If you're anything like us, you'd do just about anything for your favorite four-legged friend. It's great to make sure that your dog is getting the right food and plenty of exercises, but did you know that their well-being can also be maintained and prolonged through the smart usage of essential oils? Though there are some important guidelines to follow in their application, a select number of oils can go a long way towards keeping your pooch happy and healthy well into their twilight years.
***Please note that none of what follows should be regarded as qualified medical advice. Consult your dog's veterinarian before starting them on any aromatherapy routine.***
Dogs are more sensitive than humans to the effects of essential oils, and as such it's of the utmost importance that you exercise caution in using them to treat your dog. To begin with, here is a list of essential oils that should never be used on a dog, as they contain elements that can prove toxic to their bodies.
- Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
- Birch (Betula)
- Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis)
- Boldo (Peumus boldus)
- Calamus (Acorus calamus)
- Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
- Cassia (Cassia fistula)
- Chenopodium (Chenopodium album)
- Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
- Garlic (Allium sativum)
- Goosefoot (Chenopodium murale)
- Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
- Hyssop (Hyssopus sp. with the exception of Decumbens)
- Juniper (Juniperus sp. with the exception of Juniper Berry)
- Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
- Mustard (Brassica juncea)
- Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
- Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
- Red or White Thyme
- Rue (Ruta graveolens)
- Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus)
- Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
- Savory (Satureja)
- Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
- Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
- Terebinth (Pistacia palaestina)
- Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)
- Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
- Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
What's more, owners should be careful about the application and concentration of the essential oils they use on their dogs. A dog's sense of smell is many times more powerful than a human's, and as such, they can become easily overwhelmed by an essential oil that we might not even notice. Generally speaking, it's wise to start with a solution that consists of one drop of essential oil and fifty drops of carrier oil to ensure that your dog reacts well to the aroma. You can scale the amount up from there if you feel it necessary to do so, but be sure to stay on the lookout at all times for any signs of your dog becoming distressed by the strength of the smell.
Finally, it's recommended that essential oils not be used on dogs that are very young (under ten weeks), very old (varies by breed and circumstance), or pregnant. Do not add essential oil to a dog's food or drinking water - if an oil needs to be ingested, consult with your veterinarian on the best way to do so. Now that we covered all the oils and things to avoid, here are the best essential oils for dogs.
Lavender Essential Oil
This essential oil is incredibly popular with humans for its calming effects, which can go a long way towards comforting dogs experiencing any sort of trauma or anxiety. Is your pooch having trouble getting used to a new home or a new family member? Are they shy and skittish from their recent adoption? A little bit of lavender essential oil behind the ears or on the inside of their collar can help make your pooch carefree and happy-go-lucky once more.
Orange Essential Oil
Let's face it - dogs stink. Sure, the occasional bath can help rid your pooch of that signature canine odor, but not all of us have the time or the patience to scrub down a dog that'd rather be outside rolling the mud. That's part of the reason why we were so happy to find out that orange is one of the best essential oils for dogs and their coats. In addition to lending your buddy a pleasant citrusy smell, orange essential oil also works to deter pests - a great benefit for any pup plagued by fleas or other vermin.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint has many more uses than just making your dog smell wintry when you dress them up as Santa Claus. Peppermint essential oil also has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and pain-killing properties, which makes it an exceptional ingredient in a salve for any cuts or scratches they may experience during their outdoor explorations. A small amount of solution applied via cotton swab can provide much-needed sterilization without the harsh sting common to alcohol-based compounds.
So long as you're careful in their application, you'll find that essential oils can do a world of good for your furry friend. We wish you and your pooch the very best with your aromatherapy, and we hope that you'll reach out if you have any questions about SpaRoom's line of exceptional essential oils and the best essential oils for dogs.