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Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in For Dogs |

Aromatherapy and Your Animal Family

Aromatherapy and Your Animal Family

How essential oils can calm your pet

Some questions may come to your mind when considering the use of essential oils with your pets.  And I’m glad that you have them because using aromatherapy with your animals can be a so rewarding.  However, the type of essential oils is important.  First, just like with your two legged family members you will want to use only therapeutic grade essential oils.

This means oils that have been distilled under optimal conditions to extract effective constituents that have positive results. There should NEVER be any adulteration or additives to the essential oil. Proper handling and preparation should entail measuring the final product with gas chromatography. This methodology demonstrates what percentage of each constituent is present at the end of the process.  For instance, chemical compounds such as terpenes, aldehydes, and limonene are found in some essential oils once distilled.

The concentration of ingredients is important to measure to determine the therapeutic value.  You will want the essential oils used on your pets (and family for that matter) to be food-grade.  This means it may be ingested if indicated and following direction for its use.  The product should also be safe for topical application but may require simple dilution with a pure vegetable oil in the event of skin sensitivities.

Essential oils are applied to pets in very small quantities such as 2-5 drops. It is safest to dilute them. The oils are applied to the pads of the paws or to the inner tip of the ear.  Sometimes just inhaling them is sufficient. But remember, our furry friends have a much more sensitive sense of smell than humans.  We do not need to place the oil anywhere near their nose for them to receive the benefit.

Some oils are especially good for calming our dogs when anxious.  I find lavender to be especially good.  There is an oil blend called “peace and calming” that has been a home run with reducing anxiety in dogs and horses.  Cats are a different story and some oils are absolutely to be avoided. These include citrus, pine and fir.  I find utilizing reference books of great value in life for so many reasons.  A book that I can recommend is Kristen Leigh Bell’s book Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals.  It has thorough explanations in the use of essential oils.

The positive behavioral changes that I have seen with my own dogs, and those of clients and friends who use aromatherapy routinely continually amaze me.  Once again I am awe-inspired by nature’s simple solutions to help ease our daily life stresses!


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Anne Meyer is medical doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation specializing in optimizing health through nutrition, exercise and integrative treatments. She uses her in-depth knowledge in complementary health and traditional medicine to develop the most effective treatments for her patients health and well-being.