Essential oils can be very powerful healing tools. But some can be very dangerous for your dog.
Lavender oil is a safe essential oil for dogs … but only when used with care.
Today I want to talk about all the ways that lavender oil can help your dog.
But first … Is lavender safe for dogs? And how should you use this essential oil?
How To Use Lavender Oil For Your Dog
When used incorrectly, lavender essential oil can be dangerous for dogs. Here are some things to consider before you use lavender oil on your dog …
Talk To Your Holistic Vet
Before you use any essential oil for your dog it is a good idea to talk to your holistic vet. They will be able to help you find the right oil and show you how to use it for your dog.
It’s also important that you tell your vet about any natural products you use for your dog … including essential oils. That way you can avoid interactions with other supplements or solutions.
Dilute The Oil For Topical Use
Unlike other essential oils, humans can use lavender oil undiluted on non-sensitive skin.
While this is also true of dogs and lavender oil, dogs have a much better sense of smell then our own … you don’t want to overwhelm them.
If you’re using lavender oil for topical application, dilute it with a carrier or base oil. Good options include …
- Almond oil
- Sesame oil
- Jojoba oil
- Avocado oil
- Apricot kernel oil
Kristen Leigh Bell, a Certified Master Aromatherapist recommends …
10 drops of essential oil to ½ oz of carrier oil
Use The Right Application Method
When using lavender essential oil on your dog, you do not want your dog to ingest the oil. It could make them very sick.
“With ingestion, various risks increase, including gastric irritation, interactions with conventional medications, and fetal damage in pregnancy. And long-term, depending on dose and frequency, there’s a risk of accumulation in the body, possibly leading to systemic toxicity. You may not notice anything, but some types of toxicity do not announce their presence in the early stages.”
– Robert Tisserand, Master Aromatherapist
Instead try these methods for using lavender oil on your dog …
- Direct inhalation (wafting the bottle under their nose or applying the oil to his collar or bed)
- Mist sprays or hydrosols (topical or environmental)
It’s also important to keep the bottle of essential oil and any mixtures out of your dog’s reach. This will reduce the risk of them getting their paws on it and ingesting it.
Let Your Dog Tell You What He Thinks
When using essential oils in your home, give your dog an escape route. Leave the door open when blending, formulating or diffusing so that he can leave if he wants.
Before using any oil on your dog, let him smell it first so he can get a sense of it. He will tell you he doesn’t like it.
Signs that your dog does’nt like the oil after smelling it include …
- Turning away or avoiding you
- Rubbing his face on the carpet
If he reacts with any of these, consider a different solution.
When introducing a new essential oil to your dog, start by applying a small amount. Watch your dog to see how he and his body react.
If there are any adverse side effects, allergic reactions or signs of discomfort … consider a new solution.
What To Watch Out For When Using Lavender Oil For Your Dog
Allergic reactions to lavender pollen and essential oil are rare but it’s something you need to be aware of.
When starting out with any essential oil, start small and watch for signs that it isn’t a good match for your dog.
Here are some things you’ll want to watch out for …
- Rash where you applied oil
- Itchy skin
- Runny Nose
- Red eyes
If you see any of these symptoms, you’ll want to stop using the oil.
Lavender oil also doesn’t contain any antioxidants which means it may oxidize once opened … even if the cap is on. If you use oxidized oil, it can cause an allergic response. To prevent this, buy high quality oil and do not use it after it has been sitting for long periods of time.
Choosing The Right Lavender Essential Oil
When selecting a lavender oil, choose a high-quality oil from a reputable company.
This will help you avoid oils with contaminants and adulterants … additives which can cause adverse side effects or be less effective.
Like Lavender 40/42 essential oil … this is often a blend with other oils or synthetic linalyl acetate.
To find out if an oil is of high quality, reach out to the company. A company with a good product will be happy to answer any questions you may have. And they will provide a gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS) test when requested. This test will help you determine the purity of the oil.
Other things to look for include …
- Dark amber or blue glass bottles
- Latin names on the label (Lavandula for lavender)
- Lot and batch numbers
- Pricing that fits the oil (if the price is too good to be true, it probably is)
There’s no regulatory system in place for essential oils. If you’re new to essential oils or have some doubt about what to use … consult an aromatherapy expert or holistic practitioner.
9 Benefits Of Lavender Oil For Dogs
Lavender essential oil is a versatile oil with many uses for your dog.
1. Bug Repellent
Homemade Mosquito and Tick Repellent
- 8 ounces carrier oil
- 5 drops Lavender
- 10 drops Geranium
- 5 drops Carrot
- 8 drops Patchouli
- 3 drops Rosemary (optional)
- 6 drops Frankincense
- 5 drops Lemongrass
- 5 drops Peppermint
- 10 drops Myrrh
- Mix the ingredients together in your glass spray bottle.
- Shake well before applying.
- Spray your dog, taking care not to spray his eyes. Pay close attention to the ears, belly and underarm.
2. Itchy Skin
If your dog does happen to get bit or develops itchy, swollen red skin for other reasons (like allergies) … lavender can help soothe your dog’s skin.
This is because lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, pain reliever and antibacterial.
If your dog has itchy skin, try this recipe below …
Recipe For Itchy Skin
- 10 drops of lavender oil
- 1 oz of apricot or almond oil
Massage the mixture onto your dog’s affected area.
3. Joint Pain
Lavender oil can also help with joint pain. And that’s because of the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties.
Use the same recipe as the one for itchy skin listed above.
Lavender oil can also soothe inflammation associated with burns.
You can use Kristen Leigh Bell’s recommendation for topical application …
Add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to ½ oz of carrier oil and then apply to the burn.
Lavender has soothing effects that can calm anxiety and reduce stress. In one study, researchers looked at the effects of lavender oil on traveling dogs. A small amount of the oil can calm your dog during travel and reduce excitement.
You can also use it to ease your dog’s …
- Sound sensitivity (think fireworks and thunderstorms)
- General anxiety
- Separation anxiety
To reduce anxiety and ease depression, put a few drops on a piece of cardboard and put it near his bed or carrier.
You can also try this essential oil spray …
Recipe For Calming Spray
- 2 oz carrier oil
- 2 tsp red turkey oil also called sulfated castor oil
- 5 oz of distilled water
- 3 drops of Lavender essential oil
- 3 drops of Roman chamomile essential oil
- 12 oz spray bottle
- Mix the carrier oil and castor oil together, add essential oils. Shake.
- Add distilled water
- Cover your dog’s face and eyes with a cloth or hand.
- Shake and spray a light mist over your dog during times when he needs help settling. It works best if you can start before your dog gets stressed.
6. Motion Sickness
Like humans, the motion of a vehicle can interact with your dog’s nervous system. This can result in excessive drooling, heavy breathing and nausea. To help limit the effects of motion on your dog when in the car, try lavender oil.
You can use the calming spray recipe above. Spray it on your dog or on a blanket you bring in the car with him.
Or use diluted lavender oil (10 drops of lavender essential oil to ½ oz of carrier oil).
The calming effects of lavender oil make it a useful tool when you want to condition your dog to a new space.
Spray the calming spray (recipe above) in the space before you bring your dog in. Or apply a small amount of diluted oil to his collar or a bandana.
The same components that make lavender a great solution to relieve anxiety … also make it an excellent sleep aid.
Use diluted oil or calming spray (recipe above) on your dog’s bed to help him sleep better.
9. Deodorize And Refresh
If your dog’s getting stinky, lavender oil can be a great way to refresh his coat. Try this shampoo with lavender oil and other extracts to get him clean again.
- 2 drops lavender essential oil
- 1 tbsp Castile soap
- 2 drops peppermint essential oil
- 350 ml of water
- 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- bottle to store your shampoo in
- Mix all the essential oils into the castile soap and stir for at least two minutes.
- Add this oil and soap mixture to your bottle.
- Add the water.
- Shake the bottle each time you use the shampoo.
- Lather well on your dog when bathing and rinse well.
But be careful, too many baths can strip the natural oils and good bacteria from your dog’s skin. Between baths, try this deodorizing spray.
- Spray bottle
- 1/2 oz castile soap
- 4 oz distilled water
- 1/2 oz of white vinegar
- Pinch of Himalayan salt
- 4 drops lavender essential oil
- Mix soap and essential oils
- Mix vinegar and salt
- Pour into an 8-ounce spray bottle
- Add distilled water or filtered water
- Cap and shake
- Cover the face and eyes of your dog and spray on his coat to get rid of the doggy odor.
Is Lavender Safe For Dogs?
When used correctly, lavender oil can be an effective tool. It’s a versatile oil that can help with many issues your dog may be experiencing.
Always use diluted lavender essential oil for your dog. Read your dog’s reactions … and when in doubt consult an expert.
That way you will keep your dog safe while helping give him the comfort he needs to enjoy every day.