Large doses of tea tree oil are toxic to canines. You should know how to dilute tea tree oil for dogs so your pet can still reap the benefits without any side effects. Tea tree oil should only be used in concentrates of just around 0.1% to 1% and must only be used externally. You should use a carrier oil like coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil to dilute the tea tree oil before using it on your dog.
Is tea tree oil safe for dogs?
If used properly, tea tree oil can be safe for dogs. However, it’s important that you dilute it right and with the proper concentration to prevent any side effects. Just because tea tree oil is natural doesn’t mean it’s safe for your dog.
Take note that even as little a seven drops of pure tea tree oil can have fatal effects on your dog, especially small ones. Many canines end up in vet clinics due to severe tea tree poisoning.
To be safe, your dog should only be exposed to tea tree oil with a concentration of 0.1% to 1%. For bigger dogs you can stretch it to 2% but no more than that. I highly recommend asking your dog’s vet first before you use tea tree oil or any essential oil for that matter.
So what happens if your dog ingests or gets exposed to high amounts of tea tree oil? You will notice weakness, low body temperature, tremors, and walking drunk. Worst cases can lead to coma, increased production of liver enzymes, and eventual death.
If you’re new to tea tree oil, you should ask the supervision and help of a veterinarian to prevent poisoning your dog.
Uses of tea tree oil for dogs
Although tea tree oil is poisonous to canines, it still has benefits if used right.
Even in humans, tea tree oil is excellent in healing damaged skin, killing skin parasites, and easing irritations. The same goes for your dog. It can kill fleas, ticks, and soothe scabies. Remember, you have to dilute it first to prevent any adverse side effects.
Aside from that, diluted tea tree oil also works well in treating ear infections, but must be diluted for this purpose. Most of the time, there’s a special formula used to treat dog ear infections and not just tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil also works for hotspots on your dog and help restore the shine of its coat. Usually, you can buy commercially diluted tea tree oil for dogs that you can spray safely into the pooch’s skin.
Diluting tea tree oil for your dog
Again, you should never use pure tea tree oil in your dog, no matter how small the amount is. You should always dilute it first to spread out the concentration.
The process is simple: you should dilute every one drop of tea tree oil in 12 drops of carrier oil. This is the safest proportion, though some vets may recommend two drops, depending on the application.
What carrier oil should I use? I personally recommend coconut oil because it’s gentle, moisturizing, and safe for dogs. It also has a nice scent and properties that are coat-friendly. But if coconut oil isn’t available, you can also use food-grade olive oil or almond oil. Just remember that not all essential oils are suitable as carrier oils.
When diluting tea tree oil, always wear protective equipment like rubber gloves and goggles. Since tea tree oil is potent, it can easily cause skin and eye irritation if you happen to get in contact.
Also, before you apply tea tree oil on your dog’s skin, I suggest performing a patch test first. The process is similar to how you do a patch test before using a product. Apply a small amount of diluted tea tree oil in a single spot and see if your dog will experience any form of irritation. If irritation occurs, stop using the tea tree oil and ask the vet for an alternative instead.
Can I use tea tree oil on myself around my dog?
Before you use tea tree oil on your skin, it’s best to consult your dog’s vet first. While you’re the one who will be using it, your dog can still lick your skin and get exposed to the oil. If the vet gives it a go, you should only use formulated and diluted tea tree oil for you and your dog’s safety.
Also, I want to warn about a mistake many dogs make. Never throw the q-tips or cotton balls you used in applying the tea tree oil into the trash can. Dogs have very strong sniffers, and your pet can easily scavenge on it and ingest a certain amount of tea tree oil.
While this won’t usually cause serious symptoms, you can’t take chances. The best thing to do is to seal the tea tree oil-soaked material in a plastic bag and inside a trash can with a closed lid.
Also, if your dog exhibits any signs of tea tree oil poisoning, you should stop using the product and bring your pooch to the vet. Most signs of tea tree oil poisoning among dogs will show up within 2 to 12 hours.
My dog licked tea tree oil, what should I do?
In case your dog ingests or gets exposed to undiluted tea tree oil, you should bring it to the vet right away. Most vets will try to rinse your dog’s mouth to remove tea tree oil left. Next, the vet will try to give the pooch some light meals like white rice with boiled chicken to help appease the intestinal symptoms.
However, if the pooch is already vomiting and in a serious condition, the vet will put your pet in an IV drip. This will help replenish the lost fluids while the vet conducts other treatments. The vet may administer antacid to stop your pet’s stomach irritation. Depending on your dog’s condition, the veterinarian may use other drugs.
Remember that you shouldn’t try to self-medicate your dog once it licks undiluted tea tree oil. You should seek the help of the vet instead. Also, you should secure the source of the tea tree oil so your dog won’t have access to it.
Knowing how to dilute tea tree oil for dogs is important to prevent poisoning. You should also be careful when using this diluted oil on your dog. If your pet exhibits any adverse reaction, you should stop using the diluted tea tree oil and head straight to the vet. Always take tea tree oil poisoning on your dog because it can turn fatal in a matter of hours.