Essential oils are becoming very popular. Some people even use them for their dogs. Essential oils are often used for alternative treatments as medicine, to relieve anxiety, to relieve hip and joint pain, and to treat skin conditions. However, it’s important to exercise caution when using these on your dog to help avoid health risks when used incorrectly.
Essentials Oils That Are Toxic to Dogs
Some essential oils are toxic to dogs. They include:
- ylang ylang
- sweet birch
- tea tree (melaleuca)
These oils are dangerous for dogs— whether placed on the skin or ingested.
Can Essential Oils Help My Dog?
Essential oils come from plants and are highly concentrated. They are believed to have healthful benefits for humans and dogs. Many veterinarians include essential oils in their practice for a wide range of conditions, including tick and flea prevention.
Can Essential Oils Harm Dogs?
Although they are natural, not all essential oils should be used for dogs. Essential oils are potent by nature and may pose risks to your dog’s health if used improperly. If you’ve used essential oils, you already know how much difference a few drops can make.
It’s easy to confuse natural with safe. However, the reality is a little different. Essential oils are potent substances that can pose serious risks when used improperly. If you’ve ever used essential oils yourself, then you know how just a few extra drops can make a big difference. Look for products that are specially formulated for dogs to avoid major issues.
Chemicals that make up essential oils are rapidly absorbed into a canine’s system. Whether you use it as a hair, fur, skin, or coat product or administer it orally, essential oils are metabolized in your dog’s liver. For this reason, essential oils can be a problem for young dogs and also older dogs, especially ones that already have liver disease.
If you apply the essential oil where your dog can lick it, they may end up with an upset stomach. Be sure to keep your essential oils someplace where your dogs and other pets can’t get to them. If your dog gets sick after you apply essential oils, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Remember the Power of Your Dog’s Nose
The canine nose is much more powerful than the human nose. You can put a few drops of lavender oil on their favorite place to help calm them down in place of calming and anxiety treats. When you use oils improperly, you may see a change in behavior, as your pet’s central nervous system is impacted. Keep an eye out for any respiratory problems, which can turn serious quickly.
Even natural flea and tick treatments that have essential oils can cause problems. The Environmental Protection Agency classifies these products as pesticides. Since they are a minimum risk, most regulations do not apply.
Most cases of toxicity result from product misuse. However, some owners reported problems after carefully following the instructions on the label. Overall, there’s a lack of data to either support or discredit essential oils for canine use. The best thing you can do is ask your veterinarian about any essential oils you plan to introduce into your dog’s health regimen.
How You Can Use Essential Oils Safely
To use essential oils with your pup, simply talk to your veterinarian. They should be able to tell you which oils are harmful and may be able to provide you with information about how to dilute essential oils to use on dogs.