Is Lavender Safe for Dogs? 9 Things To Be Careful

You may already be familiar with the calming effects of lavender even if you haven’t fully embraced the essential oils trend.

The “relaxing effect of inhaling lavender oil” has been the subject of numerous scientific studies, with these types of results. Both the oil and the plant itself of the lavender bush can be safely consumed by humans for its calming effects.

The topic at hand is whether or not it’s fine to give dogs lavender (in any of its many incarnations) and whether or not they’ll reap the same health benefits. Detailed information is provided below.

Is Lavender Safe for Dogs?

This question does not have a simple yes or no answer. Small amounts of the compound linalool, found in lavender, is toxic to canines and felines alike.

However, linalool is typically found in such low concentrations that it rarely presents a toxic problem. Only if the dog consumes a huge amount of lavender will there be any issues.

Poisoning from lavender can cause a wide range of uncomfortable side effects, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, and fever.

Your dog should be taken to the vet (or an emergency veterinary hospital if it’s after hours) right away if you suspect it has been poisoned by lavender.

Antihistamines, supplemental oxygen, and intravenous (IV) fluids are some of the treatments that may be used.

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Is Lavender Oil for Dogs Safe, and How Can It Help?

Lavender oil is most commonly lauded for its beneficial effects on human mental health, especially in regards to stress and anxiety. But does lavender oil have the same positive effects on dogs? Is there any guarantee of safety?

Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to that conundrum.

To begin, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says that lavender is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses. The plant, if ingested, can bring on feelings of sickness and loss of appetite. The toxic ingredient linalool is responsible for all of these side effects.

Dogs would have to ingest a lot of it before showing any signs of toxicity, but you still don’t want to find yourself in that position by accident.

Aromatherapy is the only method by which lavender can be administered to a dog without posing any health risks. While there isn’t a ton of data, what there is suggests that giving your dog lavender oil is probably safe. If you want to use aromatherapy to help your dog relax, you should know how to do it safely so that no harm comes to your pet.

A few drops of lavender essential oil can be used in aromatherapy for dogs by placing them in the areas of the home where the dog spends the most time.

Putting a few drops of lavender oil on their pillow or a comforter can help them relax when they’re feeling stressed. The essential thing is not to have any lavender oil lying around where they could ingest it or touch it.

One must keep in mind that a dog’s sense of smell is at least a thousand times more acute than our own. Since lavender has such a potent aroma on its own, it may be too much for your dog to handle.

Why It’s Important to Help Your Dog When They’re Stressed

It has been said that administering a few drops of lavender oil to a dog can help them relax and unwind. Important because our furry friends can’t tell us how they’re feeling when they’re stressed or overwhelmed by words alone.

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As pet owners, it is our responsibility to calm them down before things get dangerous.

Recognizing the Signs of Stress in Your Pet

Lavender Poisoning in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment,  Recovery, Management, Cost

When it comes to dogs, there is no one size fits all. Everyone has their own unique character traits and stress responses.

So that’s why you feel such a deep connection to your pet. In all matters pertaining to your dog, trust your instincts. You may be the first to notice if something is truly wrong with them.

Having said that, there are a few telltale symptoms of anxiety in dogs. All of the following are causes for concern if you notice them in your pet, but especially if they are out of the ordinary.

  • Overzealous licking of paws; do you ever bite your nails when you’re anxious? When anxious, dogs can use the same technique to calm themselves. It’s possible that your dog is feeling stressed if you notice that he or she is licking their paws excessively. However, you should also have medical explanations eliminated.
  • Misinterpreting a growl from your dog, which is one of the most reliable warning signs that he or she may bite, is a tricky business. Growling, on the other hand, is an attempt at verbal communication designed to convey meaning. Knowing that point will help you defuse the tension in the right way.
  • When dogs get anxious, they sometimes pace around the house in an effort to release some of that pent-up energy. Examine the causes of your dog’s pacing if they were previously a calm pet. Don’t interrupt their pacing with force, though. To explain why, please give us a moment.
  • The whale’s eye — Canine anxiety symptoms are not always demonstrable by the dog’s outward behavior. Some can be missed or misunderstood with relative ease. One of those indicators is a condition known as whale eye. The whites of a dog’s eyes appear white when they give you the whale eye. Many dogs will do this right before biting, and it may be the only sign that they are nervous.

What Can Happen If Your Dog Is Stressed?

When stress is allowed to persist for longer periods of time, it can have some undesirable effects on your dog’s health and longevity.

A person’s immune system is just one area where this may have a major effect. The constant fight or flight response of an anxious dog’s body makes it more likely that it will become ill.

To be more specific, your dog’s stomach may have trouble when he or she is under a lot of stress or anxiety.

You’ll know the feeling if you’ve ever been so anxious that you had to go to the restroom every five minutes.

The same problems that cause vomiting and/or diarrhea in humans also affect dogs. Your dog may suffer from stress colitis, a painful gastrointestinal disorder marked by bloody diarrhea, if he or she is exposed to extreme stress.

Dogs under stress are more likely to bite without provocation. When cornered, even the most beautiful, lovable dog can snap.

Please don’t make your dog feel like biting is the only way to get your attention when they’re feeling anxious. Instead, you should try to help your furry friend relax before things escalate.

How Can I Help My Dog De-Stress?

Some dog owners aren’t willing to take the chance that using lavender oil is safe for their pets. The good news is that you can help alleviate your pup’s anxiety in other ways besides using lavender.

Natural sedatives like melatonin, chamomile, and L-theanine were used in the creation of Finn’s Calming Aid to help your pet experience a more balanced state of relaxation.

These components are helpful for calming anxious, hyperactive, stressful, and unhappy canine companions.

To help your dog relax, try giving them a few beef liver chews daily, as directed on the package.

Also, it’s important to learn what causes your dog the most anxiety so you can do what you can to alleviate that condition.

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You might notice that your dog paces or chews his feet when you leave for work or when guests arrive.

Either leave your dog with a special toy that he or she will only get when you are at work, or limit the number of guests you have over (and encourage them to bring treats).

Modifying your dog’s surroundings can have a profound effect on his or her quality of life and stress levels; you might be surprised at how much of an impact it has.

Last but not least, you should be aware that it is possible that your own actions are contributing to your dog’s anxiety. The main reason for this is that humans and dogs use vastly different forms of communication.

When we start to feel anxious, most of us look for people to be with and provide comfort (often in the form of a physical hug). Dogs, on the other hand, are more introverted and are more likely to flee or hide when anxious.

If your dog is already feeling anxious, it is possible that your attempts to pick them up, cuddle them, or even just be near them will make them even more so.

It’s important to remember to give your dog some space if they’re feeling anxious, and to not force yourself onto them if they’re attempting to escape. Giving your dog some space is a sign of love and support that will help him or her relax.

Symptoms of Lavender Poisoning in Dogs

While lavender plants themselves aren’t poisonous, eating too much of the herb could cause serious bowel obstructions.

Intestinal obstruction symptoms typically manifest 24 hours after ingesting an indigestible substance. Irreversible intestinal blockage can cause serious symptoms like:

  • abdominal discomfort
  • A bloated midsection
  • Fever
  • Failure to Defecate
  • Appetite loss
  • Shock
  • A lot of effort required for a bowel movement.
  • Vomiting

Even in extremely high doses, the toxic compound linalool can cause mild stomach distress, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.


As a versatile plant, lavender can be introduced to your pet in a variety of contexts that have little to do with gardening.

Lavender essential oil has been used for centuries as a soothing balm for skin irritations and abrasions, a tranquilizer for anxious minds, and an effective insect repellent. If you want to use lavender essential oil on your dog, keep in mind that it is best diluted first because full strength applications can be irritating to the skin.

Lavender’s calming aroma has made it a popular ingredient in many personal care products like shampoos, conditioners, and soaps. Lavender’s soothing aroma has long been used for its calming effects.

Eating – Whether dried or fresh, lavender flowers are a versatile addition to any cook’s pantry, finding use in everything from cookies and syrups to rubs for pork and lamb. Herbs de Provence, a popular French herbal blend, also features lavender as one of its main ingredients.

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Causes of Lavender Poisoning in Dogs

Even dog-friendly garden ornaments can pose a threat. Even though the possibility is low, keeping a close eye on your pet’s behavior is the best way to get them to the vet in case of an emergency.

Despite lavender’s reputation for keeping pests at bay, it’s worth noting that bees go crazy for the flowers’ nectar and can deliver a painful sting if they accidentally get too close. Stings from bees and wasps are usually only a minor inconvenience that can be treated at home. Your dog should be rushed to the nearest vet if it develops an allergy to bee or wasp venom, with symptoms including hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing.

Blockages in the intestines — dogs’ digestive systems weren’t made to process a lot of greens. Dogs typically don’t do much damage to gardens by eating plants. Pica is a disorder in which a dog develops an extreme desire for things that aren’t food. If the animal consumes an excessive amount of vegetation, for example, it may get a blockage in its digestive tract.

Toxic pesticides may be used on any plant, even those that aren’t harmful to humans. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any signs of pesticide poisoning after your pet has consumed any plant. Chills, vomiting, convulsions, and trouble breathing are just some of the symptoms canines experience after ingesting pesticides.

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Diagnosis of Lavender Poisoning in Dogs

Due to the fact that lavender is non-toxic in most cases, diagnostic testing will be guided by the symptoms your pet is exhibiting. If your pet experiences any health issues beyond mild vomiting and diarrhea, it is likely due to a secondary disorder or incorrect plant identification.

It is at this time that a complete blood count and biochemistry profile are requested, and it is also possible that a urinalysis will be requested. The results of these examinations will reveal whether or not your dog is suffering from any nutritional deficiencies or toxic exposure.

The vet will also perform a physical exam at this time, with an emphasis on the belly.

The examiner may find a mass where the vegetation has clumped together in the abdomen and extreme sensitivity in other areas of the body if an intestinal blockage is the cause of the pain.

Because of this finding, additional imaging will likely be suggested. A barium study could be part of an X-ray or ultrasound examination to better see any blockages.

If the signs are consistent with poisoning, you’ll be asked about your pet’s recent health and whether or not it had access to anything it shouldn’t have.

The source and toxicity of any substance recovered from the patient’s feces or vomit will be investigated.

Additionally, tests for additional potential pesticides or other plant-based toxins will be carried out at this time in an effort to identify the root cause.

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Treatment of Lavender Poisoning in Dogs

The diagnosis and symptoms will serve as the treatment’s guideposts. Before a diagnosis is made, supportive treatment may be initiated, such as the administration of intravenous fluids or supplemental oxygen, if the dog is showing signs of distress.

When an intestinal obstruction is to blame for the symptoms, fluid therapy is often used to hasten the passage of the mass through the digestive system.

Imaging will be repeated at regular intervals to follow the mass’s progress through the digestive system.

When a blockage is particularly severe, surgical intervention may be necessary to both remove the mass and repair any damage it may have caused.

When an allergic reaction occurs, antihistamines and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of itching and swelling.

If the symptoms indicate that a specific toxin was ingested, such as a different plant or pesticides applied to the lavender, then the appropriate measures will need to be taken to eliminate that toxin.

Inducing vomiting, irrigating the stomach, using activated charcoal, and antidotes for specific poisons are all options.

Recovery of Lavender Poisoning in Dogs

The lavender plant is only mildly toxic on its own, but there are other dangers you should be aware of.

An excess of plant matter can cause your dog discomfort or even a blockage in his digestive tract, and even seemingly harmless plants can attract harmful insects or be treated with poisonous pesticides.

Pets who all of a sudden develop an appetite for large amounts of vegetation or other inappropriate items may be reacting to vitamin deficiencies, brain lesions, or circulatory abnormalities and should be examined by a veterinarian.

Maintaining your pet’s safety requires vigilant monitoring of their actions and surroundings.

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Although lavender has a relatively high safety profile for canines, it is still not given a full stamp of approval.

If your dog has access to fresh lavender outside, keep a close eye on him or her and take immediate action if you notice any signs of poisoning.

Aromatherapy is worth a try, but you shouldn’t give your dog lavender essential oil to ingest.

Keep in mind that there may be more long-term effective treatments if you feel your dog needs treatment for anxiety or stress. Inquire with your vet about the options and take their advice into consideration.

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