Here’s the deal:
The main active ingredient is zinc oxide and, for that reason, we don’t recommend Calamine lotion for dogs.
While not toxic for the skin, licking at it may cause an upset stomach or worse. Keep reading to learn more…
Uses of calamine lotion on dogs
As we have mentioned before, calamine is used to treat mild skin irritation or itchiness caused by external factors. Most of these factors are as common in dogs as they are in humans, if not more. Common causes include bug bites, exposure to allergenic plants such as poison ivy, food allergies or sensitivity, excessive licking, fungal infections, pyodermas, and ectoparasites.
It is not uncommon for dog owners to try to diminish their dogs frustration by applying a seemingly unharmful lotion such as calamine. After all, there are so many medications that work great in both humans and dogs. However, it is very important to keep in mind that what is safe for humans might not necessarily be safe for dogs, especially when it comes to medications that are applied topically.
When dogs feel their skin itchy or irritated, they tend to scratch, lick or chew on the area. This leads to the ingestion of the medicine. So, before considering if a lotion is safe to use on your dogs skin, you should consider if it is safe in case your dog ingests it. Unless your dog is wearing a cone or other protective barrier, there is little you can do to stop a dog from ingesting something that is on their body.
If you suspect your dog might have ingested something poisonous, be sure to read this article on what to do in case of dog poisoning.
Calamine is mainly composed of zinc oxide and ferric oxide. These ingredients are not harmful if applied on your dogs skin, but they can be if they are accidentally ingested. If a dog ingests high quantities of zinc, this can lead to zinc toxicosis. Your dog may suffer from zinc toxicosis even by ingesting something as little as the size of a penny.
Zinc toxicosis can damage a dog’s red blood cells and cause them to rupture. If this happens, dogs can suffer a range of other symptoms such as anemia, vomiting, and diarrhea. If not treated, it can also cause liver damage, kidney failure, and heart failure.
It is important to notice that, even though zinc is harmful if ingested through a lotion such as calamine, zinc itself is not harmful to dogs. On the contrary, zinc is actually an important part of your dogs diet. If it is ingested through food and in appropriate quantities, it can contribute to having healthy skin and fur, good thyroid function, and healthy immune systems.
At AnimalWised we strongly recommend to avoid rubbing zinc-containing products on your dog unless you can absolutely prevent them from licking the area where you applied the product.
As we have mentioned above you should not use calamine on your dog if you cant prevent them from licking the area and therefore ingesting the lotion. If, however, you are certain that your dog wont reach the area (due to a cone or any other protective barrier) you should still keep in mind the following cases:
Since calamine can cause heart and organ failure, it is potentially lethal. This is especially so if ingested in large amounts. Our video below provides some other household objects which can be fatal if ingested by a dog.
Side effects of calamine in dogs
We have already covered the harmful effects that ingesting calamine can have on your dog. However, even topical application of calamine can also cause negative side effects in dogs:
If you notice any of the symptoms above, stop the treatment with calamine immediately and wash the area with plenty of water.
Take a look at our related article if you wish to know more about other types of skin diseases on dogs.
This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to Is Calamine Lotion on Dogs Safe?, we recommend you visit our Medicine category. Bibliography
What Areas of the Body Typically Itch?
Dogs often itch and scratch various parts of their bodies depending on the cause of the itch.
When dogs have fleas, they tend to scratch all over and bite at their paws and fur.
When dogs itch from bacteria or yeast, they often lick in excess until their paws or exposed skin is licked raw.
Likewise, dogs tend to lick their paws in excess when they have an environmental or food allergy.
Another sign to look for when a dog has allergies is whether they have ‘tears.’ Tears on dogs look like a wet patch of matted fur and goop below your dog’s eyes.
Some people are so used to seeing their dogs with this stain below the eye. They don’t know that it is not normal.
Your dog is not supposed to have tears.
This is a sign they are allergic to something.
What anti itch cream is safe for dogs?
What if my dog licks calamine?
What can I put on my dog to relieve rash?