Two thousand years ago, the Chinese people would take a group of men to go into the wild and watch the wildlife. They would observe the animals self-selecting their food. They would watch animals’ behavior and notice when animals fell sick. Observing the different plants, the sick animal would select for self-medication would be of great interest. In this instance, the plants selected for sick animals are on the more bitter side taste-wise. The sick animal’s taste seemed to adjust to the bitterness of the plant they selected while the healthy animal would not eat the bitter plant. With time and research self-selection with animals played a big role in the evolution of plant medicines and aromatherapy. This self-selection theory is the basis of animal aromatherapy but what essential oils can be safety use with our dogs?
Are essential oils safe to use around dogs?
When using essential oils or any aromatic product with dogs, you want to make sure you have some knowledge of when or when not to use these powerful plant oils. Here are some good safety tips. Essential oils are a beautiful way to help you and your animal emotionally, physically, and energetically. We encourage you to embrace each oil you learn about and get to the point of feeling confident about using them safely. Some key safety tips are below.
Top Essential oils safe to use with dogs
3 ways of using essential oils with dogs
Inhalation is the number one method. It is extremely powerful and very effective when the animal smells the essential oil. No matter what type of application you use to apply your essential oils with dogs, you should pay close attention to their body language. Unlike people, who can speak up and tell you if they feel safe, dogs communicate with signs like leaving the room, turning their heads far away, going into a corner, or wanting a door to the open air. These behaviors would be considered negative, stressful, and a big NO!
Topical application means you are going to put the essential oil on the dog’s body. Areas to apply for relaxation and calming include ear tips, between the shoulder blades right below the neck, middle of the chest, or sternum. When using essential oils topically, you always want to dilute the essential oil with the base or carrier you have chosen. Take for example that you notice a hot spot on your dog’s tummy and the dog is very itchy. You can make a calming remedy using one ounce of aloe vera gel in a glass bowl. Then you would apply two drops of peppermint and four drops of lavender into the aloe vera gel and mix. The peppermint stops the itching and cools the area, and the lavender calms the area down and has cell-regenerating properties. The aloe vera gel cools and decreases swelling while soaking deep into the skin and carrying the essential oils with it.
Diffusers can be used in your home but you need to make sure that the dog can leave the room at any time. You can also leave a window open so that the aroma does not become overwhelming. Because of the receptors in a dog’s nose and the sensitivity they have to scents, they can become overloaded with aromas. This can cause them to gravitate to a corner or get as far away as they can from the aroma. So never lock them in a room with a diffuser on. Simple as that!
3 essential oil recipes that are safe for dogs
Tick / Bite recipe
15 ml calendula oil
8 drops lavender
4 drops lemongrass
Mix in a 30 ml bottle and apply one drop to the bite site. Always shake well.
Joint pain recipe
30 ml aloe vera gel
30 ml peppermint hydrosol
3 drops yarrow essential oil
3 drops German chamomile essential oil
2 drops juniper berry essential oil
I would get a 4 oz glass-tinted bottle to give you room. I also use a disc cap so you can pop it up when in use for easy application. I add the essential oils first. This gives you the option of adding any other essential oil. I add the aloe vera gel next and mix well. The last to mix is the hydrosol and it’s best to shake it at this stage. Keep in the refrigerator.
Immune support recipe
2 drops angelica root essential oil
3 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops German chamomile essential oil
3 drops bergamot essential oil
30 ml hemp seed oil
Place in a 30 ml bottle, shake well with each use. Refer to your dog region chart for application. Inhalation is also recommended.