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What is Neem Anyway? Using Neem Oil with Dogs
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Neem oil is a natural compound found in the seeds of the neem tree. It has many uses, most notably as a pesticide. It repels and kills bugs. The difference between the oil and the pesticides well-known for their chemical composition, is that neem is completely natural and generally safe for dogs. Neem oil also has many different healing powers in other areas of dog health. It can contribute to a healthy coat and skin, has anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antibacterial properties, and is beneficial for the overall health of your pet.
Consult your vet before giving it a try, however, because there can be interactions between the oil and veterinary prescribed medications for thyroid issues and diabetes. As well, irritation of the skin has been known to occur. Dilution is critical before using; mix the neem oil with another product (such as olive oil) in a formula of 1:10. This dilution can then be added to shampoo, for example. Buy your supply from a trusted source as some products are not regulated.
Skin and Coat
When dogs have a skin allergy or other condition, it can be hard to diagnose exactly what is causing it. It can be environmental or nutrition-based, or can simply be a condition that they were born with. Some older dogs suffer from dry skin or fungal and bacterial infections, because they struggle to keep themselves clean. Neem oil is well-known for being an additive in shampoo and other skin products. It can clean up ringworm and other fungi, along with helping your dog have healthy skin and a lustrous coat. The product has even been proven to help atopic dermatitis in dogs in several studies. You can either buy shampoo with the oil already in it, or you can add a neem dilution to your existing pet shampoo.
Bug Off, Bugs!
Neem oil is a natural pesticide or, in the case of dogs, a bug repellent. Applying a spray mix can be a great way to keep those pesky insects away from your dog. It helps with flea infestations and the battle against mosquitos and midges. Because neem oil is all natural, it is a great substitute for chemical-based flea and tick products. The dangers with these products lie with the potential of your dog licking or consuming them accidentally. Also, many dogs can have an allergic reaction to these products. Neem oil does not protect against the brown dog tick or tapeworm. It should not be used a the sole parasite preventative, however; veterinarians recommend it be used along with conventional medicine.
Neem oil is naturally antifungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial, which makes it extremely beneficial for the overall health of your dog. It has been known to irritate the skin of some canines, so be sure to try a little bit of the product at a time. If you see that your dog's skin is inflamed, discontinue use. Never apply the oil to irritated skin or open wounds and do not use it around the eyes. The oil should never be ingested by your dog. Avoid allowing your furry buddy to lick the product. Vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea are signs of a bad reaction. Convulsions and respiratory distress are dangerous occurrences that must be attended to by a vet.
Neem oil has a distinct and rather unpleasant smell. The odor may linger on your furniture if you allow your dog to rest there while the solution soaks in. Best used sparingly, neem oil does have its benefits but caution with its use is necessary, too. Let your vet know that you are interested in trying it before doing so.
Thinking about treating your pet with neem oil? Most pet insurance companies offer wellness add-ons that cover the cost of natural supplements and preventative care. Start shopping around for pet insurance plans today to find the “pawfect” option for your fur-baby.