This post (and blog) is about dogs.  Please do not use advice here to treat cats.  Thanks!

I use essential oils daily.  I use them to wake up, to boost my mood, to alleviate allergies, to stop a headache before it morphs into a migraine, and more.  It didn't take long for me to wonder what essential oils can do for my dogs.   Today, I make flea & tick repellent, shampoo, anxiety mist, paw balm, and more.

There are a lot of essential oils on the market, and in my research, I order oils from a brand who makes their products with our dogs in mind, making them the safest in my opinion.  An investment in the oils can be intimidating. However, it didn't take me long that each bottle I order will probably last me a year because only a few drops are necessary to get the effect we need.

Here is a list of recipes that you can use to make products for your dogs.

1 – DIY Dog Shampoo

I make dog shampoo because Zoey is sensitive to smells and many natural shampoos on the market are too strong for her.  It's also less expensive to make dog shampoo now that I have the right ingredients on hand.

  • 4 cups of water
  • 4 tablespoons of castile soap
  • 4 tablespoons of carrier oil
  • 5 drops of Lavender
  • 2 drops of Thieves
  • 2 drops of Roman Chamomile or Eucalyptus (not the same, but options I've used)
  • 2 drops of Rosemary
  • 2 drops of Lemon or Grapefruit
  • 2 drops of Citronella
  • 1 drop of Cedarwood

I mix these ingredients in a mixing bowl, using a wire whisk, then pour the contents into a pump bottle.  Because this doesn't have a thickening agent, this will be a watery product that you can easily waste – the pump bottle controls the waste, pumping shampoo and foam into your hand that you can then massage into your dog's coat.

The oils that I chose for this recipe also work to repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.

2 – DIY Soothing Dog Shampoo

Use the same recipe above and swap out 4-5 ounces of water for 4-5 ounces of aloe vera.

3 – Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs

One of my friends told me about this a couple of weeks ago.  She stopped using flea and tick repellents and simply adds lavender oil to a bandanna that she ties around her dog's neck.  That's so simple.  I took inspiration from the flea & tick spray above to develop this recipe – which will make four collars.

  • 1 cup of water (double if your dog is sensitive to smell)
  • 5 drops of Lavender
  • 2 drops of Citronella
  • 1 drop of Cedarwood

I mix these ingredients together in a bowl using a wire whisk, then soak cotton bandannas into the mixture and let dry in the sun.  This will work with dog collars too, but don't get the mixture on any plastic parts; some oils (specifically citrus oils) will degrade the plastic.

Once the collar is dry, it's ready to put around your dog's neck.  If your dog is sensitive to smell, you can also tie it to his or her harness before walks (get it away from their nose).

4 – Flea & Tick Repellent Spray

This recipe was inspired by what I know about repelling fleas naturally.  I know which scents they don't like so I used those in this product.  I've adapted the recipe since I first made it in May.

  • 5 drops of Lavender
  • 2 drops Citronella
  • 2 drops of Cedarwood
  • 2 drops of Lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
  • 10-12 ounce spray bottle (use a 16-ounce bottle if this mixture is too strong)

The more oils I use, the fewer drops I'll add to prevent the scent from becoming overwhelming.

5 – Easy Tick Removal

I found this solution in a Facebook group and followed up with some online research (yeah, I know I should be wary of the Internet) confirming that this trick works; so I want to share it with you.

  • 2-3 drops Palo Santo – put oil on the tick to encourage detachment (or easy removal), the tick should be dead within 15 minutes according to my readings
  • 1 drop of Rosemary – after tick is removed; Rosemary works as an anti-bacterial and antiseptic1

Citronella and lemongrass also serve as antibacterials; clove and tea tree (which I avoid due to Cosmo, our cat) serve as an antiseptic.

6 – Dog Paw Balm

This recipe was inspired by research I did on what went into a paw balm; mostly, I made it up as I went along; please forgive the vague measurements.

  • 1 small glass (I used a shot glass that is shaped like a drinking glass)
  • 1 pot for heating up water
  • 2 tablespoons of shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil
  • 2 tablespoons of beeswax
  • 1-2 drops of Lavender
  • 1-2 drops of Frankincense

I added the shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax to the glass and sat the glass in the pot (surrounded by water).  I heated the water on low and kept an eye on it.  Once the shea butter and coconut oil are melted (happens quickly), I stirred the contents until the beeswax melted.

I used pliers to lift the glass out of the pot, and I sat it on a towel the glass cooled (cools quickly).  I added two drops each of the essential oils.  Once I could handle the glass with my hand (a couple of minutes later), I poured everything into the containers (I used the travel size containers you can pick up at Target).

I set aside to cool, and I had paw balm a short time later.

7 – Calming Mist for Dogs (1)

This recipe was inspired by an article on Dogs Naturally Magazine:

  • 5 drops of Rosemary
  • 5 drops of Roman Chamomile
  • 5 drops of Lavender
  • Water
  • 8-ounce spray bottle

This one is easy.  I mix the ingredients, fill the bottle with water, and add the lid.  I spray the mist around the dogs, not directly in their face.  Or I spray the mist into the palms of my hands and massage their neck, back, and chest t help them relax.  It works great on Zoey, which is surprising because she usually doesn't like the oils.

8 – Calming Mist for Dogs (2)

This recipe was inspired by my recipe above.

  • 5 drops of Cederwood
  • 5 drops of Lavender
  • Water
  • 8-ounce spray bottle

This one is easy.  I mix the ingredients, fill the bottle with water, and add the lid.  I spray the mist around the dogs, not directly in their face.  Or I spray the mist into the palms of my hands and massage their neck, back, and chest t help them relax.  It works great on Zoey, which is surprising because she usually doesn't like the oils.

Quick Tip on Preparing for a Vet Visit

You can also add a spritz of the calming mist to a clothes pin, attach it to your car air vent, and let it “diffuse” in the car on the way to the vet to relax your dogs.

9 – Dog Coat and Skin Conditioner

If you have a dog with dry, itchy skin, I recommend taking a look at your dog's diet, adding Bonnie & Clyde fish oil and FullBucket Daily Canine Powder to meals, and using this easy essential oils recipe:

  • 5 drops of Lavender
  • 3 drops of Roman Chamomile
  • 3 drops of Frankincense
  • 3 drops of vitamin E
  • 2 tablespoons of carrier oil

I mix the ingredients together in a measuring cup or bowl, then pour into a glass dropper bottle or roller ball bottles. This is another option for dry paws, and I use it to soothe dry skin on the tummy.

10 – Soothe a Dog's Muscle Aches

Sydney and I are working to lose weight together.  Scout is our most active dog and will often overdo it if we're not careful.  I created this mixture to help with their aches and pains – it works quickly, and I can use it too.

  • 2-3 drops of Copaiba
  • 3 drops of Lavender
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil

I add my oils to a glass roller ball bottle.  When one of our dogs are exhibiting signs of sore muscles, I rub the roller bottle on the area and gently massage the area.  I've noticed that they feel better within 10 to 15 minutes.

11 – Soothing a Dog's Upset Tummy

Does your dog have gas?  Is your dog suddenly dying to race outside and eat every blade of grass in the yard?  When this happens at my house, it's because the dogs ate something they shouldn't have and now they have an upset tummy.

If you experience this with your dog, I recommend a change in diet, the addition of a digestive supplement, and this trick that works wonders for Rodrigo.

  • 2-3 drops of Tarragon, Ginger, Juniper, or Lemongrass (or make a larger roller and include 1 drop of each)
  • 3 drops of Peppermint (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon of carrier oil

I add my oils to a glass roller ball bottle.  When Rodrigo has an upset tummy, I rub the roller ball on the skin of his belly (it only takes a small amount) and massage the oil in with my hands.  With the rest of the oil on my hands, I stroke Rodrigo's spine.  It works wonders, and I've noticed an immediate improvement.

12 – Calm Anxious or Over Excited Dogs

With the Fourth of July around the corner, I checked my essential oils stock to confirm that I have two MUST HAVE oils on hand.  It's been difficult to convince J that he only needs a drop, and he went through one oil in less than 2 weeks!!!

  • 1 drops of Cedarwood, Lavender, Copaiba, and Vanilla
  • A Diffuser
  • Water

I add my oils to the water in the diffuser and turn it on; the dogs will be chilling out (and possibly sleeping) in less than 30 minutes.  It's HEAVEN!!!

13 – Immune System Mist for Dogs

This recipe was inspired by my calming mist and what I've learned about essential oils to date.

  • 5 drops of Frankincense
  • 5 drops of Lavender
  • Water
  • 12-ounce spray bottle

I mix the ingredients, fill the bottle with water, and add the lid.  I mist around the dogs (not directly in their face), or I spray the mist into the palm of my hands and massage their neck, back, and chest area.

Bonus Recipe – Ear Cleaner

I woke up this morning and remembered that I forgot about one recipe that Sydney's veterinarian gave me a couple of weeks ago.  Sydney's ears were red, very dirty, and scratched.  Signs of an impending ear infection that I thought would call for a prescription.  Nope!

  • Mix Apple Cider Vinegar and Hydrogen Peroxide (50/50) into a spray bottle
  • Mist the mixture inside of the ear and ear canal and let set for 10 minutes
  • Wipe out dirt
  • Sooth ear with coconut oil

I repeated this ritual daily until Sydney's ear cleared up; I saw improvements in less than 48 hours.

This post shares my personal experience with essential oils.  This post (and blog) is about dogs.  Please do not use advice here to treat cats.  Thanks!

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