Welcome back to Eva the Golden Dog, your trusted source for all things dog care and wellness. Today, we’re diving into a captivating topic – essential oils for dogs. Essential oils can be powerful allies in promoting relaxation, improving health, and enhancing overall well-being, both for humans and our furry companions. However, it’s essential to tread carefully in this fragrant world, as there are potential dangers lurking in every drop. In this post, we’ll explore the wonders and potential pitfalls of essential oils and discover how to make them a safe and beneficial part of your dog’s life. Before we dive into the world of essential oil magic, a quick heads-up: I’m not a veterinarian. Yep, just your fellow dog enthusiast sharing experiences and tips.
Introducing essential oils to your pet
Essential oils are highly concentrated organic compounds extracted from plants, flowers, and herbs. They have been used for centuries in various applications, from alternative medical therapies to cleaning products and fragrances. However, it’s crucial to use them safely around pets to avoid potential risks.
As you know, dogs have a superior sense of smell compared to humans, so it’s crucial to introduce essential oils gradually. Begin by leaving the capped oil bottle in the room with your pet and allow them to get used to the scent. Next, remove the cap from the bottle and leave it open in the room for a few hours. To ensure safety, place the bottle in a spot your pet can’t reach. Alternatively, you can start introducing the oil to your pet by applying it to yourself for a few days. Gradual introduction helps your pet adjust to the scent before applying or diffusing it around them.
Are Essential Oils Safe for Dogs?
The safety of essential oils for dogs depends on various factors, including the specific oil used and the method of application. While some essential oils can be used safely with dogs, others can pose problems. It’s important to be cautious, especially when diffusing oils around sensitive dogs or when they can come into direct contact with oils during activities.
Some essential oils should be avoided for dogs altogether due to their potential toxicity. Oils like cinnamon, clove, tea tree (melaleuca), and citrus can be harmful to dogs if ingested or applied topically. Even within safe oils, it’s essential to use them sparingly and after consulting with a veterinarian. Essential oils should not be used on puppies or kittens under four months of age. If your pet is very debilitated, pregnant, nursing, on blood-thinning drugs, or prone to seizures, consult a knowledgeable veterinarian or an aromatherapist before using essential oils. See a list of safe and dangerous essential oils for your dogs below.
Using Essential Oils Safely for Your Pets
When selecting essential oils for your pet, opt for high-quality therapeutic grade (medical grade) oils. Not all oils are created equal, and cheaper brands may contain synthetic oils that lack the same therapeutic effects and can even harm your pet. For instance, Lavender oil is a popular yet synthetically adulterated oil available. We recommend organic brands, which maintain full control over the oil production, from seed to seal.
Proper storage is important as well. Store your essential oils in their original bottles, typically made of colored glass, in a cool, dark area. Avoid refrigeration, and remember that essential oils can dissolve plastic, so do not store them in plastic containers when at full strength.
Note that these essential oils should not be applied directly to your pet. Most of these oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil before applying to your pet. Carrier oils such as fractionated coconut oil, grape seed oil, or V-6 Enhanced Vegetable Oil complex are excellent options. Proper dilution is essential to ensure your pet’s safety and well-being. Dilution ratios for dogs should be based on their weight according to the vets at Fox Ridge Veterinary Clinic.
Note: For cats over four months old, aim for a gentle 75-90% dilution. They like it mild and easy.
Applying essential oils
While certain essential oils are generally considered safe for dogs, they should be used with caution and guidance from a veterinarian. After ensuring the oils are safe, you can use them for your pets. To apply essential oils to your pet, you can gently “pet” a little bit of the diluted oil solution onto them using your hands. By using a small amount, the oils will be absorbed through their hair follicles, so there’s no need to worry about reaching their skin. Keep an eye on your pet to avoid them licking their fur, or even better try to apply where your dog can’t reach it. Be cautious not to get the oils in their eyes, nose, mouth, or mucous membranes.
If you notice skin irritation at the application site, stop using it. Avoid rinsing it off with water, as this can drive the oils deeper into the skin. In the rare event that essential oils get into your pet’s eyes, rinse with milk instead of water.
Essential oils can also be diffused using an ultrasonic essential oil diffuser. The diffuser aerosolizes the oil droplets, and it can be placed in a room with your pet. Avoid “burning” the oil in a wax burner, as this can destroy the therapeutic benefits.
You can place a drop of diluted essential oil on a bandanna, collar, harness, or on bedding in the crate or cage. This can be especially helpful for calming oils like Lavender.
Keep in mind that individual dogs may react differently to essential oils, so it’s important to monitor your pet’s response and adjust usage accordingly.
What To Do if Your Dog Gets Exposed to Essential Oils
If your dog comes into contact with essential oils or shows signs of exposure, take immediate action:
- Contact your veterinarian or a pet poison helpline for guidance.
- Describe the type of oil involved, the method of exposure (ingestion, inhalation, or topical contact), and your dog
In Essence: Elevate Your Dog’s Well-Being with Essential Oils
Now that we’ve uncovered the secrets of essential oils for our furry companions, it’s time to infuse your dog’s life with a sprinkle of magic! From Lavender’s calming whispers to the soothing touch of Frankincense, these oils can be your dog’s aromatic companions. Remember the key steps: choose wisely, dilute thoughtfully, and consult experts when needed. Now, it’s your turn! Share your magical moments and experiences with essential oils below. Let’s create a fragrant haven for our furry friends together! What’s your dog’s favorite aroma?
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: I’m not a veterinarian, and this post provides advice based on research and experience. Always consult with a licensed veterinarian for personalized guidance