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Aromatherapy essential oils have an amazing range of uses you can add a few drops to a bath, use them in cleaning products, or use them in home fragrance diffusers to freshen the air in your home.
But if you’re thinking about using essential oils on your canine friends, you will first want to take some precautions. Read on to find out more about how to use essential oils safely with dogs.
Though essential oils are generally safe to use with humans, the main thing to bear in mind is that dogs (and other pets) don’t process substances the same way as we do — and this is the case even if substances are not ingested. If a pet (especially smaller pets) inhales essential oils or if you use them on the skin, compounds in the oils can be absorbed and potentially be harmful.
If you are interested in using essential oils with your canine friends, you should first get familiar with which ones are safe and check with your veterinarian.
Here are a few oils that are thought to be to be safe for dogs and may be useful for flea control:
Once you choose your oils and check with your vet, ensure that you are choosing the therapeutic grade organic essential oils. Then, choose a natural carrier oil such as coconut or grapeseed oil to use as a base to dilute the essential oils in at a ratio of about 50:1 (one drop of essential oil per 50 of carrier oil).
Next, let your dog “test” out the oils first to see if they appeal. One way to do this is to place a glass essential oil diffuser in the center of a room and see if your pet chooses to approach it.
You can also allow your pet to inhale a small amount of undiluted oil from the bottle (but keep the lid on at first) and see what they do.
Allow the pet to approach the diffuser or oil themselves. If it seems acceptable you can then test some diluted oil by placing a small amount on the back of the neck.
Dogs have a very acute sense of smell, so remember that what you smell is only a fraction of what they will smell!
Fortunately, the list of essential oils that aren’t safe for dogs is much shorter than the list for cats. Many oils are toxic for cats because they can’t process a certain compound in the oils.
According to Aylmer Veterinary Clinic and the American Kennel Club, dogs should not have:
There is a small risk that oils can cause reparatory or nervous system problems, according to the American Kennel Club. Watch for side effects like itching, sores, excess salivation, digestive and respiratory problems, and call a vet immediately if you have concerns.
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