In recent years, essential oils have grown in popularity. From essential oil diffusers for aromatherapy, topical use, and even ingestion, you can use these oils to support many facets of wellness. If you love using essential oils for yourself, you may wonder whether there are essential oils for dogs and if they’re safe.
There’s quite a bit of controversy surrounding the safety of using essential oils for dogs. Some oils can be toxic and cause serious harm, while others can benefit your furry friend.
This guide can help you navigate some of the controversy around essential oils, which ones are safe for dogs, and how you can use them to support your pup’s health safely!
Are Essential Oils Safe for Dogs?
Before we dive into whether lavender oil is safe for dogs, let’s take a look at essential oils in general. In many cases, essential oils can be toxic and harmful to our furry friends.
Peppermint oil, tea tree oil, wintergreen, and eucalyptus oil can cause skin irritation or sensitivity, rashes, gastrointestinal discomfort, and even poisoning.
Other oils like lavender oil and rosemary oil are safe for dogs when used correctly.
If you’re considering using essential oils, it’s always best to talk to your veterinarian first. They will advise you as to which ones are safest for your dog and how to dilute them with carrier oils.
Is Lavender Oil Safe for Dogs?
While some essential oils can cause serious harm to our pups, are lavender essential oils one of them? Luckily, lavender essential oils are safe in most cases.
What Type of Lavender Oil Is Safe for Dogs?
While some essential oils aren’t safe, like ones that don’t offer test results or oils that aren’t high quality, most certified types of lavender oil are safe. Be sure to use pure lavender oil or organic lavender oil and oils that are therapeutic or medical grade with a GCMS test to prove their quality.
What Are the Benefits of Lavender Oil for Dogs?
Lavender oil is one of the essential oils that are not only safe to use but offer a range of benefits for your pup. Let's take a closer look at some of these benefits below.
A Natural Insect Repellent
Essential oils are a popular insect repellent for dogs. However, many dog parents use essential oils that can cause more harm than good.
It’s crucial to stay away from peppermint essential oils, mint-based essential oils, or eucalyptus oils in your dog’s insect repellant.
Luckily, lavender essential oil is safe as a natural alternative to insect repellant for your dog. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors during the day, using lavender oil is a great way to build a barrier between them and fleas, ticks, and mosquitos.
How should you do this? Lavender oil and carrier oil, like coconut oil, are usually enough to repel bugs and keep the bites away. Simply mix about five drops of lavender essential oil with a few ounces of carrier oil of your choice, shake it up, and add the mixture to a spray bottle.
To Help Soothe Itchy Skin
Lavender essential oils can also help soothe your dog’s itchy skin.
If your dog has a sudden rash and severe itchiness, it’s best to see a doctor. However, if you suspect your dog is just reacting to grass or a known food allergy, using diluted lavender oil is an excellent way to soothe their symptoms.
To Soothe Feelings of Stress and Tension
One of the most well-known benefits of lavender essential oils is their ability to help soothe feelings of stress.
Simply use a carrier oil, distilled water, and three drops of lavender oil to make a calming spray that can help soothe your pup. This lavender spray is a great tool to use during thunderstorms or fireworks.
A Natural Deodorant
Lavender essential oils can also help your dog smell better. If your dog tends to get stinky every once in a while, consider making a lavender essential oil spray to help him smell fresh and clean. You can even look for lavender essential oils in dog shampoo as a way to help your pup stay smelling clean for days.
What Are the Risks of Lavender Oil For Dogs?
There are many benefits of lavender oil, but there are also risks to be aware of. Here’s what you need to know.
In some cases, lavender essential oils can lead to skin irritation and rashes for your pup if not used properly. If this occurs, you may notice redness, discomfort, itching, or excessive licking.
If your dog is experiencing skin irritation, be sure to stop all use of essential oils and call your vet right away. They will advise you on what to do and whether your dog needs medical attention. Monitor their symptoms closely to report to your veterinarian until your dog heals.
If you dilute your oils properly and use small amounts, you can minimize these risks and keep your dog happy and healthy.
It’s important to know that while you can use small doses of diluted lavender oil topically for your dog’s skin, it’s important not to let your dog ingest it.
If your dog eats lavender oil, they may experience severe gastrointestinal discomfort and irritation. You may notice symptoms of essential oil poisoning like vomiting, diarrhea, or excessive gas. Some dogs may even have difficulty breathing.
If you suspect your dog has ingested lavender oil, monitor their symptoms closely and take them to the doctor immediately. Even if you don’t give your dog lavender oil in a bowl, they may lick it off their skin, off the floor, or get into your stash of essential oils.
Tips for Using Lavender Essential Oil Safely
While lavender oil is safe for dogs, it’s essential to take measures to ensure your pup’s safety while you use them. Here’s what you need to know.
Dilute the Oil
When using lavender oil safely for your dog, you should dilute the oil with another carrier oil. What can you use to dilute lavender? Consider the following:
- Avocado oil
- Sesame oil
- Jojoba oil
- Apricot kernel oil
- Almond oil
Why is it important to dilute essential oils? Dilution helps prevent irritation for your dog’s skin. It also prevents overwhelming your dog’s senses with potent oil. Our dog’s noses are much stronger than our noses, so even if a little bit of lavender oil doesn’t overwhelm our senses, it can easily be too strong for our dog’s nose.
Only Use Lavender Oil with Transparent Test Results
Essential oils are unregulated by the FDA, which means there are little to no restrictions on what claims you can put on a product. For this reason, buying essential oils from places like Amazon, local sellers, and companies that don’t offer test results can result in a product that isn’t genuine lavender oil.
Only buy lavender essential oils from companies that offer test results about the purity and quality of their oils. You can also look for therapeutic or medical-grade essential oils. It’s also important to make sure the oils you buy are adequately diluted with carrier oils, so they’re safe for use.
Introduce Lavender Oil Slowly
Whether you’re using a new shampoo or introducing a new food, it’s always important to make the transition gradual. This way, you can monitor your dog’s reaction and prevent any serious issues.
The same principle applies to lavender oil. If you’re using this essential oil as a topical spray or shampoo, be sure to use small amounts and carefully watch your dog’s reaction before using more. You can even do a spot treatment and apply a small amount to one area, monitoring their response before using it everywhere.
Supplement Their Health with Sundays
While lavender oil is an excellent tool, there are other ways to supplement your pup’s health. Here at Sundays, we make dog food for your pup that’s packed with nutrients in every bite and free of all the other stuff.
Our dog food is ready to eat with air-dried, minimal processing methods, all-natural, human-grade ingredients, and a formula created by a vet. Don’t settle for foods with allergens, fillers, and synthetic ingredients. With no hidden ingredients, you can enjoy delicious and nutritious food for your furry best friend.