Doggy Day Spa: Essential Oils For Dogs

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Dog at the spaAhhh, eau de toilet is the scent of choice among canines everywhere. But, as an alternative to the real thing, are essential oils safe for dogs? Some but not all essential oils are safe for your pup. So it’s important to do you research before trying aromatherapy on your pup.

Some of the oils we discuss in this article can help with flea infestations, arthritis and more. Don’t worry about purchasing them all though. Depending on your dog, you may find that some make more sense for your pup’s unique spa experience and needs.

Essential Oils And What They Treat

Fleas | Allergies | Anxiety | Aromatherapy | Coconut Oil | Neem Oil | Tea Tree Oil

Fleas On Dogs

Fleas can be tricky to get rid of, but essential oils are great for keeping them away. There are a couple of different herbal solutions you can use to de-flea your dog. Two of the most common oils used are lavender and cedar oil for dogs.

Oils For Flea Collars

  • 3-5 drops of Cedar, Lavender, Lemongrass or Citronella Oil
  • 3-5 drops of olive or other carrier oil
  • 1-3 tablespoons of water
  • Bandana or your dog’s collar
  • Eyedropper

Dilute the oils in the water then apply 5-10 drops to the bandana or collar. Reapply the mixture to the collar/bandana once a week. Apply more often if the collar gets wet from rain or swimming.

More Natural Flea & Tick Prevention Recipes

Fleas Around The Tail

Dilute 1 or 2 drops of Cedar or Lavender Oil with at least 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place it at the base of your dog’s tail.

Flea Spray

  • 1 cup white distilled vinegar or 1 cup apple cider vinegar or a 50/50 blend of both
  • 1 quart fresh water
  • 2-3 drops of Cedar, Lemongrass or Lavender Oil
  • Spray bottle

Combine all ingredients in the spray bottle. Mist your dog with the spray, but be careful not to get it in their eyes, ears and nose (avoid the face in general). To get the area around their neck and behind their ears take a cloth and dampen it with the mixture and wipe it on. You can also spray your pets bedding with this mixture.

Dog Allergies

Skin is very sensitive on us humans and it’s also sensitive on dogs. So make sure you are using therapeutic grade essential oils on your dog’s skin (not aromatherapy grade or perfume quality). By using the wrong grade of oil you could be causing more harm than help.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil (olive oil or coconut oil work great). The appropriate ratio for large to medium pups is 1 drop essential oil to 10 drops base oil or for small dogs it’s one drop essential oil to 25 drops base oil. Diluting the oil is important because the strength of essential oils are based on the human body which would equal a 100 pound dog.

Oils to use for your dog’s allergies (remember to dilute them!):

  • Chamomile – This oil can soothe skin irritations, allergic reactions and burns for dogs.
  • Helichrysum – Works well on skin conditions like eczema and irritations. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties and provides pain relief.
  • Lavender – Not sure what the problem is but you want to try to help your pooch? Rub some diluted lavender oil on the spot she is scratching.
  • Niaouli – This oil has antihistamine and antibacterial properties to help your dog’s skin issues from allergies.
  • Sweet Marjoram – This oil is great for healing bacterial skin infections and can also be used for wounds. It has strong antibacterial properties and has a calming agent as well as muscle relaxant.

Dog Anxiety

Lavender Oil

Editor’s Pick
doTERRA - Lavender Essential OildoTERRA Lavender Essential Oil

The number one talked about essential oil for dogs’ anxiety is lavender (it also works well for human anxiety). When diluted, Lavender oil is very safe and gentle for dogs. It can be used to calm and soothe your dog by gently rubbing it into your dog’s ear fur and skin while giving it a nice massage. In addition, lavender oil for dogs has antibacterial and anti-itch agents. This is great if your dog has a skin irritation or needs first aid.

CBD Oil

Studies are still underway, but early results indicate that CBD (the portion of the hemp plant that contains no THC) can reduce anxiety in pets and humans. It is a natural solution and to-date, no real side effects have been noted in trials.

Available as an oil that can be added to food or baked into dog treats, it is an easy solution to administer and one that we feel is worth trying. But, before you give it to your dog, be sure to check with your vet to make sure it is safe for your pet.

Learn More About CBD Oil

Coconut Oil

Editor’s Pick
Nature's Way Extra Virgin Organic Coconut OilNature’s Way Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has many benefits for dogs. Coconut oil aids in your dog’s digestion, improves their coat and can help prevent infection. Below is a more extensive list of the benefits of coconut oil for dogs.

  • Healthy skin and coat: clears up eczema, relieves itchy skin, minimizes dog odor, reduces allergic reactions, gives a shine to their coat, heals wounds and more
  • Improves digestion: helps with nutrient absorption, colitis and inflammatory bowl syndrome, reduces bad breath and helps with coughing
  • Considered a superfood: aids in weight loss, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, may be possible to prevent or control diabetes (check with your vet), increases energy level, prevents infections and diseases and more

Coconut oil can be rubbed into your dog’s fur or ingested. But be careful, introducing coconut oil into your dog’s diet takes time and you must start with small amounts. Talk to your vet about adding coconut oil to your dog’s diet to see if it is okay and how much to give them.

Learn More About Coconut Oil For Dogs

Neem Oil

Editor’s Pick
Premium Organic Neem OilPremium Organic Neem Oil

Neem oil is used to help dogs with ticks, intestinal parasites, mange mites and fleas. It can improve your dog’s immune system, coat, teeth and more. To help with these things, many pet parents use neem shampoo on their dogs.

Caution

If you decide to use pure neem oil you’ll want to know a few things.

If your dog has an open sore you should dilute the neem oil 1:10 in a light carrier oil like grape seed oil or almond oil. Then massage the solution into the skin. Feel free to apply it multiple times a day. If your dog has eczema or demodectic mange, dilute the neem oil 1:1.

It’s important that whenever you apply something onto your dog’s coat that you monitor the skin. If there is any type of reaction wash it off immediately. Also, should you choose to put pure neem oil on your dog’s skin you should leave it on for no more than 48 hours.

Tea Tree Oil

Recent reports state that tea tree oil may do more harm than good for your dog. If your veterinarian recommends tea tree oil proceed with caution and follow instructions precisely. However, if you feel uncomfortable with administering it to your dog you can always ask your vet for another course of treatment. Should you go forward with the treatment you’ll want to know that tea tree oil should never be given to your dog orally and it should always be diluted. You should never administer tea tree oil without the consent of your vet.

*Studies have shown that using tea tree oil for dogs and cats can be toxic. Tea tree oil is risky and it’s important that you understand its effects and potential risks.*

Aromatherapy For Dogs

There are many benefits to aromatherapy for dogs. Not only will many of the scents calm and soothe your pet, but it’s also a great bonding time for the two of you. Check out this video to see how this woman uses aromatherapy on her dog.

Want more pampering for your pup? Learn more about the benefits of dog massages to help with anxiety.

What’s your dog’s favorite essential oil?

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories, and more. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

Kimberly's natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs. Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child.

In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly’s research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today. One of Kimberly’s favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds, and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

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