My Dog Ate Deodorant [is Deodorant Toxic to Dogs?]

If your dog ate deodorant, you likely have nothing to worry about. The only thing in deodorant that would be considered toxic is zinc, but your dog would have to eat an excessive amount of zinc to have any adverse side effects. If your dog vomits, give your vet a call ASAP.

Oops! Does your dog’s breath now smell like coconut breeze or Old Spice? Was your pooch rummaging through your gym bag and came across something that looked like it might taste better than your sweaty socks? Check out this article before you panic. 

Is Deodorant Toxic to Dogs?

Deodorant is an antiperspirant that can be found in stick, gel, or spray form. Most deodorant is made from aluminum-based complexes. 

These ingredients react with the electrolytes found in your sweat and essentially plug up the duct of the sweat gland. 

Some deodorants also contain zinc. While zinc is an essential element that both pets and people need to incorporate into their diets, too much of it can be harmful. 

Zinc poisoning in dogs is all dependent on the dog’s size and how much zinc they ingested. It is also important to know what kind of zinc was eaten. 

For example, a penny contains more zinc than a tube of sunscreen. Similarly, dogs who suffer from kidney disease (and other gastrointestinal disorders) should avoid ingesting aluminum products. Their kidneys will be unable to properly excrete aluminum, so it will remain in the body, where it can cause harmful internal problems. 

What to Do If Your Dog Consumed Deodorant

Watch for symptoms of poisoning. If you suspect your dog has eaten something containing zinc, aluminum, or other poisonous substances, watch for these symptoms: 

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundiced gums
  • Yellowing of the skin/eyes
  • Orange-tinted feces and urine 

If zinc poisoning goes untreated, it can cause severe health problems like anemia, seizures, and organ damage. 

If your dog only ingested a small amount of deodorant (relevant to their size), they’ll be just fine. However, you should still refer to your vet for instructions on how to proceed. 

Never attempt to induce vomiting or give your dog food/water without your vet’s explicit instructions. If you are unable to get in touch with your vet, call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.

Diagnosis Of Zinc Poisoning

There are a few ways to diagnose zinc poisoning: 

Blood tests will measure the concentration of zinc in your dog’s bloodstream and can also identify liver and kidney damage. 

A urinalysis will examine if there is any red blood cell pigment. 

An x-ray can see if there is an object with a high metal concentration in your dog’s body (most likely to be used for dogs who have swallowed coins or screws). 

Treatment Options For Zinc Poisoning

Your vet can either induce vomiting or retrieve the item your dog swallowed with an endoscope. 

They can stabilize your dog with an IV to keep them hydrated while supporting their kidneys. 

Blood transfusions can be used to treat anemia. Antiemetics can help cease your dog’s persistent vomiting. Medications can be given to protect their gastrointestinal tract and treat seizures and heart problems. 

Overall, there is a very good chance that your dog will recover and be just fine from an episode of zinc poisoning. 

If the symptoms are caught early, and veterinary care is provided immediately, there should be little cause for worry. 

However, the outcome ultimately depends on the severity of symptoms. It is important to always be vigilant and monitor your pet(s) to ensure they are not showing any signs of distress that you might be missing. 

Why Do Dogs Eat Things They Shouldn’t?

When your dog eats your deodorant, you’re probably wondering why dogs eat things they shouldn’t. Afterall, deodorant sounds terrible to us, why would a dog want to eat it?

Curiosity

Dogs, especially puppies, explore the world with their mouths. It’s their way of figuring out what something is, what’s edible, and what’s not. 

It is a natural instinct that puppies usually outgrow with training, but this behavior can continue  into doggy adulthood. 

This habit can get them into trouble. Items with strong scents, like soiled diapers or used kitchen utensils, can be irresistible. Other items might have a more personal appeal, like socks that smell like their owner. 

Pica

The repeated ingesting of inedible objects is referred to as “pica”. 

While puppies have a tendency to accidentally swallow things they shouldn’t, that behavior is driven more out of curiosity. 

Pica is an unstoppable, almost obsessive urge to eat non-edible objects. Dirt, socks, rocks, sand. ect. This is usually a sign that your dog is missing out on key nutrients.

Boredom

If dogs are not appropriately entertained—whether it be through exercise, toys, or affection—they will look for other outlets to keep themselves busy. 

Some dogs attempt to ease boredom through chewing, and out of those dogs, there are two types: those who swallow what they chew and those who don’t. 

Dogs who swallow the items they chew either do it out of hunger or because they do not want their “toy” taken away. 

The attempt to maintain control over that item can be a game to them, and they will swallow the item to win. 

Stop Your Dog From Eating Your Items (Such as Deodorant)

Puppy-Proofing

This means baby gates, clean countertops, and nothing left lying on the floors or anywhere that your pup could easily reach. 

For a home with particularly mischievous dogs, consider investing in locks for cabinets, garbages, and even toilet seats. 

Supervision

You should always keep an eye on your dog, especially dogs who have yet to be adequately trained. 

Dogs are like children in so many ways, and as their owner, you are meant to look after them like a parent. 

If you would not let your toddler wander around the house unsupervised, then you should not let your puppy do so, either.

If you cannot properly look after your dog for a bit—say you’re going to shower or mow the lawn—then they should be secured in their crate, where they cannot get into trouble. But be warned, the crate is not a substitution for training. 

Proper Training

Whenever you see your dog doing something they shouldn’t, correct their behavior immediately. Use a firm tone, but do not yell. Be authoritative, not scary. Your dog should respect you, not fear you. 

Let’s say you find your dog gnawing on the television remote:

Start by commanding their attention with a firm “No”, “Drop it”, or “Leave it”. Try to not repeat the command too many times. If you do, they will learn that they do not have to listen the first time.

Once they drop the item, reward them with praise and/or a small treat.

The best thing to do now is to offer them an alternative. Instead of the remote, show them a chew toy or a bone. 

Now you have helped them learn the incorrect behavior and what to do instead. This training requires consistency and diligence, and the more you practice it, the faster your pup will catch on. 

Physical and Mental Stimulation

If your dog is the type to act out because they are bored, you need to provide them with more opportunities for physical exercise and mental stimulation. 

If they are occupied in these ways, they will be less drawn to eating items that might harm them. If your dog eats a little grass or a stick here and there, it’s not the end of the world, but you should not let those types of behaviors devolve into a problem.

If you are unable to provide your dog with the proper time and attention it needs and deserves, consider hiring a dog walker or investing in doggy daycare. Owning a dog means committing to giving them the best life possible. They bring us so much joy, and it is only fair that we take care of them in return. 

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