We love our four-legged companions, and we want to be sure to keep them happy and healthy at all times.
While essential oils can do wonders for our minds and bodies, they may not always be as effective on dogs - and can even be considered harmful.
According to a 2021 study, a dog's olfactory system can be up to 10 thousand times stronger than our own, with their noses carrying up to 300 million scent receptors.
This means that they can be hyper-sensitive to certain aromas, and a strong or unfamiliar scent could cause a great disturbance in their behaviour as well as potential feelings of anxiety. Some essential oils may even go so far as producing toxic effects.
Thankfully, there are ways to use certain safe essential oils for dogs in a way that will keep your companions feeling their best - and even help to uplift and relax their temperament.
Please make sure to always check with your veterinarian before using any of these scents around your home.
How do I use essential oils for dogs safely?
The safest possible way to use essential oils with your dog is through scent and diffusion.
Passive scented diffusers like reed diffusers tend to be just fine around dogs, however it's important to always keep them out of reach just in case.
Electric diffusers and oil burners require a little more caution for safe use - but can still be effectively utilised with proper care.
It is recommended to have your diffuser running for no more than 10 minutes at a time when initially introducing your pet to a new scent.
Ensure the room is well ventilated, and that your dog has plenty of space to escape if you find they're not getting on with the particular oil you've chosen.
If your dog does enjoy the scent, be sure to use it sparingly to avoid overexposure. Use your oils for no more than two weeks at a time and then provide a rest period before diffusing again.
- Always wash your hands after contact with essential oils around your pet
- Be sure to keep all oils safe and out of reach
- Never apply the oil onto the dog's skin
Which essential oils are safe for dogs?
Some oils that have been considered safe for dogs include:
The calming aromas of lavender are said to have a similar effect on dogs and humans. They can facilitate relaxation, enable sleep and encourage a sound temperament during high-energy situations.
A 2006 study confirmed these effects when testing the behaviour of hyperactive dogs in cars - suggesting that those exposed to lavender had a calmer disposition throughout the journeys overall.
It has been noted that diffusing a small amount of ginger essential oil in a ventilated space may help in clearing your dog's airways as well as reducing feelings of nausea or motion sickness.
A study in 2020 even went so far as to say that ginger oil may help support your dog's immune system.
Some sources claim that rosemary oil may be able to improve the concentration and energy levels of your four-legged friend - much like with humans.
A 2013 study also positively evaluated the antimicrobial effects of rosemary in dogs, although topical application of the oil is never recommended for pets.
It is important to note that, while some essential oils are labelled as "safe" in a roundabout sense, it is always strongly recommended to check with your veterinarian before using any of these scents around your home.
Which essential oils are toxic to dogs?
There are certain oils that are never recommended for use around your dog due to possible health issues. These include, but are not limited to:
- Citrus oils
- Tea Tree
- Ylang Ylang
Finding essential oils safe for dogs can be a complicated and risky process, so it is extremely important to always contact your vet for further advice before diffusing these scents around your home.
While it may seem harmless, it's always better to know what's best to keep your furry friend happy and safe at all times.
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