Tea Tree oil is a highly versatile, purifying powerhouse! Well-known for its powerful cleansing properties, it's a popular choice for skin support- plus its potent odor neutralizing capabilities make it perfect as part of your DIY cleaning routine. One of the most important ways we can help keep our homes safe for our pets is by using toxin free cleaners and air fresheners. With such broad uses and so many different applications, Tea Tree stands out among the essential oils studied. Read on to find out if you should use Tea Tree oil on your dog, how to safely dilute it, and the positive effects this natural remedy can have on your dogs health.
What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea Tree oil is an essential oil that is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, which is native to Australia. It has long been used by Indigenous Australians as a natural remedy, but more recently it has become popular for use in human and pet products due to its wide range of benefits.
Tea Tree oil is gaining recognition and has been studied as an antiviral agent, with this study on PubMed.gov finding its application promising and highly encouraging in recurrent herpes infection. Not only studied against viruses - this essential oil also showed promising results for infections in this study, when used to treat prostatic abscesses in dogs! Also studied for localized dermatitis, analysis by investigating veterinarians found that 82% of the canine participants had good or very good responses after using a 10% tea tree cream for localized dermatitis. A multi-purpose powerhouse indeed!
Is Tea Tree Essential Oil Safe For Dogs?
The most important factors when using essential oils with dogs is quality of the essential oil, appropriate amount, and dilution! When you are using a high quality, pure, and premium essential oil, and you dilute it properly, it can be safe for your dogs. While there have been reported cases of melaleuca oil toxicosis, this review published on pubmed.gov, found that the oil was "used to treat dermatologic conditions at inappropriate high doses" this review also revealed that treatment with supportive care was sufficient to achieve full recovery.
When used appropriately, pure Tea Tree oil can be safe and beneficial for dogs. Tea Tree oil is also approved by the FDA as a food additive.
There are many products specifically labeled for use with pets that contain Tea Tree oil. Two of my faves are from Young Living™ Essential Oils, a blend called PuriClean™, designed to cleanse and refresh skin, and Animal Scents™ ointment, a protective and soothing salve that can be used to moisturize and soften skin.
Why Should You Dilute Tea Tree Oil For Dogs?
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts and a little goes a long way. Diluting Tea Tree oil allows us to use the smallest amount needed and easily cover larger surface areas rather than trying to rub a drop in. Essential oils are also highly volatile and evaporate quickly, diluting them extends the life and duration of the essential oil. Every animal is different and may react to the same essential oil in a different way, diluting the essential oil helps us minimize any potential for a skin reaction or sensitization, and helps us use essential oils safely. When diluted properly, Tea Tree oil can help support the skin and coat.
How To Dilute Tea Tree Oil Safely For Dogs
Diluting Tea Tree oil is as simple as mixing the essential oil with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil. You can use other carrier oils and oftentimes, I use fractionated coconut oil (coconut oil processed to stay liquid). Most people tend to already have olive oil and coconut oil in their pantry so an extra purchase isn't required. For more info on carrier oils, click HERE. In general, safe tea tree oil dilution ratios for use with dogs are:
0.5-1% for small dogs
2-3% for medium dogs
5-10% for large dogs
These ratios are guidelines only and keep in mind, that your dogs age, sensitivities, and overall health play an important role. You may need to dilute more, especially if your dog is new to essential oils or has a health condition. For my handy chart of essential oil dilution for dogs, click HERE.
Making a roller bottle is an easy way to dilute Tea Tree. Simply purchase some 10 ml roller bottles (Amazon is a good place to find inexpensive ones), add the desired amount of Tea Tree based on how much you are diluting it. Then simply top off the roller bottle with a carrier oil.
Here are a few recipes I like to use for my dogs skin. Note these recipes are at a 5% dilution.
5 drops Lavender
5 drops Tea Tree
3 drops Frankincense
3 drops Myrrh
4 drops Tea Tree
You can also dilute Tea Tree oil with water and make a spray or rinse. In general 5 drops per ounce of water for small dogs and up to 10 drops for larger dogs, can work well. Its always best to ere on the side of caution by starting slow, using less, and observing. In general, essential oils are best used in small amounts more frequently rather than a large amount once or twice.
Essential oils don't mix well with water so you will want to use an emulsifier to help the Tea Tree mix into the water. Vodka or witch hazel works well as an emulsifier when making a spray. Witch hazel also works well in a rinse. You can also use a carrier oil as an emulsifier, however some carrier oils will clog up the nozzle on your spray bottle. Keep in mind that emulsifiers help mix the essential oil in water but you still need to shake well before each use.
When using a spray, avoid your dogs eyes and head and sensitive areas. If you want to apply to the head for a specific reason, its best to apply to your hands and gently rub in, being mindful of where you're rubbing.
Here's one of my favorite sprays for skin:
Purchase a 2 oz. glass spray bottle and add 5 drops tea tree, 5 drops frankincense, and 1 oz. vodka. Then fill it the remainder of the way up with distilled or purified water. If you only have regular tap water, use that, but distilled/purified works better as the impurities have been removed.
Here's a spray I use to keep my dogs comfortable outdoors:
3 drops Citronella
3 drops Tea Tree
4 drops Palo Santo
Add to a 2 oz. spray bottle, add 1 tablespoon vodka, fill with distilled water, and shake well before you spray.
The Benefits Of Using Tea Tree Oil In Your Home
One of my favorite benefits of Tea Tree oil is its cleansing properties and I love to use it in home cleaning recipes. Using toxin free cleaners and air fresheners is the first place to start in making your home safe for your pets. To make an easy natural cleaner, all you need is half vinegar and half water. Adding Tea Tree oil gives a refreshing aroma and odor control as well as the added cleansing properties of Tea Tree.
You can also invest in an essential oil diffuser and simply diffuse Tea Tree any time your house is smelling like 'dog'. Start with a minimum number of drops based on your diffuser and remember to never lock your dog or any household member in a closed room while diffusing. Leave an open door so your dog can leave if desired, and keep in mind that some dogs will prefer to stay with 'mom' even when uncomfortable, so watch for any abnormal signs from your dog.
If you don't have a diffuser, you can add a few drops onto cotton balls or wooden clothes pins and stash in strategic areas.
Here are a few diffuser blends I love to use for odor that contain Tea Tree:
3 drops Lemon
3 drops Tea tree
2 drops Lemon
2 drops Tea Tree
2 drops Eucalyptus
3 drops Tea Tree
3 drops Kunzea
All in all, Tea Tree is an amazing oil with a lot of different benefits for you and your furry friend. It’s important to remember to always dilute the oil before applying topically to your dog. Using a high-quality pure essential oil from a trusted company is key to safely getting the most out of using this versatile oil! I personally love and trust Young Living–the world leader in essential oils. With their Seed To Seal guarantee, you know you're getting pure and premium products for you and your dogs health! Grab your bottle HERE (This is an affiliate link and I earn a small commission from your order at no cost to you. Thanks for supporting my small business! I'm so excited to help you get started, that I'll connect with you once you order and send you something special)
Have you used Tea Tree before? How did it work for you? Let me know in the comments below!"