The Dangers of Dogs Chewing on Vicks VapoRub 

Vicks VapoRub is a human ointment that is found in many homes. It’s used to relieve nasal and chest congestion caused by colds and flu, ease sinus congestion, and relieve sore muscles and joints. Dogs like to explore with their nose and mouth, so it is crucial for pet owners to be aware of the potential dangers of dogs chewing on Vicks VapoRub. This popular topical ointment contains ingredients like camphor, menthol, and eucalyptus oil, which can be toxic to dogs if ingested. Not only can it cause an array of health problems, but dogs might also be attracted to the strong smell of Vicks VapoRub, making it even more important to ensure this product is kept out of their reach. 

Toxicity to Pets 

Vicks contains ingredients, such as camphor and menthol, which is toxic to dogs. These ingredients provide a cooling or tingling effect. Camphor is absorbed into the skin and should never be applied to pets due to the risk of poisoning. If your dog eats Vicks, they can experience digestive upset. If they chew on the jar and consume its contents, they are at risk of an intestinal obstruction from it getting lodged in the digestive tract. If treatment is not sought out, death can follow.  

Clinical Signs of Vicks VapoRub Ingestion  

If your dog has eaten Vicks or its packaging, they can experience severe effects. These symptoms may include: 

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Depression 
  • Loss of appetite 


If you suspect that your dog has ingested Vicks VapoRub, call your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for medical help. Your veterinarian will administer activated charcoal, IV fluids, and other medications at the veterinary clinic. In severe cases, your dog will be hospitalized for monitoring and supportive care. Dogs who receive prompt medical treatment should be able to make a full recovery.