Is Lavender Oil Safe For Dogs?
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. The oils capture the plant’s scent and flavor, or “essence.” Unique aromatic compounds give each essential oil its characteristic essence. Flowers don’t have oils as such but the aroma is captured through a process called cold pressing. It is then combined with a carrier oil that becomes a product ready to use. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
There are various essential oils available with their own unique applications. For e.g.
Peppermint: used to boost energy and aid digestion
Sandalwood: used to calm nerves and help with focus
Bergamot: used to reduce stress and improve skin conditions like eczema
Rose: used to improve mood and reduce anxiety
Chamomile: used to improve mood and relaxation
These are now being used for aroma therapy. Talking about Lavender oil, in particular, is often used for its calming effect to relieve stress. All-in-all these oils are definitely amazing.
Now we are all dog lovers and it is quite natural for us to extend love in various forms to people and things we love. We might feel that if lavender oil can provide such benefits to humans, why not use them on dogs to help them extract the same benefits? But before doing that, we must answer questions like, is lavender oil safe for dogs? If yes, how to apply, and how much?
The answer is Yes. It is safe for dogs.
What is Lavender Oil?
Lavender oil is a highly concentrated extract made from the flower spikes of lavender plants. It doesn’t really dissolve in water and contains the same phytochemicals found in the lavender plant. Originally, lavender oil was used in perfumes as well as skincare products. Recently, People have recently adopted its use for a wider range of purposes, particularly to promote relaxation in the form of aroma therapy.
Is Lavender Oil safe for your dog?
Despite the enormous benefits of essential oils, not all of them are safe for dogs. But the good news here is, lavender oil is considered the safest among all oils. But there is a method to prepare and use it. Otherwise, it can be equally harmful to them. Before discussing the methods and precautions, let’s discuss the benefits of it to motivate you to use it on your doggy.
Benefits of Lavender Oil on Dogs
Bug Repellent – Lavender acts as a natural insect repellent. Hence, applying lavender oil can help keep fleas, ticks, and mosquitos away
Itchy Skin – If your god suffers from some allergy that causes him/her to itch constantly and get red swollen skin, lavender can help soothe the skin. It is anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, pain reliever, and antibacterial in nature
Joint Pain – For the same anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, lavender oils can help cure joint pains
Burns – It can soothe the burning sensation and the inflammation caused by the same
Anxiety relief – Lavender is calming in nature and can help reduce anxiety and stress. A small amount of oil can even help calm your dog during travel and reduce excitement. In times of high-sound anxiety like from fireworks and thunderstorms, lavender can work its calm
Motion Sickness – The movement of a car, especially on curvy-mountain roads can cause excessive drooling, heavy breathing, and nausea because of the disturbed nervous system. Spraying lavender oil can help reduce the effects.
Conditioning – When in a new place, dogs are known to feel odd, especially in their stomachs. The calming effect of lavender can help you want to condition your dog to a new space.
Insomnia – We have seen lavender oils being used in Spa parlors and that is for a reason. It helps calm the brain down. It hence makes an excellent sleep aid.
Deodorize – Only a few people don’t like the beautiful aroma of lavender. After a long training session or a walk, if your dog’s coat gets stinky, lavender oil can again be used as a deodorizer in the form of shampoo.
9 significant benefits that lavender oils can give your loved doggies. What more is there to ask for?
Now let’s come to the caution part while using lavender oil on dogs.
How to use Lavender Oil on Dogs?
Dilute it – We humans can use undiluted lavender oil to enjoy the strong smell of the flower but it can become too overwhelming for dogs. It is advised that you dilute the oil with a carrier or base oil before applying. For e.g.
Apricot kernel oil
Do not Ingest – Lavender oil is not edible and in no circumstance should it be ingested by your dog, or for that matter even you.
Leave an escape – Give your dog an escape route while diffusing lavender oil in your house so that if not comfortable, he/she can leave and breathe some fresh air.
Smell before dwell – Let your dog get a sense of the oil by letting him sniff it once. He/she will tell you if it is soothing or no. Signs that your dog doesn’t like it include –
Turning away or avoiding you
Rubbing his face on the carpet
Baby Steps – When introducing a new element to your dog, always start in small quantities. Apply small amounts and wait for the body’s reaction. You do not want any side effects, allergic reactions, or signs of discomfort.
Choose the right one – When selecting a lavender oil, choose a high-quality oil from a reputable company. There are oils with contaminants and adulterants available for cheap prices. It may be cheap but the price paid after applying can be huge.
Ways to Apply Lavender Oil on Dogs
Direct Application – Massage the diluted oil directly on the dog’s skin. Do not apply high amounts of it. A few pats of oil are enough
Spray – Can prepare a mixture of carrier oil, Lavender, Geranium, Carrot, Patchouli, Rosemary (optional), Frankincense, Lemon grass, Peppermint, and Myrrh with each of them not exceeding 5-7 drops and can spray the same on the body. Just take care of the eyes. While Travelling – Spray it on your dog or on a blanket you bring in the car with him.
In Bed – Use the diluted oil on the bed and blanket to help the dog sleep better.
Signs and Symptoms of discomfort due to Lavender Oil on Dogs
There may be some discomfort observed in some dogs due to lavender oil. Although not severe, one needs to keep a watch for the following symptoms to know when to stop using it –
Rash where you applied oil
Do contact your vet if you see any of the above symptoms.
If used properly, lavender oil can work like magic on dogs. It has some beautiful natural properties which make it versatile in terms of applications and benefits. Things to remember here are always to use diluted lavender essential oil for your dog, read your dog’s reactions, and when in doubt consult an expert. Your dog is going to love the calming feeling and healing properties of lavender oil.
Happy Mood and Health to your Doggo and lots of Love and Licks to you!
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