Although essential oils can’t solve all of life’s troubles, their all-natural approach certainly can help improve upon many ailments. Even if you aren’t completely aware of their many benefits, chances are you have a friend or two you’ve heard remarking upon their uses more than once.
If you are an animal owner and lover than you probably are pretty in tune with your pet’s needs and wants and treat them as part of the family. Which is why you want the best for them, and should consider using essential oils as a substitute for certain care approaches both for their health, as well as your own.
Essential Oil 101
Essential oils are extracted from the many different parts of various plants to create a volatile, aromatic compound that has long been used as natural medicinal alternatives for thousands of years. These potent fragrances are what give the plants their distinctive scent and have evolved as part of what helps to protect and ensure their reproduction.
The physical and chemical make-up of these oils is what makes them an effective option for the treatment of a variety of different ailments, with various components providing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support, while others trigger mental focus and calming.
Because each set of oil has its own set of properties, always take care to inform yourself of the safety uses of each and how it should be used. Many oils can be used as an aroma-therapeutic option for pets, with few safe for topical use. Reputable oil companies are very transparent in how their oils can be used. If you are even in doubt, be sure to check with a veterinarian.
Which Oils to NEVER Use On Dogs
There are quite a few oils you should not use with animals, especially dogs. If in doubt about a particular oil, always contact your veterinarian for advice. The most common toxic oils seen in treated dogs include pine derived oils, wintergreen, tea tree oil, and pennyroyal, although others do exist but may not produce such strong reactions.
Benefits of Essential Oil Use
Be sure to remember that your dog is much more sensitive than we are, especially to scent. Always dilute oils before using on your four-legged friend. Diffusion is best done with a cool water ultrasonic diffuser for dilution. To see some of the best- check them out at Better Mind Body Soul.
Never add the oils to your dog’s water, and be sure to always gradually introduce the use of oils using small amounts over small periods of time. Most benefits can be applied through diffusion as inhaling the oils work their way into the bloodstream- especially because of a dog’s amazing olfactory powers.
Create your own all-natural odor eliminator spray and cleanser that fights bacteria and leaves behind a wonderful scent. Some oils to consider include, lime, orange, lemongrass, lavender, grapefruit, ginger, eucalyptus, and rosemary.
Antioxidants help prevent free radicals from negatively affecting the body. Help stave off things like arthritis, heart disease, and gum disease by diffusing lavender, rosemary, frankincense, and sandalwood.
Reduce inflammation and pain with ginger, lavender, frankincense, rosemary, juniper berry (NOT to be confused with juniper), chamomile, and eucalyptus. For chronic issues diffuse regularly.
If your dog has an upset stomach or is recovering from any sort of bowel issues, diffuse spearmint and anti-inflammatory options to help reduce and speed healing. Spearmint has also been known to help stimulate metabolism.
Help Support Respirations
Peppermint and other mints help clear the sinuses of toxins. Diffuse with anti-inflammatories to help reduce sinus swelling as well.
Although using oils on the skin of a dog isn’t always the best use as they may try and lick it, if you dilute it into a wash when treating skin lesions, sores, and cuts it can help flush out the wound to deter bacteria, yeasts, and molds. Eucalyptus, peppermint, and lavender are popularly used for this purpose.
A common diffusion use is to help reduce anxiety in people, so why not in pets? Lavender oil is an excellent choice for this and helps to calm pets and put them in a more relaxed state of mind.
Use safe oils such as citronella, lemongrass, lavender, peppermint, orange (and other citrus), and rosemary diluted with water to use as a spray to help deter ticks and fleas. You can use this throughout your home as well as on your pets when used in small doses. If you grow any of these plants you can also crush them up and rub them over your pet.
Healthy Skin and Hair
Improve skin conditions with oils diluted in water and worked into the hair. Use lavender, cedar, rosemary, chamomile, and sage for this purpose.
More about oils:
Pine derived oils, wintergreen, tea tree oil, and pennyroyal
Karl Burton is the director of content over at BetterMindBodySoul.com. He has a passion for yoga, meditation, healthy eating and helping bring positive change to people’s lives.
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Dr. Dee says
I love essential oils! I too use them on my pets, however, I make sure they are REALLY diluted. The best part is that you can even ask your veterinarian prior to use. Sometimes they have an even better protocol using essential oils!