Benefits of Neem Oil for Dogs

Neem oil is a substance extracted from the fruits, seeds, barks, and leaves of the Neem tree. This is an evergreen tree that grows abundantly in India. It is considered a botanical miracle as its oil has been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. It is also an effective insect repellant and pesticide. It has been included as an ingredient in many dog care products but even though it is all-natural, it still needs to be used with care.

Neem Oil Use in Dogs

Organic Neem oil is a popular choice amongst dog owners for tick and flea control. Not only is it thought to help to prevent and control flea infestations, it also promotes a shiny, healthy coat and skin. Neem oil also repels and kills mosquitoes naturally especially during the summer months. Some people rely on this to protect their dog from heartworm disease, which is spread by mosquitos. Given how dangerous heartworm infection is, Neem oil on its own isn’t reliable enough for this purpose.

Using Neem Oil for Dogs

There are several ways that Neem oil has been used for dogs.
Some people place a few drops of pure, 100% organic Neem oil on their hands and rub it through their dog’s fur.

Others prepare their own Neem oil spray with the right mixture of Neem oil, mild soap and water. Alternatively, mix a few drops of the oil with your dog’s favorite shampoo.

If you’re reluctant to prepare your own mixes or to use the pure oil,  you’ll be able to purchase ready made products containing Neem Oil at your local pet store or online.

Safety of Neem oil

Pure, organic Neem oil is very potent, so it should be used very sparingly. Many dog owners recommend you don’t use pure Neem oil at all, and only dilute it with water or shampoo before putting it on your dog’s skin and coat. It’s important to remember that just because a product is natural, doesn’t mean it doesn’t have side effects.

Some individual dogs may have an allergic reaction to Neem oil. Always conduct a small spot check first to make sure your dog is not sensitive to it. As with any allergic reaction to something applied to the skin, you’ll notice reddening and itching of the area where the oil was applied. Wash the area thoroughly to remove any remaining oil and if you’re concerned, have your dog’s skin examined by your veterinarian.

Neem oil is considered fairly safe when applied topically but it shouldn’t be given by mouth. It doesn’t smell good at all so if you have allergies or are sensitive to strong scents, you may prefer to use an alternative essential oil on your dog.

Not all natural essential oils are safe for dogs so before you try anything on your much loved canine best friend, ask your vet for advice.

Susan Wright is a trained veterinarian of more than a decade and is a freelance writer. Susan frequently shares helpful tips to make raising a dog easier.


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