This reminder came in from a member of Sheltie Nation, Momo’s Mom. 

TeaTreeMaybe you all know this already, but I just learned it the hard way:  TEA TREE OIL IS POISONOUS TO DOGS AND CATS.  My dog Momo is okay now, but I STUPIDLY put some tea tree oil on his paws and a few hours later, he could not stand up.” 

“We rushed to the vet ER and he required IV flushing, activated charcoal, discussion with Poison Control, overnight monitoring, and an extreme bath.   It is SOMETIMES it is used in very diluted amounts in dog shampoo and as a flea or tick repellent;  but, I would urge you to research it before using it IN ANY AMOUNT.  (That is what I should have done!)  It is just as dangerous when it is absorbed through the skin as when it is ingested orally and causes NEUROLOGICAL REACTIONS and can cause LIVER DAMAGE.”

“THANK GOD there was a good doctor at the ER that night to make up for my own idiocy.  Anyway, I hope this will prevent this from happening to everyone elses pets….Oddly enough, it is not included on any of the lists of things that are toxic to dogs.”

Momo’s story is a good reminder to us all to review possible toxic substances and our dogs.

The fact is, tea tree oil, like other essential oils, is graded on an LD 50 basis. What this means is: when tested on laboratory animals, the lethal dose needed to kill 50% of the animals is measured, and the results reported as LD50 at a certain number of grams or milligrams by weight.

Tea tree oil toxicity ranges between 2 and 5 g/kg body weight.  This is why, it is common for folks who are uninformed or who have received bad information, poison their own pets -particularly small cats and dogs.

So remember, just because it’s natural, an herb, used in aromatherapy, or has potential health benefits, does not meanit’s safe for all uses.

If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned, contact the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.  This is 24 hour a day hotline.  (In some cases a consultation fee may be charged to your credit card.)

Next: 10 Most Common Poisonous Plants for Dogs

Back to: Sheltie FAQ

73 Responses to “Did you know? Tea Tree Oil is toxic to dogs.”

  1. LorettaA

    Last night, I washed my Pomeranian with newly purchased dog shampoo with tree oil. This morning she vomited a lot of blood. The vet said it was tree oil shampoo.

    The bathed her, gave her fluids thru IV and she is now on antibiotics. I pray she recovers.

    I had no idea of the effects of tree oil and dogs. I notified, where I purchased the shampoo who apologized and said they will refund my $8. I asked them to remove the shampoo from their stock.


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