cani give my dog cbd oil for itching

Essential oils for dogs: Pawsome tips for your furry friend

Man’s best friend. Doggo. Pupper. Colonel Princess Fluffernugget. Whatever you call your canine companion, your dog is an important member of the family. It makes total sense that you’d want to share your favorite essential oils with your four-legged friend.

How do I apply essential oils to my dog? Is diffusing oils safe for dogs? What essential oils are good for dogs’ itchy skin? What essential oils can I use with my dog? If these questions sound familiar, you’re barking up the right tree!

Grab your furry BFF and get comfy—we’re about to share the ultimate guide on essential oils for dogs .

How do I apply essential oils to my dog?

First and most important: Dogs are highly sensitive to essential oils. What smells like the faintest hint of Lavender to you might smell like 100 acres of lavender botanicals to little Beethoven. Gradually introduce oils by using them on yourself first. Acting as a human diffuser keeps all those new scents from overpowering your pup.

If you’re the proud owner of a new puppy, patience is a virtue. Fur reals. Avoid using topical oils on newborn dogs. For medium- or large-breed puppies, wait until they’re over 8 weeks old. For toy or small-breed puppies, wait until they are over 10 weeks old.

Once you start applying essential oils, pay close attention to Lulu’s behavior. Remember, she wants to be near you and will stay by your side even if she’s feeling uncomfortable. Contrary to popular animated films, pets can’t tell us if something is working or not. Please exercise caution—use oils on that loveable lapdog safely and responsibly.

Should I consult a vet?

YES. Note the caps—we’re super serious about this one. If your dog is pregnant, nursing, or has a medical condition, consult a vet knowledgeable in essential oils prior to use. The following are general recommendations for use. If your pet has a known health issue, please consult your veterinarian before administering essential oils. If your vet suggests other usages, defer to those recommendations. Even if your dog is healthy as a horse, please consult a vet to ensure that there aren’t any underlying issues.

Topical application:

When you’re ready to give Teddy some essential oil TLC, topical application is the way to go. But before you apply, dilute those drops! And remember size matters. Dilute 1 drop of essential oil to 4 drops of V-6™ for small to medium dogs; 1 drop of oil to 3 drops V-6 for large dogs.

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Speaking of dilution, did you know that our Animal Scents® oils come prediluted? Even though they’re not as potent, you’ll want to ease into using them by adding 1 drop of the Animal Scents oil to 1 drop of carrier oil. If your dog tolerates it well, you can try it without diluting it.

When you’re ready to give it a try, rub the oil and carrier oil between your palms until your hands are no longer shiny. Rub over your pet’s back, on the belly, and behind the ears. Take extra care to avoid the eyes!

Can Coconut Oil Help a Dog’s Itchy Skin?

These days, most people have heard about the natural goodness of coconut oil. But up until a few years ago, I never realized I could use coconut oil for dogs, particularly that I could use coconut oil for a dog’s itchy skin. Sure, I knew plenty about the health advantages of products such as safflower and olive oils. But then coconut oil entered my life in a hugely helpful way, thanks to our rescue pup Maizy.

Coconut oil for a dog’s itchy skin? Here’s how it works. Photography ©R.Tsubin | Getty Images.

Using coconut oil for a dog’s itchy skin — one success story

Due to her hound heritage, Maizy is what I like to call a serial sniffer. She dissects the dog parks every spring, following the scents of squirrels, rabbits, other canines, and who knows what else. Often, she gets so enthralled with this activity that she barely responds to her own name.

One day, Maizy’s investigations led her straight into an overgrown thicket of weeds and wildflowers … and that led to an angry-looking rash along her ears and neck. The medication used to treat her skin left it overly dry, and I guess overly itchy as well. Because she scratched, and scratched, and scratched. After several sleep-deprived weeks of this prickly, pervasive problem — and after trying a series of medicated ointments and shampoos, to no avail — we finally visited a holistic vet.

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His suggestion for using coconut oil for a dog’s itchy skin surprised me. Treat this issue from the inside out, he said. That meant easing up on carbs and grains to minimize the yeast on Maizy’s skin. It also meant feeding her a serving of pure, virgin coconut oil every single day, and rubbing some onto her skin and fur. We tried this for a few weeks, and WOW. Not only did Maizy lose that yeasty, bag-o-Fritos “doggie” smell, her skin cleared up and her coat looked glossier than ever. Of course, the moment our other rescue pup, Grant, smelled the coconut oil, he wanted in on the action. So now they both reap coconut oil’s tasty benefits on a regular basis.

Why coconut oil for dogs? And why coconut oil for a dog’s itchy skin?

So, what are the benefits of coconut oil for dogs, and coconut oil for a dog’s itchy skin? According to integrative pet care expert Dr. Karen Becker, natural virgin coconut oil has antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiprotozoal properties. That means it can reduce yeast and fungus on contact, both inside and out; and it’s also very healing for irritated skin, hot spots, abrasions and cracked paws. The “virgin” variety typically starts with fresh coconut meat, so it’s not subjected to chemical processes such as bleaching or filtering. This makes it safe for dogs, cats, and humans to ingest in appropriate amounts.

My vet cited Dr. Becker’s work, explaining that coconut oil is rich in a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) called lauric acid. This substance is most commonly found in the milk of mother mammals, and one of its primary functions is to boost the immune system. That’s why coconut oil is so effective at helping to clear up bacterial and viral infections. Like pumpkin, it can also soothe digestion and upset stomachs. And just as the vet predicted, it’s given both my dogs super-soft fur.

Now that we know that coconut oil could work to help a dog’s itchy skin, how do we give it to our dogs? Photography by Africa Studio / Shutterstock.

How to use coconut oil for a dog’s itchy skin — and other ailments

It’s always smart to start small when feeding your pup anything new — especially coconut oil, which my own dogs would gobble up without proper supervision. At my house, we began with about 1/4 teaspoon and increased gradually to 1/2 teaspoon per dog, once or twice per day.

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You can also:

  1. Drizzle a bit over your pup’s food, because coconut oil liquefies easily at room temperature.
  2. Mold a small blob around pills or tablets your pet might be otherwise tempted to refuse.
  3. Rub a little between your palms, run it over your pet’s fur, and brush lightly. Work the rest into your own hands for serious skin-softening benefits.

Nutty Nuggets* — a treat featuring coconut oil for dogs

And here’s an easy recipe for a no-bake treat that’s a huge hit with Grant and Maizy because, naturally, it contains … coconut oil. You can refrigerate these yummy bites or freeze them and thaw as needed. They’re even safe for pet parents to sample. Ummm … not like I would know anything about that.


  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons organic pumpkin or applesauce
  • 2 to 2 3/4 cups oat, spelt, or quinoa flour
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Powdered peanut butter (optional)


  1. Place coconut oil, peanut butter, pumpkin/applesauce, honey, vanilla and cinnamon into a large bowl. Stir until well-combined.
  2. Begin adding flour about 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Keep adding until dough mixture is well-combined and pliable. If the mixture becomes too stiff to work with, add a little more pumpkin or applesauce.
  3. Spoon up the mixture in portions that are roughly the size of mini-meatballs. Shape these into a round or oblong pieces by rolling between your palms.
  4. If desired, finish by rolling each piece in dry, powdered peanut butter to coat.
  5. Arrange finished treats on a plate or pan lined with wax paper.
  6. Refrigerate for at least one full hour before serving.

*A word of caution: Always check with your vet before feeding your pooch anything new. This is especially true if your dog already struggles with health issues such as kidney problems or pancreatitis. While natural and healthy, these Nutty Nuggets are high in fat and should be given as very occasional treats. They aren’t meant to replace your pet’s regular diet.