Baby Powder on Dogs – Is It Safe?

Let’s face it; bathing a dog can be quite a challenging task. Your pup may not find bathing a relaxing experience. And for a good reason.

Frequently washing your dog may cause its skin to lose its natural oils, resulting in dry and itchy skin.

It’s for this reason that many people turn to baby powder to groom their pets.

But is it safe to use baby powder on dogs? The short answer is yes.

Baby powder is gentle on your furry friend and can keep unpleasant scents at bay. However, you have to ensure that the powder is talcum-free.

maltipoo puppy smiling
A super happy Maltipoo puppy

Are Talcum-Based Powders Unsafe for Dogs?

While baby powders containing talcum can be pretty effective in soothing irritated skin, they are potentially harmful to dogs.

A recent study showed that talcum might contain traces of asbestos, making it harmful to humans and animals. If your pup inhales or ingests this type of baby powder, it may experience respiratory issues such as difficulties breathing, digestive problems such as vomiting, and even develop illness.

So, if you want to use baby powder on your dog, it is advisable to go for one with cornstarch or arrowroots as the main ingredient. (And always check with a Vet professional first)

How Do I Apply Baby Powder on My Dog?

When applying baby powder on your dog, you don’t want to use too much at a go. Instead, pour a small amount of the powder on your hands, rub them together until it fully coats your hands, and then run them through your pup’s fur coat. The amount of baby powder to use will depend on the size of your dog.

It is essential to ensure that you rub all of the baby powder into your dog’s fur coat by running your powder-coated hands through it.

If you notice that the baby powder is visible on your furry little pal’s fur coat, you may have used too much. You can remove the excess powder by running a brush through your dog’s fur or wiping it off using a damp rag.

When putting baby powder on your dog, it is recommended to stand a few inches away from it. Doing this will help prevent the powder from accidentally entering your eyes or nose, which can be pretty uncomfortable.

It goes without saying that you should only use baby powder for topical application on your dog. You should never put the powder on any other part of your dog’s body (especially the eyes, ears, and nose) except its fur coat. It is also important to go for an unscented baby powder too.

princess dog
Is your dog a Prince or Princess? A Hero or a Pauper? Jasmine or Aladdin type?

Does Baby Powder Kill Fleas on Dogs?

Yes, baby powder can help get rid of fleas on your dog. When you apply the powder, its fine dust can kill the fleas through suffocation.  What’s more, baby powder can help relieve the itchiness that comes from flea bites.

However, baby powder cannot act as a flea repellent. It also cannot destroy flea larvae eggs since they do not need a lot of oxygen to survive, it’s best to give your pet a proper treatment for this and not just rely on baby powder.

Does Baby Powder Work for Dogs with Skin Allergies?

Baby powder, especially scented ones, may not be suitable for your dog if it has skin allergies. Applying powder on its sensitive skin may strip off its natural oils, causing irritation, and if your pup scratches itself too much, its skin may begin to break, making it prone to infections.

Let’s take a look at safe remedies for dogs with itchy, sensitive skin.

“If you’re worried about your pet’s skin, it’s best to take them to a veterinarian before trying any home remedies.”

Veterinarian Dr Charlotte Stiles (DVM)

Colloidal Oatmeal Bath

For years, people have used this remedy to relieve the skin from irritation caused by skin conditions such as eczema.

A colloidal oatmeal bath is can be an effective way to soothe your dog’s itchy and irritated skin. For starters, it can remove allergens trapped in its skin and fur coat that may be causing its skin to be itchy. Colloidal oatmeal also contains anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for relieving any mild swelling and redness in your dog’s skin.

What’s more, it also acts as a buffer to help maintain your pup’s skin pH.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This contains anti-inflammatory qualities, making it ideal for soothing your furry little friend’s itchy skin. All you have to do is mix it with water in a spray bottle in the correct ratio and spray the mixture on your dog’s skin and fur coat (being sure to avoid their eyes, nose and other sensitive areas).

However, do not spray it on damaged skin or open wounds as it is acidic and can be uncomfortable for your pup, making it scratch itself even more.

yorkie ears
Black and Gold Yorkies often fade to Blue and Gold as they age. Look at those perky upright Yorkie ears!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is known to offer a myriad of benefits to dogs. It contains valuable components such as Medium Chain Triglycerides ( MCT) that can help relieve digestive issues.

Applying some coconut oil on your dog can help soothe its itchy skin.

Can I Put Baby Powder on My Dog’s Hot Spot?

Well, yes and no. It is advisable not to apply baby powder on skin that is already irritated because it may remove the remaining natural oils on your dog’s skin, causing the hot spot to worsen.

However, cornstarch-based baby powders can be great for relieving hot spots.

This type of powder can help dry, scab, and heal a hot spot within the first few days of application.

Should I Use Baby Powder on My Dog’s Paws?

While baby powder can help relieve itchiness on your dog’s paws caused by a rash or an infection, it can be unsafe for your pet. Like we mentioned earlier, some baby powders contain talcum and other components that may be harmful to your dog when licked.

Many veterinarians recommend using herbal tea soaks such as chamomile tea. Aloe vera gel is also an excellent remedy due to its anti-inflammatory qualities that combat redness and inflammation. You can also use apple cider vinegar as it contains antiseptic and anti-fungal properties that may help relieve itchy paws.

However, do not use it on your dog if it has scratched itself raw as it can sting the open wounds, making your pup extremely uncomfortable.

maltese and yorkie dogs
Grooming Maltese and Yorkie dogs requires some effort.

Wrap Up

It’s no doubt that baby powder can offer a ton of benefits to your pet, especially if its skin is allergic to medicated creams or shampoos. But, it is essential to keep in mind that baby powder is not a remedy for all dog skin conditions.

So, before using it on your pup, consult a veterinarian to know whether or not it is suitable for your dog based on its skin condition and age.