Dogs and Essential Oils

There seems to have been a lot of hype about essential oils lately, but they are not a fad or a new discovery. In fact, essential oils have been used for thousands of years for both physical and emotional ailments.

They have been used for depression and anxiety, sleep, calming, energy, focus, for muscular aches and pains, headaches, cuts and scrapes, respiratory issues, digestive issues and so much more!

Essential oils are a natural liquid, containing volatile chemical compounds extracted from plants using cold press or steam distillation. They are tiny molecules that can pass through pores and enter the bloodstream where they get to work. Because essential oil constituents are lipophilic (fat-loving or fat-soluble) they can pass through the cell membrane and the blood brain barrier. This is one of the reasons they work so fast.

Now let’s stop for a second and look at these facts.

*It takes 22 seconds for the molecules to reach the brain.

*After just 2 minutes they are found in the bloodstream.

*Within 20 minutes they affect every cell in the body.

That’s pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Essential oils can then be used in three ways: aromatically, topically and internally. Aromatic and Topical use are the most common. Aromatically is when we inhale the scent. Topically is when we apply them to the skin. Internally is when we ingest them.

So, the big question is, Is it safe to use essential oils for our dogs so they too can enjoy the benefits?

Yes! It sure is!

There are, however, some guidelines to follow to ensure safe usage. Most important is the quality of the essential oils you use. Always make sure they are 100% pure. Most bad reactions come from using inferior essential oils which contain fillers and synthetics. They can be toxic to your dog. I always recommend doTERRA essential oils as I can be sure they are 100% pure, therefore 100% safe.

Always dilute the essential oils appropriately in a carrier oil, like fractionated coconut oil, before applying topically. Never put in eyes, nose, mouth, ears or genitals. When diffusing only use a small amount and make sure the room is well ventilated and that your dog can leave the area if they wish to.

There are a few essential oils to avoid using on or around your dogs. These are Tea Tree (Melaleuca), Wintergreen and Birch. It also pays to use caution when using hot oils like Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, Cassia, Cinnamon and Clove. Dilute them more or use less than usual in the diffuser as they may cause irritation.

How can essential oils benefit your dog? In so many ways!!

Firstly, just by replacing your chemical cleaning products with more natural products made with essential oils, you are reducing your dog’s toxic load. This in turn, strengthens their immune system, reduces respiratory and skin conditions, and puts them in the right direction to great health.

You can use them to support your dog when they are injured or unwell. Of course, they aren’t meant to replace modern medicine, but can be used alongside it, or in some cases can reduce the need for it. They are great for a natural approach to first aid and healing.

Some of the many uses include… skin support, allergy support, after surgery care, digestive support including travel sickness, calming, for stress and anxiety, sleep, urinary tract support, muscular support, cancer support, flea and tick prevention… the list goes on! There are just so many different ways essential oils can support your dog in a natural way.

One of my most used recipes is my Flea and Tick Repellent Spray. I use this instead of the chemical spot ons or tablets which contain poisonous substances that can harm or even kill your dog. My natural spray contains nothing to harm the dog and is very effective in keeping the fleas and ticks at bay. Here is my recipe for you to try.

It is quick and easy to make, works effectively and has the added benefit of being great for your dog’s skin and coat too. Just give your dog a spray every few days, or more often if there are many fleas and ticks around. It is still advisable to check over your dog with your hands to look for ticks, just like when using the commercial ones. Give it a try!

Lastly, it needs to be said… it is not only safe to use essential oils for your dogs, it is beneficial to them! Buy pure, quality oils and follow the safety guidelines and watch your dog flourish! After all, natural is best and essential oils are natures finest gift.

Happy oiling! Lisa Reece                                                                                                                                               Certified Animal Aromatherapy Specialist                                                                                                

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