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How to Safely Use Essential Oils with Pets to Boost Well-Being

I read a quote from Agnes Sligh Turnbull the other day that really resonated with me:

“Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really.”

How true that is! When any pet comes into your home, your family, and your heart, you want them to live long, healthy lives.

And if you’re like me, you want to create health and well-being in the safest, most natural way possible.

I enjoy using essential oils for my own health and well-being and I began to wonder if pets can also enjoy the benefits of essential oils. The use of essential oils has exploded over the last few years.

As their caretakers, it’s important to understand that what’s in our environment also affects our pets. We want to be sure that the essential oils we use are safe and effective around our animal companions.

In this blog post, I'll explore the power of essential oils and how they can improve the quality of life for both pets and pet owners. Most importantly, I'll discuss the safety considerations when using them with pets.

Let's dive in and discover how essential oils can bring wellness to our animal companions.

Benefits of Essential Oils For Pets

Essential oils can work wonders for our pets. Just like in humans, they can promote relaxation, ease anxiety, and create a sense of calm.

Imagine being able to calm your overstimulated pup after a long day with the soothing effects of lavender or chamomile essential oils. It's like a spa experience for your pet, helping them unwind and recharge!

This part is even better: Essential oils also contribute to our pets' physical health and immune system. Certain oils like frankincense have natural antibacterial and antiviral properties which can help protect our pets from common ailments.

Oils like copaiba and helichrysum can assist in reducing inflammation and supporting overall wellness.

Beyond the individual benefits, using essential oils can deepen the bond between pets and their owners. Diffusing pet-friendly oils such as lavender and chamomile

throughout your home creates an atmosphere of tranquility and harmony.

This peaceful environment can positively influence both pets and their owners, fostering a sense of connection and well-being within the household. Aaaahhhh…

Whether you're looking to ease your pet's anxiety, support their physical health, or enhance the bond you share, essential oils can be a valuable tool in your pet wellness arsenal. They bring a touch of nature's magic into your pet's life, helping them thrive in mind, body, and spirit.

Using Essential Oils Safely Around Pets

Essential oils are highly concentrated extracts derived from plants. They capture the aromatic compounds and therapeutic properties of various plants.

Unlike flower essences which are all safe for pets, not all oils are safe for animals.

Pets have different sensitivities compared to humans, so it's crucial to choose oils that are safe for them.

Certain essential oils, such as tea tree or citrus oils, can be too strong for pets and may cause adverse reactions. Always do your research or consult with a veterinarian before introducing any new oil to your pet.

Because animals metabolize oils differently, there are some that can produce adverse effects and should be avoided. This isn’t a complete list, so it’s always best to check with your vet before using any essential oil.

Avoid these oils around dogs:

  • Birch Oil

  • Cajeput Oil

  • Camphor Oil

  • Cassia Oil

  • Celery Seed Oil

  • Cinnamon Oil (All)

  • Citronella Oil

  • Clove Bud Oil

  • Eucalyptus Oil (All)

  • Fir Needle Oil

  • Juniper Berry Oil

  • Nerolina Oil

  • Niaouli Oil

  • Oregano Oil

  • Peppermint Oil

  • Pine Oil

  • Rosalina Oil

  • Rosemary Oil (All)

  • Sage Oil

  • Spearmint Oil

  • Spike Lavender Oil

  • Spruce Oil

  • Tea Tree Oil

  • Thyme Oil (All)

  • Wintergreen Oil

These oils are toxic to cats:

  • Wintergreen oil

  • Peppermint oil

  • Pine oil

  • Eucalyptus

  • Clove oil

  • Tea tree/Melaleuca oil

  • Citrus oil or those containing d-limonene

  • Ylang Ylang

  • Cinnamon oil

  • Pennyroyal oil

Diffusing Oils Safely

Follow these guidelines when diffusing oils for yourself or for your pets:

  • Ensure that you are using 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oils. This ensures that the oils do not contain any harmful additives or chemicals that could be harmful to your pet.

  • Never confine your pet to a small room while diffusing essential oils. Pets should always have the option to leave the area if they are not comfortable or if the scent becomes overwhelming.

  • Monitor your pet's behavior and signs of discomfort when diffusing oils and adjust accordingly. Remember that animals have an acute sense of smell, so what may smell pleasant to us could be overpowering for them.

Using Oils Topically

Use caution when putting oils directly on your pet. Follow these guidelines to ensure their safety and effectiveness.

  • Proper dilution is crucial to avoid overwhelming your pet's senses and to minimize the risk of skin irritation. Always dilute the essential oil with a pet-safe carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, following recommended dilution ratios for your pet's size and species.

  • Acclimate your pet to the scent of the oil by wearing oils on your skin as you play and pet your animals. Diffuse the oil where your pet hangs out to get them used to the scent. This can help you gauge their comfort level and prevent any adverse reactions.

  • When applying the oil, first rub your hands together until the oil is no longer shiny. Rub the oil onto the back. Avoid sensitive areas like the eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals.Gently massage the diluted oil onto your pet's back for an extra spa-like experience!

  • Monitor your pet for any adverse reactions and discontinue use if any signs of discomfort or irritation occur.

Ingesting Essential Oils

Animals can safely ingest essential oils, but be sure to follow these guidelines to do it safely. Consult with a veterinarian who specializes in holistic pet care to ensure safe and appropriate use of essential oils for ingestion.

  • Don’t incorporate oils into your pet's diet by mixing them into their food unless you’re instructed to do so by your vet. Keep in mind that the smell of the oil may affect your pet's appetite, so observe their response and adjust accordingly.

  • You can place diluted oil on your pet's body, allowing them to lick it off. This can be useful for addressing specific concerns, especially in cats. Make sure you heavily dilute the oil so the animal doesn’t ingest too much.

  • Never force your pet to consume oils if they are not interested or comfortable. Remember, pets have their own preferences and sensitivities, so it's crucial to respect their individual needs and responses.

Our pets can benefit from many of the same holistic approaches we use to creating peace, balance, and well-being, including using essential oils. It’s easy to forget that our pets aren’t human when they feel like our playmates, our children, or friends!

It’s important to remember that what we do in our homes doesn’t just affect us, it affects all the living beings who share our living space. And since they are a different species, they won’t react in the same ways we do. Keep a watchful eye on your pet for signs that they don’t love essential oils like you do.

By following these guidelines you can safely create a zen-den that all of you will love!

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