why do dogs like lotion

why do dogs like lotion


Why Do Dogs Like Lotion?


You’ve probably noticed your furry friend’s peculiar interest in that bottle of lotion you just applied on your hands. It might be endearing, amusing, or a little bit worrying. So, why exactly do dogs like lotion?

The Scent Attraction

Firstly, dogs have a phenomenal sense of smell. It’s part of what makes them such wonderful companions and reliable service animals. Their olfactory abilities are far superior to ours, and they’re naturally drawn to intriguing scents. Your lotion, rich in various fragrances, becomes a curious scent-exploration terrain for them.

  1. The fragrance: Dogs are particularly attracted to fruity, floral, or meaty scents, which are often used in lotions.
  2. The novelty: Dogs are explorers by nature, and the new scent of a lotion can be an exciting novelty to investigate.

The Taste Factor

Yes, you read that right. Dogs might actually be tasting your lotion! Some lotions contain ingredients that taste appealing to dogs.

  • Glycerin: This is a sweet-tasting compound often found in skin products.
  • Lanolin: Derived from sheep’s wool, it has a taste that dogs find irresistible.

The Attention They Get

When you apply lotion, your dog might see it as an opportunity for attention, affection, and play. After all, aren’t you reaching out your lotion-smeared hands towards them?

However, it’s essential to monitor this behavior. Some lotions can be harmful if ingested or licked by dogs.

The Potential Dangers

While a dog’s interest in lotion might seem harmless, some ingredients can be toxic for them.

Ingredient Potential Effect
Essential Oils Can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression.
Zinc Oxide Can lead to vomiting or diarrhea.

Always ensure that your lotions are stored safely out of your dog’s reach and discourage them from licking your skin after you’ve applied lotion.


Understanding your dog’s fascination with lotion can help you ensure their safety while satisfying their curiosity.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it harmful if my dog licks lotion off my skin?

A small amount might not cause any immediate harm, but it’s best to discourage this behavior due to potential toxicity.

2. What should I do if my dog ingests a large amount of lotion?

Contact your vet immediately. They can advise you based on the specific lotion and the amount your dog has ingested.

3. Can I use lotion on my dog’s skin?

Only if it’s a lotion specifically designed for dogs. Human lotions can contain ingredients that are harmful to dogs.