Q: I have heard that aromatherapy can work wonders to calm dogs down. Apart from that, will I be able to use essential oils on my dogs to keep skin problems at bay? And if so, what oils would you recommend to soothe hot spots?

Essential oils work wonders for the treatment of a wide variety of dog’s health problems such as itchy skin, flea problems, hot spots, motion sickness, and more. However do take the following precautions when using essential oils with your dogs:

  • Never give essential oils by mouth or in food
  • Essential oils must always be diluted prior to use
  • Always try a very small amount first to test for sensitivity
  • Do not apply oils to pregnant dogs
  • Only use essential oils that come from a reputable company

How to get rid of hot spots:

Very carefully shave the hair off the hot spot. It is important that air can get to the sores. Many people like to shave the surrounding area because the hot spot can spread fast. Make sure the area is dry, clean and is well ventilated.

Place two drops of lavender essential oil on a cold wet tea bag and hold it on your dog for about five minutes. The tea bag and astringent nature of the lavender and tannins will help dry up the afflicted area. Apply four times a day.

Apply Blue Chamomile aloe vera gel once a day to soothe the skin and speed up the healing process.

To avoid other skin problems or to alleviate them, you can try the following recipes:

Skin Relief Blend for Dogs

Pour the following essential oils into a 10-ml bottle and fill with jojoba oil. Gently apply to troubled area.

2 drops Tea Tree
7 drop Lavender
4 drops Geranium

Itch Relief Blend for Dogs:

Pour the following essential oils into a 10-ml bottle and fill with jojoba oil. Gently apply to affected area.

3 drops Blue Chamomile
4 drops Lavender
5 drops Geranium
3 drops carrot seed oil

Anti-Flea Blend:

Make the following blend by pouring the following ingredients into a 1-oz spray bottle:

2 drops Citronella
4 drops Lemon
4 drops Clary Sage
10 drops of Peppermint
22.5 ml rubbing alcohol

Fleas really don’t like mint! Spray the affected areas of your home. Be sure to spray your dog’s bed, directly onto your dog, but keep the bottle at least ten inches away from him. Avoid spraying on the head and eyes.

Anti-Tick Blend

Prepare the following blend by pouring the essential oils into a 10-ml bottle and adding jojoba oil to fill.

10 drops Tea Tree
10 drops Lavender
3 drops Bay Leaf
2 drops Geranium

Apply 1 drop of Lavender and 1 drop of Tea Tree undiluted essential oils before extracting ticks from your pet. This will disinfect the inflamed area. It may sting a little bit (as alcohol would) but it works great!