Can I Put Human Lotion on a Dog?

It is tempting to immediately grab your go-to lotion if your dog suffers from dry paws or skin. 

Since the lotion isn’t harmful to you, your dog shouldn’t have any problems with it either, right? 

Suddenly, you’re wondering whether your dog can use your human lotion, and you find yourself searching for answers online. To save time, we’ll give you the short answer: no, human lotions are not for dogs. 

You’ll learn how to effectively care for the skin and fur of your dog in this guide. You will also find what a little extra effort can do for your dog to ensure their fur and skin are always healthy! So, continue reading to learn how to manage your dog’s skin!

Why You Should Not Use Your Lotion on Your Dog

Unfortunately, pets tend to lick off anything that has been put on their fur, and many human lotions contain chemicals that your dog should not swallow. Dogs are likely to have problems with moisturizing products’ side effects, including too much salivation, stomach upset, and diarrhea. 

If your dog eats even a tiny amount of lotion, it could worsen his skin condition. Since some human creams have strong smells and chemicals, they could eventually harm your dog’s skin.

And that’s not just limited to moisturizers. Even sunscreens for human use shouldn’t be applied to a pet’s fur. Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors may experience a sunburn, which can be painful and itchy on the nose and ears.  

Some short-haired dog breeds are more likely to get sick with these sunburns. However, even though it’s tempting, you shouldn’t put sunscreen or lotions on your pets. Zinc oxide, which is often found in human sunscreen, can kill red blood cells and upset a dog’s stomach if your dog accidentally swallows it. Octisalate is a type of aspirin that is also very dangerous for dogs and has been found in several human sunscreens and lotions. 

So, if you see fleas, sarcoptic mange mites, or allergies on your dog’s skin, it could signify a more serious problem. Therefore, talk to your vet about whether or not it is okay to put lotion on your pet.

Lotions Are Toxic to Dogs

There is a widespread dispute among humans over whether or not human lotions and moisturizers are safe for dogs. But let us be straightforward here: unfortunately, they are unsafe for your dog’s use.

After you put lotion on your dog’s paws, they are likely to lick it. If they accidentally consume any quantity of lotion, they can show adverse effects. Besides, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Most of the time, the ingredients in the lotions are relatively safe. But they can upset your dog’s stomach. Ingredients like paraffin, are hard to break down and can build up in your dog’s body. This means that if you put lotion on your dog often, it can build up and become threatening.

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How to Help Your Dog’s Skin Then?

Dogs susceptible to skin concerns may have more than one problem. Fortunately, with the right products, you can treat your dog’s itchy, flaky, and dry skin. We break this down below for better understanding.

Your dog might have one of these three skin conditions:

Itchy Skin

If your dog itches so much that you think they might be going crazy, they’re not. In fact, it is a sign that you must seek professional help right away. Talk to your vet about how to help with the symptoms.

A vet often recommends shampoo made for dogs with dry and itchy skin. It has animal-friendly moisturizing ingredients that help with itching and heals the skin with regular use. You can also find moisturizers and lotions for dogs to treat itching. 

Upon inspection, the vet may also recommend certain medicines to treat the itching immediately. Some vitamins can be used as treats to help the dog’s skin stop being so dry. Some dog owners, especially those who live in arid places, find a humidifier helpful.

Dry Skin

When it’s hot, taking your dog outside can affect their skin and make it drier. Giving your dog fewer baths during dry weather can also help keep skin problems at bay.

Try walking your dog in the morning or evening to avoid this. Moreover, you must ensure that your dog drinks enough water and is thoroughly hydrated. If you still suspect dry skin and recently switched their shampoo, it is perhaps because the shampoo isn’t suiting them. While the skin returns to normal with treatment and the right products, you can put coconut oil or give them nutrient-enriched dog chews to help the skin and fur.

Flaky Skin

Regular brushing with the right brush can help avoid dandruff and maintain your pup’s skin and coat. You can also use lotions for dogs to treat flaky skin. If the weather is too dry, avoid giving frequent baths to your pup and let their skin heal. 

You can use a moisturizing dry shampoo instead, if you must clean them. Additionally, a balanced diet is essential for your dog’s health. You can treat their skin from the inside by giving fish oil drops in their meals.

What Lotion Can I Put on My Dog

So how do you keep your pup’s skin and coat moisturized and healthy? What else can you put on your dog if you can’t use human lotion? 

Your dog will benefit greatly from a few natural, readily available choices.

For Paws, You Can Use

Paw Wax

Paw wax is often used in snow and other cold weather. But it can also be helpful in the summer or whenever you want to keep your dog’s paws safe and moisturized.

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Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is an excellent natural moisturizer and can also fight off bacteria and fungus for your dog. You can apply coconut oil to your dog’s skin and fur without worrying about accidental swallowing. 

Shea Butter

Shea butter is a fantastic moisturizer that is particularly beneficial for dry, cracked skin, not just in humans but also dogs. It’s high in Vitamin E and fatty acids. In doing so, you fortify the skin’s inherent defenses. But be careful of your buddy consuming them.


Paw wax contains lots of beeswax for a good reason. It naturally exfoliates dry, flaky skin and retains and attracts moisture to your dog’s paws. As a bonus, it protects from the weather.

For Skin, You Can Use

Dog Safe Moisturizers

In recent years, a bewildering variety of canine-specific moisturizers have emerged on the market. Choose any of these alternatives if you need a quick fix.

Pantry Moisturisers

Apply a little coconut or olive oil to your palms and rub your dog’s skin and coat. You will notice that a small dose has noticeable effects. Oatmeal baths can moisturize your dog’s dry skin. However, oatmeal infant cereal flakes are ideal. Besides, a half-cup of water is all you need to bathe your dog.

You can also try regular oats. Prepare by boiling for 10 minutes and refrigerate them. Sponge or washcloth your dog’s skin with water.

Don’t Forget Omega 3s

Fatty acids help dogs’ skin and hair growth. They reduce inflammation and treat arthritis well. So, Omega-3 fatty acids may keep your dog’s skin soft and in the best shape from the inside out. 

Since most omega-3 supplements are fish oil, dogs benefit from omega-3-rich diets, including sardines, tuna, and flaxseed.

Bath Time

Over- or under-bathing can also be harmful to your dog’s skin. The dog’s appearance and activity level determine how often to wash it. Bathing regularly is essential for a highly active dog that wouldn’t miss a chance to roll in the dirt outdoors. But the best way to avoid dry skin problems is to use a suitable dog shampoo and moisturizers to keep skin hydrated

Since human shampoo can change dogs’ pH and hurt their sensitive skin, dog shampoo is excellent for bathing your dog. 

Final Words

Putting human lotion on your dog is not okay. But there are several products designed for dogs that you can use to take great care of your dog’s skin. These will work better and be safer for your dog than any human lotion you use.

Use this article as a guide if your dog’s skin is flaky or itchy and you need to treat it. If your dog’s skin doesn’t get better, you should talk to a vet right away!

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Susan Dorling

I am a pet expert with years of experience working with a variety of animals. From dogs and cats to birds and exotics, I have a deep understanding of their unique needs and behaviors. I am dedicated to helping pet owners provide the best care for their furry friend.