Tips for Using Essential Oils Around Dogs
People are using essential oils now more than ever to help ease their anxiety, stress, depression, nausea, insomnia, fatigue and even pain. And while some clinical trials have indicated that there’s a benefit to using essential oils, not a whole lot of research on their effectiveness has been done. That’s especially true when it comes to using aromatherapy to treat pets. But are essential oils safe for dogs? It is believed that aromatherapy is safe for pets when administered correctly and in moderation.
First, it’s always important to talk to your vet before treating your dog with essential oils. It’s also crucial to note that while some essential oils are safe for dogs, others can be poisonous. Plus, dogs have a sense of smell far stronger than ours, so use moderately and make sure they do not cause any adverse effects before continuing use.
What are essential oils anyway?
Essential oils are liquid extracts from plants. They’re made by steaming or cold pressing different parts of the plant—bark, fruit, petals, stems or leaves—to distill the compounds that deliver aroma.
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What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the process of using essential oils to help promote a healthy mind, body and spirit. Each essential oil scent has attributes that lend themselves to helping with certain conditions or ailments. The scents below are safe for use with dogs.
Here is a list of essential oils that are safe to use with dogs.
Here are some natural remedies for any ailments that might be plaguing your dog.
Frankincense – It’s thought that frankincense can help boost immunity. So if your dog has to visit a kennel (the dreaded risk of kennel cough!), or has other underlying health issues, support his immune system with frankincense essential oil.
Ginger – Just like ginger can clear our respiratory tracts or settle upset stomachs, the same can be said for dogs. From digestive problems to coughs and even joint pain, ginger has many benefits for humans and animals alike.
Lavender – It’s well known that lavender can help kids and adults to sleep better. It can also help dogs to calm down or relax in stressful situations, such as thunderstorms or fireworks.
Peppermint – Many dogs suffer from seasonal allergies. Peppermint essential oil could help promote a healthy respiratory system and help them to breathe easier. Note: Only use low amounts of peppermint oil in a diffuser for 10 minutes at a time—it can be toxic if ingested.
Chamomile – Just as chamomile can help to calm humans, it can help dogs to relax as well. So if your dog suffers from any kind of anxiety, chamomile essential oil could help him to cope.
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Can I put essential oil on my dog’s coat?
If your dog has issues with allergies, fleas or inflammation, essential oils could possibly help, but never apply an undiluted essential oil to your dog’s coat or skin. Instead, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, such as avocado, olive, sunflower, almond or coconut oil, or aloe vera. To dilute, put one drop of essential oil into one tablespoon of carrier oil to make a 0.25 percent dilution.
Then, be sure to do a patch test before applying to your pet. Rub a dime-sized amount to your dog’s skin and check on it periodically for 15 minutes. If your pup is okay, then it should be safe to apply the diluted oil to the problem area.
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How to use essential oil diffusers for pets.
It’s believed that diffusers work for pets the same way they work for us. Fill your water-based diffuser as directed, but only allow it to run for 10 minutes at a time. And always make sure that you keep your oils and the diffuser out of your pet’s reach.
The following oils are harmful to dogs:
Be extra cautious when using any of the oils below on animals.
- Sweet birch
- Tea tree
- Ylang ylang
If you’re concerned that your dog may have been exposed to a harmful essential oil, watch for any of the symptoms listed here.