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Essential Oils for Pets – Dos and Don’ts

Essentials oils have different effects on human beings. Oils such as Lavender Oil, Chamomile Oil etc calm our senses, while some oils such as Peppermint can invigorate our senses. Most of the essential oils have effects on humans within minutes of inhalation. Such is the impact on humans, then imagine their impact on our pets like dogs whose olfactory organs are 10000 times more powerful than ours. Essential oils can help reduce anxiety, improve immunity, reduce inflammations and fight toxins. Essential oils have been found helpful in fighting cancer too.

Pets can also benefit from the essential oils, but beware, not all essential oils are suitable for them. Let us take a look at the Dos and Don’ts:

Since it’s better to be safe than sorry, the Don’ts first.

  • When you have pets at home, do not use any aroma oils without being pre-informed about their effects on your pets. Not even for yourself.
  • Dogs and cats react differently to different essential oils because the way their bodies metabolize internally is different. So, the oils which might be good for dogs may not be good for cats or other pets. Do not use essential oils for pets without checking with your veterinarian first.
  • Essential oils are usually adulterated and may contain allergens. Buy your oils from trusted brands like Mesmara, whose essential oils are made from the purest of the ingredients.
  • If your pet is not comfortable with an essential oil, Do not apply it forcefully.
  • Do not put any essential oils into your pet’s ears, this can cause serious damage to the eardrum.
  • Do not rub any essential oils near the eyes of your pets.
  • Do not use essential oils for more than 2 weeks continuously. Give a few days break after 2 weeks.
  • Never use essential oils internally for your pets.

The Dos now:

  • Consult your veterinarian before using any essential oils for your pets.
  • Let your veterinarian know about all the natural products being used for your pets so that he/she can take an informed decision.
  • Use Essential Oils only for treatment but not for prevention in case of pets.
  • Test the essential oil first by letting your pet near the bottle (not sniffing it) containing the oil for a few minutes. In case your pet doesn’t develop any reaction within a day or two repeat the test again. If your pet is still doing good, then the essential oil is safe for your pet.
  • Always dilute the essential oil considerably before using it for your pet. You can add one drop of essential oil to 50 drops of a suitable carrier oil.
  • Essential oils like Lavender oil, do not contain antioxidants. Hence these oils oxidize quickly. Once they oxidize, the allergens may not be suitable for your pets. So remember to keep changing such oils frequently.
  • In case you notice any changes in your pet during the aroma oil treatments, stop the treatment immediately and consult your veterinarian.
  • Wash your hands before touching your pet, if you have handled any essential oils.

List of Oils Safe for Pets:

  • Lavender Oil: A safe oil to use for pets. It reduces anxiety and stress. It can be used to reduce travel anxiety in pets.
  • Cedarwood Oil: This oil is also used for calming the pets. Cedarwood oil is also beneficial in reducing pains such as from arthritis or back pains in dogs. It reduces joint stiffness. Its best benefit is that it kills or repels fleas.
  • Frankincense Oil: This oil is supposed to have benefits of reducing tumours and ulcers, improving immunity. It is used in the treatment of cancer.
  • Spearmint Oil: This oil is beneficial in reducing the weight of your pet, as it improves the metabolism and stimulates the bladder. It is also used in treating diarrhoea, and other gastric problems.
  • Cardamom Oil: This oil is also useful for resolving gastric issues, and has also been found helpful in resolving respiratory problems. It also aids in reducing heartburn and nausea.

Other oils which can be considered safe for pets are Fennel, Helichrysum, Thyme, Chamomile, and Lemongrass Oils.

List of Oils Which Should Never be Used for Pets: 

Much care should be taken when you are handling essential oils, with your pets around. Natural Living Ideas lists out a comprehensive list of 30 oils which should never be used in case you have pets. The list goes as:

  • Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
  • Birch (Betula)
  • Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis)
  • Boldo (Peumus boldus)
  • Calamus (Acorus calamus)
  • Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
  • Cassia (Cassia fistula)
  • Chenopodium (Chenopodium album)
  • Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum)
  • Garlic (Allium sativum)
  • Goosefoot (Chenopodium murale)
  • Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana)
  • Hyssop (Hyssopus sp. with the exception of Decumbens)
  • Juniper (Juniperus sp. with the exception of Juniper Berry)
  • Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
  • Mustard (Brassica juncea)
  • Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
  • Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
  • Red or White Thyme
  • Rue (Ruta graveolens)
  • Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus)
  • Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
  • Savory (Satureja)
  • Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
  • Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia)
  • Terebinth (Pistacia palaestina)
  • Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)
  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
  • Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

The Bottom Line: Though essential oils have numerous benefits, do consult your vet before using any essential oil for your pet.

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