Is Eucalyptus Safe For Dogs?

Cuddly Australian koalas can safely munch down on up to one and a half pounds of eucalyptus leaves per day due to their specially adapted bodies which flush toxins quicker than other mammals. But can we say the same for our own furry friends? Today we’re going to delve into the mystery of eucalyptus, lay down the facts, and answer the impawtent question of is eucalyptus safe for dogs?

What is Eucalyptus?

Eucalyptus Plant

Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree from the myrtle (Myrtaceae) family that is native to Australia. It’s been used for thousands of years by Indigenous Australians for its medicinal properties and was introduced to the rest of the world in the 1850s. There are around 700 different varieties of eucalyptus, however, the one that is most commonly grown is the Eucalyptus Globulus due to its fast-growing nature making it ideal for wood supply, as well as extracting eucalyptus essential oils from its leaves to help with a variety of hooman medical ailments. 
The bark of the Eucalyptus tree is a bluey-grey colour but when stripped off it is yellow underneath, whilst the leaves are a deep greeny-blue colour. They have fluffy white flowers with a hard woody pod in the middle which releases its seeds.

How and What is Eucalyptus Used For?

The primary active property of eucalyptus is eucalyptol and it is extracted from its leaves usually to form eucalyptus essential oils. Eucalyptol has been shown to help with fighting bacteria, viruses, funguses, inflammation, and pain, making it a staple of many natural remedies for hoomans. With this, it’s common to find eucalyptus in a variety of household bits and bobs such as essential oil diffusers, soaps, shampoos, throat lozenges, toothpastes and bug repellents.

Is Eucalyptus Safe For Dogs?

With its impressive uses for humans, you might be tempted to rub some eucalyptus oil into your dog’s skin when it’s itchy or add a few drops of it to their favourite dog food to soothe inflammation, but is eucalyptus safe for dogs?
Unfortunately, the short answer is NO.
Eucalyptus is poisonous for pooches and the ASPCA lists eucalyptus as a toxic plant that dog owners should watch out for. This is because the eucalyptol found within eucalyptus leaves and eucalyptus products such as essential oils, is a neurotoxin for dogs that can be fatal for your floof.
When ingested eucalyptus can cause stomach and neurological issues such as seizures and if applied directly to your floof’s skin can cause allergic reactions or chemical burns. Even using eucalyptus essential oils in a diffuser at home can irritate your pooch so unless your dog has been specially prescribed something that contains eucalyptus in it by their vet or they have advised you that a product is safe to use, it’s best to avoid use of it at all. 

Symptoms of Eucalyptus Toxicity in Dogs

So now we know the answer to is eucalyptus safe for dogs, how do we spot the signs of eucalyptus poisoning?
Luckily, eucalyptus plants aren’t commonly seen in the UK, however, they are found in some parts of south-eastern England. More commonly, it’s products around the home that you have to be wary of.
Symptoms of eucalyptus poisoning in dogs include:

  •   Excessive drooling.
  •   Vomiting.
  •   Diarrhoea.
  •   Showing a depressed mood or confusion.
  •   Weakness.
  •   Unsteadiness when walking around.
  •   Difficulty breathing.
  •   Tremors or seizures.

What Do I Do If My Dog Has Been in Contact With Eucalyptus?

If you notice any of the above symptoms in your pooch and think that they may have been in contact with eucalyptus you should call animal poison control or your vet straight away. 
Eucalyptus poisoning is extremely dangerous and can be fatal or have terrible consequences, so getting your pooch checked out as soon as possible is imperative. If you think your doggy may have ingested some eucalyptus or eucalyptus oil, don’t try to make them vomit unless advised to by your vet as this can harm them. Always seek professional advice if you’re ever concerned to keep your pooch safe.

What About Other Essential Oils?

So, eucalyptus isn’t safe for dogs, but what about other essential oils? 
There are many different types of essential oils with some being toxic and others okay, so it’s best to check with your vet before using any of them on your dog. In general lavender oil, ginger oil, and chamomile are all safe for dogs if used properly.
Nevertheless, you should never apply essential oils directly to your pooch’s skin or allow them to consume undiluted essential oils. Always err on the side of caution and only use high-quality oils that are specifically labelled for use on dogs as well as being FEDIAF and vet-approved. These will be properly diluted and specially made with your dog’s safety in mind.
An example of this is our Gnashers Daily Dog Dental Stick which uses just 0.1% of natural dog-safe peppermint oil to help reduce plaque, freshen breath and maintain your dog’s overall oral hygiene.
For more information on peppermint oil and dogs check out our blog on: is peppermint oil safe for dogs?

Why Not Try Scrumbles Dog Calming Treats?

Scrumbles Dog calming treats

If you’re reading this to your pup and they’re looking a bit stressed out about Eucalyptus why not try our Nibbles Dog Calming Treats
Filled with high-quality and dog-safe chamomile and lemon balm, it’s like giving them a mug of their very own sleep-time tea to help them nod off to sleep or create a sense of calm prior to stressful periods such as parties, fireworks, or New Year's Eve. 
They’re also loaded with tasty turkey which has its own natural calming properties as well as slippery elm bark, a powerful prebiotic proven to soothe irritable tummies. They’re perfect for those stressed-out pooches who need a little more zen in their life!

Whilst you're here, why not read: 

1. What causes separation anxiety in dogs?

2. Chamomile for Dogs: Benefits and uses 

3. CBD oil for dogs; Is it really okay ?

Explore more

Popular posts

vet service