Use of Essential Oils for Our Pets
There has been much controversy
today about whether or not to use essential oils for our pets. Dogs & cats are
very different in their makeups, so which essential oils are deemed as ‘safe’
and what is or is not a healthy dose to administer is very important.
Many of us question and labor over what
essential oils to use. However, we unknowingly use cleaning products in our
home all the time, without adequate thought as to how they may affect our pets.
Cleansers, floor cleaners and the like, often contain toxins that do more harm
that any natural oil or essential oil could. Always keep these harmful
chemicals out of reach. Using plain natural soap and water will keep your home
just as clean and fresh, and free of bacteria.
In this regard, the use of essential
oils is a wonderful alternative, not only as a cleaning product, but for use
with animals in many other ways. We will discuss these below.
First of all, it is important to be
very careful with use of essential oils around our pets. All animals react
differently. That is why first testing and then administering them in small
doses first is recommended. At Mooseberry, we say “Try on a small patch of human
skin first”. If you yourself can not use it or you have an allergic reaction, think
twice about putting it on your pet.
Cats, in particular, are very
sensitive to essential oils because they may contain what are called
‘polyphenolic compounds’. These compounds interfere with a cat’s natural liver and
liver detoxification process. Never use spices with cats like clove or
cinnamon, and avoid tea tree or herbs like thyme and oregano. Certain wood oils
should also be avoided. And diffusers around cats could be too strong for a cat
With dogs, be careful what you are
introducing into your environment in the form of candles and diffusers, as well.
How much you diffuse and which diffusers to use is very important.
Dogs can also have allergic reactions
to some essential oils. A few these oils to be avoided are below:
Clove, Anise, Juniper, Thyme,
Wintergreen and Yarrow
There are Essential Oils that are
Good for Your Pets
Although some oils can be a problem,
there is a whole host of good essential oils to use with your pet, while still
exercising caution. This list does change slightly, as more pet owners find
their pets have reactions, just as humans do, so please note that these are
Try them out for yourself first,
then your pet:
Chamomile – a calming and relaxing
herb that promotes sleep and good digestion
Lavender – Soothing and helps with
Mint – Repels bugs, aids in
digestion and soothes arthritic pain
Sage – Calms anxious pets
Coconut Oil – great for skin issues
and overall health
Geranium – repels pests and good for
Ginger – aids digestion and relieves
pain from hip dysplasia
Use High Grade Aroma-therapeutic Oils
As with any oil, quality matters.
Make sure you know the source of your oils and that they are pure, not treated
with chemicals or additives. Remember, fragrances are not essential oils
and should not be treated as such.
Do your research so that you feel confident
what you are giving your pet or putting on your pet’s coat is of high quality
and will not cause a reaction.
Consult with your vet, if you feel
that you need more information about your particular animal and proper use of
essential oils. Many times, the age of the pet matters, as does size and
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