Proper Use and Care of pets with essential oils
Smell is an important primitive sense. The first main nerve that accesses the brain identifies scents. That nerve; and the information it carries; connects immediately to the base of the brain where critical responses occur. Our emotions are heavily impacted by all kind of smells. Positive smells calm and attract us while negative smells repel us and cause annoyance.
Our pets have the same reactions to smells: they use their sense of smell to obtain all sorts of complex information from the environment. In turn, that information is used to estimate and predict what energy and response they should be triggered.
Essential oils and aromatherapy are beneficial aspects of integrative veterinary medicine. Nowadays, more people become aware of ways we can use our patients’ noses to assist their health. However, animals and people are different, so it is important to know how to properly use oils with pets so that we do not unwittingly harm them in the process.
You should also always speak to a veterinarian before using any essential oils on your pet.
Essential Oils have been shown to have many possible, desirable effects such as reducing anxiety and inflammation, fighting oxidative processes, battling toxins and fighting infections by inhibiting bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Essential Oil odors can also be used to affect mental states and memory. Modern doctors are looking for agents that will assist in the management of resistant infections and cancer, and these natural products may well hold the key to several major advancements.
Essential oils contain a multitude of biologically active and powerful compounds. Used correctly, they are an indispensable part of integrative medical care. However, they can cause undesirable and even dangerous side effects, and people using oils medically should seek specialized training.
A word of caution
The compounds present in essential oils are powerful. Very small amounts of these substances can have powerful biological effects on every system of the body. For example, lavender oil has powerful effects on the brain and creates a calming sensation. Small amounts of lavender oil can be used when traveling to calm pets or make them feel sleepy.
Some Safe Oils To Consider For Pets
Veterinarians are skilled in the diagnosis of disease in animals and should always be consulted — especially in situations where symptoms are severe or persist. Always tell your veterinarian what essential oils your pet is using and involve them in these decisions.
The following essential oils can be used in first aid and are safe for short-term use:
Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic, its stimulates circulation, insect-repelling. Good for arthritis, dysplasia, sprains and strains. Works well with ginger to treat motion sickness. Avoid using in small dogs and pregnant dogs.
Help to get rid of fleas. Good on hyperactive animals who tend to run when scared, especially if they are underweight or prone to illness or lack trust in themselves or their owner. Beneficial for increasing awareness in training or cognitive issues. Use in combination with other oils for protection against parasites. Bony growths. Immune moderated problems. Lemon should be used with a collar, avoid contact with pet skin..
Melrose essential oil provides a protective barrier against skin challenges. It has antiseptic-like properties when used topically for cleansing cuts, scrapes, burns, rashes and bruised tissue. Melrose strongly assists the regeneration of damaged tissue and helps fight infection and fungus. It is equally beneficial for animals such as horses, dogs and cats in the same way it benefits humans. When diffused, Melrose can help dispel odors. Also used as dog ear cleaners.
Very safe and gentle, antibacterial, anti-itch, nerve-calming.
Good for many common animal ailments, e.g. skin irritations, first aid.
A “must-have” oil for your dog! That universal oil, can use pure or diluted. Useful in conditioning pets to a safe space. May help allergies, burns, ulcers, insomnia, car ride anxiety and car sickness, to name a few.
Diuretic, anti-bacterial, normalizes appetite, colic, coughs, heartburn and nausea. This essential oil is a natural diuretic but it also has anti-bacterial benefits as well. Cardamom essential oil can help soothe nausea, treat cough, and normalize your dog’s appetite if he is eating less than usual.
Assists the adrenal cortex, helps break up toxins and fluid in tissue. Balances pituitary, thyroid and pineal glands. This essential oil primarily helps to break up toxins and excess fluid in bodily tissues. Fennel essential oil also helps to balance the pineal, thyroid, and pituitary glands.
Anti-bacterial, reduces bleeding in accidents, skin regenerator, helps repair nerves. Helichrysum essential oil may help repair nerve cells as well as skin cells to speed healing. Also useful in cardiac disease.
Has helped some cases of cancer. Works on the immune system. Has reduced tumors and external ulcers. Increases blood supply to the brain (although it can worsen hypertension so use caution). This essential oil also helps to reduce ulcers and to increase blood supply to the brain.
Helps to reduce weight. Good for colic, diarrhea, nausea. Helps balance metabolism stimulates gallbladder. When diluted and used short term, this oil is helpful for many gastrointestinal issues in cats.
There are two types of chamomile essential oil – German and Roman. German chamomile has anti-inflammatory benefits which can be good for your dog’s skin and coat – it may help to reduce allergic reactions. Roman chamomile helps to calm nerves and it may also reduce teething pain, cramps, and muscle pain.
Animals have sensitive senses of smell, so in most cases, it is best to use oils that are diluted and always provide an escape route. If a pet does not like an oil, discontinue its use.
A word for cats
Cats are particularly at risk for negative oil reactions and in most cases I use oils very sparingly on cats. One drop of essential oil diluted in 50 drops of a pure dilutional oil such as grape seed oil is usually sufficient.
Since animals metabolize and react differently to essential oils, it is important to know about species-specific differences before using oils. One problem I see involves people overusing oils. A person discovers essential oils and begins to diffuse the oils into their homes leading to an unintentional overdose for their pets. Lavender oil is highly useful, but it contains no antioxidant compounds and can, therefore, oxidize as it is stored. These oxidized alcohols can aggravate patients and lead to the development of allergic responses.
Most animals are more sensitive than humans to essential oils, so you must be extra careful when using them.
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- Start by diluting heavily and use in moderation.
- Every animal is different, so carefully observe how each animal responds to the oils.
- Use common sense and good judgment as you try different methods.
- Take special care to not get essential oils in an animal’s eyes.
- Avoid using high-phenol oils such as Oregano and Thyme with any animals, especially cats.
- Use special caution when using essential oils with cats. Cats are also generally averse to citrus essential oils.
Your animal’s size affects the amount of oil you should use.
- For smaller animals like cats and small dogs, use 3–5 drops. Be sure to dilute 80–90 percent prior to application (for example, for every 1 drop of oil, use 4–5 drops of a diluting agent, such as V-6™ Vegetable Oil Complex).
- For larger animals, like large dogs, start with 3–5 drops. Unless otherwise indicated on the product label, dilution is unnecessary.
- For very large animals, like horses and cattle, start with 10 drops. Unless otherwise indicated on the product label, dilution is unnecessary.
Apply oils to yourself or diffuse to introduce animals to essential oils and help them get comfortable.
- Wear oils around your animals, diffuse in their space, or apply to your hands and let the animal smell them.
- If your animal is jittery or resistant to essential oils, try applying an oil to yourself and staying near the animal for several minutes so it can get used to the aroma.
Once they’re used to essential oils, animals can respond well to topical application.
- For cats and dogs, paws are a great place to apply essential oils.
- For hoofed animals, we recommend application on the spine or flanks.
- Try rubbing oils onto your own hands and then stroking the animal’s fur.
- For large or hard-to-reach areas, combine essential oils with V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex or water in a spray bottle for easier application.
Some Essential Oils can be administered internally.
- Some essential oils can be mixed with your animal’s food.
- For large animals, you can pull out the bottom lip and drop oils directly into the mouth.
- Always ask your veterinarian about what essential oils can be ingested by pets.
How to use essential oils for certain conditions
- Environmental-Weed killer, food with chemicals
- Apply lavender on the skin if itchy and on the pads of the feet.
- Dogs or cats; essential oils can be applied to tips of ears, also on top of the head, naval, along with to the bottoms of their feet, petting and diffusing of essential oils.
Good oils for calming are Lavender, RutaVaLa
- Calm dog during bath:
- Put a drop or two of Peace and Calming in the palm of your hands and brush onto the towel, which will be used for drying your pet. Let the pet smell your hands before starting the bath. If needed also add the blend of RutaVala and give your pet a good loving pet right before bathing.
- Fleas on family dog allergic reaction causing hot spots:
– Mix 2 tablespoons carrier oil with 4 to 8 drops of Helichrysum in a spray bottle. Spray the hot spot area twice a day.
Get rid of fleas:
- Use any of the following essential oils and add to the rinse cycle when washing bedding:
- Lemon (Put on collar)
Add 2 to 5 drops of any of the above oils to an 8-ounce spray bottle filled with purified water and mist all over their body once a day.
Increase to 10 drops in the water after 2 weeks and use as an insect spray.
Ticks & Mites:
Use Peppermint or Palo Santo. Put on a damp rag, and then put hot compress over the area of concern.
- Use Lemon, or Peace and Calming by putting 1-2 drops in the palm of your hand, massage onto the pads of their feet and give them a good petting.
- Soak paw in warm water with Epsom salts mixed with Thieves essential oil for; 10 minutes 2-3 times a day.
- Then irrigate the wound with a syringe, using alternately Thieves and Melrose.
Upset stomach and loose bowls:
- Rub 1 to 2 drops of Peppermint oil into the palm of your hands then rub on pets tummy to ease discomfort.
- Apply peppermint to hands and pet animal from the neck down.
While oils are useful in healing and affecting mentation, they are powerful and can cause a wide variety of adverse effects. Principles of safe use are recommended. The largest problem with essential oils is that they may contain contaminates or adulterants that make more serious issues arise. For this reason, one should only use therapeutic grade oils from reputable companies and verify the quality of oils before using them. Some essential oils can cause liver and kidney toxicity in sensitive species. Cats use a different system in their liver to detoxify and are particularly sensitive to essential oils that contain polyphenolic compounds. These are so-called “hot” oils like cinnamon, oregano, clove, wintergreen, thyme and birch, which are oils that should be avoided in cats. Cats should not receive melaleuca oil, and never put essential oils into the ear canal as they can damage cats’ delicate ear drums and nerves. Care is needed around eyes as well. Always wash your hands after handling oils to prevent accidentally getting them into your eyes.
The complete list of essential oils that should never be used on pets is:
- Melaleuca (Tea Tree)
- Pennyroyal Oil
- Citrus Oils
If you need the complete list of essential oils to fit in your purse, just read that article.
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Used properly essential oils can benefit people and our animal friends. Do you use essential oils in your family or with your pets or other animals? Tell me about that below. How did you learn about using oils?