Is Orange Oil Safe For Dogs?
I recently received a question from one of my readers: 'Is orange oil safe for dogs?' A quick Google search yields numerous articles warning about its potential danger and toxicity to dogs. However, I've personally used orange essential oil with my 5-pound chihuahua for over 8 years, and he's thriving. When it comes to essential oil safety for pets, quality, purity, and proper usage are paramount. So, let's delve into the truth about orange oil and its safety for our animal companions.

Unveiling Orange Oil:

Orange essential oil, what I like to call 'sunshine in a bottle', is extracted from the peel of oranges through cold pressing the rind. Just a whiff can instantly boost your mood and energy levels. The process of cold pressing involves mechanically pressing the peel to extract the essential oil, ensuring that the aromatic and wellness properties remain intact. Cold pressing is preferred for most citrus oils because it yields the essential oil without using heat or solvent chemicals. 

Did you know that additionally, other parts of orange trees are distilled for a unique essential oil as well? Orange blossoms of the bitter orange tree Citrus aurantium amara, yield neroli oil, known for its floral aroma and calming properties, while the leaves of the same tree produce petitgrain oil, valued for its green and woody scent and uplifting qualities. 

The Benefits Of Orange Essential Oil:

Orange is perfect for banishing feelings of lethargy and uplifting your spirits on even the gloomiest of days. Its fresh aroma can help combat unpleasant odors in your home, making it a popular choice for DIY pet-friendly air fresheners and cleaning solutions. Additionally, it also works well as an adhesive remover from non porous surfaces. Orange oil has also been studied as a flea and tick repellant and for its usefulness to skin health. 

Safety First:

Safely using essential oils with your pets always comes down to the quality and purity of the essential oil you are using and how you use it! When used appropriately, high quality, pure, and premium essential oils can be safe for our dogs! Adulterated essential oils used in the wrong manner or in too large of an amount are dangerous! 

So how do you know you have a pure and high quality essential oil? Ask questions and read your labels. The label should have the botanical name and if it lists any additional ingredients other than the botanical name, it isn't a pure essential oil. Find a supplier and ask them the following questions:

  • Do you own your farms? 
  • Can I visit the farms?
  • Do you have fully equipped labs and is each essential oil tested?
  • Do you have trained staff in aromas?
  • Do you visit suppliers distilleries?
  • Do you test for peak harvest times?
  • Do you harvest at peak times?
  • Do you discard mistakes?
  • Do you distill without using solvents?
  • Do you bottle your own oils?
These questions provide valuable insights into the practices and standards of your essential oil supplier. It's important to note that you will not find a high-quality essential oil from a company that can answer 'yes' to these questions at your local supermarket or drugstore.

If you're in search of high-quality, pure, and premium essential oils, or haven't found a company that can affirmatively answer every question, I invite you to explore my recommended essential oil supplier HERE. Having personally visited their farms and actively participated in the planting and distillation processes, I can attest to their commitment to quality!

Now that we have a pure essential oil, how do we properly use it?

Utilizing essential oils effectively depends on your desired outcome. To uplift your mood, simply inhale directly from the bottle. For a refreshing ambiance throughout your home, diffuse essential oils using a diffuser, providing both odor control and wellness benefits. Replace conventional cleaning products with DIY alternatives infused with essential oils for enhanced cleaning power and a delightful aroma. You can make your own perfume or muscle rub, possibilities abound!

When using essential oils with dogs, a safe and effective approach is to become a 'walking diffuser' by wearing the oil as perfume. Dogs possess a heightened sense of smell, allowing them to detect the aroma even when you're simply wearing it. Alternatively, you can hold the bottle of essential oil near your dog and observe their reaction. It's important to remember that dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans, so using oils in this manner can easily avoid overwhelm for them and by positively influencing your own mood with essential oils, you indirectly impact your dog's demeanor.

Using an essential oil diffuser can enhance your home's ambiance while ensuring safe dilution. There are many essential oil diffusers on the market and you can explore different diffuser options HERE to find the best fit for you. I prefer ultrasonic diffusers, which blend water and essential oils. 

Follow your diffusers instructions and start with a quarter to half of the recommended amount of essential oil. Then monitor your dog's reaction. Dogs have a heightened sense of smell and it's important to introduce them gradually to essential oils and avoid overwhelm. Additionally, each dog is unique and may respond differently to essential oils. Also, keep in mind your dogs size, age, and health condition, as this can affect how they react to an essential oil as well. Always leave a way out of the room and the opportunity for your dog to leave if they choose. For safety guidelines on diffusing oils with your dog, click HERE

This is a favorite diffuser recipe that has really helped bring my nervous chi' BooBoo out of his shell. Orange is known as the 'happy' oil and lavender as the 'relax' oil. Pairing them together on days when he seems extra jumpy and wants to hide, definitely seems to help him relax and have a more positive vibe!

2 drops orange essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil

Topical Use:

Yes, you can apply orange oil topically as well. Properly diluted orange oil can be beneficial and help maintain healthy skin. Orange oil is commonly found in shampoos and conditioners for dogs. You can add a drop to a tablespoon of your natural shampoo for your dog or you can make a roller bottle with a carrier oil and apply to the desired area to support skin. To learn how to make a roller bottle click HERE. I like to add 10 drops of essential oil per 10 ml of carrier oil. For my quick and easy dilution chart, click HERE.

Here's a recipe to try that I like to use to support skin:

3 drops orange essential oil
3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops copaiba essential oil

Add the above oils to a 10 ml roller bottle (available on Amazon) and fill it with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, which I prefer for its light, non-greasy, odorless, and fast-absorbing qualities.

Note that most citrus essential oils are 'phototoxic,' meaning they can increase sensitivity to sunlight. To err on the side of caution, consider applying them to areas under clothing or during the evening hours.

Orange essential oil as a supplement:

Ingesting essential oils is a hot topic and you might be wondering if essential oils can be taken internally

When considering ingesting Orange essential oil or any essential oil, it's crucial to read the label carefully. The essential oil should be labeled specifically for ingestion and obtained from reputable sources.

Orange essential oil is also on the GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list. The GRAS designation is provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for substances considered safe for consumption in specific quantities. Many essential oils, including orange, are included on this list. These oils have undergone evaluation, and their safety has been established based on scientific evidence and expert consensus. While this list is published for human consumption and doesn't mean its necessarily safe for dogs, its a good place to start.

You may already be ingesting essential oils unknowingly through various everyday products. Orange essential oil, along with several others, is commonly used to flavor food, enhance beverages, and even flavor chewing gum. One of my favorite antioxidant drinks contains orange essential oil, and yes, I give this drink (in an appropriate amount) to my dogs and horses!

Ultimately, the decision to ingest orange essential oil or any essential oil is a personal one. While these oils may offer potential health benefits, it's essential to assess your comfort level and individual circumstances. If you're unsure or uncomfortable with ingesting essential oils, it's perfectly acceptable to refrain from this practice. There are many other ways you and your animal companions can benefit from using essential oils without taking them internally. You can sign up for my weekly newsletter devoted to safely using essential oils with dogs an horses HERE!

Orange essential oil can be a wonderful addition to your dog's wellness routine when used safely and responsibly. By understanding the quality, purity, and proper usage of essential oils, you can harness their benefits for your animal companions. Whether it's uplifting their mood, supporting their skin health, or creating a fresh ambiance in your home, orange oil has numerous applications. Remember to prioritize your pet's safety by sourcing high-quality pure essential oils and diluting them appropriately.

If you're eager to learn more about safely incorporating essential oils into your dog's wellness routine, consider enrolling in my comprehensive online course, 'Oily Dog Intro'. This course is designed to empower dog parents like you with the knowledge and skills needed to use essential oils safely and effectively for your 'kids'. From understanding quality and dilution to easy and practical ways to use essential oils with your dogs, 'Oily Dog Intro' covers everything you need to know to ensure the well-being of your four-legged friends. Join me on this educational journey to create a toxin-free environment and promote the holistic health of your fur kids. Click HERE to enroll now and never wonder how to use essential oils with your dog again!


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