If you love using lavender in your life, you may want to extend some of its benefits to your furry friend. Did you know that when used in the proper concentration and with care, lavender is one of the safest essential oils to use with your pet?
Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?
When proper precautions are taken, lavender can be used on your four-legged friend. When blended with olive or avocado oil, lavender oil can help keep pesky mosquitos away, help irritation associated with itchy skin and joint pain, calm anxiety or nervousness, lower stress, enhance their coat, or sprayed on as a perfume for them or their bedding.
Dogs have a fantastic sense of smell, so you must dilute the oil so as to not overwhelm them. First, see if your dog likes lavender oil by letting them sniff a diluted mixture. If they turn away, start panting, or rubbing their face on the carpet, chances are you may want to find another option.
Dog-safe dilution: Keep in mind that when an oil is used directly on your dog, it needs to be diluted. This is because essential oils are very potent and can burn the skin if applied alone. Safe carrier oils for your dog include almond oil, sesame oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil or apricot kernel oil. For every 5ml of base oil, add 1 drop of lavender oil. This is a 1% dilution and good for pets and babies or those with sensitive skin.
Even though it’s diluted, you must still take caution when applying it. Since dogs can get things in their eye easier or tend to lick what’s applied to them, ingesting the oil could make them very sick. Instead of topical application, you can use lavender for your dog in other ways:
• Inhalation, by wafting the diluted mixture under their nose or applying the oil to their collar
• Diffusing into a room
• Mist sprays either for topical application or to freshen their space
• Dot 1-2 drops of lavender oil on the outside of their harness or collar to keep bugs away
It is important to be aware of signs of toxicity or irritation such as a rash where the oil was applied, itchy skin, hives, sneezing, runny nose, or red eyes. If any of these signs occur discontinue use immediately, bathe your pet and/or contact your veterinarian.
Is Lavender Essential Oil Safe for Cats?
Cats are very sensitive to essential oils, mainly because they don’t have the enzyme needed to break down essential oils if accidentally ingested; therefore, toxic buildup could occur. Using a diffuser is the safest way to use an oil like lavender around your cat. Make sure the room has proper ventilation so your cat doesn’t inhale too much or can leave if irritated.
If your cat does ingest lavender oil by accident, signs of toxicity or irritation include: gastrointestinal symptoms (such as diarrhea or vomiting), refusal to eat, lethargy, staggering or drunk-like behaviour, decreased respiratory rate, or changes to heart rate. If you notice any of these signs, contact your emergency veterinarian immediately.
While airing on the side of caution generally makes lavender oil safe for pets, it is important to monitor them for any symptoms of toxicity or irritation. Promptly seek veterinary treatment should you suspect that your furry friend has any of these symptoms.
Which Lavender Oil Is Best?
When using lavender oil on your pets, you want to ensure the utmost quality. Using a conservative dilution with a high quality-carrier oil is best. Both Now and Naka have essential oil lines that are delicate, clean and pure, making them a high-quality option. Naka 100% Pure Lavender Oil also come in an organic formula, both of which are steam distilled, pure and sourced from France. Now Lavender oil is expeller pressed, hexane free and pure as well. Now also has a certified organic lavender oil depending on your preference.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Please consult your practitioner prior to taking herbs or nutritional supplements.