Safe essential oils for dogs
We stop at nothing to make our dog’s life more comfortable and healthy. It might not be their birthday or a good behavior treat (which is such a rarity), yet we never run out of reasons to pamper them. One exceptional way to pamper them would be to treat them with essential oils. Not only would they smell great, but would also have improved health and immunity, after all keeping them happy and healthy is our priority. Dogs benefit much from essential oils that they are now being suggested in veterinary clinics.
Dog conditions and essential oils to treat them
Dog odor :
dogs may not come in all shapes and sizes but definitely come in all stinky smells. It could be due to many reasons, few being ear infections, poor diet, skin infections, inadequate hygiene. But even the healthiest dogs do smell sometimes since there is a dog associated odor, much like an old rug. Essential oils are helpful in getting rid of the bad odor owing to its prominent pleasant fragrance. Mix 5-8 drops of essential oil with 2 cups of a carrier like olive oil or coconut oil and spray it on your dog. Or add it to the shampoo and conditioner.
Dog blues :
Yes, dogs do have their blue days too. Essential oils like lavender, frankincense, clary sage etc. are famous for their anti-depressing and relaxing properties. Lemon, eucalyptus etc., are uplifting aromas, that help your pet be active and merry. Dogs tend to feel lonely if we are away a lot, leaving them by themselves. Oils like lavender help in creating a safe space feeling and relaxes the dog.
Dog anxiety :
Nervous behaviors in dogs include excessive licking, chewing and barking. Irritability and restlessness are also signs of anxiety and stress. Leaving your dog alone unaccompanied when you’re away at work gives them separation anxiety causing them to tear up clothes and shoes or pee in the house. Use essential oils when you’re away in a diffuser, or in spray cans or inhaled directly before you leave, which would help calm them. Be sure to keep the room well ventilated or the fragrance may become too overpowering. Remember, dogs are much more sensitive to smell than us. Essential oils like lavender and clary sage can be used in cars on their visit to the vet to keep them calm during the ride which is always a struggle.
Joint pain and arthritis :
Big dogs struggle the most with joint pain, they seem to injure their legs most often too. Shepherds are said to have the weakest bones, having a shepherd myself, I understand how worrying it could be every time they jump too high or too long. Essential oils for dog arthritis like helichrysum, peppermint, ginger, yarrow help in strengthening of the bone. They can be used in diffusers or ingested or applied topically.
Dog skin allergies :
Dogs are prone to catch skin allergies from their play pals, unhygienic environment, food etc. Essential oils help in healing the affected area as they have antiseptic, anti-bacterial properties. Few essential oils for dog skin allergy are frankincense, cedarwood, myrrh etc. Helichrysum is anti-bacterial and helps in skin rejuvenation. Lavender helps in healing burns and cuts. Cedarwood and myrrh help in fighting skin allergies and maintaining a healthy skin coat. Sweet basil is known for its exceptional anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Dilute the oils with a carrier and apply topically on the infected area.
Fleas and ticks:
One play date with the dog down the street and there are ten not so friendly insects on him! Dogs catch fleas and ticks like honey flies. Spraying your dog with an essential oil mix helps keep the fleas and ticks away. The bitterness of neem and its unpleasant odor not only repels the insects but also reduces your dog from biting and scratching himself. Common essential oils for dog fleas include Lavender, cardamom, cedarwood, and peppermint.
Essential oils unsafe for dogs :
Dog’s liver has trouble breaking down phenol compounds. They tend to store it up which then turns toxic. Few phenol based essential oils are thyme, oregano, cinnamon, tea-tree, and winter grass. Other unsafe oils – pine, camphor, pennyroyal, cloves, wormwood.
Essential oil poisoning in dogs :
Overdosing your dog on essential oils, accidental ingestion or using an unsuitable oil might lead to toxin build up in your dog. Dogs tend to store up the compounds they are unable to break down, which might lead to slow poisoning. Symptoms of poisoning include drooling, vomiting, irritability, fever, weakness and fatigue, muscle tremors. If you notice these symptoms in your pet, take him to the vet right away.
Things to remember when using essential oils around dogs:
Be sure to research the oil you choose to use well before you use it around or on your dog.
Do not use them on puppies or pregnant dogs.
Monitor their behavior and response for the first half hour once you introduce them to the oil.
Keep the diffuser in a well-ventilated area to make sure the fragrance isn’t too overpowering for the dog, remember they are much more sensitive to smell compared to us.
Do not let the misuse of essential oils with pets scare you out of trying it out for yourself. There are many reported cases of dogs having a relaxed and happy state of mind with the use