Neem Oil for Dogs: How This Little Known Essential Oil Can Help Your Pup

By Chelsea Hunt-Rivera / April 30, 2018
neem oil for dogs

Neem oil is one of the hot, new topics circulating in the world of holistic medicine. Pet owners are raving about the benefits for their dogs, as well as for themselves. However, before listening to everything you read on the internet, always do your research. Or, just let us do it for you. Neem oil for dogs. Is worth the hype?

What is Neem Oil for Dogs?

neem oil for dogs

Native to Sri Lanka, Burma, and India, and now grown in tropical climates around the world, the neem tree has been used for thousands of years for a range of illnesses. Neem is a natural pesticide found in the neem tree’s seeds and bark.

We know how this sounds. Pesticides?! No way! But not to worry. It varies greatly from chemically produced pesticides in that it is entirely natural and therefore safe for dogs.

Neem oil is a carrier oil extracted from the seed of the neem tree and most commonly used topically.

Neem Benefits for Dogs

Similarly to many natural remedies, there is quite an array of ailments known to be improved by the use of neem oil.

The essential oil is known to have the following benefits:

  • Anti-fungal
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiseptic
  • Treats skin irritations and allergies
  • Produces a smooth, healthy coat
  • Treats yeast infections
  • Treats ringworm
  • Repellent for mosquitos and fleas
  • Repels mange mites
  • Rids the body of internal parasites
  • Stimulates the liver
  • Supports healthy teeth

Let’s get more detailed about some of the most common ways for your dog to benefit from neem oil.

Insect Repellant

As a natural pesticide, neem oil is applied topically and repels and kills common biting insects, including mosquitos. Neem oil can also aid in preventing flea infestations and ticks.

Pet owners are becoming more and more aware of the health issues associated with chemically-based flea and tick medicines. These medications are ridden with toxins and applied to the most absorbent organ of the body – the skin.

When the toxins are absorbed, the dog’s body is put under an enormous about of stress because it attempts detoxify from the toxicity. The liver and kidneys are not equipped to rid the body of the high volume of toxins completely, often resulting in additional illnesses forming.

As an all natural remedy, neem oil does not contain the chemical components of a flea or tick medication and therefore does not cause a toxic overload.

Speaking of Skin

Since we are on the topic, neem oil for dogs aids in the treatment of itchy skin caused by allergies, as well as a remedy for other skin irritations such as atopic dermatitis. Regardless of whether the skin conditions are caused by the environment, genetic issues, or nutrition-based, neem oil for dogs can be used to improve symptoms.

Additionally, the properties of neem oil – specifically azadirachtin, nimbin, essential fatty acids, and vitamin E, aid in the treatment of ringworm, mange, and hot spots.

Neem Oil Uses

There are conflicting studies regarding the best use of the neem tree. It is highly important to note that experts stress neem oil should only be used topically. Accidental ingestion of neem oil can have dangerous and potentially irreversible risks.

However, other parts of the neem tree, the leaves and bark, have proven to provide their own set of benefits.

We will dive into all potential uses of neem oil for dogs but always suggest consulting with your holistic wellness vet before implementing new essential oils.

Neem Oil Spray

Pet owners can purchase neem oil spray and use it as they would an insect repellent on themselves.

neem oil spray

Neem oil spray can also be made at home. Researchers say that the final product should contain no more than 1% neem oil or neem oil at a 1:10 ratio. Therefore, pet owners should dilute their spray bottle with a light carrier such as olive oil, coconut oil, or grape seed oil.

Neem Oil Shampoo

Due to the inability to clean themselves effectively, older dogs commonly suffer from dry skin or fungus.

In these circumstances, pure neem oil can be added to dog shampoo or owners can purchase pet shampoos that already contains the essential oil.

Routine neem shampoo baths have shown to be extremely useful in relieving dogs of troublesome, irritating skin conditions. Furthermore, the anti-fungal properties of neem oil have been known to treat ringworm as well as yeast infections of the skin.

Neem shampoo can also be used to keep fleas, ticks, mange mites away.

Again, if pet owners are making their own dog shampoo, the neem oil / shampoo ratio should be 1:10. The milder the shampoo, the better! For example, oatmeal shampoo is extremely mild and when mixed with neem oil, will provide even more relief for dry, itchy skin.

When regularly using neem shampoo, it is also possible to prevent skin ailments from occurring in the first place.

neem oil shampoo

Topical Tincture

Pure neem oil can also be purchased in a convenient tincture form. Pet owners can dab the essential oil on their dog’s head, behind the ears, on the shoulders, and on the tail.

During months of high mosquito volume, pet owners can apply the oil a couple times a day as a natural repellent.

Ingesting Neem – Leaves & Bark Only!

Research has shown that ingesting neem leaves and bark (never the oil) can provide your beloved companion with even more benefits.

Neem is considered a potent antifungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial making it excellent immune system support.

Additionally, neem leaves and bark aids in:

  • Killing viruses your dog may have picked up at the dog park
  • Warding off parasites
  • Stimulating the liver
  • Preventing and treating yeast infections
  • Maintaining healthy, strong teeth

Dried neem leaf and bark is available for purchase in powder or capsule form and can be added to your dog’s already health-conscious diet as a powerful supplement.

Again, neem oil CANNOT be ingested. Ingesting neem oil can seed to severe complications including neem oil poisoning.

Where to Buy Neem Oil for Dogs?

When buying neem oil, it is important to purchase from a trusted source as it is common for the products not to be regulated appropriately.

Cold-pressed, raw organic neem oil is best for your pet and fortunately, it is inexpensive. If it is pure neem oil, it might harden a bit if it gets cold. Running warm water on the exterior of the bottle will loosen up the consistency for use.

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Neem Leaf and Bark

You can buy dried neem leaf, neem leaf powder, or bark powder, either loose or in the form of capsules. Dried neem leaf and bark can be a bit more difficult to find so we have linked a way to purchase it online —> here

neem bark

Neem Oil Risks

It is difficult to find any dangers associated with neem oil. It provides a range of important benefits to dogs and humans alike.

However, neem seed oil has the highest potency levels of the neem tree and although all natural, there are some potential risks if it is misused.

Side effects of misuse include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness / Lethary
  • Stomach pain

In extreme cases of overdose or the ingestion of neem oil (the oil, not the bark or seeds), neem oil poisoning can occur. Although uncommon, seizures, coma, and death are all potential risks.

With this in mind, it is crucial to administer the appropriate amount of the proper part of the neem tree.

Neem Oil – Worth it?

Your dog means the world to you, and we know you want the absolute best for them. Taking steps to significantly reduce (or even better, completely eliminate) toxic, chemically-based products in exchange for all natural remedies is a necessary step in ensuring your pet stays as healthy as possible.

Neem oil encompasses and benefits a great deal of your dog’s vitality and well-being. From skin irritations and maintaining a healthy coat to combating those pesky pests to boosting the immune system with its antibacterial and antiseptic properties, neem oil for dogs may just live up to its hype.

Evidence continues to prove that, when used correctly, neem seed oil is very safe while maintaining its effectiveness. Therefore, in more and more cases, neem seed oil is being preferred to chemically-laden medications.

Again, although it is all natural, it is important to slowly introduce the supplement and make sure to strictly follow all instructions for use in order to ensure your pet avoids any (uncommon) side effects.

All things considered, neem seed oil is certainly worth a try!


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About the author

Chelsea Hunt-Rivera

Chelsea Rivera is a Dedicated Pet Parent who loves to create amazing content for pet owners and is helping change pet wellness as the Head of Content for