Essential Oils for Allergies in Dogs

Essential Oils for Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Collapse / Fleas / Lethargy / Licking / Wound

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Rated as serious conditon

15 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Anemia / Collapse / Fleas / Lethargy / Licking / Wound

Essential Oils for Allergies in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

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What are Essential Oils for Allergies?

Essential oils are natural oils that are distilled from plants and carry the scent and other characteristics with them. These extracts have been used both therapeutically and as adornment for thousands of years. When dogs develop allergies, it generally causes itchy and inflamed skin, respiratory disorders, and chronic skin and ear infections. Essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, and peppermint may be used to ease some of these symptoms. Other essential oils, like tea tree oil, can be quite toxic to your dog. A knowledgeable aromatherapist, experienced with canines, may have additional recommendations. Your veterinarian should be consulted before starting your pet on therapy with essential oils, to ensure the cause of the symptoms is indeed allergies and to check for contraindications with other treatments.

Essential oils are oils distilled from plants and can be used to help ease your pet’s allergy symptoms. It is critical to contact your veterinarian before starting any treatment plan using essential oils.

Symptoms of Essential Oils for Allergies in Dogs

Essential oils can be particularly helpful in combating allergies. There are essential oils that combat the symptoms that the allergies are causing and essential oils that can help repel insects that could bring about allergic reactions. 

Essential oils to consider for:

  • Anti-inflammatory - Ginger, Rosemary, Basil

  • Insect repellant - Lemongrass, Rosemary, Citronella 
  • Respiratory symptoms - Thyme, Peppermint, Lemon

  • Skin reactions - Peppermint, Lavender, Chamomile

Types

Common essential oils allergic humans might use that pose a danger to your dog:

Camphor 

- Camphor is helpful in easing pain and opening up airways in people. If camphor is ingested by your pet, usually by licking it off of the application site, it can result in liver failure. 

Tea Tree Oil 

- Tea Tree Oil is often used for skin conditions and as an insect repellant. Although relatively safe for humans, undiluted Tea Tree Oil can be toxic to your pet, causing depression, weakness, vomiting, and collapse. This is true whether it is ingested or it is applied directly to the skin. 

Pennyroyal 

- Used as an effective topical insect repellent for fleas and mosquitos, pennyroyal oil can cause fatal liver damage in relatively small doses

Causes of Essential Oils for Allergies in Dogs

There are factors that can cause an essential oil treatment plan to fail if they are not addressed. Things you should consider when administering essential oils to your pet can include: 

  • Use only therapeutic grade essential oils. Essential oils that aren’t therapeutic grade may contain chemicals or solvents that could be dangerous to your companion.
  • Check for contraindications. Essential oils may interact with medications that your dog is currently taking, so it is important to ensure that there are no conflicts.
  • Dilute, Dilute, Dilute. Your dog’s sense of smell is a great deal more sensitive than yours and what smells good to you may be overwhelming for your pet.

Diagnosis of Essential Oils for Allergies in Dogs

Before using essential oils to treat your dog’s allergy, it is essential to get a definitive diagnosis. Using soothing solutions on the skin is only minimally helpful if we are dealing with an unaddressed food allergy or if it is a yeast or bacterial infection instead. There are many tests which can reveal if the symptoms are actually in response to an allergen, and possibly which allergen that is. The veterinarian is likely to request a complete blood count and a biochemistry profile which may expose the presence of high concentrations of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell that may indicate that an allergic reaction took place.

Your veterinarian will take skin scrapings from any affected areas to complete a cutaneous cytology, which is the microscopic examination of the skin cells to look for issues like mites, yeast infections, and other signs of disease. In some cases, a small amount of the suspected allergen or allergens may be injected into the skin to confirm which substance the patient is allergic to.

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Treatment of Essential Oils for Allergies in Dogs

Essential oil treatments can be administered to your pet in several ways. 

Diffuser

A diffuser heats the essential oil and causes it to evaporate so that it can be inhaled. Thirty minutes in the room with the diffused essential oil is generally sufficient to be successful.

Spray form

This is seen especially when utilizing essential oils for insect repellent. Diluted with either oil or water, this is sprayed onto the fur of the canine to repel insects. 

Topical

Although it is not generally advised to apply undiluted essential oils directly to your pet’s skin, they can be diluted with olive or coconut oil, or mixed in with a pet safe lotion or glycerine for topical application. This should be massaged into an area of sparse fur. It is important to remember that dogs tend to lick themselves and topical applications often become ingestions. 

Unless your veterinarian specifically endorses the oral ingestion of the essential oil, it is not generally recommended as a treatment method.

Recovery of Essential Oils for Allergies in Dogs

When we have allergies ourselves we often turn to natural remedies such as essential oils to treat our symptoms. There are a few things to be aware of if you used essential oils on yourself to protect your pet’s health. Keep essential oils out of your pet’s reach. Even essential oils that are non-toxic and well tolerated can cause an upset stomach of too much is ingested. Discourage your dog from licking you. Tea tree oil or camphor applied to you your skin and subsequently licked by your dog could cause liver damage if ingested in large enough amounts. Wash your hands to prevent transfer of toxic compounds to your pet’s fur. 

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Essential Oils for Allergies Average Cost

From 441 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

Essential Oils for Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Bolt

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Siberian Husky

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Scratching, Runny Nose, Sneezing

Hi, I recently adopted a dog. Hes been scratching non-stop, but even worse is his sneezing. He constantly sneezes to the point hes having a hard time eating. With the sneezing i've noticed he's also had a runny nose.. Im guessing these are allergies? What oils could help this?

Aug. 23, 2018

Bolt's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Without seeing Bolt, I can't diagnose allergies or recommend any treatment for him. He may have parasites, a bacterial or fungal infection, or he may have allergies. It would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian who can examine him, determine what might be going on with him, and get any treatment that he may need. Once you know what is wrong with him, you can look into alternative therapies, but it sounds like he needs medical attention at this point.

Aug. 23, 2018

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Snick

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Collie

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Licking
Lack Of Appetite
Paw Swelling

Hi we have a 10 yr old rough coat collie that has contact dermatitis on the pads of his paws. The irritant appears to be the grass in our yard. The vet recommended Apoquil and we haven't started it yet. While we sometimes diffuse peppermint oil in our house I'm wondering if there is a blend that would be more beneficial to our collie. I have considered diluting lavender with refined coconut oil and rubbing it on his paws but am concerned about his constant licking of the paws. We sometimes give him a gel cap of evening primrose when his allergies are really flaring. Suggestions please because our collie has a very sensitive stomach and we love him dearly. Thanks.

July 24, 2018

Snick's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Essential oils can be toxic for dogs and it is important to ensure any product containing essential oils is approved for use in dogs since poisoning is a frequent occurrence; there are some products in pet shops containing essential oils which are intended for use in dogs. There is no specific blend I can recommend and I would advise against following information in forums online as many times pets have a poisoning event. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 25, 2018

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Asher

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Havanese

dog-age-icon

10 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Skin Irritation

Asher my 10 year old Havanese constantly licks his rear end (anus) and rubs his butt on floors and carpet for relief. Would a dilution of lavendar and olive oil help?

March 3, 2018

Asher's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It would be more useful to determine the underlying cause of the problem, essential oils can cause further issues if not used properly and I try to steer clear of them as I generally see more problems than solutions with them. I would recommend that you stop Asher from licking his anus (cone may be best here) and ensure that he is up to date on parasite control and that his anal glands are not impacted; also ensuring that he isn’t straining whilst defecating and adding something like plain canned pumpkin to the diet if he is. If you do use any essential oil, ensure that the mixture is less than a 1% mixture and is mixed with a carrier oil but try to use products intended for animals. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

March 3, 2018

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Milo

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terrier

dog-age-icon

6 Years

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Serious severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Scabby Skin Scratcing

my dog was diagnosed with Poli or a fungus/yeast infection on his skin. He is scratching so badly and the pills the vet has given just help for a little while..... I asked what was the dog doing to get this infection (eating chicken, in an area that is infecting his skin i can clean extra ????) with no answer, he shakes terribly at night because of the itch/ pain he is about 17 pounds of mix terrier and chuhauhua (spelling?) what essential oil can i bathe him in and keep on his coat to help him to rid the infection and itch?

Feb. 18, 2018

Milo's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. WIthout knowing what Milo was actually diagnosed with, or what medications he has been on, I have a hard time commenting on what might help. If the medications that your veterinarian prescribed aren't helping and Milo is that uncomfortable, it would be best to havve a recheck with them, as they will be able to reassess his skin, see how he is responding and whether he needs more time, a topical shampoo, or further therapy. I hope that Milo is okay.

Feb. 18, 2018

Try Douxo Chlorhexidine PS shampoo on Amazon, and don't give your dog any food with wheat, corn, or soy! This shampoo along with diet changes should do the trick!

March 8, 2018

Lori K.

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Mia

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Chihuahua/Shih Tzu

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Greasy Dry Red Irritated Skin

About 5 months ago, Mia's skin started itching and feel greasy although she has regular baths with a gentle dog shampoo. She has a Shih Tzu coat which I have always clipped fairly short. The first thing I did was change to a better quality dog food which is grain-free with salmon and peas, I began giving coconut oil in her food once a day and stopped all store bought treats in case of an allergy. Her skin goes through a cycle of being greasy/red/irritated, then extremely flaky and peeling. I did some research and her symptoms seem to fit seborrheic dermatitis, dry and oil combined. I bought antiseborrheic/antiparasitic/antifungal veterinary grade shampoo and have followed the directions. She doesn't seem to be in pain, she's eating/drinking/playing normal. I wish I could add a picture here, her skin is awful. I'd prefer to treat this naturally rather than give her prescription meds. I've also tried a mixture of plain yogurt and honey every day for the last 3 weeks, as suggested by a vet tech/groomer friend. She's slowly getting worse but I honestly don't think she is suffering. Only the front half of her body is affected - belly, sides, neck, top of back. All 4 legs and paws are fine, her rear end is fine. I couldn't fit all the symptoms in the space provided but they seem to be flaky/greasy/itchy/red irritated peeling skin with hair loss, no noticeable odor, leathery ears but no obvious ear infection. HELP!

Feb. 4, 2018

Mia's Owner


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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email - I'm sorry that Mia is having these problems. Without examining her, I can't determine what might be wrong with her skin, but she may have a bacterial or fungal infection, allergic dermatitis, or a systemic disease causing her signs. She should be examined by a veterinarian, as they will be able to diganosis what is going on with her and give her appropriate medications. Sometimes things just can't be treated without medications, and she sounds like she needs relief for her skin. I hope that you are able to have her seen and treated, and I hope that everything goes well for her!

Feb. 4, 2018

Thanks for your response. From what I've read, skin issues are very difficult to diagnose, it's a process of elimination/trial and error kind of thing. Her health is more important than the cost but the cost is a concern regardless. She does need some relief. My poor girl. She's one of four dogs in the house so at least I know whatever is going on isn't contagious. Thanks again for your reply, I'll contact my vet today.

Feb. 5, 2018

Mia's Owner

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Kenzie

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Beagle

dog-age-icon

12 Years

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Moderate severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Copd, Cough,
Copd, Cough, Snotty Nose

I have a 12 year old beagle newly diagnosed with COPD. She has a cough and a snotty nose. We have tried breathing treatments from the vet and she is on prednisone. Is there an essential oil I can diffuse in the humidifier to help with breathing?

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Giggles

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Pit bull

dog-age-icon

4 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Breathing Difficulty

My dog giggles came to my room where I was difusing cedarwood and she inmiatly start having troble breathing, it has been two days and she still have some episodes wih her breathing, what sude I do?

Essential Oils for Allergies Average Cost

From 441 quotes ranging from $200 - $800

Average Cost

$400

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