Some essential oils should never be used on dogs. Actually, when it comes to dogs, essential oils should be used sparingly. Very sparingly, since they have a heightened sense of smell.
Certain essential oils shouldn’t be used on dogs at all. Others may have a more limited use. For instance, I might use one drop of rosemary essential oil in a flea spray. I’d put it on rugs and furniture. I might also add one drop of rosemary oil to a DIY shampoo recipe because it’s considered good for controlling fleas and also conditioning the coat. (Sometimes, I also use it on my own hair. Not for fleas, but for conditioning.)
However, just to be on the safe side (since I’m not a vet) I always tell my readers to check with their own vet before using essential oils on their dog. That’s because I’m not an authority on safe use of essential oils for animals. Never use them on pregnant females, or puppies less than 12 weeks old. Don’t use them at all on cats. Be very careful that nothing made with an essential oil ever gets near your dog’s eye.
Please understand that I’m not a vet. Instead, I’m just a wife and mother with a 16-year-old dog. We’ve kept him healthy with natural remedies. We don’t use chemicals whenever possible. It’s natural remedies all the way, including essential oils.
Using Rosemary Essential Oil On Your Dog
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There still isn’t a lot we know about essential oils and dogs. So the information presented here is gleaned from other sources. Before using essential oils on your pet, run it by your vet. He or she should have the final say on what (if any) essential oils you use on your dog.
In recent years, essential oils have grown in popularity. They’re also being used, with increased frequency, on pets. After speaking with your vet, I’d suggest researching for yourself how to correctly use aromatics on dogs. Safe use means high dilutions and light applications. You should also learn which oils aren’t compatible with canines.
Rosemary essential oil is included in a number of all-natural dog shampoos, made from plant-based ingredients instead of chemicals. That’s probably because rosemary is an excellent skin and coat conditioner. Dog owners use it to make their pet’s coat shine.
Some animal health care experts say you also shouldn’t use rosemary oil on dogs prone to seizures. This comes in the wake of reports that a “natural” brand of dog food contained rosemary extract was causing seizures in dogs that consumed it. Ironically this dog food was purchased by people looking for a “healthier” alternative to the offerings found in grocery stores.
However, no one is suggesting that anyone, dogs or people, ingest rosemary oil. Because aromatherapy oils are so concentrated, they can have much different properties than the herb itself. (And I know that responsible dog owners would never consider giving their dog essential oils as food.)
Rosemary Essential Oil for Fleas
So you definitely don’t want to feed your dog rosemary essential oil or rosemary essence. The only reason you’d want to use rosemary essential oil on or for your pet are to condition his coat and to repel fleas.
This versatile oil is a natural flea and tick repellent. It can be mixed with water and used as a spray, alone or with a couple more essential oils. Since I own numerous types of essential oils, I like to blend them together. Doing this seems to create a positive synergy. But if you’re brand new to aromatherapy, you can also use single oils, to see how they work.
If you own rosemary essential oil, here’s how to make a DIY flea spray. Take a 16-ounce amber glass spray bottle and fill it almost to the top with water. Then add about 20 drops of rosemary essential oil. Don’t spray it on your dog. Instead, use it as a house spray for bedding and carpets. Don’t use a plastic spray bottle. The essential oils will degrade the plastic.
Rosemary Oil for Dogs
One popular brand of dog shampoo contains cleansing oils, such as coconut and olive oil, as well as a number of essential oils, including tea tree, rosemary, sage and cedarwood. Rosemary extract is found in a number of other natural dog care products, as it’s an excellent coat conditioner.
If you’re interested in making your own dog shampoo, here’s an easy recipe.
- 2 cups of water
- 6 tablespoons of liquid black soap (available here)
- 10 drops of lavender oil (available here)
- 1 drop of rosemary oil (available here)
- 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil (available here)
Mix these ingredients together and store in a covered glass jar, away from heat and light. When shampooing, make sure not to get this solution in your dog’s eyes. Rinse well.
Homemade Dog Coat Conditioner – With Rosemary Oil
You can easily make your own dog coat conditioning rinse to be used after shampoo, with just a few ingredients.
- 1 gallon of warm water
- 1 drop of rosemary oil (available here)
- 6 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of brewed green tea. Add after it’s cooled.
Mix these ingredients together and use them as a conditioning rinse. Rinse with warm water after using it. Make sure to avoid your dog’s eyes.
Don’t forget, rosemary essential oil can also be diluted, put in a water bottle and sprayed on your carpet and in other areas of the house, as a natural flea repellent. This is much better than using chemicals to keep these pests away.
Before using any essential oils on your pet, don’t forget to mention it to your vet. (If possible, find a holistic practitioner who knows something about animal aromatherapy.) It’s probably not advisable to use rosemary oil if your dog has a history of seizures. I’d also not use it on a pregnant dog.
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