Essential oils aren't merely a trend. They've been used since biblical times, and are either ingested* or applied topically. Essential oils also offer calming and invigorating smells via aromatherapy. While they provide health benefits to humans, did you know that the majority of oils can also be used for your canine friends, too? Here's the 411 on essential oils and your dog.
Essential oils are naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds that are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. They are incredibly potent and fragrant giving plants their distinctive smell, such as a rose. They protect plants and play a role in plant pollination. For a long time, essential oils have aided in natural healing for humans and animals.
Volatile aromatic compounds are small organic molecules that tend to change quickly from their solid or liquid state to a gas at room temperature. Volatile- meaning they change state quickly. The physical and chemical properties of the volatile aromatic compounds that compose essential oils allow them to quickly move through the air and directly interact with the olfactory sensors in the nose, which is why essential oil is commonly used for aromatherapy for dogs.
Over 3,000 varieties of volatile aromatic compounds have been identified to date. The nature of an essential oil varies from plant to plant, within botanical families, and from species to species.
Even with pure essential oils the composition of the oil can vary depending on the time of day, season, geographic location, method and duration of distillation, year grown, and the weather, making every step of the production process a critical determinant of the overall quality of the essential oil product.
Essential oils can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness for dogs. They can be used as single essential oils or in complex essential oil blends depending on what your dog needs.
Absolutely if done right! However, dogs are more sensitive to essential oil than humans so you can’t just jump right in. It’s a gradual process. When you are first wanting to introduce your dog to essential oil it’s important to dilute the oil to test your dog’s tolerance to the oil. Here is some more information on safe dilution practices.
The information listed below are general guidelines and you should always consult your veterinarian before introducing essential oils to your dog. Never force essential oils into your dog's life. There are many controversies about whether or not it is safe for your dog to receive essential oils topically. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center hotline can be reached at 888-426-4435.
A few tips to keep in mind from http://www.usingeossafely.com/is-it-safe-to-use-essential-oils-with-dogs/
“When offering essential oils to your dog, you want to first pre-select 3-5 essential oils from the safe list which you believe to be the most effective for the issue that needs addressing. There are often several essential oils which can be beneficial and allowing your dog to choose which one specifically will ensure you do not go wrong. Make sure the oils are diluted!
As explained in this free essential oil course, the essential oils are offered as closed bottles, one at a time. Allow your dog to sniff the closed bottle (remember, dogs have an incredible sense of smell and even when the bottle is closed, this is enough for them) and once you know which one(s) your dog prefers, you can then dilute accordingly. Nayana Morag shows in her video course offering her hand to her dog, with the diluted mixture on her hand. The dog can then inhale or lick.”
Use 3-5 drops and dilute it 80-90% in a carrier oil.
Aromatherapy works really well for dogs, just like humans. If your pup is stressed, diffuse some lavender in the air. There are so many benefits to aromatherapy and it can be used for a multitude of reasons. You can either get a diffuser or just have your dog smell the essential oil straight from the bottle or place on your hands and have your dog smell your hands.
On occasion, you can give the essential oil to your dog internally. But consult a vet before you do this to be sure it’s the best solution for whatever your dog is needing the essential oil for. We do not endorse this. There is a lot of controversy on giving dogs essential oils topically or ingested and when in doubt, err on the side of not giving it to your dog.
If you are looking for something amazing that can be used internally that helps all sorts of skin and coat problems, we recommend Natural Doggie virgin coconut oil. This special coconut oil is of the highest quality and uses cold extraction. This special superfood for dogs can help any number of ailments for allergies to digestive issues.
Be sure that you are getting therapeutic grade essential oil as opposed to aromatherapy or perfume grade.
Safe Essential Oils for Dogs
Additional List of safe essential oil for dogs:
Unsafe Oils for Dogs
According to The Bark, tea tree oil may be a bit too strong for dogs. There are some essential oils that should never be used for animals: Anise, Clove Leaf/Bud, Garlic, Horseradish, Juniper, Thyme, Wintergreen, or Yarrow, to name a few. If you're in doubt, call your veterinarian.
Here is a list of essential oils that could be unsafe for your dog.
Not all oils are equal. Purchase pure, therapeutic brands from reputable companies that don't possess added chemicals. Make sure these brands include the verbiage "for internal use" on their labels if your dog will be ingesting them. (*Ingestion of oils is still a controversial topic. Consult your veterinarian before using any essential oils, whether inhaled or not.) And, check the label for instructions on how to dilute oils. For example, a few drops of essential oil placed in water or a carrier oil often times is all you'll need.
Ask your veterinarian about using essential oils if your furry friend is under 10 weeks old or has a pre-existing medical condition. If you also own a bird, fish, or cat, be aware that these animals may have adverse reactions to oils (either immediately or over time).
Stop the use of essential oils if you notice your dog has an adverse reaction. For further information on using oils correctly and safely, read Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell.
Essential oils have so many benefits for dogs and work wonders! It’s important to do your research, and not go essential oil crazy. You can very easily overdose your dog on essential oils and that would not be good for Fido! It’s recommended to only use essential oils for dogs on a consistent basis for two weeks and then it’s important to give your pup a nice break from them.
Ensure you always consult a vet when in doubt, and most importantly listen to your dog, watch out for signs that he/she doesn’t like the oil and monitor their behavior.
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