Dogs & Essential Oils: Safe Ideas for (Wo)Man's Best Friend
When you love your fur baby like family, you’ll always want the best for him or her. Dogs become our best friends, devoted protectors, playmates, motivators, and most importantly, family. No wonder we always want the best for them.
Like us, dogs can suffer from physical and emotional ailments that can interfere with their quality of life. Essential oils have become one of the popular ways to naturally improve physical health and mental well-being, for both humans and canines.
Remember, essential oils are powerful and should be used with caution. Introducing these and any other oils to your pets should be done slowly, gradually, and with a thorough understanding of how they work and how to use them.
Do not use the oils near your pet’s eyes, nose, mouth, or any other sensitive areas.
Using essential oils on cats should be done with even more caution. The use of oils and other home remedies listed below was not compiled by a medical professional and should not be taken as curative medical advice. Ask your primary veterinarian if an oil will help your pet.
Fleas can be tricky to get rid of, but essential oils are great for keeping them away. Lemongrass is known to repel fleas and peppermint oil is known to release ticks and other latching insects.
Quick Tip: For fleas, dilute the oil in the water then apply 5-10 drops to a bandanna or collar. Reapply the mixture to the collar/bandanna once a week. Apply more often if the collar gets wet from rain or swimming. For latching insects, apply one drop to the affected area.
Upset Stomach and Loose Bowels
Peppermint oil can be used to encourage and support a healthy digestive system in dogs. Please be sure to use with caution and never near their eyes, mouth or nose!
Quick Tip: Rub 1 to 2 drops each of peppermint oil and fractionated coconut oil into the palm of your hands then rub on pets tummy to ease discomfort.
Paws are sensitive areas for our pets. Just as we care for our hands and feet, we should care for our pet’s paws. Paws are prone to drying and cracking just like our own hands and feet.
Quick Tip: Clean paws, remove debris, and then apply fractionated coconut oil. You’ll be doing your pet a huge favor!
Apply peppermint essential oil along the ear line, on the outside of the ear if your dog is experiencing ear irritation or inflammation. Be sure to never apply peppermint oil in the inside of the ear. It may be applied over the fur down the tube of the ear from the outside.
Lavender oil is known for its calming properties, especially in times of stress or imbalances. It is very and gentle for dogs and can be used to calm and soothe your dog.
Spray lavender oil around the dog and over their coat for a calming effect. This is great for use in a car with a nervous dog or at any time your dog is over-energized.
Immune System Support
Frankincense oil can be used in every aspect of pet care, including wounds, tumors, behavior, infections, bacteria, fungus, and so forth. One of the best all-around oils to use to support immune health.
Quick Tip: Place in a 2-3 drops in a diffuser.
People that prefer natural appetite stimulants for dogs are fond of using essential oils to get their canine buddies back to a healthy appetite. Orange essential oil is known to stimulate appetite in both humans and canines.
Quick Tip: Simply apply orange oil to your dog’s paw, so he/she can smell the oil. You can also apply the oil to your hands and gently rub your dog’s tummy.
If your dog is experiencing a harsh, honking cough, but otherwise seems normal, it may be kennel cough (canine cold). Diffuse lavender and eucalyptus essential oils together to allow your dog to breathe and ease congestion.
Just like people, dogs often get dry and itchy skin. Skin is very sensitive to us humans and it’s also sensitive to dogs. If your pup is experiencing itchy skin, soothe minor skin irritations by applying lavender essential oil.
Quick Tip: Massage the oil directly into the irritated location to help reduce itch and kill bacteria.
Peppermint oil provides cooling quickly for dogs who may become overheated. It can be beneficial on long hikes, really hot days, or just used for dogs who may overexert themselves.
Quick Tip: Apply peppermint oil down the base of their spine.
Ensure that you never hear that your home smells like a dog again by using bergamot oil, a natural deodorizer, two or three times a week on your sweet, yet not so sweet-smelling pets.
Quick Tip: Mix 10-15 drops of bergamot with 8 ounces water and apply a light spritz when needed.
When your dog begins to slow down due to the effect of arthritis, lavender may be the relief they need. First, rub the oil between hands and let your pet smell it. Gently run hands over the ears, back, and legs and with what is left over, rub on pads of feet.
These suggestions may help you and your pet as we discover natural ways to help our animal companions. When it comes to animals and essential oils, we always recommend that pet owners consult with their veterinarian to get advice on the proper way to use them.
The application of an oil can vary based on the individual pet's species, age, size and health history. Although essential oils can be effective for pets, you never want to make a situation worse. So please, before you go essential oil crazy, talk to your veterinarian.
Remember, essential oils should be used topically or used via aromatherapy. When applied to the skin and/or fur, it should always be diluted. To allow for a wider area of distribution or increased dilution of the oil, carrier oils, such as fractionated coconut oil, are combined with the essential oil. For small dogs, 1 drop of oil diluted with a carrier oil is typically needed for usage. In larger dogs, no more than 1-2 drops are needed.