Just as aromatherapy and essential oils can benefit humans, physically and mentally, they can also benefit our pets. With that said, it is important to remember that the essential oils and aromatherapy that human beings can tolerate and benefit from might not produce the same reaction in our pets. In fact, some oils can be dangerous and I caution anyone interested is using essential oils for themselves and for their pets to do some research and always speak you’re your veterinarian.
Essential oils are used in a number of ways and can be absorbed in the body via inhalation, ingestion and or contact with the skin. Pure essential oils rapidly enter the body and the blood stream and are distributed to various tissues. As with all compounds, some chemicals have a biological affinity for specific tissues, and doctors — or those knowledgeable about oil use — are able to select oils that will target specific tissues and treat various concerns and issues.
The compounds present in essential oils are powerful and a human dosage of essential oils is generally not recommended for our fur friends. Additionally, the quality of essential oils you use in your home should be a top priority. I use doTERRA in my home and can honestly say these are the best essential oils I have ever used. A hobby of mine for several years has been making soap and other bath and home products for myself and my pets. I am very happy with doTERRA and all their oils are certified pure therapeutic grade oils; free from pesticides and no added chemicals.
While oils are useful in healing and calming, they are powerful and can cause a wide variety of adverse effects. The largest problem with essential oils is that they may contain contaminates or adulterants that make more serious issues arise. For this reason, please only use therapeutic grade oils from reputable companies and verify the quality of oils before using them; again, this is why I am so happy with doTERRA. High quality, pure essential oils are generally expensive, but since a little goes a long way, even the most expensive essential oils in your collection are so very worth it. Please, please don’t waste your money on unreasonably cheaper oils as they are likely to be adulterated, making them especially dangerous for your pets.
Animals have sensitive senses of smell, so in most cases it is best to use oils that are diluted and always provide an escape route. If a pet does not like an oil do not enforce its use!! Cats are particularly at risk for oil reactions and kitty owners should use oils very sparingly on cats. One drop of essential oil diluted in 50 drops of a pure carrier oil such as grape seed oil or fractionated coconut oil (my fave) is usually sufficient.
Since animals metabolize and react differently to essential oils take care not to overusing oils on your pets. A person discovers essential oils and begins to diffuse the oils into their homes leading to an unintentional overdose for their pets. Lavender oil is highly useful, but it contains no antioxidant compounds and can therefore oxidize as it is stored. These oxidized alcohols can aggravate patients and lead to the development of allergic responses. Use the gold rule of a little goes a long way.
Some essential oils can cause liver and kidney toxicity in sensitive species. Cats use a different system in their liver to detoxify and are particularly sensitive to essential oils that contain polyphenolic compounds. These are so-called “hot” oils like cinnamon, oregano, clove, wintergreen, thyme and birch, which are oils that should be avoided in cats. Cats should not receive melaleuca oil, and never put essential oils into the ear canal as they can damage cats’ delicate ear drums and nerves.
Care is needed around eyes as well. Always wash your hands after handling oils to prevent accidentally getting them into your eyes and that of your pets’.
Essentail Oils For Pets