Vaseline—every household has it, or at least some other petroleum jelly.
We use it to moisturize our skin, as a lip balm to help protect against chapped lips, and even to soothe and treat some skin conditions.
But there are many other uses for Vaseline at home.
For instance, you may have heard that Vaseline can also be used as a fly repellant.
Some pet parents will swear that applying a layer of Vaseline petroleum jelly behind the ears of your dog is all it takes to keep those pesky flies and mosquitoes away.
But is there any merit to this claim?
Does Vaseline Keep Flies Off Dogs?
Granted, using Vaseline as a fly repellant may seem like an unlikely use for petroleum jelly, but there is some anecdotal evidence that it can actually work.
Many pet parents have claimed that a thin layer of Vaseline applied behind the ears, on the belly, and between the legs of their dogs repelled flies effectively.
This is an especially useful tip for dogs that are sensitive to commercial fly repellants or that have allergies.
While there is little scientific evidence, experts seem to agree that this method works.
For instance, according to petMD, flies are known to bite dogs in certain areas like around their ears and they advise pet owners to use Vaseline or any other petroleum jelly to keep them at bay.
This is because petroleum jelly works as a barrier, helping to prevent insects from biting and irritating sensitive areas of your dog’s skin.
Also, as you may know, wounds tend to attract flies, which makes the problem worse.
Flies will contaminate the wound, which can prolong the healing process and increase your dog’s risk of infection.
Applying a thin film of Vaseline on the wound is a surefire way of keeping the flies away.
However, this should only be a temporary measure but a more permanent solution should be sought as soon as possible to help the dog heal faster.
You may also want to check:
Is Vaseline Toxic For Dogs?
Vaseline is non-toxic for dogs and generally considered safe to use.
However, as with any product that you are using on your dog or around them, it is always recommended to do a small test patch first.
This will help you determine if there are any potential allergic reactions or skin sensitivities, so you can take the necessary precautions.
Also, ingestion of Vaseline may result in stomach upsets, so it is important to use caution when applying it to your dog.
It is safe to apply it around the ears and other areas that your dog may not be able to lick.
If you must use it on areas where your dog regularly licks, then you may want to consider using a dog muzzle to prevent licking.
Overall, using Vaseline as a fly repellant is safe for your furry friend as long as she does not lick it.
Why Do Flies Bite Dogs?
Even though flies love targeting certain spots on your dog, it is not normal for your dog to keep attracting flies.
If this happens, there must be a good reason behind it and you may want to investigate to know what you should do.
The most obvious reason why flies may be attracted to your dog has to do with wounds on the skin.
If your dog has a bacterial or fungal infection that has led to skin irritation, the result may be open wounds that may attract flies.
The wounds may also be a result of an injury from objects or other dogs/animals.
Poor grooming habits, parasite infestation, and malnutrition are other possible causes of skin irritations which would then result in open wounds on your dog’s skin.
As we have already seen, you may temporarily use Vaseline as a short-term remedy.
However, Vaseline is not an antiseptic, so do not confuse it with the actual treatment.
You will only use it to keep the flies away and also to soothe the skin before taking your dog to the vet.
Flies are also attracted to matted and unclean fur. If your dog has a skin infection that is causing the fur to be unkempt and dirty, you will need to clean it topically using anti-bacterial soap followed by drying thoroughly before trimming out any mats in the hair.
You should also check for any signs of inflammation or redness on your dog’s skin which may indicate a skin infection.
A vet assessment will help you know the best way of treating your dog’s skin condition to prevent further fly bites.
Additionally, regular grooming and good food are essential for maintaining healthy skin and fur on your dog which will in turn discourage fly infestations.
Preventing Flies from Biting Your Dog
To prevent flies from biting your dog in the future, you may need to take several steps.
This may include improving your dog’s overall health by feeding them a high-quality diet, taking them for regular vet check-ups and grooming, and also treating any skin infections as soon as possible.
Additionally, you should keep your dog’s environment clean by regularly cleaning and changing their bedding, cleaning the floors and other surfaces in the house, and making sure that they have ample access to fresh water at all times.
Using repellents and other insect control products may also help to keep flies away from your dog while ensuring that they are kept indoors during times when flies are most active can also be beneficial.
Finally, keeping an eye out for signs of skin irritation or inflammation on your dog’s body will help you treat any underlying conditions and prevent further bites from occurring in the future.
To sum it up, there is enough anecdotal evidence to prove that Vaseline is an effective fly repellant in dogs.
However, Vaseline may also cause stomach upsets if your dog licks it off the skin, so you may want to take precautionary steps when using it.
Additionally, you may want to get to the root cause of the fly problem.
For instance, groom your pet better and deal with any sickness or parasite infestation that might be causing wounds on the skin.
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Sable McNeil is a canine chef, professional pet blogger, and proud owner of two male dogs. I have been an animal lover all my life, with dogs holding a special place in my heart. Initially, I created this blog to share recipes, tips, and any relevant information on healthy homemade dog treats. But because of my unrelenting passion to make a difference in the world of dogs, I have expanded the blog’s scope to include the best information and recommendations about everything dog lovers need to know about their canine friends’ health and wellbeing. My mission now is to find the most helpful content on anything related to dogs and share it with fellow hardworking hound lovers. While everything I share is in line with the latest evidence-based veterinarian health guidelines, nothing should be construed as veterinary advice. Please contact your vet in all matters regarding your Fido’s health.