Sometimes our canine friends don’t get the memo that things like Aquaphor aren’t the most delicious or healthiest of things to eat! Unfortunately, it is not completely unheard of for dogs to get into this commonly used moisturizing product. The good news is if Aquaphor is consumed in small amounts, it’s typically not too problematic.
Alternatively, if eaten in larger amounts, dogs may have gastrointestinal upset-related side effects such as vomiting and diarrhea. If your dog does ingest Aquaphor, we’ll discuss more specifics of what to do and expect below.
Immediate Steps to Take
- Remain calm and do your best to stay level-headed—getting worked up and anxious does not help your dog or the situation.
- Take away any remaining product to prevent continued consumption. Try to determine if you can find out how much product your dog ate. Did they just lick an open bottle, or did they eat most of the container and the product inside?
- Contact your dog’s veterinary office with information. Alternatively, a Pet Poison Control option that employs veterinary toxicology experts is an option. Some well-known hotlines that are open 24 hours per day and 365 days a year include the Pet Poison Helpline or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control.
- Monitor your dog. Watch for signs of illness such as lethargy, lack of appetite, pain, or prolonged vomiting or diarrhea.
What Is Aquaphor?
Aquaphor as a brand comes in many different types of body care products in various preparations. For the purpose of this article, specifically, we’ll be addressing the commonly used Aquaphor’s healing ointment.
The product’s ingredients are listed as:
|mineral oil, ceresin, lanolin alcohol, panthenol, glycerin, bisabolol
This over-the-counter product markets itself as specifically protecting, moisturizing, and soothing dry or damaged skin. With that being said, it is not intended for oral consumption.
What Happens If a Dog Eats Aquaphor?
Any potential side effects seen from ingesting this product are dose-dependent. This means that the size of the dog as well as how much they consumed will determine the degree to which any side effects are seen (if any are to be seen at all). For example, a Chihuahua that eats a whole container will likely have more severe side effects than a Labrador Retriever that takes a couple of licks.
Signs that can be seen after ingesting Aquaphor can include drooling or gastrointestinal (GI) upset such as vomiting and/or diarrhea. Mild GI signs that resolve quickly would be more likely with smaller amounts consumed. If more severe or prolonged GI signs occur, this may require help from your veterinarian to treat in addition to the potential for dehydration and electrolyte changes that can go hand-in-hand with the GI signs.
If some of the container, packaging, or lid was consumed, this can cause more room for concern. These scenarios have the potential to scrape the insides of the digestive tract or cause a foreign obstruction, which would be a medical emergency.
While monitoring your dog for any signs of illness after an ingestion event, watching and reporting promptly to your veterinarian is key. In addition, ensuring your dog has access to fresh, clean water is important. If your dog has an upset stomach, you could try giving some bland plain food, such as boiled chicken and rice, for a few meals. Do not give any medications unless directed by a veterinarian.
Household or personal products such as Aquaphor are best kept out of the reach of our curious canine friends. While it’s sometimes easier said than done, making it a habit to routinely dog-proof your home, can help keep your dog healthy and safe.
While Aquaphor is not especially toxic in dogs, if consumed, it may cause vomiting and diarrhea if consumed in large enough amounts. In the event that your dog eats Aquaphor, contact your veterinarian to discuss the situation; at the very least, they’ll want you to monitor your pup and keep them updated on any developments.