The three best essential oils to treat dog pain are Frankincense, Ginger, and Chamomile. Frankincense is a powerful anti-inflammatory, Ginger helps with joint pain, and Chamomile reduces skin irritation, tightness, and digestive issues. Be sure to dilute the essential oils with water before using on your dog.
Natural solutions to dog pain, like essential oils and other herbal remedies, can be just as effective as using traditional medications.
As always, be sure to check with your vet before using any of these on your dog. For the best information, consult a vet who is well-versed in natural pet care.
Pain-Relieving Essential Oils
The most frequently recommended essential oils for dogs in pain are:
One of the most popular essential oils for use with dogs, frankincense is an anti-inflammatory that can also relieve pain due to an upset stomach.
A favorite among dogs and humans alike, Ginger has many beneficial properties. It is an excellent choice for reducing joint pain and digestive issues.
Chamomile is best known for its calming properties, but it can also relieve pain due to teething, skin irritation, and muscle tightness and cramping.
Peppermint reduces pain and inflammation and is especially useful in treating joint pain from issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis.
Myrrh helps relieve gum pain due to teething and is also an astringent.
Eucalyptus, besides being great for the respiratory system, also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Helichrysum is not well known, but its pain-relieving properties are very impressive. It has a strong smell though, so it may take some getting used to.
How to Use Essential Oils to Treat Pain
One of the most important things to remember when using essential oils for dogs is that it’s almost impossible to dilute too much.
Dogs are much more sensitive to the oils than we are, so a lot of care must be taken when using them.
Start with the smallest amount possible and go from there, making sure to call the vet if any signs of illness or allergy occur.
Different oils work best in certain applications, so make sure to keep that in mind.
That being said, here are a few ways you can use essential oils on your dog.
You can use essential oils in a diffuser to help relieve your dog’s pain.
Keep in mind that they don’t need nearly as much as we do, use only a drop or two, and don’t put the diffuser too close to your dog.
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can put a drop or two into a spray bottle full of water and spritz it around the room, avoid spraying the dog or near his face.
If you already know the dog can tolerate a specific oil, placing a drop on his collar where he won’t be able to lick it off is another option.
Mixing a drop of essential oil in with coconut or vegetable oil and using it topically can work for localized pain, but make sure not to put it in a place where the dog will lick it all off.
You can use this time to give your dog a mini-massage, which he may appreciate if he’s in pain.
Herbal Supplements for Pain
In addition to using essential oils externally, using plants and herbs as additions to the dog’s diet may help to reduce pain from the inside out.
This is especially good if your dog has skin issues that make using essential oils impractical, or if he suffers from a chronic condition like arthritis that affects a large part of his body.
Keep in mind, though, just because something’s safe for dogs in general to eat, individual dogs can have an allergy to anything on this list, so be sure to start with small amounts before using any of these regularly.
Also, make sure nothing your dog is currently taking will adversely affect any of these.
Turmeric has grown in popularity for its anti-inflammatory properties, and fortunately, dogs can eat it too. It’s especially helpful for arthritis and also aids digestion.
Sarsaparilla is another excellent herb for arthritis, which also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Probably one of the best-known anti-inflammatories, licorice can reduce joint pain in dogs.
Ginger is a natural painkiller that reduces inflammation and reduces digestive pain.
Chamomile isn’t just for relaxing tea – it’s also a digestive aid with anti-inflammatory properties.
Calendula is an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever that is also good for rashes and skin irritation.
Garlic is known to have anti-inflammatory properties when taken by humans, as well as a positive effect on the immune system.
Although not safe for dogs in high doses, small doses may relieve inflammation.
Cat’s Claw is an anti-inflammatory with anti-viral properties.
Neem reduces inflammation and may repel fleas and ticks.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t an herb, but if your dog is in pain because of joint issues, they may help reduce inflammation around the joints, reducing pain.
A quick search online or in your natural pet store will show that there are many herbal blends formulated for reducing pain in dogs.
These might be suitable alternatives if you’re unsure which supplement to use initially or want to avoid having to mix your own blend.
Natural pet stores are also usually staffed by people who are very knowledgeable about treating issues with herbs and oils.
Other Methods of Natural Pain Relief
Herbs and oils aren’t the only options when it comes to reducing pain and discomfort in your pet.
Try one of these instead of, or alongside, an herbal or oil-based treatment program.
Massage can help with several ailments, not to mention providing a relaxing experience after the stress of being in pain for any length of time.
There are professional pet massage therapists that you can book an appointment with, or you can take lessons or teach yourself to do it.
Either way, your dog will thank you, and you’ll be relieved to see him relaxing and less focused on his discomfort.
Just like with massages, you can learn to perform acupressure on your dog yourself, or book an appointment with an expert.
Acupressure relieves all kinds of issues, from inflammation to arthritis pain to anxiety.
Acupuncture, unlike massage and acupressure, is something best left to professionals.
Although it can lower pain and anxiety, acupuncture normally takes several sessions before it works. In the meantime, the needles and puncture sites can cause discomfort, so it might not be the best option for every dog.
If your dog is anxious around strangers or in new situations, the stress of bringing him to the acupuncture appointments may outweigh the benefits.
Although it’s tempting to let dogs lie around all day if they’re in pain, getting them up and moving a few times a day will often benefit them.
Especially in joint issues like arthritis, it’s crucial to keep the dog’s weight in the healthy zone, which regular walks can help with.
If the pain is due to an injury, rest might be more beneficial. But for chronic conditions, a little movement a few times a day can help get the blood flowing and do wonders for pain relief.
Sometimes Stronger is Better
If you’ve tried every natural remedy that you can think of and your dog is still in pain, it might be time to call your vet so they can prescribe a stronger painkiller.
No one wants to medicate their dog unnecessarily, but it’s also not okay to let them suffer more than absolutely necessary.
Sometimes the best course of action is combining traditional medications and more natural healing methods such as massage for the most effective pain relief.
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Bryan Harkins is an avid dog lover and the proud owner of dogdorable.com, a website dedicated to all things canine. With years of experience working with dogs, Bryan is passionate about providing valuable information, tips, and resources to help pet owners provide the best possible care for their furry companions.