Lavender essential oil is a top-preferred natural extract used in the perfume and cosmetics industry. It is also used for aromatherapy, stress relief, healthy sleep promotion, and as a repellent against mosquitos and ticks.
But is lavender safe for dogs, and how to use it on dogs?
Firstly, it is important to know that this essential oil should be diluted and only applied topically on canines and is safe only for dogs that do not have allergies or are sensitive to lavender.
Read on for more information about the benefits and risks of using lavender oil on your pup.
An Introduction to Lavender Oil
This highly concentrated extract is derived from the flowers of the lavender plants. The essential oil is clear and is non-soluble in water.
Lavender oil contains the beneficial phytochemicals which the plant produces. Some of them include linalyl acetate and linalool, which are not safe for many animals.
This aromatic oil is a popular ingredient for making different perfumes and other cosmetic products. It is also widely used in aromatherapy to relieve stress and improve sleep and relaxation.
Lavender oil, like the plant itself, is known to repel pesky insects such as mosquitos and ticks.
Can Lavender Oil Be Used Safely On Dogs?
When diluted and prepared correctly, small amounts of this essential oil are safe for topical application on pups.
Some of the benefits of applying diluted lavender oil on the dog’s skin are relieving inflammations, irritation, and itching.
It can also help reduce stress and calm nervous and anxious dogs when it is massaged gently and in small quantities in the skin, fur, and ears of canines.
But remember that while the lavender oil is regarded as safe topically on dogs, it can be harmful and even dangerous if ingested by them. This is mainly due to the phytochemicals of linalyl acetate and linalool contained in the plant and its extracts. These can be dangerous for pups, especially when consumed in large quantities.
Since the lavender oil is highly concentrated, you should keep it safely out of reach by your dog. The chemicals in the plants are far less dense, so there is much less risk for your pet if it happens to munch on some lavender plants from your garden.
If you suspect your pup has ingested even a little lavender oil, you should call your vet as soon as possible. Monitor your dog for any adverse reactions and potential lavender oil poisoning. Watch for symptoms such as vomiting, appetite loss, or problems defecating.
Make sure to tell your veterinarian your dog’s age and weight and the estimated quantity of lavender oil it has ingested.
Related: What Essential Oils are Bad for Dogs?
What Are Some Of The Health Benefits Of Lavender Oil For Canines?
When it is used correctly – in small amounts, diluted, and applied topically, lavender oil can help with a variety of health problems and conditions in dogs, including:
- It can soothe irritated and itchy skin, especially in dogs with persistent itch.
- The oil has a calming effect and can help relieve stress and anxiety in dogs and humans alike.
- It is an excellent natural insect repellent and can help repel mosquito, tick, or flea infestations and bites. This is true for both canines and humans alike.
- Lavender oil has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and can help prevent such infections in dogs. Please note that it can be used as a preventative measure. If your pet already displays signs of fungal or bacterial infections, you should take it to see a vet as soon as possible.
What Are The Potential Risks Of Lavender Oil For Dogs?
The most significant risk of applying lavender or any other essential oil on your dog’s skin or coat is the danger of an allergic reaction.
Some canines are allergic to lavender and other essential oils, which can lead to mild or severe allergic reactions.
The most common signs of an allergic reaction to an essential oil include itching and inflammation of the skin, hives, difficulty breathing, and chronic infections.
The highly concentrated lavender oil can pose a greater risk for your pup if it happens to ingest it.
While it is generally okay to apply some diluted lavender and other essential oil on your pup’s skin, ingesting even a small amount can lead to poisoning.
Ask your veterinarian before applying diluted lavender oil on your dog topically. Dilute it as instructed, and start with small quantities to monitor your pet for any adverse reactions.
Here are some tips for reducing the risks for your dog when using lavender oil:
- Dilute it according to the vet’s instructions before applying the lavender oil to the skin or coat of your pup. This will help reduce its concentration and potency and thus keep it safe for your dog.
- Apply only small amounts of lavender oil to the affected area. If treating a rash or itch, apply the diluted lavender oil sparingly only on that area. If you are using the lavender oil as aromatherapy for stress and anxiety relief, then place just a little of the diluted oil on spots that are out of reach and where the pup cannot lick it off.
- Remember to start with the application of small quantities first. Monitor the dog for negative side effects, and only if the solution seems to work, continue applying some more of the diluted essential oil.
- Always keep the lavender oil safely out of reach by your dog. Pups can suffer severe poisoning and become very ill if they ingest enough concentrated lavender oil. This essential oil is even more dangerous for cats, so always keep the lavender oil away from felines in your home.
Related: Plants Poisonous To Dogs
What Is The Safe Way Of Using Lavender Oil On Dogs?
As mentioned above, talk to your vet about using lavender or any other type of essential oil on your pet. Your veterinarian will provide you with exact instructions on how to dilute the lavender oil. And also how to use it correctly for the minimal risk and maximum benefits for your furbaby.
First, you should always dilute the lavender oil before applying it to your dog’s coat or skin.
Keep the bottle or vial of lavender oil safely sealed and out of reach from your pets – dogs and cats.
If using the diluted oil as an insect repellent, apply it to the base of the pup’s tail and on its neck. You can also put a bandana with a few drops of lavender oil on your pet’s neck to help protect it from fleas, ticks, and mosquitos or for calming when used for aromatherapy.
Start by applying small amounts of the diluted oil, and keep a close eye on your pup for any adverse reactions. If it is showing signs of allergy or poisoning, call your veterinarian or an animal poison control hotline immediately!
Final Verdict – Lavender Oil Can Be Safe And Good For Canines When It Is Used Properly
Lavender oil is safe for dogs, but only when diluted and applied sparingly topically.
You should follow your vet’s instructions when using lavender oil for soothing skin irritations and itches, for stress relief, or as a repellent for your pet.
Never allow the dog to ingest the lavender oil, especially when it is undiluted. The phytochemicals in the concentrated oil can be toxic for canines.
Plus, keep in mind that allergies and sensitivities to lavender and other essential oils are pretty common among dogs.
When applying the essential oil, start with very small quantities and monitor your pup for possible adverse reactions.