While essential oils are very therapeutic and helpful, they can also do harm. I will reiterate again that the quality of your oils should be a priority. Also please remember that just because a product is all natural, it does not mean it is safe for all. There are some essential oils that should never be used for animals: Anise, Clove (leaf or bud), Garlic, Horseradish, Juniper, Thyme, Wintergreen, or Yarrow, to name a few. I encourage readers to do their own research and consult with their vet; I am simply highlighting a few oils.
In part two, I will highlight a few oils that are safe for our canine friends.
Essential Oils for Dogs
Some oils that are safe for dogs include:
Bergamot: Antifungal, soothing. Excellent for ear infections caused by yeast or bacterial overgrowth.
Caution: Can cause photosensitization. Avoid the sun after use.
Carrot Seed: Anti-inflammatory, tonic, with moderate antibacterial effects. Good for dry, flaky, sensitive skin which is prone to infection. Can rejuvenate and stimulate tissue regeneration, thus effective for scar healing.
Cedarwood: Antiseptic, tonifying, circulation-stimulating. Good for skin and coat conditioning and dermatitis of all types. Flea-repelling.
Chamomile, German: Anti-inflammatory, non-toxic, gentle and safe to use. Good for skin irritations, allergic reactions, burns.
Chamomile, Roman: Antispasmodic, analgesic, nerve-calming. Good for soothing the central nervous system. Effective for relief of muscle pains, cramps, teething pain.
Clary Sage: Nerve-calming, gentle when used in small amounts and properly diluted. Sedates the central nervous system.
Eucalyptus: Antiviral, anti-inflammatory, an expectorant. Good for relief of chest congestion. Effective in repelling flea.
Geranium: Gentle and safe, antifungal. Good for skin irritations, fungal ear infections. Effective in repelling ticks.
Ginger: Non-toxic, non-irritating and safe to use in small amounts, properly diluted. Good for motion sickness, aids digestion. Effective for pain relief caused by arthritis, dysplasia, strains and sprains.
Helichrysum: Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, regenerative effects; extremely therapeutic. Helpful for skin conditions and irritations. Effective for healing of scars and bruises. Effective for pain relief.
Lavender: Very safe and gentle, antibacterial, anti-itch, nerve-calming. Good for many common animal ailments, e.g. skin irritations, first aid. A “must-have” oil for you and your dog!
Marjoram: Sweet Strong antibacterial, calming, a muscle relaxant. Good for bacterial skin infections, wound care, insect repelling.
Niaouli Antihistaminic: A powerful antibacterial properties, yet less likely to cause irritation than Tea Tree. Good for ear infections and skin problems caused by allergies.
Peppermint: stimulates circulation, insect-repelling. Good for arthritis, dysplasia, sprains and strains. Works well with ginger to treat motion sickness.
Sweet Orange: Calming, deodorizing, flea-repelling. Caution: Can cause photosensitization. Avoid the sun after use.
Valerian: Nerve-calming. Good for treating dog anxiety such as separation and noise anxiety.
Once you have your essential oils and are satisfied with the quality (I use Native American Nutritionals Essential Oils in my home), the task is using them correctly.
For dogs, essential oils can be used in a variety of ways, from bathing to calming the nerves through diffusion. Some points to remember:
* Dogs cannot tell you what is or is not working. As such, you must closely watch their reactions. Excessive scratching, sniffing, nervousness or whining are all signs to watch for.
* Always dilute the oils. A common acceptable dilution is 25% of the adult human formula. Fractionated coconut oil is my favorite, grape seed oil is my second favorite.
* Giving essential oils internally is not generally recommended.
* It is recommended to not use any oils on medium-large breed puppies under 8 weeks, and small or toy breeds under 10 weeks.
* Gradually introduce the oils.
* What is good for a large dog is not good for a small dog. Size matters, and less is definitely more when working with oils, for animals or humans.
* Sick, frail, older, or pregnant dogs have special considerations, just as in humans. Do not administer the same dose to them as you would to a healthy animal of the same size.
* Never use oils near the eyes, mouth, nose, or genital area.
* Again I want to stress the use of QUALITY oils and to discuss healthcare choices with your vet.
***Essential Oil tip***Consult your doctor or vet before experimenting with essential oils if you or your pet are taking prescription or over the counter medications.
In Part 3 I will highlight a few essential oils that are safe for our kitty friends.
****While I love doT. I am not interested in pushing others to sell, to make my living selling doT. products (I am a passionate pet sitter), etc. Please remember that I also use Native American Nutritionals essential oils (they have a wider selection of oil mixes) and I like their oils as much as doT. I just want people and their family members to have the best products and information possible. If I can help support dogs in need by guiding others to possibly join doT. or by ordering through my link, then that’s great too :)