Is Castor Oil Safe For Dogs Or Dangerous For Them


Castor oil is one of the most versatile oils that are used widely in multiple fields, such as soaps, hair creams, and more. They’re also known for their extremely beneficial effects on human hair and skin.

Ideally, castor oil retains its magical benefits on your dog’s skin as well as you. It’s considered a safe oil as long as you use it externally. But, if a dog ingests it orally, it can cause severe toxicity. That’s why it’s generally avoided for ingestion and not even used to treat constipation.

Despite the toxic side effect when ingested orally, you shouldn’t miss out on the excellent benefits of applying castor oil on your dog’s hair and skin.

Today, you’ll find out the health risks and benefits of the cold-pressed oil for your dog. Keep on reading for further details about castor oil and the right way to use it on your pooch.

Is Castor Oil Safe For Dogs

Castor oil is generally safe for canines but only for external use. In fact, it’s extremely beneficial and encouraged for its nourishment benefits. 

However, castor oil contains a naturally occurring substance known as “ricin”. You might recognize that poison if you’ve watched “Breaking Bad”.

In concentrated doses, ricin can be fatal. But in castor oil concentration, ricin will cause severe gastrointestinal upset for both dogs and humans. 

This upset drives the dog to experience vomiting and diarrhoea. In medicine, they’re considered the last resort laxative. But they’re also used by doctors and vets.

What Are The Uses Of Castor Oil For Dogs

As you already know, castor oil has a lot of benefits to dogs’ skin and hair. Here are some of these benefits that your dog might get from using it:

  • Multiple vets recommend it to get rid of mast cell tumors on the dog’s skin
  • Moisturizes the dog’s skin
  • Restores the natural shine of the fur and prevents hair loss
  • Natural deterrent to ticks and fleas
  • Excellent remedy for canine skin allergy and soothes skin inflammation 
  • Relieves joint swelling and pain in senior dogs
  • Possess some antifungal and antibacterial properties 

How To Safely Apply Castor Oil To Your Dog’s Body

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Dogs have a natural instinct to lick their wounds and irritations. This makes it a real challenge to get your dog to not lick the affected area after you apply some castor oil to it.

You can safely prevent your dog from licking it by using a soft collar or a pet cone until the oil is fully absorbed by the skin. Simply apply some oil to your hand and massage it in a circular motion to soothe your dog’s irritation.

If you don’t want to use your hand, you can dunk a cotton ball in warm water and add some castor oil droplets to it and massage your dog’s skin with the ball.

What To Do If Your Dog Licked Or Drank Castor Oil 

If your dog licked a small amount of castor oil, don’t panic, as the effects won’t be so dramatic. Your dog might experience some general discomfort and weakness as well as diarrhoea and vomiting. 

However, if the dog ingests larger amounts of castor oil, the discomfort might be quite dramatic. In that case, you should contact your vet immediately or visit their clinic.

In most cases, the vet will prescribe some antacids and fasting to help your dog get rid of the toxins. 

What Are the Safest Types of Castor Oil for Dogs on the Market

To pick the best castor oil possible. Make sure it’s a pharmaceutical grade or USP grade castor oil. These ones are processed within the standard of the United States Pharmacopeia guidelines.

Also, make sure that the oil is cold-pressed. These ones provide that highest level of health value, as they’re processed without high heat that might destroy the beneficial ingredients in the oil.

Wrap Up

To wrap things up, castor oil can be poisonous for dogs as it can be poisonous for us too. This happens when they’re ingested orally in significant amounts due to the toxic ricin and ricinoleic acid that is originally found in their beans. 

However, it’s an extremely beneficial remedy for a wide variety of health issues as well as the nourishment of your dog’s hair and skin when used externally.

Remember to always keep the oil itself away from your dog and use it with caution. Also, make sure that you always consult your dog’s vet if before you use castor oil on your dog’s body.

Sarah Jones

Sarah is a passionate pet lover who owns several pets on her own. She loves to share her experience doing part-time writing to impart some useful tips to other pet owners.

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