With the trend towards Mediterranean gardens, plants that used to be preferred in southern countries have also found their way. The bright blue lavender is one of them and is now enjoying increasing popularity here too. But one or two dog owners may have heard that lavender is said to be poisonous for dogs. Is that correct?
Is lavender poisonous to dogs?
Lavender contains essential oils that can be toxic to your dog. But that doesn’t affect every variety and even then, the dose ultimately makes the poison.
One thing is for sure, lavender does not belong on the diet of dogs, but only very few will bite voluntarily.
What exactly is lavender harmful to dogs?
Lavender is famous for its powerful aroma. The characteristic scent of the blue flowers comes from their essential oil, which also contains camphor. The pungent-smelling substance is known for its disinfecting and strong circulation-promoting effect.
So the thought is obvious that camphor is not necessarily suitable for ingestion. But the lavender oil itself can be harmful and poisonous for dogs – especially if it contains a particularly high amount of monoterpene ketones.
These medicinally effective substances are contained in the essential oils of many plants and herbs.
The dose of lavender makes it all
Lavender has healing properties in small doses, but high doses can be toxic. Dogs, on the other hand, are less sensitive than small rodents, but that doesn’t make them immune either.
The types of lavender have different levels of toxicity for your dog
The problem is that there are around thirty different types of lavender that are difficult to distinguish for a layperson.
Some contain a lot of dangerous substances, while others contain very little. It is therefore not the case that every lavender is generally highly toxic to dogs. However, some varieties can be quite harmful to small dogs and puppies if they have consumed a lot of flowers.
If you want to plant lavender in your garden, but you are not sure whether your dog would nibble on it, it is best to take your four-legged friend with you to the nursery to choose.
If he shows hungry interest in the plant, you might be better off looking for something else. If your dog turns away in disgust, you can calmly fulfill your blue garden dream.
Symptoms of lavender poisoning in dogs
Lavender has a calming, anti-anxiety, and antispasmodic effect in low doses. Lavender oil is also often used in aromatherapy. Taken in high doses, precisely these effects lead to problems of the nervous system.
If your dog accidentally ingested a lot of lavender, it could react with dizziness, nausea, and loss of consciousness.
In this case, you should see a veterinarian immediately.
But lavender oil can also cause less spectacular poisoning:
A high dose taken for a short time shows the symptoms described. Long-term poisoning with low doses can lead to liver damage. Therefore, it should not be underestimated when a dog regularly plucks a few, in itself harmless, flowers from the lavender plant.
How about applying lavender oil?
The active components of lavender oil are very well absorbed through your dog’s skin. This means that such treatment can also damage the liver in the long term.
If for a specific reason, it seems advisable to treat your dog with lavender oil, it is better not to do so without consulting a veterinarian, alternative practitioner, or another therapist.
Can lavender cause allergies in dogs?
Dogs can be allergic to lavender. An allergic reaction will most often show up as a contact allergy. If your four-legged friend scratches himself and has skin changes such as rashes or swellings after coming into contact with lavender, you should generally keep him away from it.
In this case, you better be careful. The scent of lavender makes lavender oil very popular as an ingredient in perfumes, detergents, fabric softeners, and similar products. Your dog may also be allergic to it.
Are there similar poisonous garden plants?
There are some garden plants and herbs whose essential oils are high in monoterpene ketones. These include especially sage and marigolds.
The marigold is also known under the name “marigold”. Dogs should not eat either in large quantities or constantly if they are interested in them at all.
Can lavender be found in dog food?
There are even dog biscuits made with a blend of herbs that also contains lavender. The BONT brand “Hypoallergenic Plus Vital Biscuit” – Valuable Herbs – certainly does not contain so much essential lavender oil that it could be harmful to dogs.
Lavender may or may not be toxic to dogs
Lavender is like a medicine. It depends very much on the composition of the individual preparation because not all types of lavender contain a lot of the poisonous monoterpene ketones.
Lavender can have a healing effect, but in high doses, it can also cause damage – especially in the long term with constant use.
Accordingly, it is generally better to keep dogs away from lavender unless there is a medical reason for using lavender supplements. However, this should only take place with a sense of proportion and under therapeutic supervision.