Can I use Aveeno Lotion On My Dog?

Photo by Mike Mozart on Flickr

Sometimes we really want to know what our dogs are thinking – mainly because we love them. But also because we need to understand how they’re feeling. If a pup is not operating at 100%, it can be cause for concern.

At times it will be obvious what’s going on because they are scratching a lot! An itchy dog is an unhappy dog. 

And we’ve all been there! We can empathize completely since itchy skin drives humans crazy and it’s the same for dogs. It can be a serious concern too, because extensive scratching can lead to an open wound and eventual infection. 

That’s why it’s essential to take action to help your dog ASAP. A lotion can be an excellent place to start. You may have some handy, and it can provide quick relief for your dog.

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What is Aveeno lotion?

The brand Aveeno is one that is widely available, scent-free and non-toxic. 

If you’ve used Aveeno on your own skin, or for your babies or kids, you probably already know that it has a good reputation. It’s great for dry, itchy skin, and its soothing properties are beneficial in the winter or when the air is dry. You can use it all over your body, and for face and hands.

Why would you use Aveeno lotion on your dog?

Aveeno lotion is made with oatmeal, a natural ingredient known for its soothing and moisturizing properties. Aveeno is a good choice for your dog because it’s natural, readily available and effective.

Some ingredients are toxic to dogs, such as diclofenac, zinc oxide and calcipotriene. These are found in everyday over-the-counter products like diaper cream, sunscreens and supplements for joint pain. You don’t want to apply these to your dog externally or let them be ingested.

Other problem ingredients are lidocaine (a numbing agent) and hydrocortisone (often used for human skin issues).

Aveeno’s lotions are free of all these ingredients, so it’s safe to use on your dog’s skin. Besides oatmeal, Aveeno’s ingredients include liquid paraffin and glycerin. These are also natural ingredients that help keep skin moisturized.

Aveeno may be safe for your dog, but as with any other product you want to use it safely. Never apply lotion to an open wound. (You will want to take your dog to the vet in that instance.) Aveeno is a moisturizer, not an antiseptic cream.

You also need to use just a little bit of lotion with your dog, since you don’t want them to lick off any excess.

Aveeno makes all kind of products – face cleansers, eye cream, face masks, make-up remover, face scrubs, sunscreens, and even hair and baby products. Of course, where your dog is concerned, you’ll want to stick with just the lotion. (Though some dogs are adorable with their hair styled!)

Why do dogs get dry or itchy skin?

There are many reasons your darling canine could be scratching.  They could have allergies, fleas or dry and sensitive skin. Of course, you’ll have to address the flea issue if that’s the case. But it’s also essential to take action to soothe the skin safely.

Will Aveeno lotion work on dry dog pads?

Most dogs have a lot of action in their lives, and their paws can really take a beating. When their paw pads are super dry, Aveeno is also an excellent choice. Just make sure not to put on too much lotion – you don’t want your dog to be slipping on your hard floors!

If you want to think more about prevention of dryness for your dog’s paw pads, then you should think more about a wax-based product. This is a good idea if your dog won’t tolerate wearing booties, or you can’t find a set that will stay on.  Look for products recommended by the trainers of working sled dogs. They will help prevent issues caused by ice, salt and dirt. 

In summer when sidewalks heat up, paw pad wax can also help prevent burns. Just apply before going outside, and it’s a good idea to wipe their paws when you get back inside.

What is the best natural remedy for dry itchy skin on a dog?

Sometimes you’re out of lotion and can’t run to the store. In these situations, you’ll want to think about what you have at home that can help your poor dog’s dry skin or paws.

Here are some suggestions that could help!

Chamomile, Calendula or Green Tea
Run a warm bath for your dog and let three teabags steep for at least three minutes. Bathe your dog for at least five minutes. Alternatively, you can spray or pour the tea on the affected area of skin and let it dry. This can be soothing for itchy skin!

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Water in a 50/50 solution
You can apply to the affected area using a spray bottle. If paws are dry, you can soak them in the solution for up to five minutes. ACV has natural anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. 

This is a good option if your poor dog has walked through a poison ivy, oak or sumac patch.

Oatmeal Bath or Paste
As we know from Aveeno, oatmeal can be naturally soothing. Start by grinding down the oatmeal in a blender to make a power. You can then add the ground oats to a warm bath and let your dog soak until the skin has been soothed. It could take up to 10-15 minutes. The good news is that it’s perfectly OK for your dog to eat some of the oats while they’re in the bath! 

You can also add a little water to the ground oats to make a paste and apply to the affected area.

Oats are a great, naturally hypoallergenic ingredient. Many dog shampoos contain oatmeal.

Coconut Oil or Olive Oil
Make sure the coconut oil is solid. During the summer, you may need to put coconut oil in the fridge. Just apply the oil to your dog’s skin, coat or paws. This is an effective treatment for eczema or allergies, or even bee stings or insect bites. 

My dog ate Aveeno lotion. How concerned should I be?

If your dog has eaten just a tiny amount, they may have an upset stomach. There could be vomiting or diarrhea. It would be a good idea to check with your vet.

It’s also advisable to take a look at Aveeno’s ingredients. The active ingredient is dimethicone, a silicon-based emulsifier that prevents the other ingredients from separating. 

Aveeno lotion also includes benzyl alcohol and other types of alcohol. These sound harmful but it’s good to know that “alcohol” describes the chemical composition of the ingredients and doesn’t mean that they are toxic. Benzyl alcohol helps keep the lotion safe from bacteria. It also helps the lotion to glide onto your skin – or your dog’s skin, as the case may be!  

The main thing is that Aveeno is not poisonous to your dog, but it could be unpleasant for them (and for you) if their stomach is upset. 

What human lotion is safe for dogs?

If you have another lotion that’s labelled as non-toxic, it should be OK to use for your dog. Just Google the ingredients if you’re not sure, or check with your dog’s veterinarian.

Alternatively, you could stick with coconut oil, olive oil or an oatmeal paste. That way you know for sure that it’s non-toxic. Aloe vera is another option that could be soothing for your itchy best friend.

What is the best food to add to a dog’s diet to prevent dry skin?

Plain yogurt can be added to your dog’s food to help keep their skin healthy. A teaspoon per week for small dogs will do the trick, or two teaspoons for larger dogs. This will help keep their digestive system healthy. The health of the digestive system can tie in with the condition of the skin.

Foods that contain Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your dog’s skin. Fish is an excellent source of Omega-3s. Flax oil or fish oil can be added to your dog’s food.

Closing thoughts

It’s incredible how much our pet’s welfare affects our own state of mind. Truly our canine best friends light up our lives!  Since they can’t talk (with words, anyway), we need to keep a careful watch on their well-being. Taking care of their skin, paws and diet are essential.

It’s a good idea to keep soothing products on hand. These can improve a dry or irritated skin situation quickly, before your itchy dog gets too scratchy, making a small problem much worse. A lotion like Aveeno is safe and can help give your dog some relief.

Taking care of your dog’s paws will give them the sure footing to leap into their day feeling great!

If your dog has sensitive skin, it’s good to take a look at their diet and see what improvements can be made. Preventing skin problems before they start is the best idea! 

With good nutrition and thoughtful treatment, your dog’s skin and paws should be feeling fine. We always wish we could get into our dogs’ heads and know what they are thinking. When you take great care of them, you can rest assured that their thoughts are full of love for you!

James Grayston

My name is James and I love dogs. have owned four Golden Retrievers in the past 15 years. Currently I own two "Goldies"- a five year old and a seven month old. The photo shows me with our youngest when she was about 7 weeks old!