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People who have pet dogs think of their dogs as their family, and we love our families. There are a thousand reasons why we love our dogs. Dogs are loyal; they are fun and incredibly loving; they are amazing. They also stink.
Whether your dog is an inside dog or an outside dog, no matter its breed or how often you bathe it, at some point, your dog is going to stink. Just because our dogs stink, though, doesn’t always mean we have enough time to bathe them right away.
Are there any options for us when this happens? Some people turn to baby powder. But can you put baby powder on a dog safely?
Is Baby Powder Safe for Dogs?
Yes, baby powder is safe for dogs and can be used to help make your furry best friend smell better whenever you can’t bathe him. You need to ensure the powder is talc-free, and unscented powder is preferable.
How Is It Used?
It goes without saying that the baby powder has to be applied topically. However, you don’t want to dump too much powder on your dog at one time. Instead, you’ll need to stand a little bit away from your doggy so the puff powder won’t get all in his eyes and nose when you pour it out into your hand.
Pour out a small amount into your hands and rub it around so that it coats your hands completely. The larger your dog and the thicker his coat, the more powder you’ll need. Once your hands are coated, run your hands all over your dog, in his fur. This may take a few different coats.
You’ll want the powder to be completely rubbed in by the time you’re done. This means none of it should still be showing on your dog’s fur. If some is still showing, you’ve likely used too much. If this happens, you can either use a comb or brush to try to remove the excess or wipe your pup off with a damp rag.
Do not put the powder anywhere near your dog’s eyes, nose or mouth. Also avoid the ears, specifically the inner ears. Once it has been on your dog for about ten minutes, you can wipe it off your dog’s fur. However, as long as you haven’t used too much, it actually won’t hurt to let it stay.
You can also use baby powder on bedding, as well, to help keep the smell down.
Baby Powder on Dogs: Pros
- It’s a quick and easy way to clean your dog between baths.
- It’s much cheaper than dedicated cleaning products for dogs.
- It’s great for puppies when they can’t be bathed for a certain period of time.
- It smells nice.
- It dries up stinky oils from the roots of your dog’s hair.
- It reduces the frequency of baths.
Baby Powder on Dogs: Cons
- It must be used carefully so as not to hurt your dog.
- Powder can irritate dogs with allergies or respiratory issues.
- Scented powders can be damaging.
- Talc-based powders can cause cancer, so avoid them at all costs.
- Will dry out your dog’s coat if you use it too often.
Can I Use Baby Powder for Fleas?
Another constant battle pet parents have is the battle against fleas. Fleas are horrible little things that cause your dog to itch, scratch himself and be quite uncomfortable. They can even cause your dog to become sick.
One of the things that makes fleas so awful is that, once your dog gets them, they’re incredibly hard to kill completely. Once your dog has fleas, the fleas then get inside your home and on you and any other pets you may have. They are a terror.
If you notice your dog scratching or biting at himself often, especially after he’s just been bathed, it’s very possible he has fleas. The easiest way to know for sure is through the white sock test. If your dog has fleas, you can walk through your house in a pair of white socks, and you’ll likely find fleas on your feet.
However, another way to check is to cover your hand in a white sock and rub it slowly through your dog’s fur. The fleas will jump from his fur onto your sock, and you’ll be able to see them clearly.
If your dog does indeed have fleas, there are a few different ways to rid yourself of them. There are pills, shampoos and other items specifically designed for getting rid of your dog’s fleas. If you’re asking yourself, “Can I put baby powder on my dog to get rid of fleas?” the answer is yes. You can.
Ridding Yourself of Fleas with Baby Powder: How It Works
The steps to getting rid of fleas using baby powder are very similar to the steps for using baby powder as a bath substitute. Remember, your dog does not need to inhale the baby powder, so step back while you’re getting it on your hands. Then use the following steps: (Also, it’s best if you wear rubber gloves while doing this to keep the fleas from biting you.)
- Rub the baby powder all over and into your dog’s fur.
- Let the powder sit in your dog’s coat for at least ten minutes.
- Comb through your dog’s fur with a dedicated flea comb to rid him of any stubborn fleas or dead fleas that have been suffocated by the powder.
- Have a bowl of water handy to drown live fleas in once they’ve been removed.
- Repeat until you see no fleas that are still living.
- Bathe your dog and dry him off well to get rid of any remaining flea carcasses and the powder.
Remember, fleas like to hang around the house once they’ve gotten in, so it’s important to wash all of your dog’s bedding and your own. Wash anything else washable your dog has come in contact with while having fleas.
If you have carpet or a rug, you’ll also want to cover your floor in baby powder to smother any fleas living in the carpet. Let it sit for ten minutes, and then vacuum up the powder.
If fleas remain in your home, you may have to have a pest control agent come spray your house. Also, once you’ve gotten rid of your dog’s fleas, it’s best to give him a flea prevention pill to keep them from coming back again.
Will Baby Powder Help My Dog’s Itching?
If your dog is itching from an allergy or a skin condition, no, baby powder won’t likely help that. In fact, it may even make the itching worse. The only time baby powder is helpful for itching in dogs is when the itching is caused by fleas.
Can I Use Baby Powder for My Dog’s Heat Rash?
Just as humans can suffer from heat rash in the summer and warmer months, so too can dogs. Heat rash is an irritating, painful skin problem that will annoy and hurt your dog. Because it is irritating, your dog will also lick and bite at it to try to make it feel better. This will, of course, only make it worse.
The best option with any kind of skin condition is to take your dog to a vet and see what she says about the dog’s treatment options. However, if this is not an option for you, you can use baby powder to treat the dog yourself.
To do this, you simply apply the baby powder directly onto the affected areas of your dog’s skin. However, this won’t feel great to your dog, and he will still try to lick it off, so you must get a cone for your dog’s head to keep him from licking the spots.
You’ll need to reapply the baby powder regularly throughout the day. If the heat rash isn’t gone in 48 hours or if it gets worse at any point during your treatment of him, take him to the vet immediately, as this could be indicative of a larger, more serious problem.
Is Gold Bond Powder Safe for Dogs?
While the FDA has not approved Gold Bond Medicated Powder for use with dogs, it is something some vets recommend for heat rash or other skin conditions in dogs. If you use Gold Bond powder, you are doing so at your own risk, but most vets agree that it is relatively safe for dogs.
However, if you have any doubt about it, give your vet a call first. Make sure she thinks your dog’s particular skin ailment can benefit from Gold Bond. If she says yes, it’s fine, then you’ll use the same steps outlined above to put the Gold Bond onto your dog.
Neither baby powder nor Gold Bond have been approved by the FDA for use with dogs. They are strictly designed for use as human products. However, as long as you follow all the safety precautions when using these powders and make sure you purchase talcum-free powder, both products can be a safe, fast and affordable way to keep your dog smelling clean between baths and to deal with certain skin ailments.
Just remember, if you’re ever in doubt, talk it over with your vet first. She’ll always have the best interests of your pet in mind.