It is a common thing that a dog owner believes that a product safe for humans is safe for dogs as well. Tea tree oil is safe for humans. Is tea tree oil safe for dogs? Well, this is something we will have to reveal below. Keep in mind that many products and ingredients that are safe for humans are dangerous for dogs and even other pets. Let’s start with the basics and move to more important and complex things and facts.
Is Tea Tree Oil Safe For Dogs?
Tea tree oil: Basics
Tea tree oil is made from Melaleuca alternifolia. It is a small tree found in Australia. Is tea tree oil safe for dogs if it is all-natural? Hold your horses, we will get to that. Anyway, the oil is made from the leaves and has been used in Aboriginal medicine for centuries. They would usually make tea from it or make a paste. The paste would be applied to wounds.
In these cases, we can see that tea tree oil is a safe and appealing option. It contains a compound called terpinen-4-ol which is very effective in eliminating viruses, fungi, and bacteria. That’s why it has been used in Australia to treat cold and flu among other things. It has been used to treat various skin issues as well.
Today this oil can be found as essential oil in multiple forms. It can be seen in many skincare products for humans. Believe it or not, it is more common than you may believe. This also means that in some cases the tea tree oil can come in contact with dogs.
Is tea tree oil safe for dogs?
Tea tree oil is dangerous and toxic to dogs. You must avoid it at all costs. The situation is even more severe than you may believe. For instance, only 7 drops of the oil will cause severe poisoning in dogs. 10 or 20 ml of the oil will kill your dog. Don’t forget that we are referring to 100% pure tea tree oil that wasn’t diluted by water or other mediums.
If you use this oil to repel insects, to treat some skin issues, or nail fungus, keep in mind that your dog must not come in contact with the tea tree oil! It is dangerous and it can be fatal even in small amounts.
In reality, most essential oils are not safe for dogs. When used topically or when ingested they can be very dangerous. Tea tree oil is one of those options that you will want to avoid. Even if applied to the skin it will be easily absorbed and can cause the mentioned issues. Applying the oil to the coat of your dog is dangerous as well. He may lick the oil and it will come into the bloodstream which will cause poisoning.
If your pet is poisoned by tea tree oil you will notice some symptoms.
The most common are:
- Liver failure
As you can see all of these are severe and your pet will need immediate attention from a vet. He may induce vomiting, use intravenous fluids and medications in order to find the symptoms and prevent more severe ones. The treatment will depend on the symptom your dog has. Less severe ones will require less severe treatment, obviously.
If you have applied tea tree oil to the hair of your pet you will have to remove it immediately. Removing it with water is recommended. This is simple yet effective decontamination you will have to use. If you used or you are using shampoos that contain tea tree oil (1-2% only) you don’t have to worry about it. These are not toxic and the amount of tea tree oil is too low in the product to cause any severe issues.
When it comes to prognosis, we have two things to say. If your pet has minor symptoms such as weakness, and the decontamination started soon the prognosis is very good. Your dog will recover fast and there won’t be permanent damages. But, if your dog has ingested a higher amount of tea tree oil and there are more severe symptoms from the list present, the prognosis is not very good. That’s why you will have to take him to a vet immediately and get him the help your pet deserves.
Are there any benefits?
Theoretically, tea tree oil can be an effective option to treat skin issues and bacterial problems in your dog. However, it is toxic and as such must not be used. You can opt for a small percentage. A product that has 1% of tea tree oil is safe for dogs but the amount is too low to get any benefits.
In the lack of a better word, there are no real benefits your dog will get and as such you will need to look for an alternative method. The situation is even more severe if you know that tea tree oil wasn’t properly tested on dogs and there are no studies that prove the positive effects. Don’t forget that manufacturers don’t have any rules they must incorporate into the products. They don’t have to state the actual percentage of the oil used and there are no additional regulations. All of this means that the risk is too high and you should avoid these products. It is the safest option here.
Dog products that contain tea tree oil
You may know that there are a lot of products out there that do contain tea tree oil. For instance, shampoos may contain it. Some products to remove ear wax and help your pet with overall ear health contain it as well. Other products are designed to decrease inflammation.
In general, many products do contain tea tree oil. If you are using one make sure that the concentration is below 2%. This will mean that the concentration is too low to cause poisoning or any severe issues. If you use a shampoo with this oil make sure to rinse it off completely. An interesting fact is that these shampoos are designed to provide certain benefits but not to remove odors and oils from the hair of the dog. They are quite effective in doing that.
All we can add here is that tea tree oil is more common than some of you may believe and as such you will need to pay close attention to the products offered and used. In small concentrations, this oil can be used and it is safe. In high dosages, it is lethal so you can get the idea.
Almost all of these products will be advertised as natural or herbal. This is actually true. They do contain tea tree oil which comes from natural ingredients. But, just because something is natural doesn’t mean it is safe. Most toxins come from natural elements. Make sure to understand the complete list of ingredients used and also check the percentage or amount of those ingredients in the product.
Tea tree oil for eliminating fleas on your dog
You probably have heard about people using tea tree oil for treating or removing fleas from dogs. Well, this doesn’t work. First of all, there are no actual reports that suggest otherwise. Then, the oil will not kill adult fleas nor eggs.
There is no point in using tea tree oil to eliminate fleas from your pet. This doesn’t work and there are a lot more appealing, safer, and more effective methods out there. Just pick the one that you can use. We must add that topical treatments your vet will recommend are the best option and also the safest. There are no issues here and your dog will be safe from fleas for months.
What vets have to say?
Vets will say just one thing when it comes to tea tree oil for dogs. Avoid it. If you really like the product, make sure that the concentration is 1-2%. If the concentration is not displayed on the label, avoid using the product. It usually means that the concentration is much higher. It is best to avoid using products that contain tea tree oil completely.
There are no real benefits here but there is always a risk that can be fatal. Also, there are always much better, safer, and more appealing options to choose from. In the end, we don’t see any reason why a dog owner will use tea tree oil on his dog. The risk is just too high.
The final word
Is tea tree oil safe for dogs? As you were able to see, it is. It is something you will have to avoid and something you need to understand. We should add that many essential oils are bad for dogs so keep your eyes on the symptoms, side effects and learn the basics before you use one. Your dog must be healthy and stay away from all the ingredients or things that can have a negative effect on his health.
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