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5 min read / 5 May 2023 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Dogs?

Eucalyptus oil is a popular home remedy for congestion and insect repelling, but how does it affect our dogs?

Most pet owners would agree that their pet's safety comes first - and so it should!

Whenever they're begging for a bit of food or sniffing a new plant in the garden, the first thought that always shoots up in our minds is, "is this safe?" followed by a rapid Googling session.

With the popularity of essential oils rising more and more in the common household, many of us may be wondering how this, too, affects the health of our furry friends.

Eucalyptus is one such oil that has gained a glowing reputation for our personal wellness, but how well do eucalyptus and dogs get along? Is eucalyptus oil safe for dogs? We'll be answering all your questions in this quick guide.

What is eucalyptus essential oil?

Eucalyptus oil, also known by the botanical name Eucalyptus globulus, is a highly refreshing essential oil extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus plant.

Eucalyptus can be found all over the world, with over 600 different species circulating depending on the region. Of these 600 species, only 20 are used commercially for essential oils.

The leaves (either dried or fresh) are steam distilled to produce a colourless oil, which is then used for various applications from helping with congestion to repelling pests.

Learn more about the benefits of eucalyptus essential oil.

Is eucalyptus essential oil safe for dogs?

The short answer is...it's complicated. The safety of eucalyptus oil around your dog largely depends on how you use it.

It's important to remember that dogs have very sensitive noses, with a keen sense of smell that can be up to ten thousand times stronger than our own.

As eucalyptus is one of the stronger-smelling essential oils out there, it should come as no surprise that your furry friend may become more heavily irritated by its potent aroma.

That being said, eucalyptus oil may help your dog in other ways, such as removing pesky insects in their resting areas or even clearing their airways after a stubborn cold.

The key to figuring out whether eucalyptus oil is safe for your pet is very simple - ask your vet first. Every dog is different, so there's no clear rule on what will work and what won't, or what your dog will enjoy smelling on a frequent basis.

Asking your vet will prevent the chances of an unpleasant incident if your dog is more sensitive than most.

Are there any benefits to using eucalyptus oil for dogs?

Some sources believe eucalyptus oil could be beneficial to dogs in some ways, but more research is needed. Either way, it's incredibly important to always check with your vet before using essential oils anywhere on or near your dog.

Some potential benefits of using eucalyptus oil for dogs include:

  • Getting rid of fleas and ticks
  • Disinfecting dog blankets and bedding
  • Eliminating odours
  • Soothing bites, rashes, and stings
  • Respiratory therapy

If your vet does give the all-clear for topical application of eucalyptus oil to the skin or fur, make sure you're always diluting it with a carrier oil prior to use.

Just like with humans, failing to dilute your essential oils can lead to unwanted irritation and reactions that will only make matters worse. You may also be able to find some commercial dog shampoos and sprays containing eucalyptus oil.

Dog sitting on green chair.

Can dogs eat eucalyptus essential oil?

Eucalyptus essential oil is toxic to dogs when ingested, so should not be used internally in any way.

If your dog does accidentally ingest eucalyptus oil, see your vet immediately or contact the animal poison centre. Some signs of essential oil toxicity in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Excess salivating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Dilated eyes
  • Depression

To prevent accidental ingestion of essential oils, be sure to keep them out of sight and out of reach at all times. This includes any diffusers or pre-mixed blends that your dog may come into contact with.

Learn more about which essential oils are toxic to dogs.

Is diffusing eucalyptus oil safe for dogs?

Most people experience the scents and benefits of essential oils through an electric diffuser.

Electric diffusers work by using water to disperse tiny droplets of mist into the air. When essential oils are added to the water, they too disperse with the mist, creating a pleasant scent.

While this may not seem altogether harmful for your pet, these droplets can find themselves landing on your dog's fur or in their toys and food. This makes the essential oil easy to accidentally ingest as well as potentially soak into the skin.

That doesn't mean that diffuser use with eucalyptus oil is strictly off the table, but there are a few safety measures to take note of before trying it.

How to safely diffuse eucalyptus oil around your dog

Once you and your vet are satisfied with the use of eucalyptus oil in your home, here are a few easy steps you can follow to ensure your dog's safety:

  1. Make sure you have your diffuser in a room that's away from your dog's food or toys.
  2. Before switching on your diffuser, provide some ventilation by opening up your windows and doors.
  3. Make sure your dog has a clear escape route to another room in case they don't like the scent.
  4. Add a small amount of eucalyptus oil to the diffuser to begin with and leave it running for no more than 10 minutes.
  5. As your dog adjusts to the scent, you can gradually expose them to more (but only as much as your vet allows!).

Switch off your diffuser immediately if your dog shows signs of discomfort or illness. Consult your vet if your dog begins to show any signs of toxic exposure.

Is burning eucalyptus oil safe for dogs?

If you opt for an oil burner instead of an electric diffuser, the rules are pretty much the same as above. Make sure you're only using a little bit of oil at a time and keep your spaces well-ventilated in case your dog doesn't enjoy the scent.

When it comes to candles and other aromatherapy products, the process becomes a little more complicated, so it's best to consult with your vet before use. From there, keep your spaces open and clear in case of any adverse reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use eucalyptus oil around my puppy?

No, the use of eucalyptus oil is not recommended at all around puppies or smaller dogs. If you're unsure, consult with your vet first.

What oils are safe to diffuse around dogs?

Every dog has different sensitivities, but certain oils like lavender, ginger, rosemary, and frankincense are all generally considered safe to inhale.

Do dogs like the scent of eucalyptus oil?

For the most part, dogs do not enjoy the scent of eucalyptus oil as it can be incredibly strong.

Dog Icon.

Essential oils can be a welcome addition to any pet-friendly home as long as the right measures are put into place. Make sure you're always consulting with your vet before using any new oils, and keep your dog's reactions in mind throughout the process.

If your dog is constantly running away from the scent, there's a good chance they'd rather you stopped using it. In any case, look out for signs of toxicity and always keep your essential oils well out of reach.

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Medical Disclaimer

The content in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of medical advice. Please consult your personal physician for any advice or treatment regarding specific health questions. Neither the article editor, writer, nor the organisation of Nikura takes any responsibility for possible health consequences following the information given in any article. All readers should consult their physician before taking any advice given within these articles.

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