Can You Use Desitin On Dogs? 5 Step Manual

Ointment creams for adults and children, such as Desitin, are used to treat and prevent diaper rashes and minor burns and scrapes. Desitin’s most common usage is to treat diaper rashes in infants.

When dogs and pups have rashes, dog owners often turn to Desitin as a remedy. “Can you use Desitin on a dog?” is the real question. Is it okay for them to go in there?”

In a nutshell, yes, Desitin may be used to treat small cuts and scratches on dogs. Because some of its chemical constituents may be hazardous to your dog if consumed, you’ll need to keep it away from him.

As a result, we’ll examine Desitin’s suitability for dogs, its dosage, probable side effects, and lastly, its alternatives. As so, canine fans, I implore you to persevere.

What Is Desitin?

In the United States, Desitin is a topical medicine primarily used to treat and prevent diaper rash in babies.

For small cuts and burns, Desitin can be used to prevent infection. Many doctors also advocate Desitin as a treatment for radiation burns, which cancer patients may suffer from during radiation therapy.

Desitin is a topical cream that belongs to the “emollients” drug class.

Emollients are, in the words of WebMD, “substances that help soften and moisturize the skin while also lowering instances of itching and peeling.”

Can You Use Desitin On Dogs?

Desitin acts as an emollient by generating an oily film on the skin’s surface.

Water can’t get out of the skin, which can lead to dryness and irritation. This layer prevents that from happening.

Despite the fact that Desitin has only a few components, we feel it is vital to describe them all here since we will be discussing its possible use and effectiveness for dogs in the next section.

Desitin ointment contains the following ingredients:

Zinc oxide, or ZnO. There are no other “active” ingredients in Desitin—the product doesn’t work without zinc oxide. This component is in charge of providing skin protection and keeping out potentially irritating elements such as water and moisture.

Hydroxyanisole butylated. This chemical preservative, commonly referred to as BHA, may be found in a wide variety of creams and cosmetics.

Oil from cod liver. Vitamins A and D, in particular, are found in cod liver oil, which is a natural substance. Desitin’s oil aids in the repair of dry or injured skin by promoting cell regeneration.

Lanolin. Wool from sheep is used to make lanolin. It’s a natural component that helps protect the skin from external aggressors by acting as a moisture barrier.

Methylparaben. This is a preservative that is antibacterial. It’s crucial to note that this chemical has the potential to cause an allergic reaction in certain humans (and pets).

Petrolatum. This natural emollient, like “Vaseline,” aids in moisturizing dry or irritated skin.

Talc. The chemical “talc” in Desitin contributes to the ointment’s bulk and fragrance.

Water. Desitin is made easier to apply and use by the addition of water.

Desitin and Dogs:  All You Need to Know

You know what Desitin is and how it is used, so how does Desitin interact with dogs?

“Can I Use Desitin on My Dog?” is the first question that comes to mind. In certain circumstances, the drug may be administered to dogs, and that is the most straightforward answer.

As a result, it is imperative that you avoid applying the mixture to areas of your dog’s body that he or she may readily lick away and consume the substance.

When considering administering any “human drug” to dogs, the guiding guideline is “do no harm.”

Even though Desitin is well tolerated by the majority of dogs, caution should be exercised while administering the drug, and it should only be used in situations when oral administration would be problematic or impossible.


Desitin is primarily used on humans to treat diaper rash.

We also know that dogs don’t suffer from diaper rash.

So, when would it be appropriate to apply this ointment to our four-legged friends?

As a result, Desitin is an excellent anti-infective agent for dogs who have suffered small scratches or burns.

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Using this mixture can help prevent small wounds and burns that are susceptible to water and other irritants from further damage.

The underside of a dog’s paws is an excellent spot to apply Desitin.

Your pet’s paws may become overheated and burnt on really hot days.

If your pet develops an infection, this can lead to a lot of discomfort, redness, and irritation, all of which will be exacerbated.

Desitin can help prevent burns by trapping the body’s own moisture beneath the skin.

Besides preventing infection, this will aid expedite healing, limit moisture loss, and give a soothing balm that also alleviates discomfort in the affected regions.


If Desitin is used on a dog’s skin, it should only be administered to regions where the dog cannot easily lick and absorb it.

This is due to Desitin’s potential toxicity to dogs at high doses.

Zinc oxide, the primary element in Desitin, is extremely soothing to the skin, but it does not agree with a dog’s digestive system.

Therefore, if your dog ingests too much zinc oxide, vomiting may occur, increasing the risk of aspiration, which is a procedure in which vomit is inhaled into the lungs, resulting in pneumonia that is extremely difficult to cure.

Bottom line: Treat small scrapes and burns on your dog with Desitin only sparingly.

In big doses, the substance is a fantastic protective and therapeutic help, but it may also be dangerous.

Can You Use Desitin On Dogs?

Can You Use Desitin On a Dog?

Desitin is a topical cream formulated for the treatment of minor skin injuries, such as rashes, wounds, and scratches, in both adults and children. Doggy diarrhea wounds may also be treated with this product. Besides that, it is used to treat minor rashes on the dog’s body.

However, you’ll need to keep an eye on the dog to make sure it doesn’t ingest the ointment. Both cats and dogs are known to lick their anus and other regions of their bodies that have been injured.

Desitin can quickly reach their intestines when they lick the area. So the dog may feel a jolt from it, as well They may have nausea and vomiting for a period of time if they take too much Desitin, which contains zinc oxide. The worst-case scenario is that the dog may experience diarrhea and possibly even severe gastrointestinal pain.

If you see any of these symptoms, don’t hesitate to take your pet to the vet right away.

Helpful Hints: If you’re looking for additional information on dogs, check out our post on the mystery of white spots in dog poop.

What do I do if my dog ate Desitin?

Even if you monitor your dog closely after administering Desitin, it is still possible for it to lick the cream. It all happens in a matter of seconds, making it nearly impossible to halt. As a result, you must be prepared for the worst and know what steps to take if the dog ate too much Desitin.

To begin, keep an eye on the dog to see how much rash treatment cream it has licked off of and consumed in its mouth and stomach. For the next few hours and the next day, keep an eye on the dog. Only an upset stomach and vomiting are possible if the dose is too much for the dog’s tolerance level. The doctor should be consulted, though, if your pet experiences stomach pain that does not subside promptly.

Stop feeding the dog if you observe it licking the cream. Maintain a 12- to 14-hour fast for your dog. To some, this may seem harsh, yet it aids them in their battle against the toxins. Also, an empty stomach will remove the toxins more quickly than a full one.

After the 12-hour observation period is finished, feed the dog its normal diet again. Supplement the dog’s regular diet with probiotic foods such as yogurt, onions or kimchi as well.

Is Desitin harmful to dogs?

This product includes zinc oxide. An extremely poisonous chemical is used in the production of it. Ointment cream, on the other hand, won’t hurt the dog’s skin. It is completely non-irritating to the skin.

When a dog mistakenly consumes or licks Desitin cream, trouble begins to ensue. The cream might be hazardous to your dog if it gets into their digestive system or intestines after being applied topically. At the very least, the dog will suffer from diarrhea or gastrointestinal ache.

It doesn’t matter how little Desitin the dog consumes; it will cause it to lose its appetite for the following few hours. If you continue to force-feed it during this period, it will vomit violently, further depleting its energy. Because of this, you must cease feeding the dog if it accidently consumes the cream.

To put it succinctly,

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When a dog licks a lot of Desitin, it is damaging to its health for a short period of time. However, there is less risk to the dog’s health in the long run.

What Could You Treat With Desitin (For Dogs)?

Desitin is commonly used by pet owners to treat minor injuries on their pets, such as scrapes, raw skin, and rashes.

Using Desitin to treat your dog’s wounds will keep the wound dry and free of infection. However, a veterinarian should be consulted for more serious wounds, such as deep scratches or large rashes, or wounds near the eyes or genitals of your pet.

You should see your veterinarian first to rule out an infection in these more serious wounds.

Desitin can also be applied to a dog’s paws, which is another typical method of application. The paws of dogs, especially pups, can get irritated and inflamed as a result of their constant jogging. Desitin is an effective analgesic.

Why Could Desitin Be Bad For Dogs?

Desitin is not recommended for use in dogs by certain experts. Desitin, a toxin found in dog wound licking fluid, may be fatal if consumed.

GI tract irritation can occur when zinc oxide, Desitin’s active component, comes into touch with the GI system.

Dogs will naturally vomit to expel irritants from their digestive tracts.

Unfortunately, the cream has the potential to enter the dog’s lungs during the removal process (aspiration). This might result in a life-threatening episode of pneumonia of the lungs. Obviously, this isn’t a certainty, but it’s still a valid issue.

Make sure your dog won’t consume Desitin if you use it on them. Most medications that aren’t designed to be swallowed will have negative side effects if taken that way.

When administering medication to your dog, be sure to use adequate caution and everything should be OK.

How To Use Desitin On Your Dog (the Right Way)

There’s always a correct method and a bad way to provide medicine to everyone. We’ve described the methods below to help you administer medicine to your dog.

1. Check With Your Veterinarian

A veterinarian should be consulted before administering any medication to a dog. Dogs, too, suffer from allergies, just like their human counterparts. It’s conceivable that Desitin, a zinc oxide-based product, might cause an allergic reaction.

Make sure to ask your vet whether Desitin may be used on dogs before using it on yours. It’s possible that they’ll let you know if your dog is allergic to anything or if there’s an alternative treatment for a wound. To be on the safe side is always better than to be on the wrong side of

2. Prepare Medicine

Desitin is a cream, therefore it’s quick and easy to make. The temperature of the water should be at room temperature, and your hands should be clean.

In an ideal world, Desitin would be applied using disposable gloves, however we appreciate that for some dog owners, gloves may seem overkill or unneeded. Having clean hands is all that is required to get started.

3. Get Your Dog Ready

When it’s time for medicine, dogs appear to know just what to do. It’s time to assess your dog’s personality. Put on a muzzle or restrict your dog if they don’t take medicine well or are snappy in tense conditions.

You can approach your dog normally if he or she is more relaxed back. When administering the medication, make sure your dog is calm.

Make sure that your dog’s wound is dry and clean before using any kind of bandage or dressing. Before applying Desitin to a wound that is still wet, be sure to completely dry it out. The only thing that will happen if you put medicine on a moist wound is irritation and, in the worst-case scenario, infection.

4. Apply the Desitin

Scoop a liberal amount of Desitin onto the wound, keeping in mind your dog’s size and the extent of the wound. Do not apply Desitin to the wound, since this will have no further benefit and may even irritate it.

Massage the incision gently until the cream is gone. Don’t overly agitate the wound by rubbing it.

While treating a tiny dog, you should use particular caution when applying Desitin to the wound. They are more likely to become irritated if they use too much cream.

If your dog has a lot of hair, you may either clip it down or consult your veterinarian. Wounds that are often in contact with dog hair are more prone to develop infected and require more frequent cleaning.

5. Afterwards

Put your dog in a cone (the cone of shame) or, depending on their size, clothing them in loose baby clothes if the wound is in a place where they may readily lick or scratch.

Put your dog in clothing to keep Desitin out of your dog’s mouth, although it’s a strange idea. Ignorance is bliss.

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Keep your dog from licking their wounds by not muzzling them. Short-term use of muzzles is absolutely OK for up to 20 minutes at a time.

When left on for lengthy periods of time, a dog’s muzzle might cause it to overheat. Muzzles prevent dogs from opening their jaws to adjust their temperature.

If the wound is large, administer Desitin 2-4 times per day. Before using the lotion, clean the wound well.

It is also important that the wound is free of any signs of infection. Swelling, new rashes or blisters, and broken skin are all frequent indicators of irritation.

Another thing to consider is how your dog is responding to the medicine. Take your dog to the vet if they’re whining and whimpering. Veterinarians have greater training and experience in treating animals than people do.

Is Desitin Poisonous to Dogs?

Desitin is a human-category medication, but it is also considered pet-safe by the Food and Drug Administration. But it’s dangerous to dogs because if they eat it and it goes into their intestines, they will die. As a result, the question has no simple answer.

Desitin has been modified to be safe for use by babies. As a result, the majority of people assume it’s safe for their pets, too. There is some truth to this, but only if you use the diaper rash lotion too liberally to the rashes or wounds. In addition, you must use caution to avoid the dog licking the item.

For wounds and rashes, Desitin contains zinc oxide, which is the primary healing agent. Humans and dogs cannot be exposed to it. However, if it makes its way into the gut, it can have a serious impact on the health of the dog.

The dog may have diarrhea, vomiting, and even stomach discomfort if it ingests too much of the cream. It’s something you should be aware of.


Can Desitin be used on a dog? is a succinct answer.

Yes, Desitin may be used on dog skin. However, if the dog eats too much of it, it might be hazardous. For the following few hours, the dog will have gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea, and a loss of appetite.

Instead of forcing food into the iron at this point, fast it. After that, you may begin feeding the dog on a regular basis and observe how it responds.

You should take the dog to the vet if it continues to vomit or suffer from diarrhea.


Diaper Rash Ointment (Desitin, A&D, etc) – Dogs seem to enjoy chewing on tubes of ointments. Many diaper rash creams contain zinc oxide, others contains vitamins. Typically the big concern with these creams is that can be very irritating to the GI tract.

Hydrocortisone cream

Hydrocortisone cream is usually okay to apply for a few days directly on the rash. Just be sure your dog doesn’t lick and ingest it (an Elizabethan collar can help).
You can apply a dog-friendly moisturizer/ointment to soothe the rash from dog urine (but NEVER use a baby diaper rash on your dog for it has zinc oxide which is toxic if ingested). Talk to your veterinarian and seek help.


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Princy Hoang
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