The Dangers of Vicks Vaposteam for Dogs
Alex Vicente • Updated on September 29, 2022
You want to do everything you can to take care of your dog, so this might include using Vicks Vaposteam on him.
While this might be a well-meaning action on your part, it can actually be quite harmful.
You will want to keep in mind that Vicks is made specifically for humans, so you will want to leave your dog out of it.
Vicks Vaposteam contains toxic chemicals that are actually harmful to dogs. While oils such as camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus are safe for humans in moderation, the same cannot be said for canines. As such, Vicks Vaposteam should not be used as a treatment for nasal congestion in your dog.
It is only natural to want to do whatever you can for your dog when you know that he is not feeling well.
Since dogs become our best friends, the line between what works for us and for them is often blurred.
Continue reading to learn why Vicks Vaposteam is something best reserved for you and not your dog.
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What is Wrong with Vicks Vaposteam?
When talking about humans, there is not really anything wrong with Vicks Vaposteam.
In fact, studies are quite clear that the ingredients in this product are quite effective for humans trying to get relief from the flu.
However, the key is that it is designed for humans.
These same ingredients can wreak havoc on your dog.
While Vicks Vaposteam can help humans recover quite quickly from congestion, the same is not true for your dog.
There may be some medications in production today that are completely safe for humans and pets, but Vicks Vaposteam is not one of them.
As such, it is important to understand the danger associated with your dog inhaling Vicks Vaposteam.
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Why is Camphor Oil Bad for Dogs?
If you will look at the product label, you will notice that the main ingredient that goes into the development of Vicks Vaposteam is camphor.
This is a common compound that is organic and is used in a variety of lotions, ointments, and creams.
While camphor oil in Vicks is quite helpful at reducing the congestion in our lungs, the exact opposite is true for dogs.
The steam that comes from the humidifier contains toxic agents that can actually make it difficult for a dog to breathe.
When it gets into their bloodstream, even more, adverse reactions can occur.
Because camphor oil is so helpful to humans, many pet owners make the mistake of using it with their dogs.
When your dog is hurting, you want to bring about the same type of relief that you get from Vicks.
Unfortunately, it simply does not work that way.
What Are the Harmful Effects of Vicks Vaposteam on Dogs?
There are actually quite a few reasons why Vicks Vaposteam can be extremely dangerous for your dog.
It all has to do with the toxicity of various ingredients in the product.
- Toxins are absorbed through the dog’s skin – When this happens, the toxins can make their way into the bloodstream. This is very dangerous and must be avoided at all costs.
- Toxins get into the body through scratches on the skin – Dogs are constantly scratching themselves. Their skin is also susceptible to all types of tears, given their propensity to run outside and encounter trees, bushes, and other items. As a consequence, it is quite easy for the toxins from Vicks Vaposteam to get into those cuts and make their way into the bloodstream once again.
- Dogs may lick the oil from Vicks – If you haven’t noticed, dogs will lick and attempt to eat just about anything. Before you can tell them to stop, the damage will already be done.
Any of these three things can cause great harm to your dog.
While humans know the limitations of Vicks, dogs do not.
We can keep ourselves from ingesting the harmful toxins or putting it on our broken skin, but dogs have no such knowledge.
Therefore, we must do our part to keep them safe by minimizing their contact with products such as Vicks Vaposteam.
How Can You Tell if Your Dog Has Had a Reaction?
It is essential to recognize the signs of toxic poisoning in your dog.
This can happen when the chemicals do one of the following:
- Come into contact with the skin
- Are ingested
- Are smelled too frequently
You might notice your dog suffering mildly or strongly from the effects of oils contained in Vicks Vaposteam.
If the symptoms are mild, the following might be evident:
- Bouts of nausea
- Noticeable fits of vomiting
- Much more diarrhea than would be considered normal
Some dogs will also develop severe skin reactions when placed in contact with the various oils contained in Vicks.
This is why you might want to look at other options if the humans in your house are suffering from congestion.
In the case of your dog, you might notice the following:
- Itching far more than before
- The skin turning red
- Your dog pawing at its skin on an almost constant basis
- Eyes tearing up when anywhere near Vicks Vaposteam
- Constant licking of the skin in an attempt to provide soothing relief
These are just a few of the symptoms of a reaction to the agent contained in Vicks Vaposteam.
Each of them is serious.
In severe cases, your dog can have deadly seizures as a result of exposure to this medication.
As a result, if you have dogs in the house, you will want to be cautious about using it yourself.
Do Dogs Even Like Vicks Vaposteam?
This is interesting.
Something that we think might be good for our dog is actually something that they do not like in the first place.
While dogs are naturally curious, you will likely notice them backing away from Vicks once they have had their first whiff.
There are some very good reasons for this.
Dogs have very sensitive noses.
When they smell Vicks, they will quickly become overwhelmed.
Dogs are so repelled by this smell that some savvy owners have actually used it as a deterrent to keep their pets out of certain areas of the house.
As such, you should know that your dog senses there is something wrong with Vicks Vaposteam, to begin with.
Puppies Are Especially Susceptible to the Danger
Because they are so curious, puppies are who you really need to be concerned about.
They tend to be more adventurous than mature dogs.
That means that they are more willing to experience new smells and they don’t mind tasting things that are better left alone.
Until they grow out of this stage, you will want to do your best to keep them away from Vick Vaposteam.
Interestingly enough, dogs are used to the smells that humans despise the most.
They are used to dust, pollens, and other types of agents that make us uncomfortable.
When you put unnatural chemicals in the mix, such as those found in Vicks, dogs tend to shy away in the first place.
This is reason enough to keep this product out of their reach.
Now that you understand the dangers of Vicks Vaposteam, it is important to do your part to keep your dog safe.
You will want to consider other alternatives, both for yourself and your pet.
These toxins are simply too harmful to allow them to get anywhere close to your best friend, so keep that in mind.