Helping pets stay healthy and happy is crucial to all dog owners out there. We all want to do what is right by them if possible. This includes trying to find more innovative ways to improve their lives.
Recently, natural remedies for treating pet ailments are popular. Some pet owners have been using essential oils as complement treatment of health issues like arthritis, or for keeping their dogs’ flea free. While other pet parents are curious about this approach, but aren’t sure whether it’s a good idea.
In this blog, we mainly talk about whether peppermint is safe for dogs for use, and other essential oils may do good or bad for them.
Is peppermint safe for dogs？
The answer to it is both a yes and a no.
If your dog chews a small amount of your peppermint plant, he or she will probably be fine. Dogs can, actually, consume and enjoy peppermint with a small amount. You could consult your veterinarian for precise dosages.
However, according to ASPCA’s database, large ingestions of peppermint will cause dogs vomiting and diarrhea. Too much peppermint may upset your pet’s belly. Please consider that any change in your dog’s diet may lead to gastrointestinal problems. Remember that whenever giving your dog special treats, always do that in moderation. Whatever treat you are going to give, too much of any type of that can lead to digestive problems or unwanted weight gain.
Is peppermint essential oil safe for dogs?
Peppermint oil is safe for humans doesn’t mean that it is safe for dogs to use. In fact, there are some researches to date that points to it being a potentially toxic substance for our fluffy friends.
The fact that peppermint oil is unsafe for dogs may surprise many people given that it is totally natural stuff. However, just because something is natural, it does not always follow that it is safe for dogs to ingest. A good example of this would be if your dogs were to ingest the cocoa powder, the natural stuff from a cocoa tree. You need to bear this example in mind when looking at any other alternative treatments. Tea tree oil is a prime example like a whole host of other natural remedies that humans can happily try but their dogs don’t.
As mentioned before, large ingestions of peppermint will cause dogs vomiting and diarrhea.
This is why a natural peppermint essential oil is considered toxic to dogs too as it actually results in them eating a concentrated dose of peppermint.
Any other essential oils bad for dogs
Certain oils can be toxic to dogs with dermal or oral exposure. Besides peppermint oil, essential oils not safe for dogs include:
Also known as tea tree oil, it is the most common culprit in dog toxicity with essential oil. Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree. We can see signs of depression, ataxia, leg paralysis, vomiting, hypothermia, and skin irritation.
The short answer to its toxicity with dogs is causing liver necrosis or failure. Observative symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea. Pennyroyal is a known toxin to canines. You should keep this away from your pet whatever form it is in.
Symptom: Skin or gastrointestinal irritation, along with potential effects on its central nervous system.
Signs in dogs may be vomiting, bleeding, tingling, weakness, ataxia and potential renal failure.
Toxicity symptoms include low blood sugar, liver failure, vomiting, diarrhea, and heart arrhythmia.
The fifth essential oil we focus on is wintergreen oil. This essential oil contains methyl salicylates, known as aspirin. Unluckily, dogs can show signs of aspirin toxicity, like vomiting due to severe gastric disorders and ulcers, as well as potential kidney and liver failure.
Toxicity symptoms include severe gastrointestinal ulcers, kidney failure, seizures.
skin irritation, vomiting, tremors, seizures, agitation or lethargy.
Toxicity symptoms include dyspnea, weakness, ataxia, and vomiting.
If you still want to diffuse the essential oils mentioned above when you have got a canine friend(Honestly we don’t recommend doing so), here are some tips:
Keep your pet and your operating diffuser in separate rooms.
Avoid using the device for long periods of time.
Common Signs Your Pet is Poisoned
Though those symptoms might vary in the specific species of dogs. But in general and summarized, these toxicity symptoms include:
Dizziness, imbalance, or circling
Loss of appetite
Changes in behavior
Extremely bloated abdomen
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is necessary to act immediately and contact your vet as your pet’s life may be in danger.
Essential oils safe for dogs
Below is a shortlist of essential oils safe for dogs, selected by the experts:
Lavender: Universal oil. helpful in conditioning patients to safety. May help allergies, burns, ulcers, insomnia, anxiety, and car sickness, to name a few. Not for usage with felines.
Copaiba: Supports the cardiovascular, immune, digestive, urinary, respiratory, musculoskeletal, and nerve systems.
Frankincense: Enhance the immune system. Supports the nervous system and digestion.
Petitgrain: Assists nerve and gastrointestinal systems. Helpful for pet dogs with stress or anxiety.
Please note that felines are more vulnerable to a lot of toxins because they have fewer metabolizing enzymes in their liver compared to canines. So even if a specific essential oil is good for your dog, it can be a totally different story with your cat.
Will my Dog enjoy Aromatherapy Treatments?
Like humans, all dogs have different preferences. Some canines love aromatherapy while others may not. So why not let him or her decide whether to leave or to stay of their own accord? Hence, we recommend keeping a scent-free room in your living environment for them to retreat to.
How to use essential oils with your dog
Based on research, keep 2 principles in mind when using essential oils with your pets:
MORE IS LESS
Always start with therapeutic grade essential oils, and ensure that you are using an essential oil good for dogs.
A rough guideline is to add about 3-4 drops of essential oils to 2 tablespoon carrier oil. Use a smaller amount of diluted oils on small dogs – and much fewer amounts on puppies and senior dogs.
Use a hydrosol, a water-based mixture produced during the steam distillation process of essential oils. For pet parents who would like to use essential oils on pets, hydrosols are said to be a great choice in terms of safety. The most common technique to obtain a hydrosol is using a diffuser.
Do not use around eyes, ears, nose, or genitals.
Know your pet’s health status and behavior well, and discontinue use if concerns arise.
Note that all of these tips apply to dogs only. In general, essential oils are more dangerous for cats, and you should always doublecheck with your vet before using them on cats.
The stuff good for you may be a different story for your dog
Dogs are more sensitive to essential oils than humans, so even if you’re familiar with them for yourself, remember that it’s a different story with your dog.
Only use essential oils with your dogs when about to cope with a specific, ongoing issue – do not use them as a special treat or daily treat. Do not use them to “prevent” a health issue.
Do not let your dogs ingest essential oils in any circumstances like add them to your dog’s food or drinking water.
Avoid using essential oils with puppies under 10 weeks of age.
Do not use oils on epileptic dogs, or with pregnant or nursing dogs.