AND, IS LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL SAFE FOR DOGS?
We receive many questions asking about lavender essential oil for dogs. According to the American Kennel Club, the best thing to do before using oils is to speak to your veterinarian. They can advise you which oils are safe and the proper way to use them. In this article, we are going to look at using lavender essential oil for dogs and discuss some of the research that is currently out there.
It is believed that using lavender essential oil for dogs can be safe, assuming it’s used correctly. A study from 2006 suggests lavender aroma has a calming effect on dogs suffering from travel-related anxiety. Another study, looking at shelter dogs, indicates using lavender essential oil for dogs may help calm them, encouraging them to exhibit more relaxed behaviors.
Let’s discuss seven of the potential benefits your dog can derive from lavender oil:
Lavender Essential Oil for Dogs: Benefits and Uses
1. Bug Repellent
Pets are prone to bugs, ticks, fleas, and other undesirables. Lavender essential oil contains linalool, which is listed on the United States Environmental Protective agency website as a biopesticide. It is a common ingredient in many flea dips and tick treatments for dogs, in spite of the fact it can be toxic to them.
If using lavender essential oil for dogs, it is important to use it correctly. Discuss with a vet first, and follow their instructions for use. Never let your dog ingest any essential oils, as it may cause them to fall very ill.
CAN I PUT LAVENDER OIL ON MY DOG?
This is another common question, and it is another one with a variable answer. Never put lavender essential oil directly on your dog. You must dilute it with a safe carrier oil first, such as coconut oil. If applying to prevent fleas and ticks apply to the back of your dog’s neck or to the base and/or tip of their tail. Don’t place it anywhere your dog may be able to lick at it, as this can cause them to get sick.
It is very common for pets to begin itching and scratching for one reason or another. Whatever the cause, lavender essential oil can potentially offer your dog some relief.
Studies on lavender oil suggest it may be effective as both an antifungal and an antiseptic. Anecdotal evidence claims diluting lavender essential oil is a great way to reduce itching in dogs. As always, confer with a vet or professional for dosage requirements. Make sure you dilute the oil with a carrier oil non-toxic to dogs such as coconut before application. Never apply anywhere your dog may be able to lick it off.
3. Reduce Anxiety
Your four-legged friend can suffer from anxiety for a multitude of reasons. Some common reasons for stress in dogs include separation anxiety, fear of loud noises, and changes in their regular environment.
Symptoms of anxiety include barking or howling when no one is home, hiding or cowering, shivering, destructive behavior, and loss of appetite.
Research shows using lavender oil for dogs may offer some calming relief. Dogs who were subject to the aroma of lavender became more relaxed than those who were not.
When using lavender essential oil for dogs who suffer anxiety, one safe method of use is aromatherapy. It is best to start off easy, using a passive diffuser in a room where your dog can easily escape if the smell makes him or her uncomfortable.
Signs your dog may be reacting negatively include your pet avoiding the room, panting, whining, or rubbing his face on the carpet. Watch carefully and cease use at the first sign of discomfort as many dogs are prone to allergies.
If your dog seems agreeable to the scent of lavender oil you can apply it to the back of the neck or ears after diluting it with the carrier oil. Again, ensure you are not placing it in an area your dog can lick. Another option is placing a few diluted drops on their collar or bandana, just take care your dog can’t get it off and start chewing on it!
4. Motion Sickness
Motion sickness is pretty common for dogs during travel. Young dogs are more likely to get ill as they don’t have fully grown ears, which contribute to balance. If your pet learns to accustom a car ride with getting sick or going to the vet, he may actually make himself sick from stress.
This is where using lavender essential oil for dogs may offer benefits, as it can reduce stress levels. Lavender is well-known for its calming effect, and studies show this is true in dogs as well.
If your dog is comfortable with the smell of lavender, a passive diffuser in the car may help him or her remain calm for the duration of your trip!
5. Adjusting to a New Space
Unlike humans, pets don’t adjust easily to new places. If you are moving house or planning a trip away, lavender essential oil for dogs may help reduce symptoms of stress.
To help your pet adjust to a new space try using a passive diffuser. Just make sure your dog is able to leave the room if he or she wishes. As an alternative, you can apply a small amount of diluted essential oil to a collar or bandana, always making sure your pet can’t get it free to chew or lick.
6. Get Rid of Insomnia
Though it’s rare, dogs can suffer from insomnia. This is usually due to anxieties, such as separation anxiety. The same components which help lavender essential oil to reduce stress can also help combat insomnia. Dilute ten drops of lavender essential oil with two cups of water and two tablespoons of witch hazel, adding to a spray bottle. Mist this around the room before bedtime, ensuring you place the bottle somewhere your pet can’t reach.
7. Refresh & Deodorize
As much as we love them, we all know our pups can get a little….fragrant, from time to time. There are many shampoos and conditioners on the market which contain lavender essential oil for dogs, but you can also make your own!
Start with a chemical and fragrance-free soap like Castile, then add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Shake well and shampoo your dog as usual, making sure to avoid eyes and ears. Also, take care your dog doesn’t ingest any. Thoroughly rinse after you are done, as you don’t want him or her to be able to lick any residual oils off of their coat after bathing.
How to Choose the Right Lavender Essential Oil for Dogs?
When choosing the right lavender essential oil for dogs, you will be aiming to find the most natural oils you can. The best way to do this is to only purchase premium oils from companies you know are reputable.
A trustworthy company will always provide consumers with GCMS lab results, as well as providing safety data sheets. Many manufacturers mix their lavender with other blends and synthetic fragrances, so you want to look for the botanical name Lavandula angustifolia on the packaging to ensure you’re getting what you think you are.
Lavender essential oil for dogs is generally considered non-toxic, but you should always consult with a veterinarian before using holistic methods to treat your pet. It is possible that your dog may have underlying conditions that require medical treatment, which you don’t want to overlook. Additionally, lavender essential oil is toxic to cats, so be wary if you have a cat in the house. If you have any further questions regarding lavender essential oils and dogs, asking a vet is your best way to receive safe, educational answers!