Today, I am going to answer a very important question. Is tea tree oil safe for dogs? Want too long, didn't read answer? Yes, tea tree oil is safe to be used on dogs but only topically. It should not be given orally and make sure you consult a vet in case you see any symptoms of allergy. Follow the golden rule of using any essential oil and always dilute with a good pet safe carrier oil. Coconut oil can be a good option. Same has been mentioned by MDPI in a study.
Let's explore this topic further and I am going to answer all your queries about using tea tree essential oil with dogs. So stay with me till the end.
Understanding Tea Tree Oil
Sounds weird, but the Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) has nothing to do with the Tea plant (Camellia Sinensis). While tea leaves are the key to making one of the most popular beverages in the world, Tea Tree leaves are processed to produce tea tree essential oil which has a host of medicinal benefits.
Benefits & Common Uses of Tea Tree Oil Include (But Are Not Limited To):
We stand to gain a lot from regular usage of tea tree essential oil. Terpenes, including terpinen-4-ol, are a key compound which are antibacterial in nature, and a driving force behind the benefits of tea tree essential oil.
Tea tree oil can be diluted and applied to the skin topically. This is known to help treat various skin issues like acne, infections, especially those that are likely to occur from cuts and wounds.
Like your skin extends to your scalp as well, the effects of tea tree essential oil do too. Tea tree oil, mixed with a carrier oil like castor oil are a great pair for oiling your hair. I’ve personally experienced a decrease in dandruff, leading to an increase in hair quality and a decrease in hairfall.
I should probably pick that habit up again. TMI? Idc
But hey, if you have had to deal with fungal infections or scalp dryness, this is probably a remedy you should be interested in.
List of values tea tree oil brings to the table wasn’t long enough yet? Add aromatherapy to it. With a pleasant, medicinal scent, tea tree essential oil has the ability to invigorate you. The oil also possesses insect repellent properties, so make sure you keep some tea tree oil handy to apply or to diffuse in your personal spaces this monsoon season.
Now all these benefits really make it sound like tea tree essential oil is really the next best thing since sliced bread and while most people who invest in their health and hygiene might agree with this, most pets wouldn’t, especially dogs.
Is tea tree oil toxic to dogs?
To put simply, yes, tea tree oil is toxic to dogs and cats when consumed orally but it is safe to use topically.
Why? What wrong can the oil do to da dawg orally?
Well, to begin with, dogs being, well dogs, are a different species altogether (with respect to humans). As such, their anatomy is very different in certain aspects.
What does it mean though?
For starters, a lack of the necessary enzymes needed to process essential oils in the liver means every time they consume essential oil molecules in whatever form, the molecules just get stuck in the liver. This causes an accumulation leading to a toxicity buildup.
Symptoms of Tea Tree Essential Oil Toxicity In Dogs
This buildup can rear its ugly head in the form of multiple health issues such as:
Make sure to dilute while using tea tree oil in the presence of dogs since they’re likely to not enjoy a very strong scent. In the event that you are using it in a diffuser or have applied it to a surface around you, ensure the oil is sufficiently diluted keeping their heightened sense of smell in mind.
But does this mean I can’t use essential oils whatsoever with my dogs around?
Guidelines for Using Essential Oils Around Dogs
Along with tea tree oil, there are certain essential oils that are also dog friendly, provided the right amount of caution is exceeded when using them.
This means proper dilution, followed by gradual introduction to the oils as well as response gauging to ensure things are going well or not. Your dog won’t be able to tell you, but you’ll be able to see or hear their plights out.
Following are some important points to keep in mind while using tea tree oil or any other essential oil around dogs.
1. Consult. The. Vet.
The experts know best, (almost) always. Let’s not take a risk and just randomly introduce our furry friends to a new chemical. Consult a veterinarian, they'll know what to suggest based on their knowledge of not only your dog but also on the basis of the oil selected.
2. Dilute Properly:
This is probably one of the few places where adulteration is being actively encouraged. Carrier oils like coconut or castor oil are great choices. They’ll be responsible for making the oils bearable to dogs and to some extent us too.
3. Caution with Diffusers:
Exercise caution not only when you buy a diffuser (don’t get swindled over a fancy diffuser), and while using it when introducing a new scent to your dog via essential oils. Make sure the oil concentration isn’t too heavy and check the status of the environment’s ventilation before using a diffuser.
4. Response Gauging:
Each dog has their own make, and with it comes a different set of affinities and aversions. One dog’s favourite can be another dog’s absolute worst.
Moral of the story?
Slowly, but steadily, check for increased agitation, respiratory issues or skin irritation when introducing a new oil
List of Dog Safe Essential Oils
Essential Oils your canine buddy might like:
Known for its calming properties, Lavender essential oil could be a good choice for hyperactive and anxious dogs alike. Once diluted, topical application or diffusion in a well ventilated space are viable methods of usage. Diffused lavender oil could help create a calm environment for your canine.
Similar to Lavender in effect, Chamomile essential oil can help soothe your puppy with its gentle aroma. Apart from reducing their anxiety levels, it can help ease skin allergies as well.
Dogs with joint pains stand to benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of Frankincense Essential Oil, pun intended. Proper dilution is a non-negotiable, as always.
Ginger essential oil is a great natural remedy for digestive ailments for dogs as well. Apart from basic precautions, however, you need to make sure the scent of ginger oil is to your dog’s liking. There are instances where the scent of ginger oil hasn’t gone down well with dogs so it’s better to make sure that’s not the case before you invest in it.
Topical application on the abdomen or diffusion in a well ventilated, open area is recommended.
Boasting of antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, Myrrh Essential Oil can be applied topically to improve dermatologic health in dogs. It does, however, need sparing use and proper dilution before applying on your dog’s affected skin. Make sure to buy your pure essential oils from a trusted wholesale apothecary like Aromachology Oils.
Conclusion: Is Tea Tree Oil Safe For Dogs
Yes, if applied topically and no if consumed orally. Different body structures and enzyme balances dictate that dogs will have problems adjusting to essential oils in general.
Along with tea tree oil, lavender, myrrh, chamomile etc are great options you could try out.
Choosing the right oil is half the battle won, the second half will be won when you exercise right caution when using the oil around dogs, or pets in general.
Dilute oils properly, check your dog’s reactions for any ill effects.
CONSULT a VET in case of EMERGENCY.
Make the most of your dog’s experience with essential oils by going that extra mile, so that they don’t have to.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you use tea tree oil on dogs?
Yes, you can use it on dogs. It is a good option to prevent fleas and infection but do not let them ingest it.
It is safe to use tea tree oil if you have a dog given that you follow important safety precautions. Always dilute the oil with a carrier oil before diffusing. Diffuse it in an open space and check for your dog's reaction. Lastly, don't forget to store the bottle away from your dog.