Safety first, therapy next: 5 rules to stick to in pet aromatherapy


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Pet aromatherapy is becoming popular these days. With awareness about essential oils growing day after day, people have started administering aromatherapy for animals, the results of which have been successful so far. But aromatherapy for pets is not an easy joke as the metabolism and biology of an animal – be it a horse or a cat or a dog – is different from that of human beings. Though essential oils can be used to remove fleas, ticks, treat arthritic pain, throat infection etc. in animals, you need to be very careful in their application. Sickness due to wrong application of oils can be unbearable and troublesome. So avoid using oils that are not recommended for animals. This article will throw light upon the safety guidelines you need to follow while using aromatherapy for pets.

Safety guidelines for pet aromatherapy:
Animals are very different from human beings when it comes to medicating themselves. They have an innate ability to self-medicate themselves through herbs, plants and other naturally occurring substances. Pets like cats heal wounds just by licking. Dogs too have a separate mechanism for curing their sickness. So, you need to be watchful on whether a particular therapy is to your pet’s liking or not.


Below are a few tips on how to do this:

1. Seek permission from your pet: No this is not a silly advice. We mean what we say. Seek permission from your pets before applying any essential oil on its body. You can easily find out if your dog or cat likes the particular oil or not. If you keep an array of oils, chances are, your pet will choose the oil of its liking and guide you through the application process. Do not force any essential oil on your pet. It can turn to be very annoying to your pet and to you. Your pet may either respond with sickness or react vehemently. Understand that forcing an animal into an scent is like forcing you into something extremely unpleasant or hateful to you.

2. Beware of cat aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is generally not recommended for cats. This is because of their liver’s inability to metabolize essential oils and eliminate them. This leads to toxic buildup of essential oils in the cat’s body, leading to adverse health conditions. However, hydrosols are said to be non-toxic on cats. To avoid trouble, check with a holistic veterinarian or aromatherapist before using hydrosols on cats.

3. Allow your pet to guide you: If you allow your pet to guide you in the application of oils, you will do good to both your pet and yourself. However, if such an application brings forth hives, breathing problems, skin rashes etc. in pets, discontinue it immediately and consult a professional therapist for advice.

4. Don’t keep oils within reach: Horses are said to eat whole bottles of essential oils. So NEVER keep your oils within the reach of your animals. A drop of a strong oil can cause serious problems in animals. It can even turn fatal to your pet.

5. Use sparingly, with professional advice:
Do not use essential oils for more than 2 weeks without professional advice. Even if your animal shows interest in the use of aromatherapy, avoid using oils for a long time. Use for about a week or so and check the results of your therapy and then, decide on whether to continue or not. Also, use only therapeutic grade oils that have been tested and proven to be useful. If your animal becomes ill on account of the therapy, consult a holistic veterinarian.