I’m not a vet. So this article is only intended as information. I’m just a dog owner who uses natural remedies on her pet.
My own dog is now at least 16. (We’re not entirely sure, because we adopted him from a shelter.) He’s doing well for his age. I attribute this to luck, and to a slew of natural remedies, including a very healthy diet that includes a lot of organic people food.
Whenever possible, we try to use natural remedies on Buddy. We did this the last time he had a hot spot on his back. Hot spots are red irritated areas that often have no fur. They can be caused by allergies.
Is Lavender Oil Safe for Dogs?
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For our dog, his hot spot has responded very well to natural lavender essential oil mixed with coconut oil.
Always make sure to check with your own vet before using lavender oil on your dog. (That’s because I’m not a vet and I can’t give medical advice. All I can do is share my story of using natural remedies on own dog.) Never use aromatics on a pregnant female or young puppy.
Lavender Oil for Hot Spots
A couple of years ago, during the spring, my daughter and I were sniffling and sneezing. Our dog was itching. It was allergy season. Our dog seemed to be having a problem with pollen. This was showing up on his skin. (This is typical for dogs.)
I have mild allergies. I wake up with a stuffy nose and runny eyes. For my own relief, I inhale a blend of essential oils in the morning. I have no problems the rest of the day.
I’d been reading about how lavender essential oil can be good for a dog’s itchy skin, when used in moderation. The typical advice is to dilute it heavily. I made sure to do that. Essential oils are very potent. Just two drops of lavender essential oil added to an ounce of coconut oil was enough. That’s all we used on our dog when we decided to treat the skin irritation naturally.
This mixture should be stored in a closed glass jar away from heat and light.
For some reason, just one application of the lavender essential oil/coconut mix seemed to solve the problem. Again, I think luck had a lot to do with it. Our dog seems to have a very strong constitution. He responds well to natural remedies and he seems to heal quickly.
Coconut Oil Benefits Dog’s Skin
Many natural dog care experts recommend coconut oil for hot spots. So we likely picked a winning combination of lavender essential oil and coconut oil. Lavender is an aromatic known for its soothing and skin-protecting qualities.
Lavender’s reputation soared following the widely reported case of a French chemist named Rene-Maurice Gattefosse. He badly burned his hands in a laboratory accident. Familiar with the properties of this aromatic, he plunged his hands into lavender oil. His skin healed rapidly, despite the fact he had severe burns. Scarring was minimal.
Where to Buy Coconut Oil For Dogs
Coconut oil also has compounds known to be good for the skin. One of them is lauric acid, a natural pathogen fighter.
This oil can also be used as a skin/coat conditioner. It can be applied for five minutes, before rinsing off. If you feel like your dog’s fur is greasy, you can follow up with an all natural shampoo.
Some people recommend adding a tiny bit of coconut oil to your dog’s diet. It’s rich in nutrients, including medium chain triglycerides, or MCT’s. But, like any dietary changes, this needs to be discussed with your vet. One company called Coco Therapy even sells USDA-certified organic coconut oil just for dogs.
For Additional Reading
Homeopathic Remedy for Hot Spots
Hot spots are such a common problem, and a major annoyance. Conventional treatments can include steroids. However, there may be an alternative homeopathic approach you can discuss with your vet. This is wide-spectrum homeopathy.
With conventional homeopathy, it may be difficult finding the right remedy. Wide spectrum remedies incorporate the most common skin itch remedies. So you don’t necessarily need to work with a veterinary homeopath.
Below, you can see a popular homeopathic skin remedy from Vetionix, which makes wide-spectrum remedies designed just for pets. It also offers customers free support. (It has two holistic veterinarians on staff.)
Derma-IoniX skin formula contains nearly two dozen individual remedies in multiple potencies. These are chosen to address common symptoms, such as burning, inflammation, itching and chapped skin. Although the directions say it can be given repeatedly, if it were my dog I’d stop once I saw improvement, and then continue if the symptoms appeared again. (I’m not an animal healthcare expert, just a dog Mom who uses homeopathy on her own elderly pet, working with a professional homeopath.)