As a holistic veterinarian, I often encounter pets with skin issues, from minor wounds to persistent itchy hotspots. While conventional treatments focus on symptoms, I advocate for addressing the root causes and treating the symptoms with natural remedies like essential oils while you are figuring out why the itchiness is there in the first place.
Gut health is commonly a main reason for skin issues, like hot spots, allergies and ear infections. Make sure that you don’t end up missing the root cause for why the symptom is there since many pet parents end up in a vicious cycle of only treating the symptoms. Make sure to check out our blog post on healing allergies naturally at the root cause level.
In this post, I’ll share my top 5 essential oils for dog skin health and how to use them effectively and safely.
When to Seek Veterinary Care:
Before we dive into essential oils, let’s address when it’s crucial to take your pet to the vet:
- Injuries that penetrate the skin (e.g., bite wounds, paw pad lacerations).
- Wounds with red, puffy skin or covering a large body area.
Remember, if in doubt, a vet visit is always the safest choice.
Safely Using Essential Oils for Your Pets:
Essential oils are potent, natural compounds from plants, requiring careful usage to avoid adverse effects. For example, producing just 5ml of rose oil takes about 8000 rose flowers! This concentration means we must use them judiciously and under guidance.
Because essential oils are very concentrated, this is one of the many reasons why pets can get sick if essential oils are used inappropriately.
Learn more about how to use essential oils safely in your pets.
Top 5 Essential Oils for Your Dog’s Skin:
- Helichrysum: A versatile oil, excellent for blood clotting, bruising, wound healing, and natural pain relief. It’s especially beneficial in trauma cases, like lung contusions, and can be diffused safely.
- Melissa (Lemon Balm): Potent in fighting viral infections and useful in a range of conditions from depression to seizures. It has a very high vibrational energy and is most likely the highest anti-viral substance available. So if you have a kitty that is battling chronic herpes/upper respiratory infections or a dog with kennel cough, you need this oil. It’s safe for both dogs and cats.
- Frankincense: A ‘life force’ oil, vital for its safety, versatility, and effectiveness. Particularly useful for young, old and ill pets, and it enhances other essential oils’ effects. There are different species of frankincense that will affect the pets in different ways. The more common form is Frankincense carteri but other forms can be used for deeper spiritual healing if needed.
- Copaiba: Excellent for reducing inflammation and pain, often replacing NSAID pain drugs. It works well alongside other treatments.
- Lavender: Known for its antibacterial properties, it’s ideal for skin infections and hotspots. Ensure you use a medical-grade brand to avoid synthetic additives. When used appropriately, lavender is incredibly mild and can be used extensively for its antibacterial properties to reduce infection in wounds or for skin infections.Lavender oil can be one of the best natural remedies for a dog hotspot home treatment to naturally soothe inflamed skin and avoid antibiotics.
DIY Pain Relief Essential Oil Recipe:
Here’s a great pain relieving essential oil recipe that I recommend and is safe for your pets:
- 5 drops myrrh
- 5 drops helichrysum
- 5 drops copaiba
- Combined with 2 mls of carrier oil
You can apply this mixture directly to inflammation (like a bruise) or next to an incision site to aid healing and reduce the pain.
Natural Home Remedies for Dog Skin Care:
- Animal Scents Ointment: A blend of essential oils like Palmarosa, Geranium, and Myrrh, perfect for wounds and repelling insects.You can use the blend Young Living Purification blend mixed in a carrier oil and apply to the outer flaps of the ears to repel biting insects and also heal any scabs or wounds at the same time.This ointment can also be applied directly to wounds to help them heal faster. This is like the “bag balm” ointment that’s used by many people.
- Fractionated Coconut Oil or Jojoba Oil: Useful for diluting oils to apply topically to pets. If an areas needs to become dry, like with a hot spot, then using green clay topically on the area is better for its drying properties and antibacterial/antifungal properties.
- ClaraDerm Spray: A blend with coconut oil, myrrh, and lavender. It’s an amazing formula to help treat yeast infections, especially with vulvar infections (so conditions like vaginitis), around irritated anal glands, on itchy paw pads and anywhere else there are secondary skin irritations and infections.
- Lavaderm: A cooling mist with lavender and aloe vera is ideal for burns and minor irritations. This blend works because it calms irritated skin and promotes tissue regeneration.
Cleaning Wounds Naturally:
- Young Living Thieves Cleaner: Dilute the concentration and use for washing wounds.
- Dilute Castile Soap: A gentle alternative for cleaning a skin infection or wound.
After cleaning the area, applying the above remedies can be helpful for healing and tissue repair. The remedy below can also be used for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects for dog’s skin health and helping wounds and dog allergies to heal.
- Manuka Honey Blend: Mix 5 drops each of lavender and helichrysum with manuka honey for an antibacterial ointment.
Essential oils are powerful tools when used correctly. Avoid store-bought oils that might be adulterated. Work with a professional for guidance and always test a small area first.
In conclusion, essential oils are a very powerful healing tool when used appropriately.
Essential oil brands for your pets we love and trust include:
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*Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your own veterinarian or doctor. Dr. Katie Woodley cannot answer specific questions about your pet’s medical issues or make medical recommendations for your pet without first establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Links in the description are typically affiliate links that let you help support the channel at no extra cost.