Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a perennial herb in the mint family, native to the Mediterranean. The leaves, stems and flowers may be used, but flowers are the typical choice for therapeutic and medicinal use on pets. The most common forms are dry, (heavily diluted) essential oil, ‘tea’, or Bach Flower Remedies. Lavender may be used externally or environmentally. It is considered to be safe for horses and dogs.
Lavender is a favorite of holistic veterinarians and pet product manufacturers for natural properties that include:
- Antibacterial / Antibiotic
- Analgesic (pain killer)
- Antipruritic (reduces itching)
- Calming and antidepressive
- Tick repellent
- Digestive aid
The healing benefits of Lavender may be applied to natural pet remedies for dogs and horses to treat conditions of the joints, respiratory system, nervous system, digestive system or skin. It is also effective in treating stress-based conditions and may reduce aggression through aromatherapy.
Notes of Caution
- Lavender and most other essential oils should not be used around cats.
- All essential oils used on any pet should be heavily diluted.
- Lavender essential oil should not be taken internally. Ingestion may cause liver or kidney damage.
- Lavender essential oil should not be used on pregnant or nursing dogs.
- Only Lavandula angustifolia should be used. Lavender hybrid (Lavandin) oils are more harsh and other species may have different effects.
- Lavender blends containing Linalyl acetate should not be used on pets.
Lavender is one of the most common herbs and is easily found. The concern is the level of quality, as only high quality herbs and essential oils are safe and effective. We purchase organic dried Lavender flowers and organic Lavender essential oil from Starwest Botanicals.
??? We’d love to hear about your experience with Lavender for pets, please share in the comments below.
Balch, Phyllis A. Prescription for Herbal Healing 2012.
Tilford, Gregory. Wulff, Mary. Herbs for Pets: The Natural Way to Enhance Your Pet’s Life. 2009.
Messonnier, Shawn DVM. Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats: Your A-Z Guide to Over 200 Conditions, Herbs, Vitamins, and Supplements. 2001.
Bell, Kristen Leigh. Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals. 2002.
✔ You may also be interested in reading:
The Dangers of Tea Tree Oil for Pets
Common Diffuser Essential Oils that may be Toxic to Dogs, Cats, Birds & Other Pets
30+ Natural Supplements to Treat and Prevent Arthritis in Dogs
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