If you love using Young Living products in your home, you’ve probably wondered how you can share their amazing benefits with your animals. I mean, afterall, these are plants and your animals should be able to benefit, right?
Absolutely! With the right tools and knowledge, essential oils can successfully be used on animals of all kinds!
Today I am going to focus on how to use essential oils for your dogs. We have used them successfully for our 2 med-large lab mixes and they love them just as much as I do. Oils have on more than one occasion allowed us to avoid the emergency vet visit, and I want to share a few ways that you can empower yourself with some basic knowledge to support your pups as well.
Before we begin, here is my obligatory disclaimer for all the legal people and the folks that hire them:
Please know that I am NOT a doctor or veterinarian. I am a regular person who reads books on how to keep my entire family well… even the furry ones. I do extensive research on essential oils and use them daily. I also read books on essential oils written by several authors… including veterinarians. With these tools, I use my instinct and knowledge to decide what is the best for my animals.
The choice to use essential oils on your pets is a personal one, so please consult a health professional and exercise good judgement when using these (or any oils) therapeutically.
Basic Safety for Using Essential Oils on Dogs
Okay, so now that we have the disclosures out of the way, let’s talk about some basic things to keep in mind when using oils with your dogs.
You might be surprised to learn that you can actually use the same oils on your dog as you use on yourself… which is why quality matters. I am sure that you know all oils are NOT created equal, so make sure the stuff you are getting is good quality. (Young Living’s transparency through the Seed to Seal promise “sealed the deal” for me. You can read more about that here).
Second, keep in mind that size matters. Make sure to adjust your dilution accordingly and don’t use the same ratio on a Chihuahua that you would on a Great Dane. You will also want to remember that dogs are WAY more sensitive to smell than we are, so you will want to start small and introduce essential oils slowly.
We started in the diffuser, and gradually built up to topical/internal. I also always make sure to give our dogs an “out,” where they can get away from the oil should they decide to do so. Although we have been using oils for years now, I never diffuse in a bedroom with a closed door so that they can leave the room if they decide which has actually never happened for us, but is still a good practice to employ no matter how long you have been oiling. Safety first…. always.
There are three different methods of application when it comes to using essential oils, and dogs are no exception.
Diffusing is very beneficial and there are two ways that your dog can benefit from inhalation of the oil:
- Diffusing with your Young Living Diffuser
- Hand Method (just apply the oil to your hand and let the dog inhale. I never force this, just wave it under there nose from a safe distance.
Topical Application is favorable. My preferred method is to rub the oil on my hands (diluted with carrier) and then pet my babies using long strokes down their back.
Sometimes if there is a particular area of concern (like a sprain/twisted leg), I will apply directly to that location and massage it in. You could also whip up a roller ball of your potion of choice and use that, too, but I have found the hand method to work best for us.
If there is no specific area of concern (as with seperation anxiety), you can spritz some directly on the dog (avoid the eyes and face) or apply the oils to the paw pads. When I apply to the pads, I make sure to rub the oil in well and let it absorb so that they don’t immediately lick it off 🙂
Finally, you can also allow them to take the oils internally, where appropriate. This will obviously depend on the nature of the issue at hand (for example, I wouldn’t have my dog consume PanAway because that is for muscles and it would benefit them more to apply it topically)… but when my dogs have a gurgling tummy or something, then I have given some diluted DiGize with no issues.
For internal consumption, you can combine the essential oil with some carrier oil (see dilution suggestions), place it in a vegetable capsule wrapped in cheese, put it on moistened food, or my personal preference which is to use a medicine dropper and squirt it directly in the back of the mouth.
How to Dilute Your Essential Oils for Dogs
Essential oils are very powerful and your dog will most often require some sort of dilution. My favorite carrier oil is Young Living’s v-6 oil, but you can also use coconut oil or olive oil (aka my “kitchen” oils). The following are my personal recommendations for diluting oils for dogs. Remember, I am NOT a vet, so if you have any concern, make sure to discuss that with yours:
- 0-25 lbs: 75% dilution (1 drop essential oil to 4 of carrier oil)
- 26-45lbs: 50-75% dilution
- 76-90 lbs: 50% dilution
- 91-150 lbs: 25% dilution
- 151 lbs and over: 0-25% dilution (something like Lavender I would feel comfortable using at 0% dilution, but when using Thieves or PanAway, I would dilute at the 25% ratio)
So now that we have some basic safety and dilution down, let’s move on to the fun part:
HOW to use each oil to support doggie wellness.
When it comes to getting started with essential oils, I always recommend the Premium Starter Kit because it is the most bang for your buck (and saving money on quality items is super important to me because of this little thing called a budget). 😉
This kit is what I personally enrolled with because you get the absolute MOST VERSATILITY and VALUE from it. If you want to learn more about the starter kit options, you can check out this post where I explain it all 🙂
How to Use the Oils in the Young Living Starter Kit on Your Dog
The Premium Starter Kit includes 11 oils… and you can use EVERY one of them for your dogs.
I am so for real right now! How amazing is that??! And, I am going to cover EVERY. SINGLE. OIL and exactly what to do! So, in no particular order… here’s
Copaiba & Copaiba Vitality
Copaiba (pronounced “Ko-pah-ee-bah”) is an incredible oil that has some of the highest levels of beta-caryophyllene (55%) of any essential oil in the world!
Why is that a big deal?
Because beta-caryophyllene has been extensively studied for its ability to modulate the the body’s response to irritation, making this oil essential for active and older dogs!
The oleoresin in Copaiba has traditionally been used for inflammation, skin support, and respiratory support and Copaiba Vitality is wonderful for supporting healthy digestion as well.
Frankincense & Frankincense Vitality
Frankincense has been highly sought since ancient times and is a staple in our house. It is perfect for dogs with separation anxiety, for supporting immune health, and for maintaining a shiny, healthy coat. It’s an ingredient in my hot spot blend for this exact reason!
Lavender & Lavender Vitality
Often referred to as the “Swiss Army Knife” of essential oils, Lavender is normally my first go to. My motto is, was, and always will be ‘when in doubt, use Lavender’ because it is gentle, safe, and good for so, so many things.
I use it to support the skin, to calm anxious pups (think: Fourth of July) and on their bedding.
Lemon & Lemon Vitality
If Lavender is the Swiss Army Knife of essential oils, then Lemon is the duct tape. When it comes to dogs, a drop of Lemon Vitality is great in the water bowl (make sure it’s not plastic though!)
You can also use Lemon for “scent marking.” Just add the oil to a ribbon at the door to help older dogs find their way outside, or to help puppies associate the scent with house training!
My favorite use for Lemon, though, is for freshening the air. Diffusing it can help combat wet dog smells (or gassy dog smells… I’m looking at you, Jax!)
Peppermint & Peppermint Vitality
Peppermint Vitality is one of the most highly regarded oils for supporting a healthy lifestyle. It provides wonderful support for the digestive system.
Using its standard counterpart in training can help with mastering new concepts. It also calms the mind and lessens fears of the unknown.
You can also use this in the warmer months to help keep your pup cool and refreshed. Just spritz it on the coat (avoiding the face of course) to help cool your dog down.
I love the smell of R.C. and personally find the Eucalyptus to be very energizing. And, you can use it with your dogs while training. Just dilute it and rub it on the back of the dog’s neck before a walk or a run.
DiGize & DiGize Vitality
As the name implies, DiGize provides valuable support for maintaining a healthy digestive system. You can use it topically on the VitaFlex points and over the stomach. It is an absolute life saver to take along on car trips for a pup with motion sickness.
If your dog is active like mine, PanAway will be their best friend. I use it for minor aches and pains and it has always served my doggies well. This one is a hot oil, so I make sure to dilute it and then apply on location as needed. PanAway has saved us a trip to the emergency vet, so I always have an extra bottle in the cabinet!
Additionally, for certain issues (as in the case of my dog pulling a muscle), I also like to layer Copaiba on top. Copaiba is an enhancing oil and the combination of the two creates a synergistic relaxing effect.
With the forest at our property line, Purification gets a lot of mileage in our house. It is great for busting bugs and super soothing to the skin. And if I forget to put it on until it is too late… I don’t know…but when I combine this with Lavender, it seems to soothe a bug bite like you wouldn’t believe!
It is also wonderful when the dogs come in from the ocean and have that ‘wet dog’ smell. You can diffuse it in the car or apply it to their coat and breathe fresh air. Or, if your dog has horrendous gas (Still looking at you, Jax), this is great to pop in the home diffuser so you don’t get knocked out from the smell. Sorry, buddy, but it’s true.
As the name implies, Stress Away does exactly that. We use it for any and every kind of stress. I can personally attest that it helps you remain calm, cool and collected in the rare event that you adopt a dog from the shelter and then he decides to chew a corner off of your couch while you are at the store. (Thank goodness that was just a one time event).
You can also use it for when you send the dog to doggie day care or to the groomer, or for training. They actually make the most adorable diffuser charms for a dog collar and this is a great one to put in there.
Thieves is probably the most popular blend that Young Living sells. I buy it 2-3 bottles at a time because of its incredible overall wellness and immune system support. I clean everything in the house with the Thieves cleaner (which can also be sprayed directly on your pup’s coat). When diffused, Thieves cleanses the air and creates a calm and comforting environment.
In 2016, when we adopted Jax from the shelter, he brought with him kennel cough (yes, he was vaccinated for it– don’t get me started on that) and gave it to our older dog Libby. You can bet your butt that I was diffusing this everyday. I used a small amount of delsym for the rough patches, but between the two, I was saved a double vet bill, so that’s a win in my book!
Other Young Living Products to Support Your Dog
Outside of the kit, there is a line of additional products that we use for our dogs as well. The Animal Scents line is incredible and since they are already diluted, it takes the guesswork out of it! These oils are VERY economical, and can also be used on humans (shhhh… don’t tell anyone)! They include:
My husband actually prefers Repel Aroma (for himself) to our general insect repellent blend because of the thick no-see-ums in the South. It is literally the only thing that we have that works (the solution for no see ums in the South is Off with DEET). #nothankyou
Animal Scents Care Products
In addition to the essential oils, the Animal Scents line also includes care products too!
Animal Scents Shampoo cleans and conditions… 100% naturally! It contains 5 essential oils that make it both effective and safe for your furry family member.
Animal Scents Dental Pet Chews are made without anything artificial. I am told that they are tasty (and I will take YL’s word on that haha) and support oral health. They are also specially designed with ridges to gently clean your pet’s teeth!
Additional Oils & Supplements for Dogs
In addition to the specialized products for animals detailed above, there are also several other oils and supplements in which oily dog owners have benefitted from:
- Christmas Spirit: Learning, Security, or when you are out of Thieves 😉
- Citrus Fresh: General health, Immune Support, & to Encourage hydration.
- Clarity: Training, Mental acuity, Energy
- Common Sense: Decision Making, Training/Re-training
- Neroli: Dreams
- Orange: Old dogs, Tired dogs, Grieving dogs
- Peace & Calming I/II: Relaxation, Competing, Introducing a dog to new surroundings
- Valor I/II: Courage, Training, Competition, Active dogs, Empowering for timid dogs
- Helichrysum: Active dogs, Teething
- Frankincense (in addition to what has already been covered): Fear, Pet Rescue
- Marjoram: Sensitive/Emotional dogs, High Strung breeds, Horny Male dogs
- Deep Relief: Active dogs
- NingXia Red: All dogs
- Sulfurzyme: All dogs
- Small dogs 1-1 1/2 capsules per day or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
- Medium dogs 1-2 capsules per day or 1 heaping teaspoon
- Large dogs 2-4 capsules per day or 1 tablespoon
- OmegaGize: All dogs (Omega-3 for dogs can provide awesome support)
- Small dogs one capsule per day
- Medium dogs 1-2 capsules per day
- Large dogs 2-4 per day
- AgilEase: For dogs needing bone/joint support. Consult your vet for proper dosing.
- Raindrop Kit: The Raindrop combines several holistic techniques creating a synergistic effect for the body. While originally intended for humans, the raindrop therapy can be adapted to give those benefits to your dog as well! In fact, it is referenced many times for throughout the Animal Desk Reference (you can get it here), and when used accordingly is not just limited to dogs either.
This stuff all sounds great! How can you afford it?
Well first of all, I am a wholesale member. So right out of the gate, I save 24% on all of this great stuff. Then, I save even more money by adding my oils to my monthly box from Young Living.
YL’s monthly autoship program (Essential Rewards) is THE ONLY monthly autoship that I have never cancelled because it is sooo flexible and gives me TONS of free stuff. I add all of my oils to that order once a month (including products for my dogs), and it is shipped right to my door! Yep, it really is THAT simple.
On top of that, I earn points back that work like cash towards a future order. I am currently in the 25% bracket, so if I buy 100 points worth of already discounted stuff, I automatically earn 25 points (basically 25.00) back to my account to use for a future purchase.
It’s a total no brainer and has saved me I don’t even know how much money over the years. If you want to learn more about this awesome money saving program, contact me! I would love to tell you more about how great it is!
Looking for even more tips your dog will WUFF?? Check out my DIY recipes for Dogs here!