Since shampoo is not a leave-in product, the dangers aren't as great. Still, why expose your pooch to something that could be harmful?
So—with the help of Dr. Woof (Socrates' veterinarian and essential oil expert)—I've put together a list of canine-safe essential oils. And some blends that I like to use—including Socrates' favorite—Gee, Your Fur Smells Terrific.
Be sure the essential oils you use are pure and come from a reputable company. I like Mountain Rose. And always check with your vet if your dog has special medical issues before using essential oils.
For use in cold or hot process soap making (never use melt and pour on your dog), make the blend as you normally would, but use a ratio of .4 oz. or less per pound of oils for large dogs. .2 oz. for small ones.
Canine-Safe Essential Oils
Cardamom Antibacterial. Can help with nausea.
Carrot Seed Good for dry, flaky sensitive skin.
Cedarwood An antiseptic. Repels fleas. Also good for conditioning the coat and skin and stimulating circulation.
Chamomile, German Anti-inflammatory. Good for skin irritations and burns.
Chamomile, Roman Calming. Good for muscle pain and cramps.
Clary Sage Use in very small amounts. Good for calming nerves.
Eucalyptus Good for chest congestion and repelling fleas.
Geranium Anti-fungal. Repels ticks.
Ginger Use in very small amounts. Aids digestion. Helps with motion sickness. Can also help relieve pain caused by arthritis.
Helichrysum Anti-inflammatory. God for helping to heal scars and relieve pain.
Lavender Calming. Antibacterial, anti-itch.
Marjoram Good for wound care. Repels insects.
Peppermint Good for arthritis and motion sickness. Repels fleas. Stimulates circulation.
Vetiver Calming. Good for anxious dogs.
Petitgrain Calming. Flea Repelling.
Some Great Blends
12 parts Carrot Seed
6 parts Lavender
2 Parts Geranium
3 part Roman Chamomile
Calm Down (that yappy Yorkie that lives on 53rd Street could use a bath with this)
10 parts Lavender
7 parts Vetiver
2 parts Clary Sage
4 parts Helichrysum
Wanna Go a Ride? (for motion sickness)
3 parts Cardamom
1 part Ginger
2 parts Peppermint
Flea Be Gone
10 parts Cedarwood
7 parts Marjoram
7 parts Geranium
Gee, Your Fur Smells Terrific
20 parts Lavender
4 parts Petitgrain
4 parts Cedarwood
5 parts Peppermint2 parts Cardamom