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Can I Put Vicks on My Dog? (Read This First!)

Vicks vapor rub is a very popular medication when it comes to clearing and soothing congestion and cold. But this medication might not be safe for animals. Before using the ointment on your pet or any animal you should learn about the condition.

Can I put Vicks on my dog?

The core ingredient used in making Vicks is toxics for dogs. The chemicals and oils are harmful and will cause some major health issues for your dog if applied. Even the smell of the Vapor rub is also very inconvenient for your dog. It is best to not apply or put Vicks vapor rub on your dog.

Vicks Vapor rub is not a medication prescribed for dogs. The medication is very toxic for dogs. And the core oil and ingredients of the medication are not suitable to be used on dogs. Even a little bit of the ointment can cause your dog to have severe health issues.

The core ingredients used to make Vicks vapor rub are camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil. All of which are significantly and individually toxic for dogs.

External use of the ointment is especially dangerous as there is a huge risk of your dog licking the vapor rub. this will be very much harmful to your puppy. In some cases, it can even be life-threatening. Even the strong smell of the vapor rub can make the puppy feel uneasy and sick.

It is best to keep the ointment away from your dog. There is no need to apply the ointment to your dog.


The strong smell of the vapor rub are not favorable for dogs. It is best to not apply the ointment to your dogs’ nose.


Though there is no need to apply the ointment on their feet, still do not apply it there. Your dog might lick it off and that can lead to serious problems.


Some put Vicks on their dogs’ ears to soothe them but that never works. It stings as the ingredients of the ointment are very strong.


Applying Vicks on their paws is very risky as they might lick it off.


If your dog has a cold, then it might be okay to apply Vicks on their chest. However, try to avoid this.

Is Vicks safe for dogs to smell?

Vicks vapor rub has a very strong scent. It is made with strong oils and ingredients like camphor to clear any blockades due to cold. This strong smell is not very favorable for dogs.

Though smelling the vapor rub will not seemingly cause any health issues, it might make your dog nauseous and feel sick.

Smelling the vapor rub is not exactly safe for your dog. There might not any serious troubles by just smelling the vapor rub, but it is best to not let your dog smell the ointment. It may lead to nausea or even vomiting. Which is not desirable.

2 reasons why you cannot put Vicks on your dogs

Though Vicks vapor rub is known as a very effective ointment, it should not be applied on dogs. Dogs tend not to like the ointment and it is not safe for them either. There are a number of reasons for you to avoid the ointment for your dog. Some of the obvious reasons are-

Toxic ingredient:

The ingredients used to make the ointment are very strong and are very toxic for dogs. The oils and camphor used in the medication do not suit dogs at all. The core ingredient which has the chemical Menthol in it is very unsafe for dogs. There are severe health issues related to it.

Strong smell:

The strong smell of the ointment repels dogs. It can make them nauseous and make them sick in a matter of time. This is why you should not let your dog even smell the strong scent of Vicks.

Vicks vapor rub maybe seems like a good idea to apply on your dog but it can have very severe consequences. Most of the time the dog will fall sick and start to feel nauseous because of the strong scent of the ointment.

There are other ointments you can use on your dog. Best avoid this one.

Can I put Vicks on my dog for fleas?

There is an internet myth that goes around to apply Vicks on your dog to get rid of fleas. This is an absurd process. It does not work at all. Using this will only make your dog sicker and with the fleas, it will annoy your dog more. There is no need to apply Vicks on your dog.

Fleas will not leave your dog if you apply Vicks. Some people think the strong smell of Vicks will make the fleas leave the dogs’ bodies. But that does not really work. Most of the time it will cause your dog irritation and will make your dog sick.

Best to go for other ways to get rid of fleas. Applying Vicks on your dog will not get rid of fleas.

What happens if a dog licks Vicks Vapor Rub?

Vicks vapor rub is a well-known medication for cold and nose blockages. But this ointment is not safe for dogs. The ingredients used in this medication are extremely toxic for dogs and can cause severe health problems for them.

Some of the most noticeable consequences that can happen if your dog licks Vicks are –


The most common sign that your dog has licked Vicks is if your dog gets nauseous. Nausea is an obvious symptom that your dog has ingested vapor rub. The ingredients make dogs nauseous and they can’t eat anything.


Stomach inflammation is also very common if your dog licks or eats any bit of Vick vapor rub. An inflamed and upset stomach will lead to much discomfort for your dog. It will be very obvious.


In the most extreme cases, your dog will start vomiting right after it has licked the vapor rub. Sometimes it may take a while as well but if your dog has had a significant amount of Vicks.

The symptoms of your dog licking Vicks are mostly related to an upset stomach. This can lead to bad situations. It is best not to ignore the symptoms and get your dog treated for them right away.

How to treat dogs that licked Vicks?

Sometimes your dog might just get a lick or two of Vicks. In those cases, you will notice your dog get nauseous or vomit. If this does happen there is no need to worry. You just have to act fast and treat yourself as soon as possible without panicking instantly-

  • Take your dog to the nearest vet and they will perform gastric lavage. This is for a more extreme case when your dog won’t stop vomiting. However, it is the best solution.
  • Your vet might give your dog active charcoal to get the ointment out of its’ system.
  • If your dog gets seizures some strong medications might be prescribed.
  • In the most extreme case a stomach cleansing might be applied.

These are the most common ways to treat your dog if it licks or ingests Vicks vapor rub. 

Can I put Vicks on my dog during the heat?

Vicks is known to repel dogs because of its’ strong scent. This is why some people use it on female dogs to keep the male dogs away in times of heat. However, it is a very risky method. Though it does work, but it should be avoided by all means.

The strong smell of Vicks will keep the male dog from the area if they are in heat. But you will have to be aware in case the female licks the Vicks off. This is why the method is avoided even though it works.

How do I get rid of my dog’s congestion?

It is not uncommon for dogs to have a blocked nose or a cold. During the cold, if your dogs’ nose gets congested there are a few things you can do instead of using Vicks or any other similar ointments-

  • Massage your dog’s nasal area to clear the congestion;
  • Steam your dog for a few minutes so the block clears up;
  • Use a humidifier. Keep your dog in the same room as a humidifier so their nose clears up soon;
  • Never put your dog directly under a shower. Use lukewarm water.

These methods work perfectly if your dog has a congested nose.

Final thoughts

Vicks vapor rub has some extremely toxic ingredients and oils in them. These ingredients are very toxic and harmful for dogs. This is why you should avoid applying Vicks on your dog. There are other ways to heal and soothe your dog. It is best to avoid using Vicks vapor rub on them. It is harmful.