Using tea tree oil for dogs is not always an obvious choice. Tea tree oil is one of nature’s natural antiseptics. It is easily absorbed by the skin and is often used in humans to treat insect bites or cuts. It can also be used to help to numb pain and can be used topically to treat infections, including fungal infections.
While tea tree oil can be applied to human skin, it is a very strong oil and when using it to treat dogs it is better to dilute it for safety and administer only small amounts.
As with humans, ingestion of the essential oil should be avoided, as it can be toxic to them. Care should also be taken when applying it to wounds on pets that they should not be allowed to lick it off.
If using tea tree oil to wash a wound, then one or two drops per cup full of water are sufficient. It may not sound like a large amount but the oil is extremely powerful, and only small doses are required when using tea tree oil for dogs.
When adding to bath water, again only a few drops will be required. It is important that large amounts are not left on the dog’s skin. Tea tree oil can be added to a pet’s bath water to treat infections such as ringworm.
A cream or ointment containing the oil can also be applied topically to the affected area. A number of ready-made creams and other preparations containing tea tree for dogs can be purchased for this purpose and which are gentle and easy to use.
Tea tree oil shampoos for dogs are also available. A ready-blended preparation is preferable to one you would blend yourself because of the care that would need to be taken when adding the oil.
Only small amounts should be used, as it can be absorbed by the skin and pets are very likely to ingest some when they clean themselves. A ready-blended preparation will contain only tiny amounts of the oil, enough to be effective but not enough to be harmful. These shampoos are often used to treat dogs that may have fleas or other parasites.
Tea tree oil for dogs can be used in toothpastes to help to fight plaque on dog’s teeth. Again, these pre-blended preparations are the best option. The tea tree will be a minimal amount and safe to use.
Antiseptic wipes can be purchased which have been infused with the oil and which can be used on cuts and scrapes. They will be effective enough to cleanse and fight infection without supplying excessive amounts of the essential oil.
If too much oil is applied to the skin, there are a number of symptoms to watch out for. These include lethargy, a lack of coordination, general weakness, and shaking.
If your pet displays any of these symptoms, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately. Smaller pets may be much more susceptible to poisoning from the essential oil than larger pets, so it is essential that recommended doses are not exceeded.