With their tails wagging and noses twitching, our furry companions are brought into this world to be our best friends, our fur children, and loyal family members. It’s unfortunate that they aren’t able to enjoy everything we love, especially certain foods (namely chocolate).
Is it possible for your fur baby to enjoy the soothing effects of essential oils? Basil is a great herb used in cooking to really add flavor to dishes, but it can also provide your internal space with a fresh yet strong aroma. But is basil essential oil a friend or a foe to your pooch?
What Is Basil Essential Oil?
Basil essential oil (EO) is exactly what it sounds like – a concentrated extract you get directly from a basil plant. It’s one that we must admit smells more like it belongs in the kitchen, but some people really enjoy the peppery herbaceous scent in every room.
Basil essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy, natural, alternative, and holistic medicine as well as perfumery.
What Is Basil Essential Oil Good For?
Basil EO can find its place in many practices. As we mentioned above, basil essential oil can be found in aromatherapy among other things. Most commonly, it is used for stress and anxiety relief. Surprisingly, it also helps with mental clarity.
If you like the scent, basil could also be an inviting mood enhancer if used the right way mainly through diffusion. Other than that, the main benefits of basil EO also include respiratory enhancement and pain relief.
Is Basil Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?
Now we get to the million-dollar question. Is basil essential oil safe for dogs? The answer is generally yes.
However, as we often say, the research is lacking in the study of EOs and their specific benefits to our canine buddies.
So if you want to be on the cautious side, we’d say stick to ones that are widely regarded as safe, such as lavender.
We will also specify that basil essential oil is only safe for dogs if properly diluted and used correctly. You should avoid using it in large amounts or your dog could end up with EO poisoning, which goes for any essential oil – even the safe ones.
If you intend on using any essential oil in your dog’s care regimen, we’d also recommend letting your vet know first and getting their approval.
How to Use Basil Essential Oil Near Dogs?
The best way to use basil essential oil near dogs is by diffusion. We’d suggest only choosing high-quality and organic oils if possible and following instructions, which usually suggest adding just one or two drops into a diffuser with water.
An extra tip on making sure your dog is comfortable while you get him acquainted with this new smell is to apply it in a well-ventilated room with a clear exit for your pooch just in case it gets overwhelming.
Monitor your dog closely to make sure he isn’t uncomfortable or to see if there are any adverse reactions. If so, vent the room right way and stop using the EO.
What Could Basil Essential Oil Help Dogs With?
Remember that more research is needed on this front, but we can predict that basil EO could have the following benefits for your pooch.
Stress and Anxiety Relief
Many essential oils help manage stress and anxiety in dogs, and basil can be one of them. When it fills up a room, the aroma can create a very relaxing atmosphere. However, if it happens to be a scent your dog dislikes, then it could elicit the opposite effect.
As minty fresh scents can do for us (but are harmful to dogs), it’s possible that basil can help clear your dog’s airways if he’s feeling a little bit congested. An excellent example of when to try this out is when seasonal allergies hit in the springtime.
Dogs have a very high pain threshold, which can sometimes make their pain and suffering even more heartbreaking. However, basil can potentially help with pain management in the joints and sore muscles.
Because of its strong scent, basil can probably help keep fleas and ticks at bay. However, until we have concrete evidence that basil alone can do the trick, we would still follow the vet’s recommendations and use basil as a supplement.
Other Dog-Friendly Essential Oils for Diffusing
If basil isn’t your favorite smell, why not give these dog-friendly essential oils that work well for diffusion a chance? They are also more widely regarded as safe.
Other Dog-friendly EO's To Diffuse
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind When Diffusing Essential Oils
Identify the safe ones
Dogs can be allergic to different things, so it’s always a safer bet to choose essential oils that have more evidence to be safe.
Seek vet approval
Aside from you, your vet has the clearest picture of your dog’s health. Before trying anything new, consult with your vet about their opinion. It may give you more clarity and insight into what’s best for your pooch.
Dilute the oils
Always dilute the oils. Using them with a diffuser is the safest, but if used topically, make sure to mix the EO with a dog-safe carrier oil.
Monitor your pet closely
Do a patch test and monitor your dog closely. Stop using the essential oil the moment you sense something is wrong.
How Dogs React to Basil Essential Oil Scents
It’s very hard to predict how your dog will react to the basil EO. Some might love the scent, bask in it, and find it very soothing. Others may reject the smell or be indifferent. It really depends on your dog. The best way to understand how your dog feels about it is through monitoring. Every dog is different, that’s why we love ‘em!
Use the oils in moderation
Don’t overdo it just because your dog is fine and seems to be enjoying some benefits. Everything in moderation as they say.
How to Make Your Own Basil Essential Oil for Dogs?
Do you have to get the processed concentrated stuff sold in stores? Would you feel safer if you made your own? Well, you’re in luck, because you can!
We will preface this by saying you should always use fresh basil leaves. Start by cleaning and then crushing them to release their aroma. You can do this with a mortar and pestle, then follow these steps:
How To Make Dog-Friendly Basil Essential Oil
- Find a dog-safe oil, such as coconut oil, and mix the crushed basil leaves with it inside a glass jar.
- Place the jar in a sunny area (but not in direct sunlight) and wait for the leaves to infuse with the carrier oil.
- After 2 weeks, strain the leaves from the oil. You can use a mesh strainer for this.
- You now have the leftover homemade basil oil! Keep it stored in a dark and cool place to preserve its potency.
This oil could be used in a diffuser, and if you do choose coconut oil, there will be a hint of its scent as well. The natural EO is also a great option for a DIY oil for soothing joint pain. Just take an appropriate amount and gently massage it into your dog’s affected areas.
Wrapping It Up: Basil Essential Oil and Your Dog
Basil essential oil could offer potential benefits for your dog, but the one common thread that all dog-friendly EOs share is they must be properly diluted. The calm and relief they could bring are priceless. Just remember to get the green light from your vet and always monitor your dog closely when using any EO.