Can Dogs Have Vanilla?
Vanilla is universally known for its flavor and aroma, but did you know that vanilla has proven medicinal effects? This may have you wondering, can dogs have vanilla? Is Vanilla oil safe for dogs? Let’s dive deeper into this unique plant and see how much more there is to this fragrant plant, and the benefits of vanilla oil for dogs.
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What is Vanilla Oil?
There are two types of vanilla commonly used, extract and oil. The extract is the alcohol-based ingredient found in most baking/cooking recipes and is not what we will focus on here since it’s not the ingredient we use in our products. Vanilla oil is different than extract in that it is not solvent-based, nor are solvents used to make it. Vanilla oil is the essential oil of the vanilla plant’s beans. While the extract and oil share some traits and benefits, vanilla oil tends to be more powerful and concentrated than its extract counterpart. Just a little vanilla oil goes a long way.
Benefits of Vanilla Oil for Dogs & Cats
Vanilla oil is a centuries-old ingredient used for many ailments and issues. In humans, it’s been used for libido problems, PMS relief, depression, and blood pressure, among many others. Because it has so many uses and benefits, we will focus on its benefits for our pets.
Something every species can benefit from is antioxidants. Antioxidants help fend off free radicals and oxidation within the body. Oxidation is a huge causative factor for almost every disease, especially cancer. Vanilla oil is packed full of antioxidants. In fact, vanilla is one of the highest antioxidant substances known to man! The value/score that antioxidants are given is called the ORAC score. Fruits like blueberries, well known for their high antioxidant value, have a rating of 2400 (per 100 grams). Vanilla boasts an ORAC score of 122,400 (per 100 grams)! That’s a powerful punch of antioxidants!
Because of its antioxidants, vanilla has anti-cancer properties! It has the ability to inhibit cancer cells before they become full-blown tumors or spread throughout the body. Your pet’s skin will benefit from all those antioxidants absorbing into it and protecting its body’s largest organ from cellular damage and cancer while also smelling delicious.
Vanilla oil also has the ability to ward off infections due to its components, eugenol, and vanillin hydroxybenzaldehyde. When used topically, they have been proven to kill Staphylococcus aureus cells, a bacterial cell commonly found on the skin. They can inhibit biofilm maturation; biofilms love to harbor harmful bacteria all over the body.
We know that chronic inflammation is the root cause of countless diseases. Vanilla is also a powerful anti-inflammatory as well as a stress reliever. By reducing inflammation and easing the body’s stress response, vanilla packs a powerful punch. This dual action helps every system in the body reap the benefits of vanilla, especially pets with nervous or aggressive tendencies. You’ll see vanilla in many stress-relieving blends of essential oils for a reason. Its calming properties are well-known and proven.
Is Vanilla Safe for Dogs?
So, can dogs have vanilla? Can cats have vanilla? Absolutely! In fact, it’s one of the safest essential oils you can give your pet! It can be applied topically, given internally (or licked off topical remedies), or diffused and inhaled. As with all essential oils for pets, common sense practices like proper usage and dilution are important.
As we’ve discussed, vanilla oil is a potent remedy, so only a little oil is needed in order to see benefits. If your dog shies away from the smell of vanilla oil, be mindful. Use just a teeny amount, or better yet, use it in a salve form that has been diluted and combined with other ingredients to achieve harmonious benefits. As with any essential oil, knowing your company and its sourcing is critical to having confidence in the product’s purity and safety. If companies don’t want to tell you their sourcing or don’t have an answer, steer clear.
Nourish CBD Salve with Vanilla for Dogs & Cats
Most dogs love the taste and smell of vanilla. We chose vanilla oil for our Nourish CBD salve for dogs and Nourish CBD salve for cats, both for it’s amazing health benefits and it’s great taste and smell. When I apply Nourish to my pug Bruce’s nose and paws, he loves to try to lick it off. And that’s totally fine too!
Nourish is packed with restorative ingredients like Full Spectrum Hemp Extract, Arnica, Hemp seed oil, coconut oil, and of course, vanilla oil! It’s great for moisturizing and calming dry, cracked skin like elbows, paws, and noses. It has a rich, calming vanilla scent that relaxes and nourishes the senses.
I used it on my pug Bruce’s belly when it was flaky and pigmented from chronic irritation, and it made his skin soft and supple. As with all of our salves, it can safely be ingested if your pup or kitty chooses to lick it off. Just try to give it 5 minutes or so to sink into their skin before allowing your pup to lick it.
Vanilla is safe for dogs and cats, and full of benefits for our four-legged friends. Vanilla for pets can be used topically, ingested orally, and even diffused in the air. Adding it to your pet’s skin wellness routine in the form of Nourish salve is a fantastic way to reap all three methods in one! It’s my personal favorite pet salve because it smells so good you want to eat it!