Essential Oils are great for your skin and it has many beneficial properties when diffused too, however many people forget about the impact of essential oils on pets. Every now and then I hear that pets had near fatal incidents after essential oils where difused in the home. They are beneficial for pets and humans, but use them with care and be mindful of your animals. That is why I have decided to add this blog as we love animals at Fontis Skinfood!
Essential oils are potent and they offer many therapeutic benefits, however they need to be used with care. In most families pets are a member of the family and it is better to be safe than sorry. Please don’t ever use undiluted essential oils on your pets!!!
When used correctly essential oils and hydrosols have benefits for humans and animals. They also have other benefits for pets when applied topically.
Generally Recommended Essential Oils for Pets Include:
- Lavender as it can reduce anxiety, stress, fear and sadness.
- Sweet Orange or Tangerine boost confidence and helps them to be inquisitive.
- Frankincense as it cools inflammation and reduces sadness.
- Rosemary as it cools inflammation, relieves pain and discomfort.
Scents work well on traumatised animals for example geranium or rose for abused dogs. One drop on a scent strip is more than enough, however see how the traumatised animal reacts. It can work well to encourage positive reaction. Please note, don’t ever use scents to punish an animal.
When you use essential oils in conjunction with your vets recommendations they can be used on a variety of health issues. It is important to note to get an acurate diagnosis from your vet and to watch for signs of their condition worsening. Remember your pet may not show adverse reactions immediately. It can be difficult to see cause and effect as their symptoms can appear weeks later.
Once you have determined whether an essential oil is safe for use topically you can apply it (VERY DILUTED) to the bottom of the paws, between toe pads, on the stomach or behind the ears.
Diffusing can be beneficial too.
Avoid putting it around the nose, face or eyes of the pets.
Some Remedies Include:
Arthritis: Dilute 1 drop of frankincense oil and apply it to the base of the ears, tail and affected hip or joint.
Fear and Anxiety: Dilute 1 drop of lavender oil and apply it to the back of the ears and tail, or apply it on a scent strip.
Fleas: Add 1 or 2 drops of lemongrass oil to the pets shampoo or dilute a geranium hydrosol with distilled water in a spray bottle (maximum 50/50 ratio) and spray it on the animal.
Pain: Dilute 1 or 2 drops of frankincense or lavender oil in 10ml + and apply to the area of pain.
The dilution ratio depends on the weight of the pet. Use 2 tablespoons (30ml) of coconut oil/olive oil to 1 drop of essential oil for pets weighing under 14kg. For pets over 14kg a 1:1 ratio is recommended (1 tablespoon (15 ml) of coconut oil to 1 to 2 drops of essential oil). However always remember to check with your veterinarian (look for one that is comfortable with natural solutions).
Do not over diffuse in your home. There are other ways to enjoy the benefits plants and herbs for example use environmental misting with a hydrosol instead of too much diffusion. When you diffuse make sure there is ample ventilation and make sure your pets are able to leave the area where you diffuse.
Then there are some Essential Oils that are NOT Recommended for Pets and they Include:
- Tea Tree
Please Keep the Following in Mind:
Essential Oils can have undesirable effects on pets and humans.
Perform Patch Testing:
Smaller pets or certain breeds may be more sensitive to essential oils. Apply diluted mixture on pets feet and monitor their reaction.
Watch for Intolerance:
Look out for irritations, itchiness, redness, inflammation. Be extra cautious and do not use on animals that are pregnant, under three months old, ill or epileptic.
Common signs of intolerance or toxicity includes:
- Keep rubbing themselves in an area
- Change in sleeping or eating habits/patterns
- Behaviour changes – fatigue, lack of energy, not wanting to play, confusion or lightheadedness
- Digestive conditions such as vomiting, constipation or diarrhoea
- Muscle tremors
- Increased salivation or drooling
Use only the highest quality oils:
Pets are part of the family so make sure you use 100% pure, organic and third party tested (there will be a certification) essential oils to ensure there is no harmful substances present whitin the oils.
Please use best practices when diffusing. Keep in mind less is more as their bodies are smaller than yours and mine and they have a very good sense of smell. Do not overwhelm them. So please note it can be harmful to you and your pet if you let the diffuser run too long or too often in a day. Exposure for humans are different than for pets. The type of oil and it’s purpose must also be taken into account when diffusing around pets.
Find out which oils are safe to use around your pets, because as you have seen not all are good for them.
Remember essential oils are not fragrances they are potent.
If you are unsure do your research.
Essential oils can help your pets look and feel their best! And remember to keep them in mind especially when you diffuse oils!
Please note this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any animal. It is purely for information purposes only. What the reader does with this information is up to him/her.
Quoted from the Essential Oil Institute
Notes from Kelly Holland Azzaro