Is Sandalwood Oil Safe For Bulldogs?

Many essential oils are beneficial for dogs, but some can be the total opposite. As a Bulldog owner, I’ve tried various oil blends for my pet, but I’ve stumbled on this question lately: is sandalwood oil safe for dogs? Generally, sandalwood is safe for Bulldogs and all dog breeds, for that matter, as long as it’s used properly and in very modest amounts.

In this post, we will take a look at sandalwood oil and how it works for canines. I’ll also share some of my tips in using this essential oil on your Bulldog.

What is sandalwood oil?

is sandalwood oil safe for dogs

Sandalwood is an essential oil derived from the roots and wood of the Santalum album plant, also known as the East Indian sandalwood tree. This essential oil is highly valued and prized, especially in the field of medicine.

Traditionally, sandalwood oil is popular in the Ayurvedic practice to treat urinary tract infections, common colds, bladder issues, and more. But over the years, this precious oil has found its way to the pet industry. 

Moreover, sandalwood oil has an exotic and earthy scent with a hint of cream. It can be used as a standalone oil or as a carrier when diluting other essential oils like lavender, citronella, and so on.

Overall, sandalwood is beneficial for both humans and canines. Still, you should consult your Bulldog’s veterinarian before you use this essential oil. While natural, irritations can happen, especially since Bulldogs are quite prone to skin allergies and other sensitivities.

Another issue pet owners have with sandalwood oil is its costly price tag. It’s quite pricey than other essential oils in the market due to low supply and the fact that sandalwood trees are already a vulnerable species.

Is sandalwood oil safe for Bulldogs?

Sandalwood oil is one of the safe essential oils to use on Bulldogs. It has a nice odor and brings a ton of benefits when used topically. The following are some of the benefits Bulldogs will reap from the proper use of sandalwood oil:

  • Relaxing effect. Sandalwood has a soft and relaxing scent that many pet owners love diffusing. Bulldogs with anxiety can benefit from the odor of this oil. However, you should never use sandalwood in its pure form, so always practice proper dilution.
  • Treating fungal infections. You can use a drop or two of sandalwood oil diluted in water to ease fungal infections on your Bulldog’s skin. For Bulldogs with sensitive skin, you can dilute sandalwood oil in coconut oil to keep the dose mild.
  • Repelling fleas. Another great benefit of sandalwood oil in Bulldogs is its flea repellent effect. You can place a drop of this oil on your Bulldog’s toys and beddings to drive the pesky bloodsuckers away.
  • Healing wounds. For Bulldogs with infected wounds, a drop of sandalwood oil mixed with water is an excellent antiseptic agent. This will promote healing while preventing pathogens from triggering infections.
  • Alertness. Some pet owners noticed that their Bulldogs become more alert when they are diffusing sandalwood oil. The proof is quite anecdotal but something worth noting.
  • Disease-fighting properties. Some essential oils like sandalwood offer disease-fighting properties that could help against antibiotic-resistant bacteria on the skin.

These are just some of the benefits of sandalwood oil your Bulldog will enjoy. However, you must remember that not all Bulldogs will react positively to sandalwood oil. It’s important to stay watchful, so you can stop using the oil once adverse reactions occur.

Precautions when using sandalwood on Bulldogs

is sandalwood oil safe for dogs

While sandalwood is generally safe for Bulldogs, you still have to practice caution when using it. The following are some of the important precautions dog owners should keep in mind:

  • Always dilute the oil. Pure essential oils are quite strong and will likely irritate your dog if not diluted. It’s best to mix sandalwood oil with a carrier like a coconut oil. You can also use water if you don’t have another oil handy.
  • Keep the amount small. Sandalwood oil shouldn’t be used in hefty amounts. It’s quite an expensive oil, and too much may result in irritations on the part of your Bulldog.
  • Start small. It’s best to introduce sandalwood oil to your Bulldog slowly. Start with very little hints instead of a full drop. If your Bulldog experiences adverse side effects like sneezing, rashes, or redness on the area where you applied the oil, it’s a sign that your pet is allergic to it.
  • Don’t feed it to your dog. Sandalwood oil should only be used topically. It’s not an edible oil, and it could potentially cause stomach upset and other complications if consumed. If you’re using it as a spot treatment on your Bulldog’s skin, it’s best to put the canine in an Elizabethan collar to prevent it from licking the oil.
  • Not for asthmatic canines. If your Bulldog has asthma and other respiratory problems, you should avoid using sandalwood oil and other essential oils. Diffusing the oil or letting your dog sniff its odor may aggravate its respiratory distress.
  • Always consult the vet first. Whether you own a Bulldog or another breed, it’s important to consult your pet’s veterinarian before using sandalwood or any essential oil for that matter.
  • Consider using passive diffusers. If you’re going to diffuse sandalwood oil, I suggest using a passive diffuser since it produces a less intense aroma. You should dilute the oil, nonetheless. This will help prevent respiratory issues in your dog.

Signs of essential oil poisoning in Bulldogs

Bulldogs react to essential oils differently. Some like being pampered with it, while others will have a sneezing fit on the slightest scent.

If your Bulldog ingests sandalwood or other oils, you must observe it for potential poisoning. The following are some of the tell-tale signs of essential oil poisoning in canines:

  • Low heart rate
  • Drooling and foaming
  • Redness of the gums and lips
  • Lethargy
  • Watery nose and eyes
  • Wobbliness and tremors

If your dog only inhaled the sandalwood oil, you must take it to a well-ventilated area. However, if your Bulldog licked or ingested the oil, you must bring it to the vet’s clinic immediately. This condition can be life-threatening, especially if your dog consumed sandalwood oil in large amounts.

Meanwhile, if the oil irritated your Bulldog’s skin, you must wash it right away. Inflammation, rashes, and redness due to oil use must be treated with the advice of a veterinarian.

Other essential oils that are beneficial for Bulldogs

Aside from sandalwood, there are other essential oils you can use on your dog. Just make sure that you follow the precautions I discussed above to prevent irritations and poisoning.

The following are some of the essential oil Bulldog owners swear by:

  • Lavender oil. Lavender oil is probably the most popular essential oil on the roster. It’s known for its relaxing scent that even Bulldogs will love. This oil will help anxiety not just in your dog but also in you.
  • Cedar oil. Cedar oil is an active ingredient used in a wide variety of flea control products. When diluted in water, it will repel insect pests. It can also be diffused to help calm your Bulldog.
  • Chamomile oil. Chamomile is known to promote relaxation. A small amount of chamomile oil can also bring this benefit to your Bulldog, but make sure you dilute it well.
  • Frankincense oil. This is a less potent oil that possesses an antibacterial property. Frankincense can also be used to help calm your dog.
  • Peppermint oil. If diluted properly, peppermint oil can be a refreshing choice for your Bulldog. It’s an excellent choice during hot summer days as Bulldogs are prone to overheating when exposed to hot temperatures.

TOXIC essential oils to avoid

If there are beneficial essential oils for Bulldogs, there are also some you have to avoid. The following are some of the toxic oils that could harm your pet:

  • Pine oil. This oil is often used as an ingredient for household cleaners since its scent is effective in repelling insect pests. However, it’s highly toxic to dogs, even in a minimal amount. Exposure and ingestion of pine oil can cause damage to your Bulldog’s kidneys, liver, and brain.
  • Tea tree oil. The problem with tea tree oil is its very potent concentration. A dose as small as 5 to 7 drops of pure tea tree oil is enough to cause severe poisoning in Bulldogs. Aside from direct contact with tea tree oil, you should avoid letting your Bulldog sniff its scent.
  • Pennyroyal oil. This oil is used to treat skin diseases in humans, but you should never use it on your dog. Like tea tree oil, pennyroyal oil is toxic to canines, and it can trigger dermatitis when applied topically.
  • Wintergreen oil. Unlike other essential oils, wintergreen oil isn’t used for aromatherapy. Any form of application to your pet must be avoided because it increases the effects of anticoagulants.
  • Cinnamon oil. Both cinnamon and nutmeg oils are toxic to canines. It should never be used as a treatment in any way. Even a small amount of cinnamon oil can lead to diarrhea, liver damage, changes in heart rate, and other life-threatening symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What oils can I diffuse around my Bulldog?

A: Some of the oils you can diffuse around your dog are chamomile, lavender, ginger, and frankincense. However, make sure that you dilute the oils to avoid a strong aroma. Remember that dogs have a heightened sense of smell, so what’s normal for us can be overpowering for them.

Q: How do you dilute lavender oil for dogs?

A: To dilute lavender oil, you can simply add one part of oil into 50 parts of water. You can also use coconut oil as a carrier agent with the same dilution ratio. While this may seem too weak, it’s the advisable amount to keep your dog safe. Besides, coconut oil itself has a nice scent, which is very much safe for Bulldogs.

Q: Can my diffuser hurt my dog?

A: Diffusers are usually safe for canines, but you have to be very specific with the type of oil you’re going to use. The likes of sandalwood lavender, cedar, and frankincense are safe for Bulldogs, but they must be diluted properly. Also, you should clean your diffuser to prevent the proliferation of molds and bacteria.

Q: Can essential oils cause seizures in Bulldogs?

A: Essential oils like tea tree oil and pennyroyal oil have been reported to cause seizures among canines. Other adverse reactions include liver damage, diarrhea, and even paralysis. This is why you should always be careful about the oils you use at home, whether it’s for your Bulldog or not.

Q: How will I know if I’m buying pure sandalwood oil?

A: Pure sandalwood oil has a distinct sweet and creamy odor with hints of wood. If you can’t smell any of these or if it’s too faint, there’s a high chance that the oil you purchased has been mixed with carrier agents. Make sure to buy your oils from reputable sellers who specialize in essential oils and not just general merchandise.

Final words

Is sandalwood oil safe for Bulldogs? If diluted and used properly, this oil can bring benefits to your pet. It has a powerful antiseptic characteristic as well as a relaxing odor that could help an anxious Bulldog. Still, I recommend consulting your pet’s veterinarian before you use sandalwood or any essential oil. This way, you will receive proper advice to keep your Bulldog safe at all times.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!