Many people swear by the benefits of essential oils for stress levels, sinuses, skin and just about every other issue one could have. However, most people don’t think about using essential oils on their pets. Believe it or not, essential oils can be as beneficial for pets as they are for humans, and they can be useful in wide variety of situations.
For the most part, essential oil use should be avoided with cats due to their higher reactivity to the oils and how their liver detoxifies them. Dogs are able to tolerate essential oils better and may benefit more from them.
As with all things, there are differences between the safety levels of certain oils when used on dogs versus humans, so this is important to consider when deciding which essential oils to use with your pet.
Tips for safe essential oil use
Say no to cats — As noted above, cats tend to have a much higher sensitivity to essential oils, making it difficult to find oils and amounts that are safe for them to be exposed to. It’s best to avoid them when it comes to your feline friends.
Make sure they are pure — Because low-quality or synthetic essential oils may contain contaminants, only purchase therapeutic-grade oils from reputable sources.
Dilute it — Dogs have an incredibly sensitive sense of smell; consequently, it is very important to use a well-diluted solution (one doctor recommends 1 drop of essential oil in 50 drops of pure neutral oil).
Keep it well ventilated — Since pets are sensitive to smells, it’s imperative that they are in an open space with an escape route in case the oil scent becomes too strong for them.
Types of essential oils
Lavender — This is a commonly used oil among people and can be used for everything from anxiety to helping with insomnia and itchiness from allergies.
Spearmint — Typically used to calm the digestive system and balance metabolism, spearmint oil can help your pet maintain a healthy weight and stay regular.
Frankincense — This oil assists the immune system and, in some cases, has been shown to help pets fight off some health issues.
Fennel — Fennel oil is said to help balance hormones by supporting the thyroid, pituitary and pineal glands as well as the adrenals. If your dog’s energy levels have been off, this oil might be worth a shot.
Chamomile — This a great oil for calming down the nervous system and easing any pain that your dog may be having.
Helichrysum — This oil can be antibacterial and has been shown to be very effective with healing skin rashes and scars.
Valerian — Valerian can be used to help calm a dog down in stressful situations, such as during Fourth of July fireworks. It can be helpful while training dogs, working to keep them calm and focused.
How to use essential oils with pets
Pet your dog — One simple way to get the effects of the essential oil to your dog is to put a few drops into your hand and rub it through your dog’s hair. Just make sure to avoid their eyes and mouth. (Note: Be sure to dilute with a carrier oil first to protect both your hand and the dog’s skin.)
Diffuse it — Place several drops of oil into your favorite essential oil diffuser and let it travel throughout a room.
Make a mist — Another option is to add a few drops of essential oil to a water mister, which you can then spray on your dog whenever they are in need.