How to Get Gasoline off Paws

Keep your dog away from motor oil and similar spills.
Keep your dog away from motor oil and similar spills. (Image: dog image by Peter Toth from

A cat or dog that steps in gasoline or another petroleum product requires immediate attention. Animals naturally lick their paws, especially if they step in or otherwise come in contact with foreign substances. It is therefore essential that you quickly attend to any domesticated animal that gets gasoline on its paws to avoid ingestion and poisoning. Use products that are effective in the removal of petroleum products, such as olive oil and liquid dish-washing soap.

Things You'll Need

  • Olive oil
  • Clean rags
  • Liquid dish soap

Pick up the animal immediately if possible and carry it to a bathing station, whether that is simply an outdoor hose, a bathroom shower or tub, or the garage, utility or basement sink. Have a friend or family member help you hold the animal if necessary and apply olive oil to the affected paws. Massage the olive oil into the paws as much as possible with a clean rag to remove all traces of gasoline.

Wash the affected paws immediately after the olive oil application, using water and liquid dish-washing soap. Use a clean rag to administer the soapy water. Continue to perform this action until the paws are completely clean. Smell the paws if possible to detect gasoline, and repeat the cleaning process until the paws no longer exhibit this smell.

Monitor the animal closely for signs of gasoline poisoning. Do not induce vomiting even if you think the animal has ingested a significant amount of gasoline, as doing so can harm the animal when it comes back up through the system. Keep in mind that the animal can inhale some petroleum during vomiting. If the animal vomits on its own, watch it for signs of breathing difficulty. Other gasoline poisoning signs to watch for include fever, drooling, diarrhea, shaking the head, petroleum or gasoline odor coming off the pet, red and irritated skin, coughing or gagging, confusion, coordination difficulty, a blue-purple color on the gums and tongue, pawing at the mouth, loss of consciousness and muscle tremors. Call your veterinarian immediately if your pet experiences any of these symptoms, as your pet will most likely require immediate medical care.

Tips & Warnings

  • Gasoline and other petroleum products are usually eliminated between 24 and 48 hours after ingestion.
  • Keep all petroleum products out of areas your pets frequent or can easily get to.
  • Gasoline poisoning in animals can lead to death.

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