Dogs can suffer from all sorts of allergic reactions, just like humans. Sometimes, you can see clear signs on their skin, which makes it easier to act fast. If you’re looking to soothe their condition with essential oils for dog allergies, it’s possible. But, you need to know a few things first.
In this post, you’ll read about:
- Frequently asked questions about allergies in dogs and natural treatment options.
- The pros and cons of some good essential oils to relieve allergic reactions in dogs.
- A small guide of aromatic oils for various dog skin problems.
- How to use these oils for the best possible outcome.
- A few practical recipes to help your dog feel more comfortable.
- Symptoms, causes, and types of dog allergies.
- Last but not least, some safety tips for you and your pet, to avoid complications.
Best Essential Oils for Dog Allergies (FAQ, Pros & Cons), plus Recipes
Dog allergies can make your pet’s life very miserable. Not to mention all the trouble you’d have to go through to help him feel better. So I decided that next, I’ll answer some questions about natural remedies for dog allergies.
It’s only natural to want to know what can help your furry friend in a natural way. Fortunately, you’re in luck. Aromatherapy is easier to use with dogs than it is with cats. Let’s begin!
1) What are dog allergies?
A dog allergy (like any other allergy) is an exaggerated reaction of the immune system. As soon as it feels a strange pathogen, the body produces histamine in excess.
Histamine helps to remove the undesired pathogen, also called an allergen. And this is how an allergic reaction happens.
Allergies, in general, take a lot of time and exposure to develop. This means that your dog has to be exposed to the allergen for a long time before showing any symptoms.
Most dog allergies are environmental (dust mites, pollen, pollution, etc.). You have the best chances to discover the true cause of an allergy when the dog is young (1 – 3 years). The best chances of a successful therapy are in the same period of time.
2) What are the most common dog skin problems?
When a dog has skin problems, it’s usually a tough thing to spot. You’d literally have to search every inch of their skin to see if everything’s alright. That is if they don’t scratch, chew, and lick like crazy.
Dogs may experience:
- Hot spots (sores) – They are red and sticky, and the fur is loose. It can also itch a lot, which is what leads them to scratch and lick that area. Any type of red dots (small or big) on your dog’s skin should be investigated by the vet.
- Irritation from flea bites and other parasites – These parasites may leave waste behind and bite open the animal’s skin. This leads to itching, inflammation, and even infection.
- Bacterial or fungal infections – Ringworm is often at the root of skin infections in dogs.
- Allergic reactions – They may be caused by many factors. The food, dust or detergents are just a few examples.
Luckily, there are a few good essential oils to use for dog skin allergies. However, before we tap into the benefits of these oils, be sure to read the next question.
3) What to do before using essential oil remedies on your dog?
We’ve established that you can use essential oils for dog allergies. Unlike cats, dogs can metabolize volatile oil molecules, just like humans. It’s a matter of hours with them.
With cats, it may take days to eliminate the molecules because they lack a liver enzyme. You can read more about cats and safe Aromatherapy here.
But, before using natural remedies on your pet, you should take the animal to the vet. This part is extremely important!
They can run tests to establish the exact cause of your dog’s allergies. It’s also important to know if the condition is indeed an allergic reaction. This way you can rule out any other more serious illnesses.
Also, tell the vet about your intention of using essential oils for dog allergies. Tell him what oils you’ll be using and what their main compounds are.
The vet should know whether your dog can use them or not, how much, and for how long.
Make sure you’ve tried gentler treatment options before using corticosteroids. They can weaken the immune system of the dog, and that can make him more prone to infections.
Usually, natural remedies for dog allergies are plant-based. They can be essential oils, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids.
Deep sea fish oil is a very good anti-inflammatory, which can soothe allergic symptoms. The deep sea fish oil was found useful in decreasing arthritis pain in dogs.
4) What do you give a dog with allergies?
A dog with allergies is usually given antihistamines. Vets often prescribe other drugs and ointments too. Especially when you need to soothe the discomfort caused by an allergic reaction.
Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory substances can also be used.
What are antihistamines? They are substances that oppose the damaging effect of natural histamine produced by the body.
The right dosage for your dog’s weight, age, and allergy is unique. You must talk to the vet to get it right and safe.
When it comes to using essential oils for dog allergies, they also have antihistamine effects. This makes talking to the vet even more necessary.
The downside of conventional antihistamines is that they can lose their effectiveness quite fast. They usually work in the first few days.
However, as the treatment extends on a longer period of time, they stop working. They work for less than 50% of dogs with allergies.
It seems that dogs that eat more fatty acids respond better to antihistamine drugs.
5) How can essential oils help to soothe your dog’s allergies?
Essential oils are powerful plant extracts. Depending on the plant’s oil yield, it may take tons of material to extract a few liters of essential oil.
These oil molecules help the plant reproduce and thrive. They help it face the sun rays, draught and even keep away predators.
They are basically the immune system of the plant, which we extract in tiny oil bottles. Essential oils are volatile, which means they evaporate fast into the atmosphere.
They have important therapeutic effects on us and our dogs. These effects can be:
- Antibacterial and antifungal.
- Soothing and calming.
- Anti-pruritus (itching).
- Energy boosters.
- Analgesic (pain-relievers).
- Insect repellant.
You can see how all these effects put together make potent remedies. They can soothe the dog’s pain, itching, redness, and inflammation among others.
6) What are the best essential oils for dog allergies? (Pros & Cons)
There are many essential oils that can improve dog allergies. Yet, some of them are better than the others. Here they are, with the pros and cons that need to be read before use.
- Pros: antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itching. Decongestant, antibacterial, and wound-healing.
- Cons: estrogen-like effects. Dogs on hormone-based treatments should not inhale an oil with hormone-mimicking effects. Phototoxic (avoid sun exposure after applying it to the dog’s skin).
- Pros: antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, and anti-pruritus (itching). Lowers the blood pressure and calms the nervous system.
- Cons: strong irritant for the skin and respiratory system. It has cortisone-like effects and can be toxic to the nervous system (if used in excess). It is necessary that you talk to the vet first if you want to use it as an essential oil for your dog’s allergy.
- Pros: soothing, calming, and sedative. Lowers blood pressure, antispasmodic, and antifungal (prevents infections by killing yeasts). Promotes wound healing.
- Cons: should not be used as essential oil for dogs with allergies and heart problems. Too much can cause insomnia and anxiety.
- Pros: antispasmodic, digestive (anti-diarrhea), an antihistamine. Pain reliever, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
- Cons: estrogen-like, irritant, and blood thinner.
- Pros: antispasmodic, calming, and anti-parasites. Digestive, anti-inflammatory, and soothing.
- Cons: can trigger seizures and make breathing difficult (if used in large amounts). Can also become toxic to the liver and kidneys.
Thyme ct. Linalool
- Pros: antibacterial, mild antispasmodic, and antifungal. Anti-parasites and stimulant.
- Cons: mild toxicity to the liver and kidneys (when used in large amounts and on long periods of time).
- Pros: antiseptic (prevents infections) and anti-inflammatory. Wound-healing, relaxing, and soothing. Frankincense can also strengthen the immune system.
- Cons: can trigger seizures and respiratory problems (large amounts, for long periods of time). In some cases, Frankincense may become toxic to the kidneys.
If you’re interested only in which antihistamine is best for dog allergy, you have two natural options. You can go for German Chamomile or Blue Tansy. Their antihistamine nature is given by their strong anti-inflammatory activity.
Basil essential oil is another good one. However, you must first tell the vet about them and decide together which oil to use.
Other Essential Oils for Dogs with Allergies (Short Guide)
The seven I mentioned are not the only Aromatherapy oils good at relieving allergic symptoms in dogs. Check out these next guidelines. I’ve added some new essential oils for dog allergies, so you can have more options.
Essential Oils for Dog Hot Spots
- Roman Chamomile
- German Chamomile
Essential Oils for Itchy Dog Ears (Dog’s Itchy Skin)
- Thyme ct. Linalool
- Blue Tansy
- German Chamomile
Essential Oils for Dog Wounds
Essential Oils for Dog Yeast Infection
- Sweet Marjoram
- Rose Geranium
The best essential oils for pet allergies may come from any seller you trust. They can be Young Living or doTERRA, for instance. You can find a guide to all kinds of doTERRA essential oils for your pets’ allergies here.
How to Use Essential Oils for Dog Allergies
The oils can enter the body via inhalation and skin application. If you want to use essential oils for dog skin, you must dilute them first.
Use a gentle, antibacterial carrier oil to mix a few drops of aromatic oil. Give the mixture a good shake and apply to the affected areas.
Now, the right dose usually depends on many factors. Your vet is the only one who can figure a safe dose for your pet’s allergies.
However, as a guideline, for small dogs of under 15 lbs (6.80 kilos), a drop of essential oil is enough. Mix it with enough carrier oil (up to one ounce/30 ml) before application. Larger dogs may use up to 3 drops of essential oil.
Topical blends for allergies can be used 3 times a day. In the meantime, keep in touch with the veterinarian and tell him about the progress. Take the dog for regular checkups too.
Carrier oils for dogs with allergies
Generally, almost all carrier oils are good for the dog’s skin. If your dog has very dry skin, the best oils are very fatty. Examples: Wheat Germ, Jojoba, and Argan. Also, Avocado and Shea butter can soothe a dry skin very well.
One of the best and most affordable carrier oils is Coconut. It has very good antibacterial and antifungal activity. It’s been proven very effective against ringworm infection.
You can also diffuse essential oils for dog allergies. However, there are safety precautions you need to follow when doing so. First, you must diffuse oils in very well ventilated rooms.
Then, you must leave the door open so the dog can leave when it has enough. Read more about diffusing aromatic essences around pets here.
The best devices for Aromatherapy diffusion are nebulizers. They don’t use heat or water. This means that the therapeutic properties of the oils remain intact.
You can use a few drops only and diffuse for a brief moment for powerful effects. This brief moment would be 10 – 15 minutes.
Soothing Essential Oil Recipes for Dogs with Allergies
I’ve got a few essential oil allergy blends for your pet. Because of safety reasons, they contain the minimum amount of essential oils.
For smaller dogs, don’t use more than one drop of essential oil. Like I said, to get the dose right, you have to consult with a vet.
Recipe for Dry & Itchy Dog Skin
- Coconut oil: ½ Oz (15 ml)
- Avocado oil: ½ Oz (15 ml)
- German Chamomile essential oil: 1 drop
- Lavender essential oil: 1 drop
Use only one essential oil/drop if your dog is small-sized. Shake the blend well before each use and apply small amounts to the skin.
Massage the oil on the affected area, until it’s fully absorbed. If necessary cover the area. The mixture should be allowed to penetrate the skin and start working (at least an hour).
Soothing, Wound-Healing Essential Oil Dog Allergy Blend
- Frankincense essential oil: 1 drop
- Basil essential oil: 1 drop
- Carrier oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Shake the blend and apply a moderate amount on the wound. If the wound is open, it’s best to keep it clean and dry for a day or two. Apply a healing blend after it starts to close off.
Dog Yeast Infection Essential Oil Spray Blend
- Lavender hydrosol: 25 ml
- Peppermint hydrosol: 25 ml
- Thyme essential oil: 1 drop
Give the spray a shake and apply on the affected area several times a day. Hydrosols are very gentle natural remedies. They’re byproducts of the steam distillation of essential oils.
This means they contain trace amounts of oil molecules. Most importantly, they contain water-soluble vitamins and minerals that can’t make it into the oil.
Causes, Symptoms, and Types of Dog Allergies, plus Safety Tips
The fact that our pets don’t talk make it very difficult to know exactly how and what they feel. We can, hower, pay attention to their behaviors. There are usually good reasons for which they do things in a certain way.
When it comes to allergies, dogs too can be very sensitive. When a dog is allergic to something, it will start showing signs. What are the symptoms of dog allergies? They look like:
- Excessive scratching, licking and chewing at the affected area. That area may be the paws, tail, etc.
- Rubbing the head against the furniture or floor/carpet constantly. This means the itch is very intense.
- Redness and irritation of the skin.
- Dander and lose hair.
- Difficulty breathing.
Types of Dog Allergies
Allergies can be triggered by various allergens. They can be:
- Environment (atopy allergy).
Most allergic dogs suffer from environmental allergies. Dust mites, pollen, and detergents are just a few examples of allergens. Other triggers can be humidity, cats, and pesticides.
Some of them cause temporary/seasonal allergic episodes. Others may go away only after the allergen has been removed from the house. For example, if the dog is allergic to a certain detergent.
That said, a routine check-up can eliminate other serious health problems. You can also find out for sure whether it’s an allergic reaction and what the cause is. This is crucial in finding the best treatment for your dog.
Safe Use of Essential Oils for Dog Allergies (Tips)
Before I conclude the article, there are a few final safety tips I must talk about. They are about essential oils in general. Knowing them may make your life and the process of choosing easier.
- First, you must always test each new bottle of oil for allergies. Aromatic essences are very potent and can cause their own allergic responses. Thus, mix a drop with some carrier oil and apply on a small portion of your dog’s skin.
- Avoid using any essential oils for dog allergies until you’ve consulted with a vet first.
- Don’t give the dog oils internally, especially without medical approval.
- If the dog is pregnant or nursing, you should use or diffuse essential oils carefully. Again, it’s best to consult a vet first.
- Read everything about an essence you want to use. The pros, as well as the cons, are very important.
- Some essential oils may interact with medicines. Thus, it’s important to know it beforehand and take the necessary precautions.
- Under no circumstance should you apply oat remedies to a yeast infection! Yeasts feed on sugars and oat contains sugar.
- Diffuse essential oils only in wide-open, well-ventilated spaces. The dog must be allowed to leave the room when it needs to.
There are many types of allergies. The sooner you find out the exact cause of your dog’s allergy, the better you can make him feel.
Luckily, there are quite a lot of essential oils for dog allergies you can try. As long as you follow a few safety guidelines and keep in touch with the vet, things should go well for your friend.
Do you have any tips or recipes on dog allergies you would like to share? How do you manage their allergies and why do you prefer it that way?