Can Citronella Oil Be Used On Dogs?

A dog is a member of the genus Canis (probably descended from the common wolf) that has been domesticated for thousands of years. It is a domestic animal. this means that the direct ancestor of the dog is extinct. There are more than 150 dog breeds, divided into eight classes; sporting, hound, working, terrier, toy, non-sporting, herding, and miscellaneous. Some dogs are used as home pets while others are used to help humans do their work.

Dogs are sometimes referred to as “‘man’s best friend” because they are kept as domestic pets, they are very loyal and like being around humans. They were initially bred from wolves. Dogs have been bred by humans for a long time and were the first animals ever to be domesticated.

Thirty million dogs are registered as pets. Dogs eat both meat and vegetables, which are often mixed and sold in stores as dog foods. Dogs often have jobs, including police dogs, fire dogs, messenger dogs, hunting dogs, herding dogs, army dogs, or rescue dogs. A dog remains a puppy until it is about a year old.

Citronella Essential oil

Citronella oil is an essential oil gotten from leaves and stems of different species of Cymbopogon (lemongrass). The oil can be used extensively as a source of perfumery chemicals such as citronellal, citronellol, and geraniol. Citronella oil has strong anti-fungal properties.

It is a grass that grows mainly in some Asian countries and the south pacific islands. citronella oil has a rich, crisp lemony aroma and thus bears the name citronella. Citronella essential oil is classified into two chemotypes; Ceylon citronella and java citronella type. Both types probably originated from the mana grass of Sri Lanka. Citronella oil from Cymbopogon species should not be confused with other similar lemony essential oils from corymbia citriodora and pelargonium citrosum.

It is an essential oil used widely in aromatherapy. The compounds in citronella oil are commonly incorporated into soaps, lotions, sprays, candles, incenses, and sprays. Citronella essential oil is mostly recognized for different uses and benefits, which enhances living conditions.

Citronella essential oil is researched and reputed to have many therapeutic properties/ they may include amongst others;

  1. Cosmetic; deodorant, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, stimulants, tonic, diaphoretic, vermifuge.
  2. Odorous; deodorant, insect repellant, anti-microbial, anti-depressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, stomachic, stimulant, vermifuge, relaxant, anti-oxidant.
  3. Medicinal; diuretic, febrifuge, fungicidal, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-depressant, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory, stomachic, stimulant, tonic, vermifuge.


Citronella essential oil can be used in many different ways;

  1. In aromatherapy applications, citronella oil slows and prevents the growth or spread of harmful airborne bacteria, uplifts negative moods, repels flying insects, and relaxes the body and mind.
  2. Cosmetically ( topically in general), citronella essential oil can deodorize and refresh foul body odours, eliminate head and body lice, enhances skin health, and improve skin’s absorption moisture. It also acts as a soft conditioner for hair, protects it from sun damage, boots volume, and removes tangles.
  3. Medically; citronella oil eliminates and prevents the growth of fungus on wounds, boots the healing of wounds, relieves spasms and gas, stimulates and improves stimulation, facilitates the healing of eczema and dermatitis, reduces swelling, tenderness, and pain promotes the body’s expulsion of toxins, strengthen immunity, reduces the symptoms of the flu, colds, and fever, improves weight loss and boosts metabolism and digestion. It eases menstrual cramps. It is reputable to soothe inflammation that occurs in the digestive system.

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This sedative oil works by stimulating and improving circulation reduces swelling, tenderness, and pain. It is detoxifying, diaphoretic and diuretic properties promote the body’s expulsion of toxins such as salts, acids, fat, and excess water and bile. In some cases, pet owners use citronella oil to stop dogs peeing.

In this manner, the functions of your dog’s body system become more efficient, helps strengthen immunity, enhances skin health, reduces cold symptoms, flu, and fever, promotes weight loss, and maintains the health of the heart.

Is Citronella Essential Oil Safe for Dogs

Citronella essential oil has numerous advantages of which are numbered below;

  1. Inhibits bacterial growth; a research report which was published in the micro bios journal shows that components like methyl isoeugenol as well as some others that are found in citronella essential oil are responsible for inhibiting any bacteria growth.
  2. Helps to Fight depression; citronella oil fights depression and gives relief from anxiety, sadness, and the negative feeling. It induces a fresh and happy feeling and hope.
  3. Eliminates infections; the natural antiseptic properties present in citronella essential oil helps to fight infections in cuts and wounds as well as in the urinary tracts, prostate, urethra or kidneys, while simultaneously protecting them from developing sepsis.
  4. Relieves spasms; citronella oil relieves spasms of the respiratory and nervous system and also the muscles. It can also help to cure menstrual spasms and relieves cramps and coughs.
  5. Anti-inflammatory properties; citronella oil sedates inflammation, particularly those which pertain to the liver, stomach, intestines, and other parts of the digestive system.
  6. Helps to Remove bad smell; the nice, rich citrus or lemon-like aroma existing in the citronella oil helps remove bad odour. It can also be mixed with the bathwater to give your dog a refreshing bath.
  7. Eliminates fungal growth; citronella oil is very useful in getting rid of fungal infections in the ear, nose, and throat region. It also cures fungal dysentery in the other parts of the body.
  8. Insect repellant; citronella oil has been found to keep and kill insects. It is particularly useful on a species of mosquito whose bite causes the dreaded yellow fever. It also drives lice, body, and the head louse and fleas.
  9.  Stimulant; citronella oil stimulates the circulation of blood, secretions, and discharges like hormones and enzymes from the glands, brain, therefore, increasing the activity in the nervous system. The oil also caused a decrease in the appetite of rats.
  10. Kills intestinal worms; the property in citronella oil also kills worms. citronella oil is effective on both tapeworms and roundworms. Since the presence of worms interferes with the healthy physical and mental growth and even with the body absorbing nutrients, the use of this oil can significantly increase the quality of life by eliminating those parasites.

Other benefits may include; its ability to eliminate toxins, reduce fever, prevents stomach disorders, acts as a tonic. Citronella essential oil can also be used for treating problems like oily skin and hair, abnormal palpitations, colitis, migraine, neuralgia, and abdominal pains.

Side effects

Citronella essential oil, when used appropriately, can be considered safe. Therefore possible side effects often associated with the use of citronella essential oil are;

  1. It offers low toxicity when it is being inhaled or applied to the skin. So if you’re wondering if citronella oil is safe to diffuse around dogs, it is, with moderation.
  2. Citronella oil can also cause stomach upsets, throat irritation, and coughing when it is consumed internally. It can also cause redness, irritation, and the temporary opacity of the cornea when it gets in contact with the eye.
  3. When the oil is applied directly to the skin, without diluting, it could cause irritation and tachycardia. This is very true of java oil, in which the high concentrations of citronellal have been known to trigger abnormal cardiovascular events.
  4. If citronella oil is applied excessively, it could cause reactions. Its components also have a photosensitising effect on increasing sun sensitivity and the risk of skin burn.

Citronella and dogs

Citronella essential oil with its health benefits can be placed among what dogs need to enhance their health and living conditions. Flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) is one of the most common skin disorder in dogs FAD causes inflammation.

Even though any dogs can become infested with fleas, not all dogs will develop flea allergy dermatitis (FAD). This condition only arises in individual dogs that have an allergy to the flea’s saliva. When an insect bites your dog, there is a possibility of them injecting their saliva into his skin.

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This can trigger an allergic reaction in dogs that are prone to flea allergy dermatitis, causing them to irritate the wound even more than expected/ this also can lead to a bacterial invasion. Citronella essential oil can help in treating such attacks. Dogs are recognised with the habit of digging almost always. They hate citronella oil because it prevents them from involving in this behaviour.

But on the contrary, dogs that come in contact with citronella leaves often have skin irritation. Ingestion can result in lethargy, loss of appetite, and emotional state. Citronella, therefore, has both positive and negative effects on dogs.

Final thoughts on how to use citronella Oil on Dogs

Citronella essential oil with numerous health benefits and uses can be used on dogs. Although there are side effects and of course they can be easily prevented. Citronella essential oil also prevents dogs from digging. Citronella essential oil can improve the health and living conditions of dogs.

Therefore it is advisable to use citronella on dogs. Dogs used for security reasons can’t have citronella oil on them because it makes them less active and slow. Citronella oil should be used for treatments alone, and when it is done, it should not be used on the dog afterwards.