Essential Oils for Dogs- Because Your Best Friend Can’t Ask For Help

Dogs are a gift to us all. They really just might be the best thing on earth. They’re always happy to see you, excited to go on walks or just sit by your feet. It’s even hard to resist when they’re sneaking onto your bed, even if you’ve just washed your sheets.

Yes, ok, I am a little biased, but lets be honest, they truely are man’s (and woman’s) best friend. And when your best friend isn’t feeling well, or one reason or another, it’s our duty to take care of them. They ask for so little, and give so much. It’s the least we can do for their unconditional love.

If you notice some changes in your dog like sudden loss of weight, lack of energy, or behavioural changes, don’t ignore them. Remember your four legged friend can’t speak or tell us whats wrong, and they might be suffering from a health condition like arthritis, worms, or cancer.

Yes, dogs too do suffer from health problems like us humans, and their problems range from infections to arthritis, cough and cancers. Different breeds are prone to various health problems, where bigger dogs generally suffer from joint and bone issues, and smaller dogs, organ and breathing problems.

 

Can you use essential oils on dogs?

While vaccines and tablets may help treat problems like worms and kennel cough, it’s better to first try treating them naturally with essential oils. I don’t know about you, but I certainly don’t like shots, and your pup probably isn’t a fan either.

With essential oils, the pleasant fragrances not only help calm and relax your dog, but also offers other health benefits, without them having to take a scary trip to the vet.

If you wonder whether the very same essential oils that help humans can also help your dog, they can.  It’s all made possible because of your dog’s strong sense of smell. An essential primal sense, your dog’s nose can pick up scents 10,000 to 100,000 times stronger than a human’s.

Just as dogs use their strong sense of smell to gain vital environmental information, they can also detect the fragrances of essential oils and reap its health benefits.

Keep in mind- While aromatherapy does help dogs, essential oils are very potent and have to be correctly used to ensure they don’t do more harm than good to your dogs.

Introducing your dog to essential oils 

It’s a known fact that essential oils quickly enter the bloodstream when inhaled, ingested, or applied to the skin. All it takes is very small amounts of the oil to trigger a biological effect on the dog’s body system.

So before you start using any oil on your dog, start by introducing him or her to them by keeping him in a room with an open essential oil bottle in it. While it’s okay if your dog moves towards the bottle, don’t let it smell the oil as yet.

Once you’re sure your pup is comfortable with the scent, let them get closer and closer to it. Repeat this after a day or two, and start using the oil only if everything seems to be okay.

Application and how to use

You can use essential oils for dogs by adding a few drops to a diffuser and let the fragrance spread across the room. Do not apply topically till your dog gets accustomed to the fragrance.

Once you are sure your dog doesn’t get irritated by the oil, or have any negative implications, you can mix a drop of oil, with 50 drops of carrier oil and apply to the back of his neck.

Best essential oils for dogs

Depending on what you’re looking for, I have put together a list of the best oils for treating common dog problems.

Do remember though, essential oils should be used for first-aid purposes, and only on a short-term basis, as your veterinarian is the best person to diagnose and treat any severe or persistent symptoms.

Calming Essential Oils for Dogs

Lavender oil is famous for its calming effects that create a sense of peace and harmony in dogs. It’s mildly sedative feature helps sooth any anxiety and sickness your dog may face about car rides, and also helps treat allergies, and insomnia.

It helps relax your dog when in stressful situations like going to the vet, while travelling, and reduces hyperactivity during training sessions. Lavender oil can also be used for treating bruises, burns, flea bites, and wounds, for steadying the heart, for treating fungal infections and dog allergies and to help repel fleas.

Frankincense oil is relatively less potent oil with all-round benefits.  It not only calms your dog by easing anxiety, but may also help with some forms of cancer by reducing tumours and external ulcers while strengthening the immune system.

However as cancer is a life-threatening disease, do see your vet immediately if you notice symptoms like unusual doors, lumps, behavioral changes, or drastic weight loss.

Essential oils for dog arthritis

Cedarwood, or cedar oil, offers many beneficial properties like it’s antiseptic property, making it favorable for treating kennel cough. It also helps improve circulation to resolve any stiffness problems in your dog due to aging, arthritis, and back pain.

Regular use of the oil is proven to repel fleas and ticks. It is can also be used as an effective general calming tonic for treating nervous aggression in naturally shy or timid dogs and for dogs going through separation issues.

This is a great protective oil that helps treat wounds, stings, bites, allergies, ear and kidney infections, and also treats sprains, pulls and arthritis with its anti-inflammatory properties. This is the oil of choice for for stopping any bleeding while clipping nails.

Essential oils for itchy dogs

The strong citral and geranoil contents of the oil make it a favorable  to repel insects like fleas, mosquitoes, and ticks. It’s also an anti-parasitic which helps treats and prevents worms in your dog’s stomach.

Recipe- Just add 2-3 drops of the oil and water into a spray bottle, and spray the mixture to your pet’s coat and massage in. This not only helps keep fleas and ticks away but also improves your dog’s skin and coat.

Spearmint oil can help address problems like diarrhea, colic, and various gastrointestinal issues like vomiting in dogs. It helps by balancing your dog’s metabolism and by stimulating the bladder.

Extra tips and info

While essential oils for dogs do help treat various dog health problems, it’s always wise to consult your veterinarian if the symptoms persist. And while it’s safe to use essential oils on dogs and horses, it’s not safe for use on cats, birds, or rabbits. 

Beware- Make sure not to give essential oils to your dog through mouth or by mixing into their food. Also avoid applying the oils on open skin wounds. Essential oils are also not advised for pregnant dogs.

Like humans, one of the best treatment for sick dogs is some rest and relaxation. If you have a quiet spot they love, consider adding a few blankets, some items that smell like you, and letting the cutie rest until they feel better.

Soon you’ll have your bright eyed, tail wagging, face kissing, best friend back in no time!


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