Oregano Oil For Dogs – Safety, Dosage, and Use on Ears!

Nowadays, there is an escalating trend to seek natural treatments for our pet’s health. Many modern medicines are proving to be toxic, not only to humans but to our pets as well. Human usage of essential oils is growing in popularity, so it’s not a surprise that people have been trying to use them on their canine companions as well, as natural alternatives to many physical ailments.

Essential oils are natural chemical components of plants that are extracted through distillation. They are extremely concentrated and using them usually requires mixing a few drops with another carrier substance, like olive or coconut oil for instance. Essential oils of different kinds have a number of benefits and properties, of which some your dog can benefit from. Oregano oil is no exception.

Oregano oil has a wide list of benefits, not only for humans, but for dogs as well. Yes, the same oregano that is used for cooking harbors many and more benefits, not only in its natural form, but as an essential oil as well.

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Benefits of Using Oregano Oil on Your Dog

Essential oils are highly concentrated and potent chemical compound extracted from plants. So before using oregano oil, you must first ask yourself, “is oregano oil good for dogs?” To answer this about several other essential oils might be a challenge, but not when it comes to oregano oil. Oregano oil has a large list of benefits for dogs:

  • Anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant
  • Anti-parasitic, able to eliminate worms, amoebas, protozoan and Giardia
  • Helps aid proper digestion
  • Helps diarrhea
  • Alleviates nervous tension
  • Can neutralize some insect bites such as bee stings and other venomous bites till proper medical attention can be found
  • Soothes tooth and ear aches
  • Aids rheumatism
  • Comforts coughs and other respiratory conditions
  • Can improve skin conditions
  • Capable of destroying yeasts and fungi
  • Helps digestive problems, including intestinal gas
  • Destroys staph, strep, E.coli
  • Inhibits growth of staphylococcus bacteria
  • Cures kennel cough
  • Prevents canine flu
  • Supports immune system
  • Helps arthritis thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties
  • Ect.

Oregano oil is so versatile, it can be used both orally and topically, under the proper dilution ratios of course. Never treat your dog with undiluted essential oils.

So, is Oregano Oil good for dogs?

Absolutely! The website The Whole Dog explains what makes oregano oil so effective:

“Oregano contains an important ingredient know as Carvacrol which is like a natural phenol, a product used for the sterilization of surgical tools. In fact, it believed to be more effective than carbolic acid, a sterilization product used in hospitals. The isomeric phenols (primarily carvacrol) in oregano oil in dilutions as low as 1/50,000 destroys Candida albicans, the Aspergillus mold, Staphylococcus, Campylobacter, Klebsiella, E.coli, Giardia, Pseudomonas, and Proteus. Another phenol constituent, thymol, boosts the immune system. These compounds also act as free radical scavengers
(shield against toxins) thus preventing further tissue damage while encouraging healing. It also contains Flavonoids, and Terpenes which all work synergesticly with the thymol and carvacrol to work the wonders it works.”

If you make sure you follow proper dosage instructions, then you and your dog should benefit greatly from the use of oregano oil. Keep in mind that you should only use it when necessary and not as a part of a daily supplement routine. Make sure you consult with your veterinarian as well before using any essential oil with your dog.

Dangers/Risks of Using Oregano Oil on Your Dog

Essential oils are very concentrated and potent extracts. They have several beneficial properties, but must be used with caution and under the proper dosage to actually be effective in their treatment without creating any side effects.

While there aren’t many side effects that can be attributed directly to the use of oregano oil, it is considered a “hot” oil and can cause your skin to redden, along with a burning or stinging sensation. This is why it’s very important to dilute the oregano oil properly with a pure carrier oil such as coconut oil, virgin olive oil, or almond oil before using it on your dog. Determining whether or not oregano oil is safe for dogs also depends greatly on the quality of the oil and the way you use it.

It’s important to mention that every dog is different and may present certain symptoms such as:

  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it might be allergic or sensitive to oregano oil and you should take your pet to the veterinarian immediately.

So, is Oregano Oil safe for dogs?

Definitely! When using oregano oil the first time, monitor your dog’s behavior closely to make sure nothing unusual is going on. While serious adverse effects have hardly been reported from the use of oregano oil on dogs, it’s best to always consult with your veterinarian first as every dog will have different needs and sensitivities. You also have to keep in mind that proper dosage and administration of any essential oil is of utmost importance. The quality of the oil must also be considered before purchasing because a low grade oregano oil is more likely to cause harm than benefits.

The blog Experience-Essential-Oils tells us the following: “Most of the problems associated with essential oils whether they are for human or animal use, stem from the fact that people are using perfume grade oils for therapeutic use. Or people simply are NOT using them correctly!”

How to Use Oregano Oil for Your Dog

Oregano oil serves as a great alternative to a plethora of medicines that can turn out to be more harmful and that can even result as inefficient in the face of growing resistant bacteria and viruses thanks to modern antibiotics. Oregano oil can be used both internally and externally. Keep in mind that I am not a vet, and you should always make sure you consult with your veterinarian before using any kind of essential oil on your dog. Holistic veterinarians are becoming more popular and they may be best suited to give you the right advice on how to use a specific oil on your pet. Always try to introduce your pet slowly to an essential oil and make sure you give them rest periods from these oils as well.

The manufacturer of essential oils Young Living tells us that the animal’s size affects the amount of oil you should use on them. They provide the following guidelines:

  • “For smaller animals like cats and small dogs, use 3–5 drops. Be sure to dilute 80–90 percent prior to application (for example, for every 1 drop of oil, use 4–5 drops of a diluting agent, such as V-6Vegetable Oil Complex).
  • For larger animals, like large dogs, start with 3–5 drops. Unless otherwise indicated on the product label, dilution is unnecessary.”

Natural News also provides the following recommendations to take in considerations before using peppermint oil on your pets:

  • Dogs cannot tell you what is or is not working. As such, you must closely watch their reactions. Excessive scratching, sniffing, nervousness or whining are all signs to watch for.
  • Always dilute the oils. A common acceptable dilution is 25% of the adult human formula.
  • Giving essential oils internally is not generally recommended.
  • Do not use any oils on medium-large breed puppies under 8 weeks, and small or toy breeds under 10 weeks. Hydrosols are a much better choice.
  • Gradually introduce the oils.
  • What is good for a large dog is notgood for a small dog. Size matters, and less is definitely more when working with oils, for animals or humans.
  • Sick, frail, older, or pregnant dogs have special considerations, just as in humans. Do not administer the same dose to them as you would to a healthy animal of the same size.
  • Never use oils near the eyes, mouth, nose, or genital area.

Also remember to always wash your hands after handling essential oils to prevent them from accidentally getting in contact with your eyes or mouth. It’s also important to note that oregano oil should not be administered to pregnant dogs because of its stimulant properties.

Here are some ways you can use oregano oil on your dogs:

  • The basic recommended dilution is one drop of pure oregano oil per 1 teaspoon of coconut, or any other carrier oil of your choice. Based on your dog’s reaction, you can increase the amount of drops of oregano oil only if necessary.
  • Pour two or three drops of the diluted oregano oil mixed with their food for treating infections and stomach ailments, including diarrhea, giardia, UTI’s, kennel cough, etc. Some pet owners even add diluted drops of oregano oil in gel capsules and give it to their pets this way.
  • You can mix one part oregano oil with 3 parts carrier oil and apply to any skin infections and/or wounds.
  • Some pet owners claim successful use of the pure undiluted oregano oil mixed with their dog’s food. Only about 2 or 3 drops at the most.
  • Oregano oil may also be diffused on a diffuser and even on a humidifier.

Choosing Essential Oils

Choosing the right essential oil is important because not all of them are created the same. When it comes to personal use or for your dogs, you need to seek the highest quality therapeutic grade essential oils.

The purity of an essential oil is a common issue, and this is because its achievement is expensive. For example, it takes nearly one hundred pounds of lavender plants to produce one pound of Lavandula angustifolia essential oil. Because of this, many producers will dilute essential oils with other carrier oils or even add artificial fragrances to create a greater production. Natural News gives us the following guidelines to make sure you buy the purest therapeutic essential oil:

  • EO’s should not be oily or leave a greasy residue.
  • Packaging should include the common name (i.e. Lavender), the Latin binomial (i.e. Lavandula angustifolia), the country of origin, the method of distillation, the part of the plant used, lot number, amount of oil in bottle, contact information of the company, how the plant was grown, and the words “100% pure essential oil” orthe ingredients, if in a carrier or blend.
  • Price usually dictates quality.
  • Not all bottles of the same size yet of different oils should be priced the same. In other words, if they carry 50 different types of oils, yet every 5ml bottle is $7.40, there is something wrong, and you can guarantee these oils have been adulterated in some way.


  • Why should I use oregano oil on my dog?

Oregano oil has a wide range of beneficial properties for your dog. It is antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and it can cure several kinds of infections besides supporting your dog’s overall health.  It’s such a versatile oil that it can be ingested orally, used topically, or be diffused. , but always with proper dilution and guidance from your vet.

  • Are there any side effects in oregano oil?

There are some side effects that can stem from using oregano oil. Most of these though can be attributed to the quality and proper usage of the essential oil itself. You need to make sure you have purchased a pure, high quality oil. You can determine this by reading the label closely. High quality oils will not be cheap and will not be diluted with another carrier oil such as jojoba oil. They will also always have the scientific name on the bottle. You should also keep in mind that the dosage is important and that every dog is different. If your dog seems to present an abnormal behavior then he/she might be extra sensitive or allergic to oregano oil, or you may have used an improper dosage. Always be sure to check with your vet and research the best way to use oregano oil for your dog. Since oregano oil is considered a “hot” oil it can cause skin irritation if too much is applied directly on the skin. Introduce this oil slowly to your pet to make sure it is compatible with it without producing any side effects.

  • Can I use oregano oil on my puppy?

Animals are more sensitive to essential oils than humans, so one much take extra precautions and really research the proper methods of dosage and administration of oregano oil before actually using it on pets. It’s generally not recommended to use any essential oil on puppies until after they are 10 weeks of age. The amount used should be very little and properly diluted. Always consult with your veterinarian first.

  • Can I use oregano oil on my pregnant dog?

Using oregano oil on pregnant dogs is not recommended. Oregano oil is a stimulant and this might create health problems if used on your dog. It’s been known to induce menstruation in pregnant women. It’s best if you consult your veterinarian to best address any problem your pregnant dog may have and find another natural treatment for her.

  • Does my oregano essential oil have to be therapeutic?

Yes. Unless you’re intending to use oregano oil just for perfume, you should always seek a high quality essential oil. Any other kind will not have the beneficial properties you seek.

Perfume quality or oils that are labelled only for aromatherapy can cause more harm than good if they are used topically, because they are distilled using solvents or are mixed with chemical fragrances and/or other oils. Pure therapeutic grade oregano oil will be steam distilled and will be guaranteed to not contain any toxic chemicals.

  • How do I use oregano oil for my dog?

Oregano oil can be used internally, externally, or diffused. For internal uses, a couple of drops mixed in the food has been claimed as effective by many pet owners. Dogs though, usually don’t like the smell of oregano oil so most people have reported more success with adding a diluted amount of oregano oil (in a carrier oil like coconut) in a gel capsule. While some websites say that they use the pure oil mixed in their food, it’s best to start with a diluted amount and then work your way up to a stronger dosage only if necessary, and under the guidance of your vet.

Oregano oil is also used externally in its diluted form to help fight any skin infections such as yeast, ringworm, infected wounds, etc. It also helps pain thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

When using oregano oil diffused, it can help purify the air of your home and can help soothe your dog’s kennel cough, or other respiratory problems.

Never apply this oil directly on their face, eyes, nose, or genital regions.

  • How should I store oregano oil?

Oregano oil, as any other essential oil, should be kept away from heat and the sun. They should also always be properly shut or sealed after using. Make sure you always wash your hands well after handling a bottle of oregano oil, since the undiluted oil can be harsh on the skin.


Oregano oil is a highly beneficial essential oil not only for you but for your dog as well thanks to its wide array of medicinal properties. There is plenty of evidence that indicates its use as safe and effective when applied properly. Oregano oil is a great replacement for commercial antifungal, antibacterial, or antiviral treatments. Whether you’re using it internally or externally, you should always purchase oregano oil in its purest form to guarantee that your pet will receive all the great properties this oil has. From aiding your pet’s stomach problems, to treating intestinal parasites, and even helping rheumatism and arthritis, oregano is a great essential oil thanks to its versatility and it can help you and your dog fight any ailment without resorting to more harmful medicines.

Make sure to consult with your veterinarian before using any kind of essential oil on your pet. Even though oregano oil is a multipurpose essential oil, it’s always best to introduce it to your pet slowly and with proper precautions. This way, not only will you ensure that no negative side effects occur on your pet, but your will be helping your dog lead a more balanced, happy, healthy, and natural lifestyle.