Can I Use Bio-Oil on My Dog?

A number of human health products have crossed over into use for dog care, but it is important to first consult your veterinarian before trying anything that is not part of your dog's regular wellness routine. While the recent trend of Bio-Oil popularity has people raving about the product's benefits for skin repair, there are several aspects to consider before determining whether it is safe for your dog.

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Bio-Oil has some questionable ingredients when it comes to dogs.

Mineral Oil

A restorative skin product must penetrate several skin layers in order to regenerate damaged cellular structure. Bio-Oil's first ingredient -- mineral oil -- is a petroleum by-product that sits on top of the skin, forming a barrier that prevents other healing ingredients getting past it, according to WebMD.com. That also means the filmy coating it forms prevents air from circulating in and around a dog's cracked pads, vulnerable nose tissue or hot spots, which traps toxins in the body and does not allow them to escape.

BHT

The Environmental Working Group lists a whole host of toxic effects of BHT on laboratory animals, including allergies, immunotoxicity and cancer. Used as a preservative, this ingredient works to stabilize the oil properties so they do not become rancid. Many countries have banned BHT from human products, yet according to Sabine Contreras of The Dog Food Project, the United States still allows people and animals to be exposed to its harmful effects in processed foods and personal care items such as Bio-Oil.

Ingestion

Bio-Oil is a non-toxic topical product not meant to be ingested, according to Drugs.com. This is a concern when considering its use on your dog, since it is very likely to be licked off and swallowed. The petroleum-based content will cause digestive upset the same way motor oil does and can require a trip to the vet depending upon how much was consumed. Signs of ingestion include loose stool, eating grass to encourage vomiting and drinking a lot of water.

Dog-Specific Products

Instead of using a Bio-Oil product manufactured for humans, choose one manufactured specifically for animals. Dermoscent Bio Balm Skin Repairing Care for Dogs is one such option that is made without mineral oil or BHT, using instead natural and organic ingredients as glycine max seed oil, elaeis guineenses seed oil and melaleuca cajputi oil that are freely absorbed into the skin to provide healing results.