What Essential Oils are Bad for Dogs and Which Ones are Safe?

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The first traces of essential oils come from Egypt, Persia, and India, used in cosmetics and ointments as early as 4500 BC.

However, in the past few years, essential oils have gained eminent popularity in Aromatherapy- thanks to their magical healing properties, heavenly aroma, and calming effects. 

Essential oil is a natural compound that is extracted from various plants that are capable of producing oils.

It can be extracted from various parts of the plant, such as flowers, stems, fruits, leaves, and roots.

Further, it is distilled to make it more potent, so only a few drops of the oil are sufficient.  

Related: Essential Oils to Stop Dog Peeing and Marking

How Do Essential Oils Affect Dogs?  

How Do Essential Oils Affect Dogs?  

Undoubtedly, various essential oils have enormous benefits for skin, hair, and other health conditions, depending on their individual properties.

They are well known for reducing stress, calming nerves, and inducing sleep.

According to a study, the use of essential oils can combat anxiety as well as fungal and bacterial infections in dogs and other animals.

Although essential oils are natural, the point that they are highly potent and can be harmful to your dogs should not be neglected.

In fact, even when you mistakenly apply extra drops of any essential oil on yourself, you start feeling nauseous and irritated. 

Now imagine what impact it has on your pup since dogs have a heightened sense of smell– almost 40 times greater than humans.

Furthermore, essential oils can cause greater damage in dogs.

Whether received through the skin or orally, oils can be poisonous for them if given without proper knowledge.

It could lead to gastrointestinal upset and negative respiratory effects.

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Dogs with liver diseases are especially more sensitive to their effects.

Essential Oils that are Safe for Dogs

There are few essential oils that are proven to be safer for dogs, and if used wisely with proper instructions, they can not only help in calming the nerves of your dog but also treat some medical conditions. 

For example, according to one research conducted in 2014, 20 dogs suffering from dermatitis (a common skin condition) were put under observation, out of which 10 dogs were treated with a blend of many essential oils, and the other 10 were given conventional medication. 

After 180 days in a follow-up visit, it was observed that the dogs showed significant improvement in both cases.

Chamomile Oil 

While enjoying the sips of chamomile tea, have you ever wondered if chamomile can help in calming your dog’s anxiety as well? 

Now, don’t start preparing another cup of tea for your dog; chamomile oil might do the magic.

The oil helps in releasing emotional stress and calms the mind during nervousness, panic, or restlessness. 

It also induces sleep and encourages tranquility. 

Apart from that, it has some health benefits, such as soothing itchy skin and easing the upset stomach.

Frankincense Oil 

Quite similar to chamomile oil, it helps in reducing mental stress and anxiety.

In addition, it has antibacterial healing properties and helps in reducing inflammation and pain. Also, it reduces gastrointestinal discomfort.  

Myrrh Oil 

Myrrh oil has anti-inflammatory effects, pain-relieving benefits, antibacterial properties, along anticancer attributes.

The oil also helps in dealing with skin irritations because of its antiseptic properties. 

Lavender Oil 

Lavender oil is the universal choice of people when it comes to picking up essential oil.

It calms the dogs by soothing the central nervous system as well as relieves yeasty itchy paws.

It is also helpful in skin healing and boosting immunity.  

Cedarwood Oil

Is Cedarwood Oil safe for dogs?

Cedarwood Oil keeps the fleas and insects away from your dog and supports skin health.

It stimulates circulation and reduces pain and cramps.

The oil also helps in reducing anger and irritability in dogs.  

Essential Oils that are Bad for Dogs

For all their advantages, essential oils have some shortcomings as well, which cannot be overshadowed.

All the essential oils vary in levels of concentration, making them selective in nature.

Moreover, these oils are highly potent and can have bad consequences on your pet’s health.

Pet Poison Helpline has mentioned that exposure to undiluted tea tree oil resulted in poisoning and even death in dogs and other pets.

Apart from tea tree oil, Pet Poison Helpline has listed many other essential oils that should not be given to dogs in any form- be it an essential diffuser or direct contact with tiny oil droplets.

Below mentioned is the list of specific oils that have toxic effects that pet owners should avoid giving to their pets:

  1. Pine oil
  2. Cinnamon oil 
  3. Citrus oil 
  4. Pennyroyal oil 
  5. Tea tree oil 
  6. Sweet birch oil 
  7. Ylang Ylang oil 
  8. Peppermint oil
  9. Eucalyptus oil

Safety Measures Before Using Essential Oils

With proper knowledge and guidance, there’s no harm in introducing your anxious dog to aromatherapy.

However, if you’re confused about purchasing any essential oil product, you can take any veterinary services available in your city and do some basic research on your own.

Once you have purchased safe essential oils for your dog, make sure to follow proper instructions before application.

Always apply the essential oils safely by diluting them in any carrier oil such as coconut oil or maybe sweet almond oil, but never put them directly on your dog’s skin.

You can also use essential oil diffusers to lift up your dog’s mood while you are away for work purposes.

Alternatively, you can diffuse essential oils with water in an empty bottle of room sprays if you don’t have any active diffuser.

Just make sure not to run the diffuser for more than 10 minutes.

Finally, when you have treated your pet with aromatherapy, don’t leave essential oils unattended and keep them at a safe distance from your curious pets.

What to do if the Dog Ingested an Essential Oil? 

In case of essential oil poisoning, immediately call the Pet Poison Helpline.

Meanwhile, you reach the veterinarian to seek treatment, take the dog in the fresh air, and please don’t induce vomiting.

It may leave the oil stuck in the lung, leading to lung inflammation.

If you find any traces of the oil on the fur or skin of the dog, wash it immediately with a hand dishwashing soap.

How to Choose the Best Essential Oil? 

Many essential oil bottles come with packaging that claims to be organic and chemical-free.

However, if you’re picking up an essential oil product for your dog, you need to be extra careful. 

For instance, always check the label first and scrutinize all the important information about the different oils on the company’s website. 

Look for the details like the scientific name of the oil, country of origin, method of cultivation, and the extraction process.

Always keep in mind that pure essential oils are expensive, so if any brand sells the oil at an unbelievably cheaper price, don’t fall into the temptation as they are likely to be adulterated.

 If possible, try making the oils at home and store them in cobalt, amber, or violet glass bottles.  

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