Dog Accidentally Licked Tea Tree Oil – What to Do Next
Tea tree is a very common essential oil. It’s used to treat different skin conditions in both humans and pets. There are a lot of products that contain a small amount of this solution since it is safe to use topically. However, ingesting it is a different story. If your dog licked tea tree oil by accident, it could be poisonous. As a pet owner, what should you do when this happens?
Know What to Say to Your Vet
Definitely, you need to see or call your vet when your dog accidentally licks tea tree oil. But, before you head out or dial your vet’s number, make sure that you know how much oil went into its system. Your vet’s treatment is going to depend on the level of toxicity your dog is experiencing.
You should also take note of how long it has been since your dog ingested the tea tree oil. Other symptoms that you should watch out for and to inform your vet about are:
- Excessive Drooling
- Muscle Weakness
- Loss of Coordination
- Skin Rashes
Treatment for Tea Tree Oil Toxicity
Remember that tea tree oil can be irritating to the mouth. Your vet might first suggest rinsing your pet’s mouth with cool water. Gastrointestinal upset may occur as well. In this case, your vet’s going to tell you to provide your dog with light meals like white rice with boiled chicken, white fish, or scrambled eggs.
The meals should be given in small portions but frequently to help your dog settle his stomach. This suggestion would apply to more mild cases.
In severe situations where your dog has been vomiting and showing other worrying symptoms, your vet is going to attach your dog to an IV line to replace the fluids that have been lost.
An over-the-counter antacid may be administered to deal with your pet’s upset stomach. Other medications, like anti-vomiting drugs, may be used too.
What to Do When Your Dog Licks Tea Tree Oil
Listen to your vet. Whatever he or she suggests will help your dog heal and recuperate. Your dog might be kept in the hospital overnight or for a few days for treatment and observation. But, as soon as you get home, make sure that the incident of tea tree poisoning doesn’t happen again.
If you’re using tea tree oil as a skin treatment for your pet, consider alternatives. There are a lot of topical solutions that are more effective than the oil so ask your vet about non-toxic ointments, creams or soap.
Other Things to Know About Dogs and Tea Tree Oil
We’ve already established that tea tree oil is safe topically but can be toxic when ingested. So, under any circumstances, it shouldn’t be applied around the dog’s mouth. As a general safety rule, try not to use any products with tea tree or tea tree oil on your pets.
Some may say that it is safe when you stick to 1% to 2% dilution when using pure tea tree oil. It’s true that when diluted properly, tea tree oil can be less toxic, but it’s still tricky when using on pets as you cannot control their licking and nibbling.
If you must use essential oils on your pets, remember to stay away from the following types of essential oils as they are known to be toxic to dogs: cinnamon, citrus, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, wintergreen, clove, garlic, and more.
Do your research as there are more oils that absolutely cannot be used on pets. All of them should not be topically applied nor should they be used in a diffuser. Although an essential oil may not be on the list, it is still good practice to consult your vet before usage.