Neem, neem, neem! For itches and bugs, oh my!
Have you ever heard of Neem? It’s a tree and oil is extracted from the seeds and the bark to create Neem oil, a very smelly oil that is solid at room temperature.
So what’s so special about this oil, you say? Well, let me tell you that if you own a dog, that you want to limit the amount of chemicals you use on or near your pet, then this oil is a MUST-HAVE!
Neem oil is useful for so many things:
It not only repels insects but also kills them, a very rare benefit in the natural world where most pet-safe, natural substances only repel. It is effective against mosquitos, mites, internal parasites, fleas and ticks.
Not only that, but it is very useful for skin ailments: it relieves itchiness, treats fungal infections, ringworm and atopic dermatitis as well as fighting off infections and microbes on the skin.
When applied topically, it gets absorbed through the skin and improves immune function.
Neem oil is completely non-toxic for dogs, however it is only to be used externally, never internally. But no worries if the dog licks some off his fur, as it is non-toxic. But it’s rare that dogs will lick it anyway, as it doesn’t have a pleasant taste or smell, so they usually leave it alone.
How to use Neem oil on your dog
There are many ways to use Neem, here are the most common ones:
Dilute with olive oil or grapeseed oil, 1 part neem oil to 10 parts other oil, and apply on head, ears, tail, shoulders and flanks every 2 to 3 days to keep insects away. You can also apply this dilution to hot spots.
Mix in with their shampoo. Mix 1 teaspoon Neem oil with 2 tablespoons pet-safe shampoo. Leave in for 5 minutes before rinsing.
Use as a body spray. Mix 1 part Neem oil with 10 parts filtered water and spray on coat, avoiding the face, eyes, nose and mouth.
It’s important to note that you should always dilute Neem oil before using, as it is very potent, and a little goes a very long way. Also, as it’s solid at room temperature, you’ll have to run the bottle under hot water in order to liquify the Neem oil for use.
As a warning, you should know that Neem oil smells, well, interesting, so you’ll have to get used to the smell, but after you get used to it, it’s really not that unpleasant. Also note that in can slightly stain white fur (it goes away after a few days, no worries!) and if you have light furniture don’t let your dog roll on it shortly after applying or else you’ll have a nice, mustard colored stain on your furniture!
And of course, never, ever give internally, nor apply it to open wounds or sores, in the eyes, nose or mouth.
Now go get some Neem oil and throw those nasty chemicals in the trash!
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