Animals often have sensitivities, especially skin sensitivities. Using a non-toxic product like jojoba oil for dogs and cats is important to avoid adding additional environmental toxins. Jojoba oil* is nontoxic and nonallergenic (the extract is pressed from a seed, not a nut, and is safe for humans, dogs, and cats alike). Jojoba oil also has anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. Being a liquid wax with very low levels of triglycerides, jojoba does not easily oxidize, making it remarkably shelf-stable and able to withstand heat without any loss in its properties, unlike most plant oils.
Over the past 20 years, we have received many testimonials from customer that have used jojoba on their pets, particularly on hot spots. If you have pets, you most likely know the frustration that is the dreaded hot spot! All the beneficial properties of jojoba make it particularly beneficial for use on hot spots in pets, continue reading for specific recommendations on how to use and other recommendations.
Jojoba oil has many naturally beneficial properties that make it soothing and conditioning to skin, these properties are likely the ones that make it highly beneficial for pet (and human) skin conditions. *Jojoba is actually a wax ester and not an oil, to learn more about that see our in depth page with information about Jojoba. We refer to it as an oil because it’s what people understand but we prefer to call it an “extract” instead.
How to use Jojoba Oil for Pets
Using jojoba oil for pets is essentially the same as using jojoba oil on humans. Remember that “A Little Goes a LONG way”. We strongly encourage you to use our product a drop at a time until you’re fully familiar with the way it works on your pet’s skin. Start with a drop or two and increase amount as needed. If your pet has a hot spot or another skin condition, clean area first then apply a few drops of jojoba to a cotton cloth, cotton swab, or freshly washed fingertips and gently massage onto area. Do this a few times a day until condition heals.
The review of research literature suggests that jojoba has an anti-inflammatory effect and it can be used on a variety of skin conditions including skin infections, as well as wound healing. This is why it’s beneficial for use on hot spots!
Jojoba can also be used on fur as it’s good for hair follicles. We have clients that use it to shine & condition the coats of their show animals (horses & pigs). It also helps with static, thus making it wonderful for long coated cats in winter! One of our employees uses it on her cats during the cold Maine winters to help with dry skin. Jojoba can also be useful in cleaning ears, or for use after cleaning ears with ear cleaning solutions, which are often drying. Jojoba can soothe itchy ears (this works well for humans as well, see our post on how to use jojoba oil for gentle ear cleaning here).
Using Jojoba Oil for Pets – Hot Spots
Most likely, if you have pets, you’ve experienced a hot spot. Hot spots are acute moist dermatitis, and are characterized by red, irritated, weepy sores that can be terribly difficult to get rid of. They can grow rapidly as pets try to clean them with constant licking. There are loads of treatments out there, but we have found a simple treatment that works beautifully.
Plain jojoba works wonderfully on hot spots, we’ve heard from many pet owners that have used 100% jojoba straight from our bottles on hot spots. It works not only on hot spots but on other skin issues in pets as well, like dry skin. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that jojoba oil promotes the healing and closure of canine hot spots.
While you can use plain jojoba with success, the addition of calendula will make jojoba even more effective for hot spot treatment. Calendula is said to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties as well as speeding up healing of wounds. These properties make it especially beneficial in troubled skin salves and mixes, and they make it particularly great for hot spots on your pets.
Here’s how to make a simple calendula infused jojoba oil for treating hot spots. Here’s how to make a simple calendula infused jojoba for treating hot spots. After you make a batch, gift some to your friends with pets, they will appreciate it! (never mix essential oils with jojoba to use on pets, essential oils can be toxic to animals, cats in particular)
From Cari, our Director of Strategic Growth:
“If one of my house cats gets a hot spot, I use plain or calendula infused jojoba to treat it. I also have three pet goats and one of them tends to get dry, flaky skin this time of year. Brushing a small amount of jojoba through her coat helps soothe her dry skin and gives her fur a glossy shine.” (see Bella the goat below)
From Hillary, one of our Customer Care Specialists:
“Aside from using HobaCare Jojoba daily for my face and body, I love knowing I can use it on my pets (and recommend it safely to friends with animals). One of my older cats needed regular transdermal medicine, applied to the bare skin of the inside of his ear. The medicine was very helpful, however it did cause quite a bit of drying out of that poor sensitive skin area.”
“Knowing Jojoba is non-toxic, we applied it regularly, massaging a few drops gently onto his chapped ear and it helped soothe the irritation and bring balance back to a such a rough spot. He stopped trying to scratch at that dry skin and let the medicine do its job.” (Arthur is pictured below)
From Susy, our Digital Content manager:
“We use jojoba oil on any hot spots that show up on cats or dogs. Since we heat with wood, the cats get a bit of dry flaky skin in winter and we put jojoba oil on their coats to help. If any of the pets get a superficial wound, we often condition it with calendula infused jojoba.”
“Jojoba is also wonderful for cleaning dog ears, it soothes the ears and helps release wax. Our chickens also will get a foot treatment of jojoba mixed with tea tree oil or neem if scaly leg mites ever show, two treatments one week apart usually does the trick to get rid of those pesky mites and their feet are healthy again in no time.” (Dexter is pictured below)
From Missy Vigue – Washington, Maine
“I was attending a local craft fair when came upon the jojoba table. Brian offered me a sample size, and I tucked it away. Around this time my oldest dog was at the vets when they discovered a hotspot. The vet prescribed some antibiotics, but I didn’t see fast healing. I knew jojoba oil had many healing properties, especially with skin conditions.”
“After reading that jojoba was not toxic for animals, I treated My dog’s inflamed area. It was raw, scabby, and quite itchy. I treated the spot directly, massaging through the hair to her skin. I also covered that area with a shirt, to ensure our dog would leave that area alone.“
“Within days, I noticed an improvement. The hotspot area was much less inflamed looking, returning to a healthier pink skin tone. The scabs resolved within a week. Within two weeks, hair growth was noticeable in the area. It has been a lifesaver, and I even use it as a general conditioner in these dry winter conditions for our dog’s coat. I’m so happy to have benefited from this wonderful product.” (see Maggie, the Collie below)
Using Jojoba Oil for Pets ***a warning***
Jojoba is a valuable product to use on pets since they groom themselves and often ingest products that are applied to their skin/fur. Jojoba is non-toxic and can be ingested, in fact native Americans used it for a few things. However, jojoba in large quantities will have a laxative effect! When using jojoba on your pets follow our mantra of “A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY”, this is especially important since pets groom themselves excessively when they have itchy skin or hot spots.
While you can be certain jojoba is safe for pets, take precautions to avoid them ingesting too much to avoid any unpleasantness. If they do ingest it you don’t have to worry about it being bad for them. In fact, we had a client call in to tell us that our product was indeed non-toxic because her dogs got into one of her bottles and ate the entire thing. The dogs are fine and she was extremely thankful for the non-staining property of jojoba as she cleaned the jojoba up from all over the house.
Have you used jojoba oil on pets? What have you used it for?
***While jojoba oil makes a great carrier for essential oils for human use, please don’t use essential oils on your pets (particularly cats as they are toxic to cats) unless you consult with a veterinarian trained in this area.