Hydrosols for Old Dogs

Hydrosols for Old Dogs

Hydrosols for Old Dogs? How are they beneficial? How can they enhance an old dog’s health and wellbeing?

Is your old dog getting more and more difficult to relax and sleep at night? Perhaps due to some physical discomfort such as joint pain, or mental issues such as cognitive dysfunction?

And is your old dog getting reluctant to eat because of sore gums?

Senior dogs are just like older people – they have lots of health issues to deal with. It can be a real challenge for both you and your dog!

If you want to make your older dog’s quality of life better, you should consider adding hydrosols to your arsenals of natural dog remedies.

What are Hydrosols?

In aromatherapy, hydrosols are best refined as “aromatic waters with therapeutic properties”. They are co-produced when essential oils are being distilled.

Hydrosols are chemically different from their corresponding essential oils, so don’t expect the hydrosol of a plant to have the same aroma as the corresponding essential oil (e.g. Lavender essential oil smells quite differently from Lavender hydrosol).

The chemical components in hydrosols are primarily acidic so they acidify the water they are in.

As bacteria do not live well in acidic environments, hydrosols are antibacterial and antiseptic.

Since they are mild and not as highly concentrated as essential oils, hydrosols are perfectly safe to use undiluted on the skin. And because they are so mild and safe, they can be used on more fragile beings, such as puppies and old dogs.

How To Use Hydrosols on Dogs

Hydrosols can be used alone, or you can combine two hydrosols for synergy, or add essential oils and other ingredients to the mix for maximum effects.

Theys can be made into mist sprays, used in compresses, added to bath water, and used as a cleaning agent.

They can be used undiluted, or diluted with water, aloe vera juice or gel, or food-grade hydrogen peroxide.

Five Hydrosols for Old Dogs

Here are five hydrosols that are “must-have’s” for old dogs:

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Just like its essential oil counterpart, the hydrosol of Lavender is gentle and mild, and is perfect for use on more fragile beings, such as puppies, older dogs, dogs with weakened immune system.

Lavender hydrosol is calming and relaxing, and it is good for various skin problems, skin irritations, itching, and it also has wound healing properties.

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)

Helichrysum hydrosol, just like the essential oil, is a wonderful wound healing agent. It is good for bruises, aches and pains, wounds, and cuts.

Since hydrosols are gentler than essential oils, you can actually use them in the mouth. Helichrysum hydrosol is excellent for oral hygiene (good for tooth and gum problems).

Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)

Neroli hydrosol is very calming to the central nervous system and can help relieve stress.
It also gives great digestive support – it helps relieve bloating, gas, and constipation.

Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

This hydrosol is also extremely calming. It helps reduce stress, anxiety, and insomnia.
In addition, R. Chamomile hydrosol is good for the skin. It helps calm rashes and redness, acne, and soothes sunburns and burns.

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

While the essential oil of Tea Tree is too strong for some dogs and is not recommended, the hydrosol is gentle enough for use with small dogs, older dogs, and cats.

Though gentler, it still has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, and is perfect to disinfect minor wounds, clean ears, clean and disinfect hot spots, etc.

How Can Hydrosols Help Older Dogs?

Hydrosols can help other dogs in the following ways:

Stress Relief

Older dogs tend to have more stress due to physical health issues. They may develop separation anxiety, become nervous, or they may have difficulty sleeping at night.

Hydrosols that have relaxing and calming properties can help older dogs relieve some of such stress.

Which Hydrosols to Use
Neroli, Lavender, R. Chamomile
How To Use
Calm a dog with anxiety or hyperactivity by spraying a mist of hydrosol of either Neroli, Lavender, or R. Chamomile around the dog’s head from behind the ears. (Do not spray directly on the dog’s face.) If your dog doesn’t like to be sprayed at all, spray your hands and wipe them over the dog’s face and head once or twice.

Gum Problems

Older dogs are more prone to develop gum disease. Hydrosols are safe and effective to use inside a dog’s mouth to help soothe sore and inflamed gums.

Which Hydrosols to Use
How To Use
Use undiluted Helichrysum hydrosol on the gums 3-5 times a day for 3 weeks. (If there is a lot of inflammation, add 50% German Chamomile.)


Older dogs, especially when they are under the weather, may not be able to have a bath too often. One way to combat odor and to keep the skin clean is to use hydrosols.

Which Hydrosols to Use
Any hydrosols that smell good! (e.g. Lavender, Neroli, R. Chamomile)
How To Use
Mist the coat with hydrosol and brush the hydrosol through.

Skin Irritations

Skin irritations (such as rashes, sunburns, and skin inflammations) can be treated by using a compress.

Which Hydrosols to Use
Helichrysum and Roman Chamomile
How To Use
Compress with 60% Helichrysum hydrosol and 40% R. Chamomile.

Minor Boo-boos

Which Hydrosols to Use
Helichrysum, Lavender, R. Chamomile, Tea Tree
How To Use
For minor wounds, use Tea Tree hydrosol to clean and disinfect the affected areas.

To treat minor cuts or bruises on the pads, make a foot soak or compress with a mixture of 60% Helichrysum and 40% Lavender.

For burns from hot pavement or hot sand, compress with Lavender hydrosol.

For salt damage from melting winter ice, wash the feet in clean water after each walk, and then spritz pads, between toes, and lower legs with Lavender and Roman Chamomile in equal parts.

Bacterial/Yeast Infections

Which Hydrosols to Use
Tea Tree
How To Use
Use undiluted Tea Tree hydrosol as an ear wash for killing yeast in dogs’ ears.

Wipe your female dog with a cotton ball soaked with Tea Tree hydrosol to treat or prevent yeast infections in the vulva.

For oozing hot spots, use the hydrosol to disinfect and clean the affected areas.

Safety Precautions

Since hydrosols are water-based, their qualities are much more easily affected by factors such as storage, heat, light, and age. And because hydrosols are sold without preservatives added, they have much shorter shelf lives than essential oils.

Depending on the hydrosol, the shelf life can be between six months and two years.

To maximize the shelf life of your hydrosols, store them in a refrigerator in dark glass bottles. Take great care when handling the hydrosols so as not to contaminate the liquid.

Check to see if your hydrosols have gone bad occasionally by pouring a small amount into a clean, clear glass. Check for particulate matter or a milky appearance.

Unspoiled hydrosols should be clear and should only contain very minute particulate matter. Also smell the hydrosols to see if they smell rancid.

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