Category Archives: For Pets

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

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.

Use your horse sense: 6 tips in applying essential oils for horses

Aromatherapy is an alternative system of medicine not just for humans, but for animals too. Ticks, fleas, pain and infections can be treated using essential oils in animals. While dogs and horses respond well to aromatherapy, cats are a bit allergic to oils as they cannot metabolize them in their liver. Owing to this, cats are often administered with hydrosols which are non-toxic and yet useful. This article will provide information on how to use aromatherapy with horses.

Essential oils for horses: A horse is a big animal compared to a dog or a cat. Its reaction (if adverse) to aromatherapy will be intolerable and hence you need to be careful before you start off with application of essential oils in horses. Below are a few tips on how to handle horses when you are administering them with aromatherapy oils:

1. Consult a vet: Consult a holistic vet before you start off with anything. Though horses respond to essential oils well, you cannot be sure of anything until you test it. Anyhow it is safe beforehand to do a checkup or consultation with your vet. Consider going to a holistic veterinarian who would not ignore aromatherapy as humbug.

2. Dilute each essential oil: This is important. Essential oils are natural substances. But that does not mean they are non-toxic substances. Highly concentrated, essential oils can cause adverse behavioral and physiological changes in human beings. To avoid trouble, dilute each and every essential oil before use. Add 2 to 3 drops of essential oil to 5 ml of base oil. For base oil, choose whichever pleases you. Avoid strong or thick carrier oils. Also, do not offer more than 5 oils at a time.

3. Assess the reaction of your horse: You have to do this every time you use essential oil therapy. You need to know if your horse likes it or not. You need to gather the degree of interest too. Decipher the mood of your animal before you start off. This is because an already stressed animal can react badly to aromatherapy.

4. Choose a quiet time: Important for your horse and you. Choose a time that is not food or play time. Let your horse loose in the stable so that it is free to roam. Do not keep the oils close to the horse’s nostrils. Keep at a distance of say at least 8 inches. Since your horse is free, it will come near the oils if it likes them. Then, observe the reaction of your horse.

5. Look for signs of interest: If a horse is interested in an essential oil, it will smell it for a long time, will curl its lips, follow the aroma and even nibble the bottle for sometime. Use the oil twice a day. Don’t overdo as it can have severe reactions. If your horse is just moderately interested, it will take a few sniffs and turn away from the bottle, keep its ears forward, have slightly flared up nostrils and can be easily distracted. In case of moderate interest, use the oil only once  a day. If the horse is not interested at all, it will turn away from the aroma, with ears back. Never use the oil in which it is not interested.

6. Application methods: It is better to open the particular oil bottle and keep it near your horse’s nostrils. The horse’s senses are sharp and hence, it will absorb the aroma into its olfactory system and brain quickly. Sometimes, your horse may indicate that it needs the oil to be applied in a particular spot. Notice its actions and do accordingly. When your horse starts inhaling the oils, it may go into a trance-like state. Never worry. Understand that it is keenly intaking the oils into its blood stream. Do not offer the oils for more than 1 to 14 days. If your horse does not show any interest even after 3 days of inhalation, stop administering the oil and switch to others.

Why essential oils can be toxic to cats

Aromatherapy and cats don’t go together. If people, aromatherapists or essential oils suppliers, fool you into believing that essential oils are safe for use in cats, know that it is all humbug. Though aromatherapy as such is not harmful, use of essential oils can be very toxic to cats. Unlike puppies, dogs and humans, cats do not have the capability to metabolize the essential oil molecules they receive through aromatherapy. There is no way of them eliminating such accumulated bouts of aromatherapeutic oils, which sets off build up of toxins in your cat’s body. In the long run, this becomes even fatal for the cat. This article will detail on how aromatherapy using essential oils can be toxic to use. We will also discuss on replacing essential oils with hydrosols for cat aromatherapy.

Essential oils and toxicity in cats: Cats do not have the same liver as humans or dogs. They cannot stand any strong aroma, leave alone the effect of essential oils (diluted or concentrated). If you administer a cat with essential oils through diffusers, it may accumulate in the animal’s body and grow toxic day after day. Since cats have very thin skin, essential oils rubbed on to the body are easily absorbed into the blood stream. This in turn causes skin problems and liver disorders, leading to vomiting, dizziness, clumsiness, loss of appetite and reduced immunity etc in the cat. It has been found out that even a single drop of diluted essential oil (with a strong aroma) can set off several physiological changes in a kitty. In cats, physiological changes are often associated with psychological changes and hence, disturbance of physical or biological rhythm can upset a cat’s moods, causing anxieties, stress and panic.

Lavender cat: Aromatherapy has been used for cats for several years. Only recently, studies have revealed that essential oils can be very toxic to cats. A special concept called Lavender Cat, created by Dr. Khan revealed the amount of toxicity involved in administering essential oils to your beloved kitten. Sue Martin, in an article titled ‘Be wary of aromatherapy claims for cats’ states why plant oils are  harmful to cats: Essential oils usually consist of hydrocarbons in the form of mono-functional compounds with volatile aliphatic and aromatic substances. Many of the terpenoids in the essential oils are rapidly absorbed and used in the cat’s system to be metabolized in the liver. Normally, these terpenoids and their metabolites are conjugated with glucuronic acid and glycine. But cats are deficient in this because they do not have glucuronidation (elimination mechanism required to excrete toxic wastes from essential oils) and hence results in slower exit of essential oils. This in turn leads to build up of toxicity and thereby, health problems in cats.

Toxic essential oils: Some of the essential oils which are potentially toxic to cats are: Peppermint oil, Lemon oil, Lavender oil, Melaleuca oil, Tea Tree oil, Cinnamon Bark oil, Wintergreen oil, Thyme oil and Birch oil. Oils containing phenol are also toxic to cats.

Which is a safer alternative? You can replace essential oils with hydrosols in cats. Though derived during essential oils preparation, hydrosols are just byproducts which are much safer than strong, concentric oils. Since cats can tolerate them, they are not toxic. Hydrosols can be spritzed on the cat for deodorizing or flea or tick control purposes. Some of the hydrosols work well as ear cleaners or stress-calming agents too. You can combine and be as creative as possible with your hydrosol blends as there is not toxicity or concentrated plant oil involved.

Love to Fido, from Mr. Pet-Conscious: 7 aromatherapy blends for dogs

Your Fido’s (dog’s) health is one of the most important things for your in life. As faithful friends, dogs bring with them love, joy, affection and fun into our lives. They become integral part of ourselves, that we consider them as members of our families. These days dogs are losing their wilder instincts and becoming very tame and domesticated. This makes them less resistant to illnesses that are caused by dust, dander and allergens. Though you may have your Vet to advice you on the treatments for dogs, some basic essential oil recipes maybe of great help in times of need.

Essential oil remedies for dogs: Only recently, doctors, vets and researchers have realized the significance of essential oils in treating human and animal ailments. Aromatherapy has grown up as an alternative medicinal system after centuries of years in hiding, under the label of quackery. Recent research reveals that dogs can be relieved of their doggy lives if treated with aromatherapeutic blends made from herbs, plants and plant oils. This article will detail on the essential oil recipes that can be used to heal skin problems, prevent fleas and ticks, relieve the pain of rheumatism and control odor in dogs.

Dogs have a predictable set of ailments that occur at various stages in their lives. The essential oil blends given below will address the most prominent of such ailments:

1. Dog skin problems:
Add 5 drops of Lavender with 6 drops of Geranium in a 10 ml bottle of Calendula oil and shake the mixture well. After the blend is perfect, apply on the affected skin area.

2. To kill fleas: Fleas are a real nuisance. They not just harm your pet, but infect your carpet, parquet and window coverings as well. To combat fleas, add 7.5 ml of Mint oil with 22.5 ml of alcohol (rubbing one) in a 1 oz spray bottle. Since fleas do not like the smell of Mint, they eventually die at  first contact with the oil. Spray all over your house – in your bed, carpets, living room etc. Also, spray on your dog, holding the bottle at a distance of about 10 inches away. This would avoid him from sniffing too much of Mint.

3. To relieve itching: Dogs can get scratchy when they have an itching somewhere in their body. They keep on itching, causing a wound in the area. To avoid this, apply the following recipe on to the affected area: 4 drops of Lavender, 5 drops of Geranium and 3 drops of Roman Chamomile to a 10 ml bottle of Calendula oil. This will not just reduce the itching but will also heal the wound.

4. To combat ticks: Ticks maybe all over your house or your pet’s area – his bed coverings, carpets and doormats. Use a blend comprising of 10 drops of Tea Tree oil, 10 drops of Lavender oil and mix them with 10 ml of organic vegetable oil. Spray the blend in the infected areas to combat ticks. You can also apply 1 drop of Lavender and Tea Tree oils each on your dog before extracting ticks. This will make your job easier.

5. To help with rheumatism: If your dog is aging, chances are it has become a victim of rheumatism. Prepare the following blend by pouring the essential oils into a 10 ml bottle and add organic vegetable oil to fill – 8 drops of Birch, 8 drops of Juniper and 7 drops of Rosemary. Apply the blend morning and night on to your dog’s legs.

6. To control odor: Let’s accept it. Though your dog is your best friend, it smells very bad if not washed regularly. You can reduce the intensity of this dog odor with an aromatic spray. Add 10 drops of Lavender, 10 drops of Geranium and 6 drops of Lemon in a 1 oz spray bottle and spray directly on to its skin.

7. To boost its energy: You can increase the energy levels of your dog by adding 5 drops of Rosemary, 6 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Peppermint into 10 ml bottle of organic vegetable oil. Massage the blend to the spine of the dog in the mornings. It will make your pet happier and enthusiastic than ever.