Is Bengay Safe for Dogs? [Alternative Needed]  

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

Every dog owner knows the heart-warming sensation of watching their furry companion wag their tail with boundless joy.

But what happens when those tails slow down, and the zest for life is clouded by aches and pains?

As much as we wish our four-legged friends could tell us what’s wrong, they rely on us to understand their needs.

Pets feel pain too, but can we safely use our go-to pain relievers like Bengay on them? Is Bengay safe for dogs?

Before you break out your tubes of topical pain relief gels and ointments, let’s find out if this is a safe option for our furry friends.

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What Are Some Common Sources of Pain in Dogs?

Seeing our poor pet whining or limping in pain is heart-wrenching. And just like us, our furry pals can experience various sources of pain. 

It can come from injuries due to accidents. Broken bones, strained muscles, or even just a bruise are not easy things for our pets to deal with. 

Even without falling or hitting something, our pals can still get in a world of discomfort.

Some dental issues and illnesses can leave them feeling hurt.

A simple run at the doggy park can result in overexertion, or painful muscle strains and sprains. 

As our pet grows older, their bodies can develop conditions like arthritis and joint problems.

These affect their mobility so much so that even climbing up those stairs can be a painful endeavor.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: Does Proin kill dogs?

How Do Topical Pain Relief Products Work for Dogs?

Canine-friendly topical pain relief products are specially designed analgesic gels or ointments that offer localized relief to sore muscles and joints.

These typically contain menthol or methyl salicylate. They create a gentle cooling or warming sensation when applied to the painful area. 

They work wonders in soothing our pet’s discomfort without the need for any oral medication.

Is Bengay Safe for Dogs? (Methyl Salicylate)

Is Bengay Safe for Dogs? Methyl Salicylate

Bengay is known in our household as the athletes’ best friend. It’s a popular analgesic gel that you can apply on your body and works to soothe pain.

It’s great for those aches that you get when you excerpt yourself. 

This magic gel contains methyl salicylate. This is an ingredient derived from plants that bring much-needed relief to sore muscles and joints. 

Besides methyl salicylate, other topical pain relief also contains menthol and camphor. These ingredients add a cooling or warming sensation to its pain-fighting repertoire. 

What is Bengay and how does it work?

Bengay works by seeping into the skin. It brings temporary relief by numbing the body’s pain receptors and reducing inflammation.  

Can I give my dog Bengay?

Because Bengay works so well for us, we might be tempted to try it on our ailing pets as well.

Unfortunately, this miracle gel is created specifically for humans. It’s not a good idea to use it on our four-legged companions. Even the mild variants can be too much for our pets’ sensitive skin. 

Plus, methyl salicylate can be poisonous to our pets if they manage to eat some of that stuff.

The ingredient can mess up their tummies and give them symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. 

Some pets might even experience difficulty breathing or worse.

To avoid any potential harm and keep our furry friends safe, it’s best to steer clear of using Bengay or similar products on them altogether.

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Are There Any Canine-Friendly Analgesic Gels? Alternatives to Bengay for Dogs

Since Bengay is a no-go for canine use, you might want to try these other doggy-safe alternatives to help your furry friend find relief from pain. 

The first option is veterinarian-prescribed gels. Your trusted vet can recommend topical pain relief products specially designed for dogs. 

Another option worth exploring is natural pain relief gels. Look for gels that harness the power of gentle natural ingredients like aloe vera or arnica. 

These plant-based remedies are less likely to pose harm if your dog accidentally licks or ingests some of the gel.

How Long Does It Take for Topical Pain Relief Products to Work on Dogs?

How quickly a pain relief product will work on your pet depends on two main factors.

Firstly, it’s about your furry companion’s unique condition and the severity of their pain. 

Some dogs might be sensitive to the active ingredients of the pain reliever and experience relief within minutes after the application of the product.

Others may take up to an hour or more. 

Secondly, the concentration of the gel or ointment also comes into play.

Obviously, stronger formulations can work more swiftly.

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What Natural Pain Relief Methods Can You Use on Your Dog?

If you prefer to use a more natural approach to dealing with your pet’s aches and pains, you are in luck.

There are a number of natural remedies that can be just as effective as topical analgesic gels.

I have personally used these methods, and they can complement or even substitute the use of gels, providing your furry friend with the comfort they need. 

Rest and limit activity

Sometimes, all your pup needs is a little R&R.

If they’ve had a rough playtime at the park or an adventurous hike, allowing them to rest and limiting their physical activity can work wonders. 

Good rest aids in the healing process and reduces strain on injured areas.

So, when you notice your furry pal limping after an active day, it’s time to let them take it easy for a while.

Warm compress

Never underestimate the effect of a warm, soothing compress on aching muscles. Our dogs can benefit from it too. 

Applying a warm compress to sore muscles or joints can help relax those tense areas and reduce pain. 

You can use your trusty hot water bag, just make sure that it isn’t too hot before placing it on your pet’s body.


Who doesn’t love a good rubdown? Our four-legged friends can greatly benefit as a gentle massage can do wonders for their circulation and promote relaxation. 

It’s perfect for those moments when your pooch seems tense or anxious.

Softly kneading their muscles and giving them belly rubs can make them feel all the more loved and cared for. 

Plus, a massage releases endorphins. That’s a natural pain reliever! 


You might raise an eyebrow at the thought of acupuncture for dogs, but it can be surprisingly beneficial for some of them. 

This treatment can stimulate natural pain-relieving mechanisms in your dog’s body. It’s ideal for managing chronic pain or discomfort caused by certain health conditions. 

So, if your dog is struggling with arthritis or other ongoing pain issues, consider exploring the wonders of acupuncture.

Physical therapy

Veterinary physical therapy is tailored to our pup’s needs and can help them recover from injuries or manage chronic pain. 

Natural supplements

Sometimes, the pain originates from our pet’s joints, whether due to old age or other health issues.

But worry not!

Natural supplements can help our furry companions. 

Glucosamine and chondroitin are just a couple of examples of supplements that are well-known for their joint-supporting properties. 

So, if your senior dog battles with joint pain, adding these supplements to their diet might just be the ticket to make them feel more sprightly and pain-free. 

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Herbal remedies

Nature’s got some cool stuff, like herbs that can help with pain.

Take turmeric and ginger, for example.

They’re like natural inflammation fighters that can be good for your pet. 

When they’re experiencing inflammation-related discomfort, a sprinkle of these herbs in their meals might bring some soothing relief.

Adequate nutrition

The general health and well-being of your pet can be improved by feeding them a balanced, specialized diet.

What’s better is that their body’s natural healing processes can be supported by making sure they get the proper nutrients and supplements.

Elevated beds

As our pets age, their joints may need a bit more tender loving care.

Providing your furry pal with an elevated bed can relieve pressure on their joints while they rest. 

Environmental adaptations

Consider elevating your dog’s food and water bowls to reduce strain on their neck and back during mealtimes.

Buy them an orthopedic bed with memory foam if you can. This can provide cushioning and support for the joints as your pet sleeps. 

Prevent accidents and reduce the risk of injuries by using slip-proof flooring and improving the lighting in some areas that you consider accident-prone for your pet.

If your furry pal loves going outside but can’t deal with the stairs due to joint pains, you can opt to install a ramp.

This makes accessing elevated areas more tolerable especially for senior dogs or those with mobility challenges. 


This treatment is another good option to try if you want to relieve the pain your pet is experiencing the natural way. 

Your pet’s joints are put under less strain because of the buoyancy of the water, which also provides the necessary resistance for mild muscular training.

Plus, the warmth of the water in the pool or tub also helps relax the muscle and improve blood circulation. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Bengay (methyl salicylate) poisonous to dogs?

Yes, topical products with methyl salicylate like Bengay can be poisonous for dogs if they ingest or absorb the product through their skin. It can trigger symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea. Some highly sensitive dogs can suffer from respiratory distress and even liver complications. 

How do I apply topical pain relief products safely on my dog?

Apply the topical pain relief based on your vet’s instructions. It’s advisable to cover the area with a bandage to prevent your pet from licking the ointment or gel off. Use a small amount on the affected area, avoiding open wounds. Observe for adverse reactions and consult your vet if needed.

Can I use CBD topicals for dog pain relief?

It is best to consult your vet before using CBD topicals. They may help manage pain and inflammation, but quality and dosage will vary depending on the need, size, and breed of your dog. Make sure that you only buy CBD topicals that are formulated for dogs.

In Conclusion: Is Bengay Safe For Dogs?

Remember, when it comes to our furry pals’ comfort, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

While Bengay works wonders for us, our four-legged buddies might have different needs.

So, before you dive into action, have a quick chat with your vet.

Hey! If you found this post useful, check out these dog care tips too:

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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