Use of Essential Oils for Our Pets
There has been much controversy today about whether or not to use essential oils for our pets. Dogs & cats are very different in their makeups, so which essential oils are deemed as ‘safe’ and what is or is not a healthy dose to administer is very important.
Many of us question and labor over what essential oils to use. However, we unknowingly use cleaning products in our home all the time, without adequate thought as to how they may affect our pets. Cleansers, floor cleaners and the like, often contain toxins that do more harm that any natural oil or essential oil could. Always keep these harmful chemicals out of reach. Using plain natural soap and water will keep your home just as clean and fresh, and free of bacteria.
In this regard, the use of essential oils is a wonderful alternative, not only as a cleaning product, but for use with animals in many other ways. We will discuss these below.
First of all, it is important to be very careful with use of essential oils around our pets. All animals react differently. That is why first testing and then administering them in small doses first is recommended. At Mooseberry, we say “Try on a small patch on human skin first”. If you yourself can not use it or you have an allergic reaction, think twice about putting it on your pet.
Cats, in particular, are very sensitive to essential oils because they may contain what are called ‘polyphenolic compounds’. These compounds interfere with a cat’s natural liver and liver detoxification process. Never use spices with cats like clove or cinnamon, and avoid tea tree or herbs like thyme and oregano. Certain wood oils should also be avoided. And diffusers around cats could be too strong for a cat to tolerate.
With dogs, be careful what you are introducing into your environment in the form of candles and diffusers, as well. How much you diffuse and which diffusers to use is very important. Dogs can also have allergic reactions to some essential oils. A few of these oils to be avoided are below:Clove, Anise, Juniper, Thyme, Wintergreen and Yarrow
There are Essential Oils that are Good for Your Pets
Although some oils can be a problem, there is a whole host of good essential oils to use with your pet, while still exercising caution. This list does change slightly, as more pet owners find their pets have reactions, just as humans do, so please note that these are just recommendations.
Remember, try them out for yourself first, then on your pet:
Chamomile – a calming and relaxing herb that promotes sleep and good digestion
Lavender – Soothing and helps with separation anxiety
Mint – Repels bugs, aids in digestion and soothes arthritic pain.
Sage – Calms anxious pets
Coconut Oil – great for skin issues and overall health
Geranium – repels pests and good for ear infections
Ginger – aids digestion and relieves pain from hip dysplasia
Use High Grade Aroma-therapeutic Oils
As with any oil, quality matters. Make sure you know the source of your oils and that they are pure, not treated with chemicals or additives. Remember, fragrances are not essential oils and should not be treated as such.
Do your research so that you feel confident what you are giving your pet or putting on your pet’s coat is of high quality and will not cause a reaction.
Consult with your vet, if you feel that you need more information about your particular animal and proper use of essential oils. Many times, the age of the pet matters, as does size and overall health.
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