It seems that essential oils are all the rage these days. No matter the ailment, there is usually an essential oil to help. And while it’s true that they can be beneficial for a variety of issues, essential oils can also be toxic if used inappropriately, especially when it comes to our pets.
Essential oils consist of concentrated organic compounds derived from plants. They are often used for aromatherapy and alternative medicine, as well as in natural cleaning products, food and drink flavorings, personal care products, and home air fresheners. Chances are, you probably have a product or two with essential oils in your home right now without even knowing it.
Can you use essential oils on dogs?
As stated above, essential oils definitely have their uses, but they can also pose serious risks to pets when used improperly.
It’s important to note that essential oils should never be used with or around cats since they lack an essential enzyme in their liver and have difficulty metabolizing and eliminating essential oils from their system. Cats are also extremely sensitive to phenols and phenolic compounds, both of which are found in certain essential oils.
Though some essential oil use for dogs seems to be okay and even beneficial for certain conditions, professional guidance (in the form of a holistic veterinarian or someone trained to use essential oils on animals) should always be sought before use. However, puppies, as well as dogs with liver disease, can be more sensitive to their effects and only a couple of licks or a small amount on the skin could prove harmful.
The following is a list of potentially toxic essential oils for dogs and therefore, should never be used on them:
- Citrus (d-limonene)
- Sweet birch
- Tea tree (melaleuca)
- Ylang ylang
Essential oils for arthritis in dogs
Several essential oils, including lavender, black spruce, frankincense (boswellia), chamomile, and copaiba, have been found to be helpful when it comes to easing dog arthritis symptoms, but they must be used at the proper dilutions and ratios, as well as with the correct application methods. Again, professional guidance is recommended when using essential oils for dogs.
However, even if used appropriately, essential oils, alone, won’t likely combat all symptoms of arthritis in your dog, especially if it’s advanced. Instead, essential oils are best used in conjunction with other therapies or supplements designed to reduce inflammation in the joints.
The best dog hip and joint supplement
For those interested in a more natural approach, Canine Cush is a veterinarian-formulated supplement targeted for dogs dealing with joint discomfort or arthritis. Containing CBD, egg shell membrane, curcumin, and boswellia, this all-natural, patented formula is designed to reduce inflammation, pain, and discomfort. Canine Cush has no unwanted side effects such as those associated with Rimadyl or other NSAIDs.
While essential oils may temporarily provide some comfort for your dog, Canine Cush is designed to ease and prevent joint discomfort day in and day out and, most importantly, is safe to give long-term.