog, but it is better not to. Dog skin is very sensitive and anything you put on it can irritate, including baby oil.
If you have nothing else to use, you can use baby oil to moisturize and condition your dog’s dry and itchy skin or nose. But baby oil is a human product and not made for a dog’s sensitive skin.
We’ll give you some better alternatives below. First, let’s take a look at the main reasons not to use baby oil on dogs.
5 Reasons Not To Use Baby Oil On Dogs
Here are the main reasons why you should not use baby oil on dogs.
1. Dog Skin Has A Different pH Than Baby Skin
People believe that baby oil is gentle, so you can safely us it on a dog’s skin. While that may be true to some extent, it is important to understand the difference between a baby’s skin pH and a dog’s skin pH.
The pH of baby skin is between 5 and 5.5 whereas the pH level of a dog’s skin is between 5.5 and 7.2. This means a dog’s skin is more acidic than a baby’s skin, on average. This acid mantle is important to curb the growth of harmful bacteria.
Using human products, even those meant for babies, can disrupt the acid mantle of your dog’s skin. Over time, baby oil can irritate your pet’s skin making it more susceptible to bacteria and infections.
2. Baby Oil Contains Toxic Hydrocarbons
Even the best baby oil products contain hydrocarbons. These can be extremely harmful to your pet if ingested, even in small quantities.
This is why the National Capital Poison Center urges parents to keep baby oil bottles out of the reach of toddlers and pets. Unfortunately, there have been incidents where babies have ingested baby oil and suffered from toxic effects like extreme lethargy, vomiting, etc.
Our dogs often lick their skin to self-soothe or groom. Even if your pet just inhales baby oil, it is at risk of developing pneumonia. Learning how to train a dog not to lick is not overly difficult, but just doing that is still too risky. You dog may still lick the oil and all it takes is one little lick.
3. Dog Skin Is More Sensitive Than Human Skin
It may be difficult to believe, but a dog’s skin is more sensitive than a baby’s skin. Human skin has 10 to 15 layers of skin cells whereas canine skin has just 3 skin cell layers.
The use of baby oil containing petrochemicals can irritate dogs’ delicate skin. And the irritation could worsen if your dog chews or licks the irritated areas. This can even lead to secondary skin infections that may require antibiotics to treat.
4. Baby Oil Contains Mineral Oil
According to pediatrician Dr. Arti Sharma, baby oil contains mineral oil which is listed as paraffinum liquidum. This is a pore-clogging substance that can make the skin dry, irritated, and itchy.
According to Cancer.org, mineral oil applied topically can increase the human risk of developing nonmelanoma cancer. While we need more tests on dogs, we have already established that dog skin is more delicate than human skin. Therefore, it is best to avoid baby oil on your pup.
5. Oil Can Attract Dirt
Applying baby oil on a dog’s coat can attract dirt and quickly render the coat dull. The dirt can further trap pollen and other allergens and worsen skin problems. Therefore, it is best not to put baby oil on dogs’ coats.
Can You Put Baby Oil On My Dogs’ Noses?
It is best not to apply baby oil to your dog’s nose. There are a few reasons that is not a good idea. Let’s take a look at the main reasons.
- Your pet might lick it: Ingesting even a tiny bit of baby oil could be harmful to dogs due to the hydrocarbons it contains.
- It could irritate your pet’s delicate nose: Dogs’ noses are delicate and the mineral oil in baby oil could irritate this sensitive area. Fragrant oils could also irritate your pet’s nose and many fragrances contain harsh chemicals.
- It could interfere with your pet’s smelling ability: Most importantly, the baby oil’s scent could interfere with your pet’s natural sense of smell and might even camouflage your scent, as well as all those scents that comfort your dog.
Baby Oil For Matted Dog Hair?
It is not uncommon to see baby oil recommended for matted dog hair, but we have already covered why this is not a good idea. You are much better off using one of the oils we listed below.
Is Baby Oil Safe For Dogs?
Putting some baby oil on a dog’s skin will not usually cause any serious harm. But, as mentioned above, there is a good chance it can cause some problems. And if your dog ingests the baby oil, it can become sick.
What Happens If My Dog Licks Baby Oil?
As mentioned above, baby oil is toxic if ingested. The hydrocarbons in the ol can make your pup seriously ill.
What Does Baby Oil Do For Dogs’ Skin?
Baby oil moisturizes a dog’s skin, but it can also cause skin irritations and other issues. For that reason, it is better to use some other type of oil, instead of baby oil. We will cover some good oils to use next.
What Oils Can I Put on My Dog’s Coat?
According to Dr. Janet Roark, also known as the Essential Oil Vet, the following oils are safe for use on a dog’s coat.
- Coconut oil: Dr. Roark believes coconut oil is a great remedy for dry dogs’ noses, coats, and paws. Coconut oil is soothing, protective, and moisturizing. She recommends a dog-specific product like Zesty Paws made especially for soothing all kinds of skin issues in dogs.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is also a soothing, moisturizing, and healing oil. To apply, add 5-10 drops to a cup of distilled water and spray over the dry areas of your pet’s coat.
- Certain diluted essential oils: Dr. Roark recommends essential oils like lavender and cedarwood oils for curbing yeast and bacterial growth on a dog’s coat. However, she strongly urges pet parents to work closely with a holistic vet when using essential oils. Many oils like tea tree oil can be extremely toxic to dogs, so please avoid using them unless advised.
Is Johnson’s Baby Lotion Safe To Use On Dogs?
Even though Johnson’s brand promises gentle care for babies, it still contains a host of chemicals and alcohol which, while safe for babies, could be unsafe for dogs.
If your pet accidentally inhales or ingests the lotion, it could lead to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and excess drooling. Therefore, it is best not to use any baby lotion on dogs.
Other Options For Moisturizing Your Dog’s Skin And Coat
Here are some tips for moisturizing your dog’s skin and coat that do not involve the use of baby oil. You have plenty of other good options, so there is no need to reach for the baby oil.
- Use lukewarm water to bathe your pet. Hot water tends to strip off the natural oils making the coat dry and flaky.
- If your pet has dandruff, use a vet-approved anti-dandruff shampoo to bathe it.
- For dry irritated skin, colloidal oatmeal shampoos (we recommend a good oatmeal based dog shampoo in this article) for dogs work best.
- Follow up with a coat conditioner or a moisturizing conditioner specially formulated for dogs (do not use a human conditioner).
- Brush your dog regularly. Brushing distributes the natural skin oils making the coat healthier.
Use A Spray With Coconut Oil
Here is a great recipe to spray your dog’s coat. Add the following ingredients to an 8-ounce spray bottle.
- 1 cup distilled water
- 2 tsp melted organic, cold-pressed coconut oil
- 5 drops of pure lavender essential oil.
Shake well. Spritz your pet’s coat taking care not to soak the fur. Alternatively, rub your palms with coconut oil and massage or run them through your pet’s coat. You can also use olive oil instead of coconut oil.
Feed A Healthy Diet
Chronic dry skin in dogs can be attributed to poor diet and/or food allergies. Make sure your dog gets at least 15 to 20% healthy fats in its daily diet. Consider adding a fish oil supplement to improve the metabolism of fats in your pet’s skin. If you have a small dog, this article reviews the best dog foods for small dogs like Yorkies.
Can You Use Baby Oil On Dogs: Conclusion
You can use baby oil on your dog’s skin, but it is not recommended. It is not formulated for dog and can cause skin irritation or infections. And it is toxic if ingested.
This may come as a surprise, but dog skin is far more delicate that human skin. That is why they need so much fur to protect it. IF your dog is suffering from dry skin or fur, try one of the alternatives recommended above, instead of reaching for the baby oil.