The eucalyptus plant offer many soothing properties that are beneficial for humans when used as an essential oil. However, is eucalyptus oil safe for dogs? Can it be harmful for dogs or does it offer benefits?
In short, eucalyptus oil is not safe for dogs. Keep reading to find out more about this essential oil and how it can affect dogs.
Table of Contents
- What is Eucalyptus Oil?
- Safety Concerns of Eucalyptus Oil for Dogs
- Can Eucalyptus Oil Help with Kennel Cough?
- Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Treating Fleas?
- Other Unsafe Essential Oils for Dogs
- Related Posts
What is Eucalyptus Oil?
The eucalyptus tree, native to Australia, is where we get eucalyptus oil. The oval-shaped leaves of this tree are dried, pressed, and distilled to create a fresh and minty-scented oil.
Many people enjoy using eucalyptus oil as a pain reliever, mosquito repellant, household cleaner, head lice deterrent or just a fresh fragrance to enjoy while hanging out at home.
For thousands of years, Indigenous Australians used this oil as a medicine. In the 1800s, eucalyptus oil became popular worldwide, and by the 1900s, companies were mass-producing it.
Eucalyptus oil worked its way into cough drops, chest rubs, antiseptic creams and mouthwashes. Recently, it’s been trending in aromatherapy or spa treatments.
Such a widespread product certainly deserves a closer look for pet parents who plan on having this in the household.
Safety Concerns of Eucalyptus Oil for Dogs
Some dog owners may diffuse essential oil into the air and notice their dogs sniffing too close. A few sniffs are probably fine, but dogs should absolutely not consume eucalyptus oil. If they do, it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue, and appetite loss due to the toxicity.
Eucalyptus is a neurotoxin, so it can affect the brain, causing depression, confusion or seizures. As a result, it’s best to dilute eucalyptus oil if you choose to diffuse it around dogs. That way, they’re less likely to become irritated by this strong substance.
It’s not safe to put eucalyptus oil straight onto your dog’s skin. Redness, itching, or irritation may appear as a result.
Also, don’t leave a bottle of eucalyptus oil out where your dog could get into it. Consuming large amounts of the oil may warrant a vet visit, depending on the severity of symptoms.
Is eucalyptus oil safe for dogs? Not according to the ASPCA.
The ASPCA confirms that the eucalyptus plant is toxic to dogs. If your dog ingests any eucalyptus product, look for signs of poisoning. Should you see your dog start salivating, have stomach issues or become weak, call your vet immediately. If your usual veterinary centre is closed, call your emergency vet for help.
Find out about houseplants that are poisonous to dogs
Can Eucalyptus Oil Help with Kennel Cough?
Some pet parents may wonder about using eucalyptus oil as a home remedy for kennel cough. It’s a common question, and eucalyptus’s antimicrobial properties seem to make it a good candidate to help with coughs… but it’s not.
Eucalyptus oil can be toxic to dogs, and the benefits of eucalyptus oil in treating kennel cough are not proven.
If your dog has any type of cough it’s best to see a veterinary professional for guidance and possible treatments such as antibiotics or cough suppressers.
Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Treating Fleas?
Some dog owners might have read that eucalyptus is a natural flea repellent.
However, as I’ve already explained, eucalyptus oil can be poisonous to dogs so it’s much better to use trusted, veterinary-approved canine products for flea repellent / treatment.
The benefits of eucalyptus oil to control fleas are unproven anyway and applying eucalyptus oil to your dog’s skin can cause painful itching or irritation.
Do not attempt to substitute a proper anti-flea treatment with doses of eucalyptus oil.
Other Unsafe Essential Oils for Dogs
Eucalyptus oil isn’t the only essential oil that’s unsafe for dogs. Here are some of the other essential oils that should also be kept away from dogs.
Small amounts of cinnamon oil may leave a dog unharmed, but large quantities can cause oral and digestive tract problems. If your dog consumes cinnamon oil, it may experience drooling, vomiting and diarrhoea. Extreme cases could result in heart rate changes, liver disease, or blood coagulation issues.
Additionally, try to keep cinnamon powder away from your dog since it may cause choking or breathing problems if inhaled.
Methyl salicylates is a substance that’s toxic to dogs and it’s a substance found in wintergreen oil. Dogs who ingest this oil, even in small amounts, can casue serious stomach issues… ulcers or perforations may result in severe cases. Methyl salicylates may also cause abnormal heartbeats and seizures.
Tea Tree Oil
Do not apply tea tree oil to your dog’s skin or let him ingest it. Tea tree oil is, unfortunately, harmful to dogs and may cause fatigue, vomiting or weakness. Large amounts of tea tree oil can even cause seizures in severe cases.
Finally, skin rashes and burns may result from tea tree oil if it gets onto a dog’s skin.
Here’s another toxic substance to add to the list: eugenol. It’s a substance found in cloves and clove oil. If ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and even liver damage.
Large amounts of cloves or clove oil may also cause seizures.
Peppermint is a plant that belongs to the mint family. It’s something that’s become incredibly popular in recent times as an aid for mental clarity, stress and coughs.
However, while it may be great for us, peppermint oil is not safe for dogs and can cause breathing difficulties, stomach upsets, neurological disturbance and skin irritation.
Summary – Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe for Dogs?
The eucalyptus plant is known to be toxic to dogs, so it’s safe to assume that eucalyptus oil is not safe for dogs. If you keep eucalyptus oil at home, take measures to keep it away from your dog and if you want to enjoy a lightly eucalyptus-scented home, be sure to monitor your dog’s reaction.
If your dog seems to be irritated by the eucalyptus oil, stop using it immediately. Try to avoid getting eucalyptus oil on your dog’s fur and if your dog consumes any, the safest thing to do is to speak with a veterinary professional… especially if you notice any strange symptoms shortly afterwards.
Have you ever had problems with your dog and eucalyptus oil? Please tell us about your experiences or ask a question in the comment section at the bottom of this page.
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