Essential oils are extracts of a plant using steam distillation.
These oils contain all the healing compounds and characteristics of a plant.
The oils form a part of aromatherapy and alternative medicine to bring relief to physical and mental ailments.
Their benefits can be seen by an external application through inhalation and topical treatment.
If equip ourselves with knowledge of the benefits and uses of herbs, it can go a long way in helping us care for our canine counterparts.
The suggestions in this article are based on external and topical uses of essential oils.
Oral application of essential oils to dogs should only be attempted under the advice and supervision of a professional. Dogs are sensitive and some essential oils are completely unsuitable for ingestion.
10 Essential Oils Which Can Benefit Your Dog
Here is the list of 10 essential oils which can help your dog and their key benefits. Most of these oils are important ingredients of popular natural shampoos and can be easily used rather than buying essential oils themselves.
1. Lavender oil
Soothes nerves and irritated skin.
Lavender has is anti-inflammatory and antifungal.
On dogs, it is fast acting and effective to reduce anxiety, in situations like thunderstorms and loud fireworks. It can also be used to calm and pacify agitated dogs.
It works to repel insects, keeping away ticks and fleas.
A few drops of the oil are dabbed onto a dog’s neck or collar to reap the calming effects.
It is also added in shampoos, making the skin and coat smooth and soft.
2. Geranium oil
Keeps insects away
Geranium oil has a long-lasting floral aroma that is both calming and relaxing.
The oil is known to be cost effective as a flea repellent, with high potency in a few drops.
Between the two varieties of this oil, the one called ‘pelargonium capitatum x raden’ is the right one to get.
A natural alternative to harsh chemicals this species of the oil is robust in keeping away insects.
A few drops of undiluted rose geranium oil on a dog’s collar is considered unharmful. It effectively keeps insects away and prevents diseases they spread.
It is also mixed into a body spray to repel fleas and ticks.
Healer and relaxant
A few drops of the oil helps in easing a dog into adjusting to new pets.
Myrrh releases compounds that travel to the brain and helps regulate mood and relieve anxiety.
The oil is anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic properties.
It can be applied topically as a medicine to heal sores and itchy inflamed skin and infection.
It works well on dry flaky skin and in clearing dandruff.
4. Niaouli oil
Analgesic and antiseptic
Niaouli is native to Australia and known for it’s disinfectant and antiseptic properties.
It can bring relief, minimize bacteria and offer protection against further infections.
It is also known to be Antirheumatic as it helps in circulation and prevents uric acid in the joints.
Niaouli is known to be diluted in water and applied as a warm topical treatment on wounds and sores.
It is also used as in a warm compress on joints to bring relief to rheumatism.
The diluted oil is sprayed on dogs to enable the immune system to fight respiratory infections.
5. Roman Chamomile
Has calming effects
Roman chamomile is commonly known for its gentle-calming properties.
It is an effective supportive remedy for stressed, anxious and nervous dogs.
It is also beneficial in skin irritations and infections. It is also used as an analgesic to treat cramps and other pains.
Mixed with a carrier oil it can be used to combat the effects of flea bites, yeast infections and skin allergies.
The mixture can be massaged onto dogs ears or combed through their fur.
6. German chamomile
Benefits a dog’s skin and coat
This oil is another mild acting anti-inflammatory agent with relaxant properties and completely safe to use.
It also works topically on skin irritations and allergies.
A few drops German chamomile mixed in water can be dabbed on to skin infections, sores, wounds and chapped skin to treat inflammation and bacterial infections.
A spray mist of the oil is as acts as a two in one hydrocortisone cream and analgesic aid.
2 drops of the oil mixed in a glass of water can be used to clean out gunk from a dog’s eyes.
7. Carrot Seed
The benefits of carrot seed are felt in the skin and coat of a dog.
It is derived from the wild carrot plan and known to have antiseptic, skin rejuvenating and detox properties.
It has the ability to heal dry, flaky, sensitive skin and can curb the spread of infection.
It’s properties enable skin to bounce back to a healthy moisturized state and extends benefits to the coat, making it soft and shiny.
8. Peppermint oil
This oil is a combination of spearmint and water mint and one of the most resourceful oils.
It is used topically for its antimicrobial, cooling and relaxing properties.
When rubbed on to the stomach it can soothe stomach-aches and relieve digestive complaints.
As a respiratory support combine a few drops of peppermint oil to a carrier oil and apply on the bottom of paws or on the neck.
In a shampoo, peppermint essential oil can remove dandruff, kill mites and stimulate skin to receive other beneficial nutrients.
9. Rosemary oil
Dogs love the aroma of this multipurpose oil that offers antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits.
It is best used topically and as an inhalant to reap the benefits of its fresh fragrance.
Rosemary oil can be added to dog shampoo for its ability to invigorate a dog’s coat making it strong and shiny.
The oil can also be used in a spritzer to effectively repel ticks and fleas.
10. Helichrysum oil
Natural antifungal and antimicrobial agent
This oil extends its analgesic, antiallergenic, antimicrobial and anti inflammatory benefits to dogs.
It is great for itchy skin caused by bacterial and yeast infections and provides pain relief with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
It speeds up cell turnover and healing of sores and scars.
Studies have demonstrated the benefits of using this oil as an effective topical treatment for Malassezia dermatitis without any adverse effects.
If you plan to use the essential oils themselves rather using dog shampoos, be careful.
Essential oils are highly concentrated and must be always diluted before use.
Besides, dogs have sensitive skin and their bodies absorb essential oils differently.
They can disrupt the pH balance and can turn their alkaline skin acidic, causing skin problems.
They’re best used diluted in a carrier oil such as olive, coconut, almond oil etc. 2-3 drops of essential oils to 30 ml of a carrier oil, and about 15-20 drops to a 2450 ml shampoo is a safe amount.
Before using an essential oil either do a patch test of hold open a bottle to understand if the oil is appropriate or not.
Reactions such as turning the head away, whining or yawning could indicate the oil would stress out the dog and not work well as therapy.
A dog’s reactions should be monitored after using essential oils.
Responses such as scratching, heavy breathing, anxiety or whining are signs that the oil is intolerable for the dog’s body.
For safety sake, essential oils should be pure, high quality, organic and made by a certified company.
They should be avoided on dogs lesser than 6 weeks, frail and pregnant dogs and should be diluted more for use on smaller dogs.
Clove oil if undiluted, is extremely unstable and harmful to humans.
It should therefore not be used on dogs. Rosemary oil should not be used on dogs known to have seizures and on pregnant dogs.
Essential oils should be gradually introduced into an external treatment regime for dogs.
Topically, a very small amount of oil can be applied to the scruff of a dog’s neck until the dog is familiar with the oil.
However, it is essential to consult a vet before trying essential oils on a pet to ensure safety, derive benefits and avoid adverse effects.
These oils are part of many popular shampoos and you can try using them instead of using essential oil themselves. Here is the list of Best Natural Dog Shampoos>