Did You Know ~ Essential Oils and Dogs

You’ve heard me talk about the benefits of using essential oils before and how you can incorporate them into your arsenal of homeopathic options. Did you know essential oils can be utilized in multiple ways?

Essential oils

*NOTE: Melaleuca (Tea Tree oil) and wintergreen oils are toxic to pets and never recommended for use.

Here is a list of 16 safe essential oils to use on dogs.

  1. Carrot seed (Daucus carota) oil works well on dry skin prone to infection. Contains anti-inflammatory properties, with moderate antibacterial effects. Can also rejuvenate and stimulate tissue regeneration; it’s a good oil to use for healing scars.
  2. Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) oil is antiseptic, tonifying, and it can stimulate blood circulation. Good for skin and coat conditioning and dermatitis of all types. Cedarwood has safe flea-repelling properties and is a safe to add to any flea-repellent blend for dogs.
  3. German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) essential oil is anti-inflammatory. Safe and gentle to use on dogs and very effective  controlling skin irritations caused by allergies, eczema, rashes, etc. Bonus, it’s a good oil for healing burns.
  4. .Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) has different properties from German Chamomile. It is antispasmodic, pain relieving, and nerve-calming. A gentle oil to use for soothing and calming anxious dogs and effective for relief of muscle pains, cramps, puppy teething pain.
  5.  Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) also has calming effects by sedating the central nervous system. Can be used to calm anxious dogs, but should only be used in small amounts properly diluted. NOTE: Do not use with pregnant dogs.
  6.  Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata) is antiviral and anti-inflammatory. It is also an expectorant and is an excellent oil for use to relieve upper respiratory congestion (e.g. kennel cough), and when your good dog is having trouble breathing smoothly. There are two common eucalyptus oils: Eucalyptus globulus and Eucalyptus radiata. E. globulus has a stronger, harsher scent and may be overwhelming. E. radiata has a milder scent, is milder chemically-speaking as well and when diluted properly, E. radiata is safe for dogs, both topically and for inhalation. Be sure NOT to let your dog ingest. Note: Do NOT use on small dogs and puppies or on dogs prone to seizures.
  7.  Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) is safe and gentle to use as a strong antifungal for dogs. Good for skin irritations (especially caused by yeast infections), and fungal ear infections in dogs. It is also effective in repelling tick if you make your own tick-repelling oil blend.
  8.  Ginger (Zingiber officinale) when properly diluted, is non-irritating and safe to use on dogs in small amounts to treat motion sickness, because it has anti-nausea properties. Helpful with digestion and tummy upset,  Ginger also has pain relieving properties. When used topically, it can help relieve pain in dogs with arthritis, dysplasia, strains and sprains.
  9.  Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) is an expensive oil with numerous therapeutic properties. It is anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and has regenerative effects and a good oil to have if your dog has skin issues, such as skin irritations, eczema, pyoderma, etc. Works well to heal wounds, such as bruises, scars, cuts, etc. (this works wonders on uprights too-I couldn’t get by without it for treating rotator cuff pain).
  10.  Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Don’t confused true Lavender oil (Lavandula angustifolia) with Spike Lavender essential oil (Lavandula latifolia). While true Lavender oil is very safe and gentle and can be used with most dogs, Spike Lavender oil should NOT be used with pregnant dogs. True Lavender oil has antibacterial, anti-itch, and nerve-calming properties and is good for many common ailments and problems, e.g. skin irritations, anxiety, insect bites, cuts and burns, etc. Lavender has calming properties for dogs who are stressed, nervous, or agitated. A study found that Lavender could calm excited dogs while traveling in cars.
  11. Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana)  has strong antibacterial properties. It is also calming and a muscle relaxant, can be used for bacterial skin infections and wound care. Sweet Marjoram also has insect-repelling properties.
  12.  Niaouli (Melaleuca Quinquenervia) If you or your dog don’t mind the scent of this oil, Niaouli is a must-have oil compared to Tea Tree oil (which may cause irritation) and is safe to use as an effective antiseptic oil that can disinfect and help fight bacterial infections.
  13.  Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) stimulates blood circulation and antispasmodic so it is a great oil for dogs with acute pain. Can be used to soothe pain caused by swelling, sprains and strains. Has anti-nausea properties, and works well with ginger to help dogs with motion sickness. It is generally safe when properly diluted and used topically, or for diffusion in low dilution. Note: Peppermint oil should not be used on small or pregnant dogs.
  14.  Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) has calming and uplifting effects for uprights and dogs and is good for dogs with anxiety, and/or depression. It can also stimulate a dog’s appetite. If your dog is not eating (maybe due to stress or depression), diffusing this oil before mealtime may help. With deodorizing and flea-repelling properties, it can be added to your homemade dog shampoo.
  15.  Thyme ct. Linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool) There are many different chemotypes of Thyme essential oil but this is the only chemotype that is mild and safe enough for use on dogs. With pain relieving properties, it can be added to a blend to help with arthritis, rheumatism, or other joint pain. It’s also a powerful antibacterial, antifungal, with antiviral properties. It is an excellent choice for infections and other skin issues.
  16.  Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) has sedative and nerve-calming effects, and is good for helping dogs with anxiety such as separation and noise anxiety.

If you’ve ever experienced that stinking dog smell and it’s not convenient to rush them to a tub but this recipe can help get rid of that odor until you can (or to refresh in between baths).

Essential oils

Essential oil can also be used as a preventative measure when you’re not into chemicals. Just follow the old adage: “dilution is the solution” when preparing a remedy.Essential oils

A word of caution when using essential oils; they should be “therapeutic” grade (NOTE: “100% pure” is NOT the same as therapeutic which is safe to be ingested). Never allow your pet to ingest essential oils unless you’re using a therapeutic grade.

Have you used essential oils on your dog? Did it work for you?  We’re just beginning to experiment with aromatherapy recipes and achieving good  success. Last week (following the cluster of the Fourth of July), we used Wild Orange in a diffuser which helped chill Sam out sufficiently to handle a few noisy revelers over the holiday weekend.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

52 thoughts on “Did You Know ~ Essential Oils and Dogs

    1. Thanks. I’m working on a list for cats too because we can’t forget our feline friends.

  1. Mom just purchased some natural flea & tick wipes that have cedarwood oil. Mom wanted something that was safe for Hilda
    Hugs
    Mabel & Hilda

    1. Good for her! We love the cedarwood scent. Cedarwood is great for promoting relaxation too.

  2. OMD, Ma is all excited abouts the STINKY DOG BLEND!!!! What? rude. Ma SAYS I stinks all the time, so this will come in handy~ plus she has all those oils already! Oh, I see some citrus in my future! BOL!!
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

    1. Always happy to share info on healthful living without pharmaceuticals and chemicals. 😊

  3. The natural way is the best way. I didn’t know much of this. Everyone should know these important uses.

    Have a fabulous day. Scritches to the pups. ♥

  4. Glad you posted this Monika. There is a lot of conflicting info out there reading EOs. For instance, I’ve read not to use the citrus oils on dogs, so now I will have to research it more. And that tea tree oil is ok if not ingested, such as in shampoos. Also, it’s important to be mindful when you use a diffuser to be sure the oil you’re using is ok for your pet. I strongly encourage their use; just do plenty of research first. And never force them on your pet. If they don’t like a particular oil, that one is probably not the one they need. Ok, probably TMI.

    1. As is often the case, the use of essential oils can be complicated. Yes, pets should not ever be allowed to ingest citrus oils but they are considered safe in aromatherapy. As for tea tree oil (Melaleuca) there are different varieties but only Niaouli (M. Quinquenervia) is safe for pets that I am aware. That said, ‘tea tree’ is irritating and should not be used in any event on small dogs. Tea tree oil can be irritating and may be toxic.

      Naturally I agree that if you pet does not like a particular scent, never force it on them. Their noses are far more sensitive to scents; if we can smell it, they are probably going into orbit with it. Dilution is even more critical when using on pets. When using essential oils in diffusers, I tell people not to use for more than 30 minutes or so.

  5. I have a bottle of lavender water (from AKL Maui) that I used to spray on the palms of my hands – then rubbed my palms together – and massaged Callie during thunderstorms. It seemed to help her calm down and she would eventually fall asleep next to me on the couch, with her head in my lap. Thankfully, neither Shadow nor Ducky was/is afraid of thunderstorms or other loud noises. If startled by one, Ducky will bark at it a few times and then settle down. The only noise that really upsets her (upset her sisters as well) is her daddy’s dementia-induced temper tantrums.

    PS. Please note email and website changes. I will be making these changes on my blog at some point, so want to get fellow bloggers and followers used to them.

    1. Lavender and wild orange are very effective at calming anxious peeps and pets. I use the orange all the time when we visit patients who may be anxious about their condition and treatment. Many thanks for the updated contact info. 😍

  6. This is great information! I’ve been wanting to learn more and start using essential oils more; especially to see if they’d be helpful in calming Luke. I’m going to pin this post so I can come back to it later! Thanks!

    1. That’s great news! Thanks. I find that Wild orange is very calming and always put some on Sam when we go to West Pines where mental health patients can use all the calming aids they can get. Good luck! Feel free to email me if you have specific questions.

    1. It can be confusing and dangerous. Hopefully this will give peeps some useful info. EO’s are effective, an awesome alternative when used with proper info as to potential issues with use.

  7. We used to use eucalyptus with our dog Molly, who was a boxer. She had many issues as far as breathing was concerned. She was a very active dog who loved to run and always wanted to run with me when I would go out in the morning. Instead, I gave her a nice walk afterwards, during my cool down.

    1. Boxers are one of many of the brachycephalic breeds and have breathing issues due to the shape of their heads/noses. They are also high energy and can get into a lot of mischief without adequate exercise. Good on you for providing her with nice walks and helping her breathe better. Gold star for you! ⭐️

      1. She was something else. I tried one of those tie out cables so she could be outside with me when I did yard work. Welp, she dug it out! There I was, trimming the hedges when I see her run by. She ran around the entire house a few times before she came up for air and I grabbed her. And after I put my heart back in my chest, I couldn’t help but laugh because she had been transformed into a chocolate boxer from the digging.

        1. Boxers can be a ‘handful’ but will always make their owners smile at their antics.

          1. You mean, like the time she stole my daughter’s birthday cake off the table before our party got started? Buahahahaha! Yep, in the eleventh and a half hour I was at the grocery store shopping for another cake.

            1. Bwahaha! Yup, I mean exactly those kinds of stories. And I thought Elsa was a pill!

  8. do they try to lick it off? spit would undo the beneficial scents! Milo hates us to wear lotion of any kind and will frantically try to lick it off. Which oils are good for cleaning ears?

    1. I use pure witch hazel to clean ears between baths. If there’s a sign of infection or foul smell, Geranium is a great antifungal and works well on yeast infections. Neither of the Knuckleheads have ever licked off any healing salves I’ve used on them.

  9. Mom loves her essential oils and always put a few drops of Citronella, Lemongrass and Lavender in my special skin shampoo. When my tummy feels itchy she just put some Lavender on her finger and mix it with coconut oil and rubs it on my tummy. Great article on the oils. We love it! 😀 😍😘💕

    1. Thanks and good for you that your mum used some of my favorite oils! I’m a huge fan of EOs and realized how much they can do for me as well as my pups without subjecting us to chemicals and ingredients we can’t pronounce. They are effective and far more natural.

          1. Tissue salts are biochemic or cell salts. Mom says she is sending you this link. If you are into natural healing, you will like this. When I have sinus, she gives me half of No 5 (Kali Mur) and she use it for herself as well. It has no side effects and very safe to use for furries and humans. 😀

            http://www.natura.co.za/B_PSaltS_Home.asp

                1. It seems like the only way for me to get them here will be to order them online but will definitely keep my eyes open. Thanks again!

                    1. Big Pharma isn’t real keen on us using homeopathic treatments. *sigh*

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