Smooth Pupperator: Can I Put Lotion On my Dog?

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We love our dogs more than anything. So, it’s understandable to want to share with them what makes us feel good. Applying our favorite moisturizing cream on our skin is a nurturing act of self-care that provides us with much comfort. We may wonder if the same cream will soothe our pup as much as it soothes us.

Perhaps you’ve bought a vegan moon-bathed oil made with locally-grown coconuts and family-harvested avocado extract that works wonders on your rashes. At one point, you might consider sharing a drop of this remedy with your pooch if you happen to see them constantly scratching themselves. 

Or maybe you’re about to go for a walk on the beach and notice a piercing, mid-summer sun that makes you want to rub off some of your most reliable sunscreen onto your precious dog’s skin. 

On a hot and humid afternoon as mosquito bites are non-stop, you may be inclined to spray on your furry friend a bit of your most effective mosquito repellent, so they too won’t be bothered.

But the question is: Can dogs use lotion?

Dogs Can Use Lotion, But Not Yours

The quickest answer to this question is: Yes, dogs can use lotion, but not the same one you use. 

The first and obvious reason is that your lotion was created for human use. A dog’s body is very different from ours. Secondly, and most importantly, your dog will most likely lick itself after being applied the lotion.

Your dog could ingest some amount of the substances that the lotion is made of. Many creams and lotions made for humans have ingredients that are harmful to your dog. 

If your dog ingests a harmful substance it may have the following reactions.

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

Does my Dog Have a Skin Condition?

A reason why you may want to use lotion on your dog could be that you suspect they have a skin condition. You should always check your dog regularly to make sure their skin is healthy. 

Here are some signs your dog may have a skin condition:

  • Frequent or prolonged itching
  • Rubbing against an object or a surface
  • Excessive licking over irritated areas

The best way to find out if your pet has a skin condition is to take them to their vet and have them prescribe the medication that is right for them. Unhealthy skin conditions could be a symptom of a variety of issues, best determined by a vet who will discover the causes based on the appropriate analysis. 

The reasons for dry or flaky skin on dogs could range from allergies to flea saliva to hypothyroidism or a disorder called Cushing’s disease.

Treatment for Dry Skin

A qualified veterinarian will always determine the best treatment for dry or scaly skin on your dog.

Having said that, here are some common treatments that may be prescribed by your vet if they consider it the right thing.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids or fish oils: Omega-3 and fish oils have anti-inflammatory properties that may help with dry and flaky skin. The right dose must be prescribed by a vet since too much of it could cause diarrhea. 
  • Shampoo and Conditioners: Your vet may also prescribe a shampoo or conditioner specially formulated for dogs. There are many on the market, which your vet or vet store employee can recommend to you, each with a clear set of instructions for their application. 
  • A Change in Diet: A dog’s skin and coat can improve dramatically with a proper change of diet. Ensuring that your dog eats high-quality food is important. Numerous high-quality food brands provide pet food designed for sensitive skin. 
  • Lotion for dogs: There are many veterinarian-approved lotions for dogs that are sold over the counter. They range from nose butter, paw protection dog wax, skin-repairing dog balm, and even dog sun skin protector spray. You can find the right lotion for your furry pooch in your nearest pet supply retailer, or you can order it online. 

Mosquito Repellent on Dogs

We’ve already covered how products for human use are not appropriate for our dogs. But it’s worth mentioning that you should not put mosquito repellent on your dog. Mosquito repellent is made of substances that are toxic for our beautiful pups. These substances are DEET and Picaridin.

It may be a no-brainer, but don’t let your dog lick you immediately after you’ve put on mosquito repellent. They could accidentally ingest harmful substances.

There are many mosquito repellent products for use in dogs that are safe to apply on your precious pet. 


As much as we identify with our furry best friends, we’re got completely different organisms. Our dog’s bodies are complex and amazing structures that have very specific needs and characteristics. 

What may be good for us may not be good for them, and vice-versa (don’t use your dogs’ lotions, either).

When it comes to being safe and healthy, let’s keep each species in their own lane. 

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