Can we use essential oils for dogs to help our beloved pooches? A dog relies on its sense of smell to interpret the world, just as much as people rely on sight. Why…? Because a dog’s nose dominates its sensory detection capabilities and provides it with huge amounts of information. Whereas a human has around 5 million scent receptors, a dog can have as many as 300 million – 60 times as many! A dog’s brain reflects this – it is specialized for identifying scents. The percentage of the dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is 40 times bigger than the percentage in a human! That’s why dogs identify smells between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans.
What does this mean when we think about essential oils, some of the most potent and powerful smelling substances in nature? The facts below from Fabulous Farm Girl (see full accreditation and link below), addresses the possible uses of using these oils to benefit your best friend. But don’t be surprised if he finds it a bit overwhelming!!!
Essential Oils For Dogs • Facts from Fabulous Farm Girl
By now you’ve probably heard that essential oils have lots and lots of uses. many communities use them as natural medicine, to clean their houses, to create moods, to enhance our beauty routines and even to flavor our foods (careful!!!). But did you know you can also use essential oils for dogs? That’s right, even man’s best friend can benefit from the amazing power of essential oils for dogs.
There are approximately 80 million dogs in the U.S. and about 40% of all households own at least one dog. If you own a dog you probably love him like a family member and want to give him the best life possible. Amazingly, it is safe to use essential oils on your dog and that they can help with some canine problems.
Essential Oils For Dogs
Lavender–calming, relaxing, occasional skin irritations, repels ticks/fleas
Cedarwood–promotes clear,healthy skin, supports healthy respiratory function, calming, repels tick/fleas
Peppermint–repels insects, alleviates occasional upset stomach
Frankincense–supports healthy immune system, promotes relaxation
Helicrysum–helps skin recover quickly, helps relive tension, promotes circulation
Lemongrass–repels fleas/ticks, purifies and tones skin, soothes aching muscles and joints
Eucalyptus–assists with clear breathing, helps to lessen stress
Wintergreen–soothes achy muscles and joints, promotes healthy respiratory function
Only 1-2 drops of essential oils are necessary for your dog. His/her powerful sense of smell and sensitive systems respond more quickly to the oils than we humans do. A carrier oil such as extra-virgin olive oil or fractionated coconut oil can be added to extend the oil over a large area or to dilute the essential oils for use on smaller dogs (like our chihuahua, Nico). Please be careful to just try a tiny amount on your first trial and see how your best pal reacts.
Essential Oil for Dogs – Recipes
Many products sold for use on dogs contain nasty chemicals you probably don’t want to use on your best pal. Here are just a few ideas of easy DIY recipes you can make yourself that are natural and safe.
1 cup water
2 tbsp. castile soap
5 dr. lavender
4 dr. peppermint
5 dr. cedarwood
Mix all ingredients together in a glass dispenser. It will appear watery but use like any regular dog shampoo.
Insect Repellent for dogs
2 cups water
8 dr. lavender
8 dr. peppermint
Put ingredients in a 16 oz. glass spray bottle. Mist dog everyday avoiding eyes and nose. Spray on bedding or dog clothes as well.
An anxious dog is not a happy dog – see if this helps your best pal to relax!
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 dr. lavender
5 dr. roman chamomile
5 dr. marjoram
Combine ingredients, then apply a few drops of solution to your palms. Massage into dog’s armpits, toe pads, outer edges of ears and thighs.
Next time your dog is doing something he really enjoys, get out the lavender. Place a drop on your hand and rub it along his neck, on the tops of his paws and the bridge of his nose (being careful to avoid his eyes). Then put a drop on your hands and rub them together. Before he starts the fun activity, put your hand in front of his nose. If he turns his head away that’s okay, don’t force it. Let him start the activity but every few minutes have him stop and smell your hand. You are teaching him to associate the smell of lavender with something that makes him happy. Do this every time he does something he enjoys over the next week or two. You can even add in a few rub-downs with lavender on your hands to reinforce the association because who doesn’t love a rub-down?
The above article on the use of essential oils for dogs is based on an article Fabulousfarmgirl.com – why not visit her?