Aromatherapy using essential oils is gaining popularity around the world, but are they safe to use on our dogs? It depends. It’s important to do your research before trying aromatherapy on your pooch because not all essential oils are safe for dogs. Their skin is sensitive, so make sure you use therapeutic grade essential oils, not aromatherapy grade or perfume quality. It’s also important to dilute the oils before applying. Let’s examine a few that may make sense for your dog and his ailments.
Essential oils work great for keeping fleas away, and we found a few recommended treatments for getting rid of fleas. The two oils used most often for fleas are lavender and cedar oil.
- Flea Spray: Combine 1 cup vinegar (distilled or apple cider) with 1 quart of water and 2-3 drops of cedar or lavender oil. Use a spray bottle to spritz the mixture on your dog, being careful to avoid the face area (eyes, ears, nose). To get to these areas, apply the mixture onto cloth and wipe it around these sensitive zones. Also works great for spraying on your dog’s bed.
- Oils for Flea Collars: Dilute 3-5 drops of cedar or lavender oil into 1-3 tablespoons of water. Then apply 5-10 drops to a cloth bandana or flea collar. Reapply the mixture to the collar or bandana once a week.
- Fleas Around the Tail: Dilute 1-2 drops of lavender or cedar oil with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and apply it to the base of your dog’s tail.
Be sure to dilute these essential oils with something like cold pressed olive oil, grape seed oil or almond oil. The appropriate ratio would be:
For large to medium dogs - 1 drop essential oil to 10 drops base oil
For small dogs - 1 drop essential oil to 25 drops base oil
Oils to use for your dog’s allergies:
- Chamomile – Soothes skin irritations, allergic reactions and burns for dogs.
- Helichrysum – Works well on skin conditions like eczema and irritations. Has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and provides pain relief.
- Lavender – Helps on general irritations. Apply on spots where he is scratching.
- Niaouli – Has antihistamine and antibacterial properties for your dog’s skin issues associated with allergies.
- Sweet Marjoram – Great for healing bacterial skin infections and wounds. Has strong antibacterial properties and has a calming agent and muscle relaxant.
The most popular essential oil for stress and anxiety in dogs is lavender. It’s very safe and gentle for dog. Apply diluted lavender oil to your dog’s ear fur and skin, giving him a nice massage to help him relax.
Skin & Coat
Coconut oil has a lot of benefits for dogs, including improving their skin and coat, relieving itchy skin, healing wounds, reducing allergic reactions and more. It also improves digestion by helping with nutrient absorption and improves inflammatory bowel syndrome. It’s considered a superfood of sorts and has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. It does not need to be diluted and can be rubbed into your dog’s fur or added to his food. If added to your dog’s diet, be sure to start with small amounts.
Ticks & Mites
Neem oil has been effective in helping dogs with ticks, parasites, mange mites and fleas. It can also improve your dog’s immune system, coat, teeth and more. You can use neem shampoo on your dog or use a diluted solution of the essential oil. For an open sore, dilute the neem oil 1:10 in a light carrier oil then massage the solution into the skin several times a day. If your dog has eczema or mange, dilute the neem oil 1:1 and apply.
It’s important to closely observe your dog to make sure that he does not have an adverse reaction to any of these oils. If you see any kind of reaction, wash it off immediately and consult your veterinarian.
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