Are Essential Oils Bad for Dogs?

Are Essential Oils Bad for Dogs?

Author WDF Staff


The rise of the essential oils’ popularity in recent years can be attributed to dog owners that want to have a different approach to helping their dogs. Essential oils for dogs are marketed as a healthy and risk-free alternative to western veterinary medicine. Essential oils apparently have many healing characteristics we are not all aware of.

There are scientific studies that prove essential oils’ benefits for dogs and humans. Still, before you decide to treat your dog with essential oil, there are some things you should know. We will answer all the vital questions about essential oils’ safety, effectiveness, and use. Let’s dig in.

Are essential oils bad for dogs?

People often confuse “natural” for “safe.” Just because something is natural doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. These oils might be naturally sourced, but they are highly concentrated, and if used incorrectly, they can pose a health risk for dogs. The shortest possible answer is - YES.

Essential oils can be very bad for dogs, especially in the hands of owners that are not that careful. If not used properly, the dog can lick and ingest essential oils, which should be considered a medical emergency. Topical use can be problematic and even counterproductive. Make sure you know how to apply these essential oils to your dog and what kind of oil to use. If not used properly, the essential oil can irritate the dog’s skin and cause more trouble.

essential oils

Essential oil for dogs can be used, and they are very potent. They have chemicals that are quickly absorbed into the dog’s body. Essential oils for dogs are digested by the dog’s liver. If you have a puppy, senior, or a dog with liver disease, you should avoid using essential oils for dogs.

There are some oils that are healthy for dogs and are used as a supplement in their diet. Check out this article for more information - Salmon oil for dogs.

Can essential oils be safe for dogs?

Just like any other medication, essential oils should be used under the guidance of a professional. Many holistic veterinarians have recognized the positive effect essential oils for dogs have, and they have successfully incorporated them into their practice.

There is one thing lacking when it comes to using essential oils for dogs - scientific evidence. There are some researches, but that is far from enough. Nevertheless, dog owners are willing to try anything if it would make their dogs feel better. Essential oils for dogs are used to treat various issues, from skin conditions, treatment and prevention of fleas and ticks to treating anxiety and stress in dogs.

Are essential oils toxic to dogs?

They can be. Then again, all medications, if not used properly, can be toxic to dogs. It doesn’t matter what you use for your dog’s treatment; you should be careful about the dosages and proper use. It is not healthy to give your dog a larger dose of medicine, and it is not safe to give your dog a large dose of essential oils.

If you ever used essential oils yourself, you know how potent they are and what effect they can have on the organism. The dog can have a bad reaction to the essential oils, and they can cause skin irritations and gastrointestinal upset. If you decide to use essential oils for dogs, make sure you keep them somewhere where dogs and kids cannot reach them.

Salmon is not the only fish used as a supplement in the dog’s diet. Check out this article for more information - Fish oil for dogs.

Toxic oils

Some essential oils are toxic to dogs no matter how you use them. They will cause bad reactions if you apply them topically or orally. These oils should be avoided at all costs. Essential oils toxic to dogs are;

  • Cinamon oil
  • Pennyroyal
  • Citrus
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang
  • Tea tree

essential-oils on tables

Side effects of essential oils toxic to dogs

Some owners think that dropping a few drops of lavender oil can calm their dog. That might be true, but it can also cause dogs to freak out. That is one of the safest side effects dogs can get from essential oils. If misused, essential oils can cause;

  • Changes in behavior
  • Further stress
  • Respiratory issues
  • Central nervous system side effects

Is peppermint oil safe for dogs?

One of the most popular uses of essential oils for dogs is peppermint oil. Owners believe that peppermint oil is a great way to prevent and treat flea and ticks infections. However, this treatment’s effectiveness is questionable, and veterinarians have urged dog owners to use products whose effectiveness is proven. Using only essential oils leaves dogs vulnerable to diseases caused by fleas and ticks.

If you are interested in using essential oils for your dog as flea and tick prevention medicine, it would be best to use a product or shampoo that incorporates this oil. That way, your dog can get complete protection with all the benefits essential oils can offer.

If you want to help your dog deal with stress and anxiety, maybe this can help - Calming dog treats.

Can they be used safely?

The best way to use essential oils safely is to talk to your vet about them. They are veterinary medicine professionals, and there is no better source of health information about your dog. Keep in mind that the internet is full of misleading information and that companies are trying to sell their products. Sometimes, they use false and misleading marketing to make you spend money on their products.

Talk to your vet, and make sure you tell them all about essential oils you are planning to use on your dog. They can let you know if those products are safe and whether or not you should use them.

One of the most popular oils in the world is CBD oil. Check out this article for more information about it - Should you use CBD oil for dogs?

World Dog Finder team

World Dog Finder Logo