October 01, 2020 6 min read

What Are Essential Oils

Essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. The extracts are obtained from various plants using one of two primary methods pressing or steaming. Extracts are obtained from multiple parts of a plant, including leaves, stems, roots, fruit, and bark.

The reason essential oils can be so costly is that it takes several pounds to create a small bottle of oil. For instance, it takes three pounds oflavender flowers to make 15 ml of essential oil.

Using essential oils for dogs can be beneficial. However, it is critical they are used and administered properly.

How Do They Help Dogs

Essential oils have been used to help cure ailments for centuries. They can help with several different issues, from mental health to boosting one’s immune system.

Some of the more traditional uses for essential oils in dogs are:

  • Reduce symptoms of anxiety
  • Sleep Aid
  • Boost your dog’s mood and lower stress levels
  • Cleaning ears and resolving ear infections
  • Flea preventative
  • Bug Repellent
  • Eliminates fleas
  • Muscle aches
  • Soothing irritated skin
  • Allergies
  • Anti-inflammatory

How to Choose Essential Oils

It is critical to purchase the proper grade of essential oils before using them. Some are fine for aromatherapy but may not be safe for consumption or even topical use. And some essential oils are premixed with carrier oils, whereas others are not, so it is vital to know what you are buying to ensure proper dosing.

Also, it is vital to note that essential oils are not regulated.  Meaning that the terms used to identify various grades are not monitored. However, do not disregard the grade of the oil; it still plays a role in choosing the right essential oil.

When purchasing essential oils, you will want to buy quality oils, so you will want to consider factors such as:

  • Look at the labels to ensure they include the Latin name
  • Check the label for purity levels
  • Read the ingredient list
  • Research what country the ingredientswere grown
  • Take the time to research the company
  • Avoid oils listed as fragrance oils
  • Price check buying the cheapest oil is not always the best choice

Essential Oil Recipes for Dogs

  • Calming Spray – This essential oil recipe for dogs is ideal for aiding in reducing anxiety. It can be used daily around the home and car or as needed during higher stress situations such as thunderstorms or travel.


    • 1-12 oz Dark glass spray bottle  
    • 2 oz witch hazel liquid
    • 5 oz of distilled water
    • 3 Drops Lavender
    • 3 Drops Roman chamomile
    • 3 Drops Petitgrain
    • 3 Drops Valerian

Instructions: Mix all ingredients well in a dark-colored bottle then spray in the area your dog spends time such as on blankets, beds, or cars. It can also be lightly sprayed on your dog around their shoulder blade area, being sure not to get it in their face and keeping it from areas they can lick.

  • Dog Shampoo – Adding different essential oils to your dog’s favorite shampoo can aid with various issues, depending on the oil you use. Or you can create your own shampoo using castile soap, like in the recipe below.

Though you can mix a variety of oils, it is best not to go overboard, remember your dog’s sense of smell is far greater than ours.


    • Dark glass bottle with pump
    • ½ cup castile soap
    • 4 cups of water
    • For calming add Calming – 4-5 drops of each Lavender, Chamomile, Sweet Marjoram
    • Relieve Irritated Skin – 4-5 drops of each Myrrh, Niaouli, Helichrysum
    • Relieve Sore Muscles – 4 drops each of Eucalyptus, Helichrysum, Chamomile, and Lavender

Instructions: Mix the soap, water and one of the essential oil blends above, then apply and bathe your dog as normal. If your dog has particularly dry skin you can add a couple tablespoons of virgin coconut oil to help moisturize their skin and coat.

  • Flea and Tick Spray – This essential oil recipe for your dog is designed to both kill and prevent fleas.


    • 1-12 oz Dark glass spray bottle  
    • 2 oz witch hazel liquid
    • 5 oz of distilled water
    • 3 Drops Cinnamon
    • 3 Drops peppermint
    • 3 Drops Cedarwood
    • 3 Drops Thyme

Instructions: Mix all ingredients well in a dark-colored bottle then spray in the area your dog spends time such as on blankets, beds, or cars. It can also be lightly sprayed on your dog’s coat, being sure not to get it in their face.

After spraying your dog using gloves, gently work the spray into your dog’s coat.

  • For Smoothing Muscle Ache – Using essential oils topically to help soothe aching muscles and joints, especially in dogs with arthritis, is an excellent way to reduce inflammation and discomfort.


    • Dark glass bottle with an eyedropper
    • ¼ cup of dog safe carrier oil such as Coconut oil, Castor oil, Sweet Almond oil, Sunflower seed oil, Jojoba oil
    • 3 Drops Myrrh
    • 3 Drops Lavender
    • 2 Drops Peppermint
    • 4 Drops Helichrysum

Instructions: Mix the above ingredients well and gently massage a small amount to the affected area.

  • Soothing bad Stomach – This essential oil recipe for dogs is for topical use only. Using essential oils topically can help reduce symptoms of a minor upset stomach, but should not take the place of seeking veterinary care in more severe cases.


    • Dark glass rollerball bottle
    • 1 Drop Ginger
    • 1 Drops Lavender
    • 1 Drop Lemongrass
    • 3 Drops Peppermint
    • Carrier Oil such as Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Sweet Almond oil, Castor oil, or Sunflower seed oil

Instructions: Add essential oils to the rollerball bottle then top off the bottle with a carrier oil. Shake the bottle and mix the oils well. Next, roll a small amount on your dog’s abdomen and massage the oil in.

  • Ear Cleaner – Essential oils work well to clean your dog’s ears. Many essential oils have antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties making it the perfect natural ear cleaner.


    • 2 oz Dark glass jar 
    • 1.5 oz Coconut oil 
    • 2 Drops oregano  
    • 2 Drops Lavender  

Instructions: Using a water bath slightly warm coconut oil so that it is either in liquid form or soft enough to blend in the other oils. Next, add in the essential oils and mix until well combined. When cleaning your dog’s ears, slightly soften the oil, then using a cotton pad, gently clean your dog’s. You may also use a warm water bath to melt the oil then gently apply a small amount with the cotton pad to your dog’s inner ear.

Essential oils work as an excellent natural home remedy for your dog and are often preferable to harsh chemicals. And though essential oils are natural, that does not mean they are always safe. Some essential oil can be toxic to your dog if consumed or inhaled.

Additionally, essential oils should rarely be used without diluting them first.

When first using essential oils with your dog, it is best to start with smaller amounts of oils to ensure your dog is not sensitive to the oil. When using essential oils, always be aware that there are possible side effects, such as:

  • Skin irritation
  • Allergic reaction
  • Excessive panting
  • Drooling or excessive salivation
  • Frantically rolling to remove the oil
  • Pacing
  • Excessive sneezing

If you see any of these adverse effects, stop using the product immediately, and call your vet.

Nicole DeVault

Nicole is a professional dog trainer who has been in the business for about 5 years. She has two dogs of her own. Milli is a ten-year-old Beagle with plenty of sass to go around, and Axel is her three-year-old Pit bull who has more energy than anyone knows what to do with. Both of her dogs are rescues who came to her with their own set of issues. Working with troubled dogs is where her passion for dog training started. She has grown to learn that teaching people how to communicate with their fur babies allows them to enjoy happy and stress-free lives together.

Working through a multitude of different dog problems has allowed Nicole to become very knowledgeable of the best products out there: collars, leashes, toys, treats, beds, crates, and even hiking, camping, and boating gear for pups with a more “extreme” lifestyle. Nicole is always learning and growing, so she can find what is best for her dogs and yours!


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