Friday, March 1, 2024

Is It Safe To Use Human Lotions For Your Pet?

Many pets suffer from skin conditions for a variety of reasons. It is tempting to try and relieve their discomfort by using your own lotions and creams, but using lotions intended for humans on pets can be potentially dangerous for several reasons:

Different Skin Needs: Pets have different skin pH levels and sensitivities compared to humans. Human lotions are specifically formulated for human skin, which may not be suitable for your pet. Using the wrong products may not provide the desired effects and could potentially worsen existing skin conditions or create new ones.

Potential Harmful Ingredients: Many human lotions contain ingredients that can be toxic or irritating to your dog or cat. Pets, especially dogs, lick their fur and skin. If they are wearing the products and ingest them, it can lead to gastrointestinal problems, including vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach upset. Some fragrances, essential oils (ex: tea tree oil), preservatives, or artificial sweeteners (like xylitol) can be extremely dangerous for pets and may require immediate veterinary attention. It’s important to carefully read the ingredient list and ensure they are safe to use for your pet.

Allergic Reactions: Dogs and cats, like humans, can have allergic reactions to certain ingredients found in human lotions. Applying human lotion to your pet’s skin may trigger allergic reactions such as redness, itching, swelling, or hives. Some pets may be more prone to allergies than others, so it’s important to be cautious when applying any new product to their skin.

Pet-Safe Alternatives: There are numerous pet-specific lotions and skincare products available that are formulated specifically for dogs and cats. These products take into account the unique needs and sensitivities of canine and feline skin. Your veterinarian can recommend suitable pet-specific lotions or provide guidance on proper skincare for your pet.

Dandruff is an example where it might be tempting to think that topical lotions can moisturize the skin and get rid of the cat or dog dandruff. But please don't use human lotions. Dandruff is a problem that needs to be resolved internally by changing the pet's diet. Dry skin in cats and dogs is usually due to the lack of omegas in the pets diet. You can give your cat or dog a lustrous cat by feeding a diet rich in omega 3s (e.g. fish) and supplementing with fish oil. To learn more about cat and dog dandruff and other skin problems, click here.

Author: Susan Davis, Pet Nutritionist
Date: March 1, 2024