So you want to try using essential oils on your dog, but there are so many essential oils! Not sure which ones to choose from or which oils are safe for your dog? Below is information on some safe and useful essential oils for dogs, what they are effective for, as well as some guidelines for buying essential oils.
There are quite a few essential oils for dogs that are safe for use, but you do not have to buy all of them! There are a few “must-have’s” that you should get if you want to give your dog aromatherapy. There are also a few “good-to-have’s” depending on the kind of healing your dog needs.
With this in mind, here is a list of some safe and basic essential oils for dogs, together with a brief description of their properties and uses for your quick reference.
Safe Essential Oils, Properties & Uses
- Carrot Seed (Daucus carota) Anti-inflammatory, tonic, with moderate antibacterial effects. Good for dry, flaky, sensitive skin which is prone to infection. Can rejuvenate and stimulate tissue regeneration, thus effective for scar healing.
- Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) Antiseptic, tonifying, circulation-stimulating. Good for skin and coat conditioning and dermatitis of all types. Flea-repelling.
- Chamomile, German (Matricaria recutita) Anti-inflammatory, non-toxic, gentle and safe to use. Good for skin irritations, allergic reactions, burns.
- Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile) Antispasmodic, analgesic, nerve-calming. Good for soothing the central nervous system. Effective for relief of muscle pains, cramps, teething pain. A “must-have” oil for dogs!
- Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) Nerve-calming, gentle when used in small amounts and properly diluted. Sedates the central nervous system. Avoid using with pregnant dogs.
- Eucalyptus Radiata (Eucalyptus radiata) Antiviral, anti-inflammatory, an expectorant. Good for relief of chest congestion. Avoid using with small dogs and puppies.
- Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) Gentle and safe, antifungal. Good for skin irritations, fungal ear infections. Effective in repelling ticks.
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) Non-toxic, non-irritating and safe to use in small amounts, properly diluted. Good for motion sickness, aids digestion. Effective for pain relief caused by arthritis, dysplasia, strains and sprains.
- Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, regenerative effects; extremely therapeutic. Excellent for skin conditions and irritations (e.g. eczema). Effective for healing of scars and bruises. Effective for pain relief.
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Very safe and gentle, antibacterial, anti-itch, nerve-calming. Good for many common animal ailments, e.g. skin irritations, first aid. A “must-have” oil for your dog!
- Marjoram, Sweet (Origanum majorana) Strong antibacterial, calming, a muscle relaxant. Good for bacterial skin infections, wound care, insect repelling.
- Niaouli (Melaleuca Quinquenervia) Antihistaminic, powerful antibacterial properties, yet less likely to cause irritation than Tea Tree. Good for skin irritation and infections caused by allergies. A “must-have” for dogs!
- Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Antispamodic, stimulates circulation, insect-repelling. Good for arthritis, dysplasia, sprains and strains. Works well with ginger to treat motion sickness. Avoid using in small dogs and pregnant dogs.
- Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) Calming, deodorizing, flea-repelling.
- Thyme ct. Linalool (Thymus vulgaris ct. linalool) Pain relief, good for arthritis and rheumatism. Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, excellent for infections and other skin issues. A “must-have” oil for your dog!
- Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) Nerve-calming. Good for treating dog anxiety such as separation and noise anxiety.
Buying Essential Oils for Dogs
If you are new to aromatherapy, you may not know where and how to find 100% pure essential oils for dogs. There are indeed a lot of places where we can buy essential oils, and you may even notice quite a big difference in price for the same oil at different stores.
The following guidelines will show you how and where to get high-quality essential oils for your dog:
Look for essential oils that are bottled in amber, cobalt or violet glass bottles.
Look for important information of the oils (either printed on the label, and/or on the store’s website, brochure, etc.):
* Latin name of the oil (e.g. Lavandula angustifolia);
* Common name of the oil (e.g. Lavender);
* How the oil was extracted;
* Country of origin;
* Method of cultivation (e.g. organic, cultivated, wildharvested, etc.)
* The words “100% pure essential oil”.
Essential oils are generally expensive, so don’t go for unreasonably cheap oils since cheap oils are likely to be adulterated.
Avoid buying essential oils at supermarkets or health food stores (they may be cheaper but usually of a lower quality).