Is Lavender Safe For Dogs? All About Lavender and Dogs
Is Lavender Safe For Dogs?
If you use essential oils and natural remedies like lavender, you know that they can help with multiple ailments and reduce stress. Great-smelling and boasting a beautiful purple color, lavender is found in many products, from soap to tea. Its benefits include relieving anxiety, fungal infections, allergies, depression, insomnia, and nausea, among other conditions.
But is it safe for your dog even with all these known human benefits? Is it beneficial? Any responsible dog owner knows that many of the things used to treat health issues in our bodies are not safe for dogs. Suppose your pup is anxious and has trouble relaxing. In that case, you may be considering venturing into the vast world of essential oils to ease their mind. If it can help you feel better – can it do the same for your dog?
Let’s talk about whether lavender is okay to give to your dog – and whether it promises any health benefits!
What is lavender oil?
When you hear the word lavender, you probably think of a beautiful purple flower. And it’s in way more than you think! Found in many items are your home, the one you are considering giving to your dog is most likely a tincture concentrated oil. This oil comes straight from the lavender flowers and is processed into a liquid substance. It has a distinct lavender smell and can be used in many different capacities. The extract contains properties from the plant that boast health and relaxation benefits.
Is Lavender Oil Safe For Dogs?
Making sure whatever you are giving or feeding your dog is safe is essential. Anything your dog ingests besides their food should be monitored to avoid complications. Multiple toxic human foods can pose a real threat to your pup’s health. But even beyond food, what about herbal remedies? How can you know if something is safe? Well, you’ve come to the right spot!
In short, lavender is safe for your dog. But, misusing it or giving them too much can have adverse side effects.
The first thing to remember when using lavender essential oil for your pup is to make sure you have a pure & therapeutic oil. Products containing lavender and dyes, parabens, or additives can be unsafe for dogs. Only use the oil in its purest form and check the ingredient list closely before administering it to your dog. With that said, lavender oil is highly potent. Only a tiny amount of pure oil can be used. When using pure oil, make sure you mix it with something. Diluting it with other safe topical creams or a different safe oil is the best bet.
Lavender oil should never be ingested and only used topically or through smell. A compound found in the lavender plant – linalool – can be very toxic to dogs. Because the oil is an extract, it has high and concentrated amounts of linalool. With that said, if your dog gets into an actual lavender plant and eats a little, it will likely not have as bad of an effect as the oil. The amount of linalool found in the plant form is lesser. But, if your dog ingests lavender oil, this concentrated amount of the compound can cause a wide range of harmful side effects. These include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, sedation, and other medical ailments. So if you decide to give your dog lavender oil, never give it to them orally.
Dog’s sense of smell is also considerably more potent than ours. What might seem like a subtle waft to you will be highly concentrated to your pup. Diffusing a small amount into the air is the safest way, and you should never put oil directly in front of their nose. It will be overwhelming and can trigger sickness.
It should only be used in small diluted amounts. Even though lavender oil can be used on human skin without being mixed with anything, it is too strong for dogs. Mixing it with a carrier or base oil is a great way to use the oil without it being too strong. Here is a list of safe oils that can make a good base:
Apricot Kernel Oil
A good rule of thumb for making this mixture is 1 drop of lavender oil to 50 drops of carrier oil or 3-6 drops in 1 fluid oz of carrier oil.
How To Safely Give to Your Dog Lavender Oil
As mentioned above, lavender oil should never be ingested. It should also be introduced slowly. Monitor how they react to any of these methods before introducing them regularly. Here are the safe ways to administer it to your pup.
Topically – Apply the diluted lavender oil to their skin. Start with a small spot and see how they react. A day or so later, you can put more in a larger area but monitor whether they react adversely first. Make sure you apply it away from their eyes and nose, and somewhere they cannot reach it to lick. Ears are a great bet, rub a little amount and see if it helps them relax. You can also put a diluted amount in their bath products, such as shampoo.
Diffused in the air – Using a diffuser for a portion of time with a bit of lavender oil is a great way to introduce your dog to it. Make sure you don’t run it all the time or leave it within reach; keeping it up on a counter is the safest way.
Spray your furniture or put a little in their crate– You can get diluted sprays to be used on furniture around your home. Rubbing a small amount on the top of your pup’s crate can also be an easy way to introduce them to the oil. They will smell great and promise the same benefits of diffusing it in the air. Like with other methods, use only a tiny amount and gauge your dog’s reaction.
If you notice any rashes, sneezing, coughing, tremors, shortness of breath, itchy eyes, runny nose, or irritation, you should stop using the lavender oil as your dog might be reacting negatively. If you use lavender oil in any capacity, keep your eyes peeled for these symptoms before proceeding.
Benefits of Lavender Oil for Dogs
So now that we’ve discussed how to safely administer it to your dog – what are the benefits? Safely introducing your dog to lavender can be very beneficial! Here are some of the things that lavender oil can do for your pup:
These things can be treated by using small amounts of lavender oil! This natural remedy can be a fantastic alternative to medical treatments but should always be used following the parameters above.
Appala China Botanical
Dogs Naturally Magazine
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