Have you ever heard of pet owners using camphor products like Vicks Vaporub to train their pets or to deter them from digging or chewing?
Surprisingly, there are quite a few fur parents who use Vicks Vaporub for exactly that purpose, especially if they have a dog who’s a master digger or a dog that can’t seem to stop nibbling on furniture.
There are pros and extreme cons to using Vicks Vaporub to mark off the ‘No Dogs Allowed’ areas in your house.
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Let’s look into why most vets and dog experts advise against using or even exposing your beloved pets to this common cold-curing menthol ointment.
What you will learn from this article:
- What are the main ingredients in Vicks Vaporub?
- Are They Harmful to Dogs?
- Is Vicks Bad for Dogs to Inhale?
- Can I Put Vicks on My Dogs for Fleas?
- Can I Use Vicks To Stop My Dog from Chewing?
- Can I Use Vicks In My Humidifier For My Dog?
- Can I Put Vicks On My Male Dog’s Nose to Stop Him from Smelling Females in Heat?
- What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Vicks?
What are the main ingredients in Vicks Vaporub?
As most people know, Vicks Vaporub is a camphor-based menthol topical ointment made for people to help relieve a number of non-serious ailments such as colds and a clogged nose, cough, and minor joint pains and muscle aches.
There are a lot of similar products to Vicks like Tiger Balm and Efficascent Oil, but Vicks is by far the most popular and the most accessible.
Vicks Vaporub’s main ingredients include camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol. Minor ingredients include cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, petroleum, thymol, and turpentine oil.
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Note that all of these ingredients are perfectly safe to apply as an ointment for people but the real question is, is Vicks Vaporub safe for dogs?
Are They Harmful to Dogs?
Yes, Vicks Vaporub is toxic to dogs. There are very few things that are as toxic to dogs (and cats) as Vicks’ main ingredient, camphor.
The most common way for dogs to get camphor poisoning is if we apply Vicks or other similar products on ourselves and our pet inadvertently lick the same spot, then it could become a serious issue.
It is serious enough to warrant a trip to the vet or at least a phone call.
While the toxicity level of Vicks for dogs is listed as mild to moderate, the effects of camphor on our pets are more than enough to cause some concern.
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Camphor poisoning signs and symptoms include local skin irritation, weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death on rare occasions.
Is Vicks Bad for Dogs to Inhale?
Yes, even inhalation of camphor can be bad for your dogs and can affect their respiratory system. The good thing is that dogs will recognize the smell and find it repellent immediately.
They might become curious and try to sniff a container of Vicks Vaporub but as soon as that menthol scent hits their noses, they will back off right away, probably sneezing as they go. To say that dogs find this smell obnoxious is an understatement.
Can I Put Vicks on My Dogs for Fleas?
No, you cannot put Vicks on your dogs to help get rid of fleas. Topical application of Vicks (as well as ingestion and inhalation) can be toxic to your dogs.
The confusion lies in the fact that Vicks contains eucalyptus oil, an ingredient that is often used when creating a natural dog flea collar.
While eucalyptus oil is safe for dogs and is recommended by a lot of experts to help get rid of fleas, it is the high camphor content in Vicks that makes it highly toxic for your pets.
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By placing Vicks on your dogs, you are risking a number of possible symptoms, including but not limited to skin irritation, vomiting, and even seizures.
If you are interested in using natural ingredients to help get rid of dog fleas, you can use eucalyptus oil (without the camphor), tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil, or rose geranium essential oil.
You can put a few drops of these oils onto a rope collar or even a doggie bandanna to help keep fleas (and mosquitoes) away.
Can I Use Vicks To Stop My Dog from Chewing?
A lot of pet parents use Vicks Vaporub to stop their pets from chewing by rubbing the ointment onto all the usual places – table and chair legs and furniture edges. Some pet owners even put Vicks in their gardens, on the rocks, to dissuade their dogs from digging. The question is, is it safe for your pets?
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Using Vicks for correcting your pet’s bad behavior is probably the most controversial and divisive question in the dog community. Dogs (and cats) do find the smell of Vicks and other camphor-based products highly repellent. They will most likely stay as far away from objects and areas in your house where you have applied the menthol ointment. That being said, accidents do happen.
If your dog can exhibit poisoning symptoms by inhaling too much Vicks fumes, imagine what could happen if they accidentally ingest the ointment.
Most dogs do go through a chewing stage, especially when they are still growing up. All puppies at the ‘toddler’ stage will experience teething and an intense need to chew so that they can relieve that itchy new teeth feeling. Almost all dogs grow out of it, however, and the best solution is often just getting your pet a safe chew toy.
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If your dog continues their chewing obsession well past the puppy stage, then it could be a behavioral issue. Consult your vet for recommendations or consider looking into dog training classes.
Can I Use Vicks In My Humidifier For My Dog?
Absolutely not. Not only do dogs hate the smell of camphor-based products (it will probably drive them straight out of the room), inhaling camphor via the humidifier can also be very bad for them. It can also be very irritating for dogs who have sensitive dry eyes, giving them a burning sensation.
While Vicks humidifiers might work very well for unclogging noses for people, it is definitely something that your dog can enjoy with you.
Can I Put Vicks On My Male Dog’s Nose to Stop Him from Smelling Females in Heat?
While some breeders are known to recommend using Vicks Vaporub on the hindquarters of female dogs in heat to stop male dogs from picking up on their ‘in heat’ scent, there are actually inherent dangers to this practice.
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Did you know that Vicks Vaporub is bad for children under two years old? Pediatricians often have to strongly remind parents that the menthol ointment is not indicated for young children, especially infants. In fact, there are cases where babies went into acute respiratory distress after Vicks was applied directly onto their noses. For children under two years old with still undeveloped lungs, the ointment can act as an irritant that can lead to severe mucus production and inflammation.
Knowing how bad Vicks can be for young children, imagine how sensitive dogs’ noses and respiratory systems are compared to humans, and you will understand why even just smelling Vicks poses a danger to our pets. Consider also that some camphor-poisoning effects for dogs include subtle symptoms such as weakness and nausea which means you could be causing your dog suffering without realizing it by exposing them to Vicks.
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What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Vicks?
While having a dog consume a lot of camphor-laced products is rare, there is always the chance that your dog could be curious enough to give it a lick or even consume an entire bottle. If you see your dog eating menthol ointment, bring your pet immediately to the nearest veterinary clinic along with the bottle.
Immediate care is always recommended when it comes to Vicks ingestion or any similar menthol products with camphor. The absorption rate of this toxic product is very high on a dog’s skin and is even higher when ingested. Depending on how severe the signs of distress are, your vet could choose to keep your pet overnight for observation and care, or your vet could provide medication and ask you to continue observing from home.
While immediate treatment can prevent camphor poisoning from causing serious health issues, the recovery period of your dog could take days or even a couple of weeks. Your dog might be placed on a special diet and might be asked to continue taking medication, depending on the severity of the case. It is very likely that you and your dog will be asked to return for another check up to make sure that your beloved pet is in the clear.
The main takeaway of this article is that as fur parents, we should never underestimate the danger that Vicks and other camphor-based products poses for our dogs (and cats too). Just as we keep dangerous items away from children, we should also make sure that products like Vicks Vaporub are kept away from our fur babies, in places where there is zero chance of them grabbing it or accidentally eating it.
Also, keep in mind that not only is Vicks highly toxic to our pets, their absorption rate for the product is also very high. If you’re considering Vicks Vaporub as a solution to a doggie problem, we highly recommend that you consider other options that are safer and non-poisonous for your pet.
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Camphor is commonly found in topical pain or arthritis body rubs. Examples of some common trade names containing camphor include Carmex, Tiger Balm,
In one word, yes, Vicks repels fleas and can keep you and your family safe. Vicks VapoRub is one of the most popular household items on the planet. It's a popular staple in every home, especially if you have pets and have to keep them all warm and snug. But even if you don't, it's still a great product to have around.Where do you put Vicks on a dog in heat? ›
Mask the female dog's smell by spraying menthol on her tail.
A menthol spray, such as Vick's vapor rub, helps overpower the female dog's scent during heat. Just apply the spray several times a day to the female's tail so your male dog can't smell her as well.
Perhaps the most toxic commonly found mothball ingredient is camphor. Camphor ingestion results in central nervous system poisoning where a dog can become agitated and develop seizures.Is menthol scent bad for dogs? ›
Because menthol irritates the oral and digestive system tissues, your dog may experience symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, or simply laying around with a stomach ache.What happens if my dog smells Vicks VapoRub? ›
Clinical signs of camphor poisoning in pets include local skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures (in large amounts), and even rarely, death (from respiratory depression or seizures).Is Vicks VapoRub steam safe for dogs? ›
Never use essential oils or products like Vicks Vaposteam with the humidifier, as these can irritate your pet's eyes, nose, and skin. Some oils are even toxic for pets. Certain oils can be fatal when ingested and even cause severe complications if inhaled over some time.Are male dogs attracted to female owners? ›
Whether or not dogs are more attracted to one gender can't be objectively answered because all dogs and people are different. But, dogs generally tend to be more attracted to a specific set of behaviors that are exhibited mostly by adult women. It's not that dogs are exclusively attracted to female adults.How do I stop my male dog from trying to mate? ›
If you have an intact male dog, consider neutering him. Although neutering doesn't always stop a dog from mounting or masturbating, it does reduce his sexual motivation—especially if the behavior is triggered by the presence of a female dog who's in heat.What smells are poisonous to dogs? ›
- Tea Tree.
- Ylang Ylang.
Many liquid potpourri products and essential oils, including oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang, are poisonous to dogs. Both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic.What smells really bad to dogs? ›
Citrus scents top the list of smells your dog probably hates. The scent of lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits is strong and unpleasant for your dog. For this reason, you can use citrus scents as a dog repellant in off-limits parts of the house. Their noses are irritated by the strength of citrus.What happens if my dog smells peppermint oil? ›
The scent of peppermint oil and some other essential oils is very strong for dogs which they cannot tolerate and thus this may impact the normal breathing of dogs. Dogs can also start wheezing. Ingestion of essential oils can impact the respiratory and nervous system of dogs.What happens if dogs inhale peppermint? ›
Peppermint Essential Oil
All essential oils are toxic to dogs. These concentrated organic plant compounds cause mouth and throat irritation, drooling, and vomiting. Karwacki adds that even inhaling peppermint essential oil might cause wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
Peppermint oil is toxic for dogs. Whether you're using an oil diffuser, applying it to their skin, or adding oil to their food, it's unfortunately harmful to our four-legged friends.Is coconut oil and camphor good for dogs? ›
Medivet Coco Camphor Oil for Pets controls dandruff and promotes hair growth. The numerous benefits and uses of coconut oil, makes it a special natural product that boosts the appearance by solving many skin and hair problems. Coconut oil offers a variety of great benefits to your pet inside and out.What essential oils are safe for dogs? ›
- Lavender oil.
- Humidifier. Use a clean humidifier to increase the moisture in the air. ...
- Nasal aspirator. Aspirators suck out any excess mucus in your dog's nostrils. ...
- Steaming. Take a hot shower with your dog on the bathroom floor. ...
A humidifier can give some relief to a dog who is suffering from kennel cough. Keep a humidifier running in the room where your dog usually sleeps, but take care to place it on a high shelf so your dog can't knock it over.Can you use a vaporizer around dog? ›
Vaping around pets does hold some danger. Vape smoke contains nicotine, which is toxic to pets. There are potentially other ingredients in vape juice that are aerosolized and can also be problematic for animals.
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) is commonly used on canines. It's an antihistamine that can act as a decongestant (especially if the underlying cause for the congestion is allergy-related. It has a pretty good track record when it comes to dogs! Hycodan (Hydrocodone Bitartrate) is also a possibility.Is Vicks menthol safe for dogs? ›
The smell of Vicks is a strong smell coming from the use of camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil. All these chemicals and oils are toxic to dogs. Vicks is used for treating nasal congestion and other ailments in humans. It is not a medication recommended for dogs due to the toxicity attributed to the core ingredients.What can I put on my dog to make him smell nice? ›
Pat your dog's fur with baking soda or corn starch for a quick dry bath. Either one will neutralize odors. Feed your dog high-quality dog food, healthy insides equal a better smelling dog. Better digestion can reduce gas and help maintain healthy teeth and gums.What natural ingredient can I spray on my dog to make them smell nice? ›
Fill an empty spray bottle with 2 cups of distilled water. Add 2 tablespoons of glycerin and 1 tablespoon of fractioned coconut oil. Add 15 drops of lavender and 15 drops of orange essential oil to the spray bottle. Shake well to combine the ingredients.What if dog sperm meets a human egg? ›
Even if dogs and humans had pretty close to the same number of chromosomes, they could still not produce anything Mog-like (any more than a sable antelope and a person could—they both have 23 pairs of chromosomes!). Their genomes are too different to mix and produce something that will live.Why does my dog stare at me? ›
Just as humans stare into the eyes of someone they adore, dogs will stare at their owners to express affection. In fact, mutual staring between humans and dogs releases oxytocin, known as the love hormone. This chemical plays an important role in bonding and boosts feelings of love and trust.What happens if you pull dogs apart when mating? ›
You might be tempted to try to separate dogs when they're stuck in a copulatory tie during mating. But hold up: Pulling dogs apart can seriously injure them and doing so won't stop a pregnancy from occurring. Instead, encourage your dog to remain calm.What happens if a female dog gets pregnant by her son? ›
Offspring from a mother-son mating would, therefore, have a 25% chance of inheriting two bad copies of the mutations that have been passed down to the son. This is a greater than 100-fold risk compared to an outbred dog! Inbreeding in dogs has real consequences.How many days will a female dog let a male mount her? ›
The sperm will last inside her for about five to seven days, so if you breed her as soon as she is willing, then breed her again every two or three days until she is no longer willing to allow the male to mount; this means all of her eggs will be fertilized.Are Bath and Body Works candles bad for dogs? ›
"Aside from some essential oils that can cause several harmful effects, the fumes and smoke from any candle, scented or not, can make it more difficult for pets with respiratory issues to breathe normally," she continues.
For dogs, citrus scents are the enemy. Citrus scents like lemon, lime, oranges, and grapefruit–especially in high concentrations often found in household cleaners or essential oils–can cause irritation to your pup's respiratory tract, so keep any fresh citrus fruits out of your dog's reach. You know–just in case.Are Bath and body Works scents bad for dogs? ›
Most popular essential oils (including eucalyptus, tea tree, citrus oils, pine, peppermint, etc) are poisonous to dogs in moderate to large doses. All of Bath & Body Works' Wallflower scents contain essential oils, which are then sprayed into the air where they an easily be inhaled by your dog.Can you burn eucalyptus candles around dogs? ›
Some oils, like tea tree oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil, can cause serious health issues in dogs such as vomiting, diarrhoea, and even liver failure if ingested. Burning candles or using diffusers can also release fumes that can be harmful to a dog's respiratory system if they are inhaled in large quantities.What smell do dogs love the most? ›
The methodology of observing the dogs freely exploring the experimental area allowed us to determine the smells that were the most attractive to them (food, beaver clothing). Our study shows that dogs interacted more frequently with the scents of blueberries, blackberries, mint, rose, lavender, and linalol.How do I keep my house dog smelling good? ›
Vacuum weekly — with the right vacuum. Because dog odor likes to lurk in fabrics and fibers, regular cleaning is key to keeping a fresh smell in your home. For best results, make it a practice to thoroughly vacuum all carpets, cushions, sofas, furniture, etc., every week.What smell do dogs hate to pee on? ›
Many (but not all) dogs hate the smell of citrus, so using citrus smells like citronella, lemongrass, lemon, and even bergamot can repel some dogs from an area. You can use these smells in scented candles or sprays to see if it keeps your dog away from an area where you don't want them peeing.Is eucalyptus safe for dogs? ›
Many essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, wintergreen, and ylang ylang are straight up toxic to pets. These are toxic whether they are applied to the skin, used in diffusers or licked up in the case of a spill.What essential oil gets rid of dog smell? ›
Some of the most popular essential oils for odor control are as follows: lemon, lemongrass, rosemary, lavender, tea tree, and orange. You can choose one, or create your own unique blend using your favorite oils!Can dogs eat cinnamon? ›
The good news is that cinnamon is not toxic to dogs, though cinnamon essential oil can be toxic for pups. Your dog will not suffer fatal toxic effects from consuming too much cinnamon, but that does not necessarily mean you should be sprinkling it on kibble.Is vinegar bad for dogs? ›
Yes! Vinegar is safe for your dog, and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the healthiest option for your dog. Apple cider vinegar supports your dog's digestion and contains magnesium, potassium, and iron. It also helps break down fats and proteins.
Key takeaway. Lavender is toxic to dogs, especially when consumed. However, the scent can also cause respiratory symptoms in some dogs because they have a stronger sense of smell. Both the lavender plant and essential oils can be dangerous for your pet.Can I spray peppermint oil in my house if I have a dog? ›
No. Peppermint oil is not safe for dogs, or other pets for that matter. If your dog were to come into contact with peppermint oil, his symptoms could vary from non-existent (depending on the amount), to life-threatening. Minor symptoms can include discomfort, irritation, and skin reactions.Can dogs inhale essential oils? ›
Inhaling diffused oils can be harmful for your pet and could result in aspiration pneumonia. While you might be able to use a diffuser in a room that's off-limits to your pet, if your furry friend already has a breathing problem, then having one in the house is not a safe option.Is peppermint oil safe to inhale? ›
Menthol, which is in peppermint oil, should not be inhaled by or applied to the face of an infant or small child because it may negatively affect their breathing.What can I put on my dog to deter fleas? ›
Citrus Juice: fleas dislike citrus, so try sprinkling some fresh-squeezed lemon, orange or grapefruit juice on your dog's fur (being careful to avoid her eyes) – and remember lemon juice can lighten dark hair.What smell do dog fleas hate? ›
Natural flea repellents such as citronella, eucalyptus, peppermint, and geraniol may naturally repel fleas. If your pet doesn't mind a spray bottle, dilute a few drops of your chosen repellent into 10-13 fl oz of water and spray directly onto your pet's coat.What can I spray on my dog to get rid of fleas? ›
Sprays. Apple cider vinegar's slightly acidic pH level creates an inhospitable environment for fleas. Mix six cups of ACV with four cups of water (use a 6:4 ratio), add a pinch of salt, and spray the mixture on your dog's coat and underbelly, making sure to avoid their eyes and any wounds they may have.What can I spray on my dog for fleas naturally? ›
Vinegar. Combine 1 quart of water, 1 cup of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and 1 cup of baby shampoo or liquid dish soap. Use this mixture to bathe your dog once or twice a month. Vinegar kills fleas and ticks on contact and can prevent future infestations.What is the fastest you can rid fleas from your dog? ›
You want to immediately kill any fleas removed from your pup's fur by dunking them in hot, soapy water. If you try to crush or flush these sneaky insects, they might surprise you with their jumping expertise—they're amazing escape artists. Bathe your pet with warm water and mild soap.What is the best homemade flea killer? ›
Create a flea spray by mixing 4 liters of vinegar, 2 liters of water, 500 ml of lemon juice and 250 ml of witch hazel in a large spray bottle. Before applying the product around your home, you should vacuum properly, emptying the contents into an outside bin, and wash any bedding/cushions that could be infested.
By mixing baking soda and salt into a formula you are making a dehydrating agent. This will dry out the fleas, their eggs, and the larvae. This will kill them off so that they do not reproduce and spread. The main point of handling a flea infestation is to stop it from spreading.Does Irish Spring soap repel fleas? ›
Irish Spring soap can also be used to repel other pests such as mosquitoes and fleas.What natural scent kills fleas? ›
- Cedarwood. First up on our list of natural scents that will leave fleas running for the hills we have cedarwood. ...
- Citronella. Next up on our all-inclusive list we have citronella. ...
- Peppermint Oil. ...
- Geranium. ...
- Lavender. ...
- Eucalyptus. ...
- Lemon/Lemongrass. ...
- Tea Tree Oil.
While Apple Cider Vinegar does not kill fleas, it may repel them because fleas dislike its smell and taste. One of the most simple ways to use this natural flea repellent is to make a solution out of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water.Can I spray Dawn on my dog for fleas? ›
No, Dawn dish soap should not be used as a regular flea treatment for pets. Although Dawn dish soap can kill fleas, it should not be used as a flea treatment for pets because it could irritate their skin and coat, or be harmful if ingested.Can I spray vinegar on my dog to repel fleas? ›
Fleas don't like the smell or taste of it, so they're likely to avoid your pet if they have it on their fur. Dilute apple cider vinegar in water and add it to a spray bottle. If your pet doesn't enjoy getting sprayed, dip a brush in the mixture and distribute it into their fur with a grooming session.Can I spray hydrogen peroxide on my dog for fleas? ›
For less severe infestations, simply fill up a spray bottle with water, 1 cup peroxide, and three tablespoons of dish soap. Spray your pet every alternate day to remove any existing fleas and kill the eggs they laid. This should keep your animal healthy and free of parasites.How do you make homemade flea treatment? ›
Mix 1/4 cup of distilled vinegar with 3/4 cup water in a spray bottle for a homemade flea spray. Use the spray on any water safe surfaces you've noticed fleas on. You can also add vinegar to the wash when cleaning color safe pet beds and linens.Can I spray lemon juice on my dog for fleas? ›
Make a real lemon spray. Fleas don't care for the scent of lemon ,or the limonene in lemons, so applying it to your pet's coat can deter fleas.