Jojoba oil, a sort of liquid wax produced from jojoba seeds, is renowned for its moisturizing and skin-healing properties in humans and dogs alike. This emollient substance can soothe your buddy’s skin, unclog his hair follicles and leave his fur as soft as a young pup’s.
Origins of Jojoba
The jojoba plant is a shrub that flourishes in Mexico and the southwestern United States. Native Americans, early white settlers and native animals have ingested and applied both the shrub and seeds for years. More recently, it has become a natural source of healing for the canine population. It’s also found in lipstick, cleansing products, makeup and body lotion, along with dog shampoos and conditioners.
One of the newer uses for jojoba oil is canine aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is used not to make your dog smell good but rather to naturally treat a variety of physical and behavioral problems. Jojoba oil is an odorless carrier oil, making it a good base for soothing, strong-smelling oils such as lavender and peppermint. Consult a holistic veterinarian if you and your buddy are interested in giving aromatherapy a spin.
Dry patches are the pits. Try rubbing a big of nongreasy, antioxidant-rich jojoba oil directly on to Scout’s dry, itchy patches of skin. Use a damp washcloth or piece of gauze and gently rub it into the affected area. Jojoba oil’s rich, fatty glycerides provide moisturizing relief for itchy skin. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that jojoba oil promotes the healing and closure of canine hot spots. However, take care not to use too much lest he lick off any excess.
Shampoos and Conditioner
It’s important to keep your buddy’s coat healthy -- that means soft and shiny -- and jojoba oil can help. A natural fungicide, it helps moisturize and soften skin while naturally controlling bacteria and fungi on the skin’s surface. Unlike many other oils, jojoba’s waxy properties cause it to cling to Scout’s skin and fur, moisturizing him long after his bath has ended. Many canine shampoos and conditioners formulated for dry or sensitive skin contain the nourishing oil.
Consult your veterinarian before allowing your dog to ingest jojoba oil. Excess oil can cause digestive upset, vomiting and diarrhea.
Christina Stephens is a writer from Portland, Ore. whose main areas of focus are pets and animals, travel and literature. A veterinary assistant, she taught English in South Korea and holds a BA in English with cum laude honors from Portland State University.