Using tea tree oil for your dog’s skin infections

Dogs can get allergies and itchy skin, too

Did you know that allergies can be as annoying and painful for dogs as it is for some people? Experts estimate that as many as 1 in 7 dogs suffer from allergies. And those allergies often cause symptoms such as itching, irritation, and inflammation.

Dog allergies fall into four categories and can be caused by the following things:

  • Fleas and other biting insects
  • Irritants that come in contact with the skin
  • Inhaled allergens, such as dust mites, molds, pollens, grasses, and molds
  • Foods, drugs, and supplements

In the case of skin infections related to allergies, your veterinarian may prescribe a medication, depending on the symptoms and severity of your dog’s skin infection. In some cases, mild to moderate  skin infections may be effectively managed with over-the-counter, topical products. However, if left untreated  such mild skin infections can develop into hot spots, which are extremely troublesome  for pets.

What is tea tree oil and how can it help skin infections?

Pet guardians should be aware that pure tea tree oil (as well as other pure essential oils) is  considered toxic for pets and should never be used in its pure undiluted or “raw” form.

Tea tree oil is a natural essential oil with curative properties that help soothe and protect dogs’ skin. When used correctly and in a diluted form on pets, tea tree oil can be very effective in treating and preventing topical bacterial and yeast/fungal infections. Tea tree oil  is an excellent anti-inflammatory, so it helps reduce skin inflammation that can lead to itchiness and irritation. It also has great antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that can help prevent and treat a whole host of skin problems.

Due to its effectiveness, tea tree oil is found in many pet grooming products in varying diluted concentrations.

How should I administer tea tree oil to my dog?

Tea tree oil must not be ingested, and should be applied externally only, and only in its diluted form.  Products such as Be Soothed Spray and Be Soothed Shampoo contain a diluted amount of tea tree oil. While the percentage of tea tree oil in these products is proprietary, rest assured they are well below the level considered toxic to dogs and puppies (over 8 weeks of age.) As with any new product, always seek the advice of your veterinarian before applying to your dog.

Tea tree oil should not be used on cats. Use caution when applying tea tree oil if you have cats in the house.

*Article updated October 17, 2013

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30 Comments

  1. I have an English Bulldog that is allergic to literally everything! When we rescued her she would literally shred herself scratching. We now make homemade dog food so I’m positive of everything that goes in her body. I also bathe her once a week, I put 5 or 6 drops of pure melaleuca (tea Tree) oil in her bath water. Happy to report the recipe works. She is now happy, playful, loving and not itching!

  2. PLEASE do NOT give teetree to DOGS. it is TOXIC. google first if you still have any doubt.

  3. I use tea tree shampoo n conditioner on my hair if i get a bite or scratches. I use the tea tree shampoo as antibacterial. I use the exact same. Products. On my dogs… Kelly 15 years jow n kemper 2… Both weiner dogs 19 pounds n 20 pounds 1 pump of shampoo 1 pump of conditioner on each dog. The black n tan has a beautiful shiny coat i dont use conditioner on him. They get baths ar least once a week. I use frontline. I have seen maybe 3 fleas dead in the 15 years. I uses it on my cats too. My last cat twas 15 when i had to put him down.

  4. Lori Pittsley
    What is your homemade recipe. I cook for my dogs also. Just curious what you make?????

  5. 3–28–18 my beagle has had itching caused by fungus and bacteria so bad that she would chew her paws bloody. I got medicated shampoo from vet, but in between I mix up 6–7 drops of tea tree oil in one quart of warm water, pat this all over her body for a few minutes in our laundry tub, then rinse her very well with warm water and towel her dry. Itching stops over night. No visible side effects. She is happier and more comfortable and I am MUCH happier. Those of you with itching dogs know what I mean!!!

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