Are essential oils safe for dogs? Yes – and no – it depends. There are many safe essential oils you can use to treat a variety of canine conditions. This guide will help you learn more about essential oils for dogs.
Essential oils and aromatherapy are no longer reserved for new-age spas and hippie enclaves. In recent years, the plant-extracted, highly concentrated liquids have become more and more popular, especially among dog lovers.
Essential Oils for Dogs
Our dogs are like our babies – they are best friends, devoted family and reliable playmates. And like us, our dogs can suffer from emotional and physical ailments that impact their quality of life.
Research shows that when used properly, essential oils can be a good medicine for our dogs. That’s not to say that all natural medicines are inherently better and safer. That is simply not true. As with anything, you need to communicate with your veterinarian, read labels and exercise moderation.
How Essential Oils Can Help Your Dog
Essential oils are often advertised as natural treatment options for itchy skin, digestive issues, anxiety and more. However, natural does not always mean safe. There can be serious risks associated with using essential oils incorrectly to treat dogs, but with the right attention and a little care, you can achieve great results safely and effectively.
The following are three essential oils every dog mom should have on hand. Keep in mind that oils that are safe for dogs may not be safe for other animals. If you have any questions about what is safe to use, always speak with your veterinarian before using any essential oil or other natural product on your dog.
Essential Oils That Are Safe for Your Dog
Lavender – This is one of the most popular, universally used essential oils that promotes relaxation and believed to treat anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, nausea, depression and for us dog moms – menstrual cramps. For dogs, it is used to calm car ride anxiety and car sickness. It’s also used for anti-itch benefits too.
Spearmint – This multi-purpose essential oil is used to soothe ailments such as skin problems, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and respiratory issues. It is also said to help reduce weight.
Lemon (Citrus Limon) – This essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy and has a number of health benefits for dogs. It clears confusion, acts as an immune stimulant and is good for arthritis and kidney stones.
Peppermint – While there is some debate about how healthy peppermint is for dogs, the sweet, cool essential oil has been known to stimulate circulation in dogs, and it may also work as a natural flea and tick repellant.
How to Buy Essential Oils for Dogs
When you purchase essential oils for you, your family and your dogs, there are a few rules to keep in mind:
- Always buy oils that come in an amber, cobalt blue or violet purple glass bottle.
- Read labels and check for information on where the essential oil comes from, how it’s extracted and the common and scientific name of the oil.
- Make sure the label reads “100 percent pure essential oil” and “therapeutic grade.”
How to Use Essential Oil with Your Dog
There are several different ways you can use essential oils with your dog:
- Rub a little essential oil on your dog’s paws.
- Use a diffuser in your home.
- A cool stylish way to use the oils with your dog is through an essential oil diffuser charm that allows your dog to enjoy the benefits of essential oils.
- Apply essentials oils directly to your hands and then massage your dog, avoiding the eyes, nose and genital areas.
Keep This in MinD – THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF ESSENTIAL OILS
I’ve included a brief list of Dos & Don’ts for introducing essential oils to your dog:
- DO start slowly and watch for a reaction.
- DO apply the essential oil to yourself first for a few days before applying it to your dog.
- DO speak with your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.
- DO start with the lowest recommended dilution.
- DON’T present undiluted essential oils to your dog.
- DON’T allow your dog to lick essential oils from your hands or off their body. It could result in gastrointestinal issues.
- DON’T force essential oils on your dog if they show a negative reaction. This is their way of telling you they might not like it.
- DON’T add essential oils to your dog’s food or water.
- DON’T use on puppies younger than 10 weeks old.
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Have you ever used essential oils for your dog? I’d love to hear about your experience and what oil you like best. Feel free to comment below or connect with us on our Facebook page.