Are Essential Oils Safe For Dogs?

If you have dogs and are planning to use essential oils, hold off! Check out this list of essential oils safe for dogs first.

Dog in lavender field

Are essential oils safe for dogs? They might seem to be automatic since they’re naturally plant-based oils. Fun Fact: There are 90+ essential oils on the market. That’s one of the key facts related to the whole issue. Some essential oils are relatively safe for pets and others are a thumbs down. However. Even the “safe” essential oils should be used carefully to prevent any unwanted side-effects for Max and Bella. There are a few potential issues to consider. For example, essential oils are super-concentrated so potency could be an issue. Another possible problem is the actual chemical compounds found in certain essential oils. So it’s important to take a closer look.

One of the main issues is that “natural” and “essential” oils are quite different. For example, it’s important to add a carrier oil to essential oils before placing it on your skin. This can help to prevent the oil’s strength from causing side-effects like rashes and itchiness. So it’s even more important to use caution when adding them to the skin of man’s best friend. While canines have more sensitive skin than humans sometimes they have sensitive skin even for dogs. So it’s important to make sure you take all necessary precautions.

What Exactly Are Essential Oils?

Let’s start with the basics first. In recent years essential oils have been trending as a go-to home remedy. That includes remedies for health conditions ranging from fever to brain fog. There are also lots to pick from including peppermint, lavender, rosemary, and lemon.

Like any trend, it’s important to dig deeper and figure out whether there’s a science to support online claims. It’s always best to have the facts before you adding some oil to a diffuser or your dog’s coat.

The fancy name for essential oils is “volatile” oils. That’s because they quickly evaporate after they mix with oxygen. As the name suggests, these oils contain a plant’s essence. This is produced using steam, water, or “cold pressing” to remove the oils from the plant.

While there are under 100 main essential oils, the number of chemical compounds they contain is over 5,000. When you smell these oils they nose “reads” the molecules then sends signals to the brain to process everything.

The oils contain lots of stuff like hormones and other stuff that are in a concentrated form. The chemicals for different oils are different simply because they’re from different planets.

These oils can have a complex effect on the human body as they interact with stuff like enzymes and hormones. It’s all a complex process but explains why certain essential oils could cause possible health problems for cats and dogs.

In many cases, chemical compounds can benefit humans and animals. For example, there’s stuff in tea tree oil that can help zap certain parasites found in human skin. That’s always a good thing. However, other chemical reactions might be OK for humans but can harm dogs’ skin/hair.

Poison ivy is one of the examples of how plants could have a negative effect when it interacts with people’s skin. Essential oils work differently, but they’re even stronger.

Are Essential Oils Safe for Dogs?

The short answer: They can be, but you should still be careful. Particular essential oils seem to have properties that benefit humans. So the big question is whether they could have the same effect on dogs. A related question is whether or not they’re safe to use anyway.

It turns dog experts explain that certain essential oils are safe for dogs and others aren’t. Peppermint, lavender, and frankincense are some that get a green light while citrus, cinnamon, and tea tree are ones you should avoid using on your pet pooch.

There are some other issues to take up when picking an essential oil for your dog. The product’s purity is a big issue. In many cases, it won’t be an issue simply because so much plant matter is required to make a little oil. Fun fact: The essential oils made for aromatherapy are often made using the same amount of time/effort as a bottle of fine wine.

Another issue to consider is the concentrated form of essential oils. When humans use essential oils, carrier oil is added first to dilute it. However, the majority of pet experts still recommend using a diffuser/steam instead of adding essential oils directly to your pet’s skin.

Essential oils have the potential to provide many health benefits for your doggy. They include treating skin irritations and flea treatments.

One of the most popular options is lavender since it’s famous for calming effects. If your dog has “separation anxiety” every time you leave the house then consider adding some lavender essential oil to a diffuser before you walk out.

Many holistic (whole-body) veterinarians use essential oils in their practice. They include lavender in the waiting/exam rooms to calm down pets (and their owners), frankincense for light massage, and other oils for odor control.

Top Essential Oils for Dogs

1. Eucalyptus

This one is believed to help with:

  • Viruses
  • Phlegm
  • Inflammation
  • Odors
  • Fleas

You can even add some to a diffuser and deodorize a room when your pet smells a little funky.

2. Peppermint

It’s easily one of the best-known candy flavors but the original plant can also provide several health benefits. Peppermint has several uses including blood circulation, strains, sprains, pain, itchy, and motion sickness. You can make a blend of ginger and vegetable oil to treat pain/motion sickness.

3. Ginger

The super-herb is believed to provide several benefits including treatment of indigestion, and motion sickness. It can also be used as a massage oil to deal with arthritis, strains, sprains, etc.

4. Orange

This has a popular and well-known scent. IT’s believed to provide benefits like flea repellant, skin conditions, and calming. Make sure to go with organic orange oil to avoid pesticides. You should also pick cold-pressed over distilled.

5. Chamomile

This one is well-known as a home remedy for treating several health conditions. The German variety is believed to help with inflammation, skin irritations, allergic reactions, etc. Meanwhile, the Roman variety is known for benefits like anti-spasms, calming, and wound care.  

6. Myrrh

This is an ancient one that’s mentioned in the Bible. It’s known for a warm and earthy scent. Possible benefits include tick repellant and an immune system booster. These are both key features that can help to keep your dog happy.

7. Lavender

This is the most popular oil used for pet aromatherapy products. It can be used for anti-itch, deodorizing, and anti-bacterial.

8. Carrot Seed

Carrots are superfoods due to nutrients like Vitamin A and fiber. Meanwhile, carrot seed is believed to provide benefits for dogs, including healing, skincare, and scar treatment. Another benefit of this oil is it is super-gentle after learning if essential oils safe for dogs.

Essential oils for dogs

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