There are many topical products we use every day, both over the counter and prescripyion, that can be dangerous to our cats and dogs. Hopefully, this article by Dr. Karen Becker DVM will raise awareness for all dog and cat owners. Dr. Becker is a proactive and integrative wellness veterinarian.
By Dr. Becker
For some reason, many dogs and even cats enjoy licking lotions and other types of topical products off their human’s skin. In fact, one of my dogs tends to wait by the bathroom door, hoping he’ll get a chance to sample whatever I’ve applied to my skin after my shower. (That’s one of the reasons I use all organic body products.) And dogs seem especially intent on having a lick if the product has a yummy smell, for example, vanilla scented body lotion or coconut oil-based products.
Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless little habit so many pets indulge in can be cause for concern depending on what you’ve put on your skin. The following are products you definitely don’t want your dog, cat, bird, or other animal companion licking off you and ingesting.
Over-the-Counter Topical Products Dangerous to Pets
- Personal care products. The majority of personal care products, including soaps and body washes, toothpastes, moisturizing lotions, sunscreens, self-tanners, shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, antiperspirants, make-up, and other cosmetics, contain potentially toxic chemicals. Not only can they cause GI upset if ingested by your pet, they can also affect your own health. For a comprehensive infographic on typical chemicals used in these products, see Dr. Mercola’s article, “Hidden Dangers in Personal Care Products.”
- Creams containing hydrocortisone. These are steroid-based formulations typically used to control itching. If your pet ingests a product containing hydrocortisone, it can cause increased thirst and urination, panting, vomiting and diarrhea.
- Ointments, lotions and creams containing antibiotics,….
…. Prescription Topical Products Dangerous to Pets
- Prescription steroid-based creams. These are typically prescribed for itchy skin conditions when over-the-counter products aren’t working. Common topical steroids include betamethasone, clobetasone, clobetasol, hydrocortisone, methylprednisone, mometasone, and triamcinolone. If ingested, these products can cause the same symptoms in your pet as OTC preparations (increased thirst and urination, panting, vomiting, and diarrhea), but for a longer period of time.
- Hormone creams,…
Be sure and read the whole article and you can watch several videos of Dr. Becker speaking about the health of our pets on YouTube.