Just like people, our furry friends can also suffer from allergies, and just like we treat ours, we can treat theirs. Just as it's essential to ensure the well-being of our pets, understanding and addressing their allergies is a crucial part of responsible pet ownership. Allergies in dogs can manifest in various ways, including skin irritations, itchiness, respiratory issues, and gastrointestinal problems.
Fortunately, essential oils have gained popularity as a natural and holistic approach to healing and alleviating allergic reactions in dogs. However, it's vital to approach the use of essential oils with caution and proper knowledge to ensure the safety and well-being of our beloved canine companions.
How Do You Know Your Dog Has Allergies?
If you notice your dog constantly scratching, causing irritated and infected skin, licking or biting at its paws, experiencing breathing issues, or other related ailments, it could be suffering from allergies.
Dog allergies can stem from food, the environment, and flea allergy dermatitis. Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor for Ask petMD says, “A dog’s fur covering can make itching worse. Irritants can become trapped in and under all that hair.”
There’s no reason to live uncomfortably, whether you’re human or canine. If you can find a remedy that comes from nature, free of contaminants and additives from a company that’s trustworthy, experienced, and transparent, why wouldn’t you take advantage?
It’s vital to know what you’re doing and since you’re most likely not an essential oil expert, partner with your veterinarian to guide you along the way. It’s fascinating to learn about these oils, how they’re extracted, as well as their capabilities.
Essential oils are extremely potent and by diluting them, it’s healthier for your dogs. Even tiny amounts can have strong biological impacts on every system of the body. They may smell sweet but they can have some sour effects.
How to Give Your Pet Essential Oils
There are several ways to pass along the benefits of essential oils to your dog. These oils will be absorbed into your pet’s bloodstream so as mentioned, always check with your veterinarian first to ensure the essential oils you’re using are pet safe.
When essential oils are heated, they evaporate and through the use of a diffuser, can be inhaled.
The oils are absorbed through your dog’s skin. Many oils can irritate the skin and can even be poisonous if ingested so be careful your pet doesn’t lick the oil.
Don’t put an essential oil that hasn’t been diluted directly on your pet’s skin.
This is not the most popular method for many reasons including the possibility your dog could be allergic. Before you consider this option, make sure the oil you’re using is heavily diluted.
What Oils Are Helpful for Pet Allergies?
You’ll read and hear a lot about lavender, chamomile, and peppermint as they are popular and well-known essential oils. Sounds like a tea party, right?
This is a very calming oil and can help with separation anxiety and car rides.
It soothes inflammation and irritation from scratching due to allergies.
It acts as a repellent for insects and even fleas and ticks.
It fights off bacteria which can occur with excessive itching and licking.
Placing a small amount on your dog’s collar, behind the ears, or in its bed will help with allergy symptoms.
We know this popular herb as a tea that’s relaxing for humans.
It is a sedative and also has a calming effect on dogs.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile soothes irritations and allergic reactions.
It needs to be diluted before exposing it to your pet.
There are many other oils to consider for your dog’s allergies, which is good news since every dog has different symptoms and sensitivities. Below are some examples.
Check with your vet to learn which essential oils are the safest and most effective for your dog’s particular allergies.
What Oils to Avoid
There are several essential oils you should steer clear of. What’s considered safe for humans can be toxic for pets because their reactions can mess up a pet’s natural body chemistry. Your intentions can end very badly without proper education. Even before you use essential oils for yourself, you need to ensure it won’t negatively impact your furry friend. Below are a few examples to be aware of.
Use only therapeutic-grade essential oils, however, make sure what’s inside is actually what the label claims. Since essential oils are not approved by the FDA, it’s up to you to investigate and utilize your vet to suggest brands that are trustworthy and transparent. While essential oils are natural, many companies add in additional ingredients that can be harmful to your pet.
With so many options on the market, it can be confusing. When you're starting out using essential oils, a kit of pet-friendly oils like this one from Zwetke can be a great introduction. Or, if you're looking for fast-acting relief from irritations caused by allergies, bug bites, hot spots, dry and itchy skin, burns, rashes and more, our pick would be this spray from Wondercide, as it's packed with calming essential oils including lavender, cedar, lemongrass and neem oil. Or for a spray with the added benefit of lemongrass, a natural insect repellent, we recommend Ark Naturals Neem Protect Spray, which also contains aloe to soothe your pup's irritated skin.
We all know dogs have an excellent sense of smell. In fact, a dog's sense of smell is 10,000–100,000 times as strong as a person's. This means that an essential oil that seems strong to you can be extremely irritating to your dog. You’ll notice when they start sneezing and sniffing a lot. This is why essential oils need to be diluted as they are highly concentrated when you purchase them.
Anytime you’re introducing something new to your dog, whether orally, topically, or aromatically, check with your veterinarian.
Essential oils have the power to help with your dog’s allergies, no matter what’s causing them. Nature is a beautiful thing and humans and pets can all safely enjoy the perks.
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