Essential oils have become increasingly popular over the past few years and for good reason. They’ve been used throughout history by many different civilizations to treat everything from inflammation to cancer. Some people think that essential oils are simply snake oil quackery and others swear by their powers. We use organic essential oils to fragrance our products, and we often get questions about the use of essential oils around pets. Can our products and essential oils be used around or on pets? We’ve previously explored using oils with our feline friends, but what about our dogs? Are essential oils safe and effective on dogs?
Dogs must be made of tougher stuff than cats because there are far few cautions when it comes to using essential oils with dogs. But there are still some precautions to follow, and you should always speak to your vet before treating your pets with any essential oils.
Keys to Using Essential Oils With Your Pup:
- Only use essential oils on adult dogs (over 10 weeks old) who are not pregnant or extremely old.
- Avoid using essential oils on sensitive areas of your dog, specifically their eyes, nose, and other delicate regions.
- Always dilute your oils with a safe carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. (This also makes your essential oils last longer!)
- Like cats, dogs can react negatively to high-phenol oils like wintergreen, clove, thyme, camphor, and oregano. Avoid using these with your dog.
- Introduce essential oils slowly and cautiously to your dog. Every animal reacts differently to essential oils, and you want to be sure that your pet doesn’t have an adverse reaction.
Size matters. The smaller your dog is, the higher the dilution rate you’ll want to use. For small dogs, dilute your oils between 80-90%. Larger dogs can tolerate a lower dilution rate.
Location, location, location. Essential oils can be used aromatically, topically, or internally with your dog. You can use essential oils in a diffuser or place a drop on Fido’s collar. When applying oils topically, make sure they are diluted appropriately and are placed along the spine, on the ears, or on the pads of their paws. If you choose to use essential oils internally, make sure you are using a high-quality, therapeutic grade oil.
Commonly Used Oils
Lavender - Just like in humans, Lavender has a calming effect on dogs. You can use this when travelling or when leaving your dog alone if they have separation anxiety. A drop on their collar or a spray (mix a few drops of oil with distilled water) on their bedding can be helpful. Lavender also anti-itch properties which can be helpful in treating injuries and insect bites.
Roman Chamomile - This is a great oil for treating the aches and pains that dogs experience throughout their lives. Whether it’s pain from activity or old age, this oil can work wonders.
Peppermint - Great for treating motion sickness and repelling insects. Enhance the anti-nausea properties of peppermint by combining with ginger.
If you want to learn more about using essential oils on your dog, check out these resources!
*Please consult your veterinarian before beginning or discontinuing any treatment or medication.