essential oils

Dogs and essential oils

I have LONG been a “nay sayer” of the powers of essential oils.  I would often think, when someone offered me an essential oil treatment, that it was like putting a bandaid on a leaking faucet….. not effective but made it look like I tried.  After getting the ever ADORABLE Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy, I have begun to rethink my attitude.  My daughter had some oils, and she put lavender on her one night when she was being particularly “spunky” (for lack of a better term.)

She did calm down, almost immediately.  I thought MAYBE it was because my puppy was thinking….  gag… I will NOT act up again if she is going to put that stinky crap on me again.  LOL.. whatever works, right?  But then I began to use it for other things, such as when I brought home a dog from the shelter with kennel cough and I ran a diffuser which seemed to help the symptoms plus keep the other dogs from getting it.

I started doing some research on it, and I came up with some pointers on using essential oils on our pets.  First of all, and this is MOST important… is that our loveable furry friends are MUCH  more sensitive than we are to things, especially smells.   It IS very necessary to acclimate your pet to the scent of essential oils.  I think that the best method is to leave a bottle uncapped and place it about 8 feet away from your dog’s food, favorite toy, etc, so they can associate the scent with something pleasant.  (Because what dog doesn’t like to eat, except for my mom’s WEIRD dogs, right?!)  Gradually get the oils closer to their “happy place” until it is right next to it.  Do this over a period of a few days.

There are 3 methods of using essential oils:  diffusion (aromatic,) topical, and oral.  Diffusion is done with a diffuser, and it puts out a “mist” or scent into the air using varying methods but the effect is the same.  Or you can just simply inhale it.  It will disperse the scent into the air, for everyone to breathe and enjoy.  Topical is applying to oils to the body, directly.  DO NOT EVER put the oils on the dog without first diluting them with a carrier oil… UNLESS they are REALLY used to the oils or the directions say so.  (You can put a drop of some oils directly on a tick, or a wound, for example, without diluting.)  The last method is oral, and it is just that… ingesting it.  Put a drop on your finger, in their food, etc.

Carrier oils come in a few different forms.  I usually use fractionated coconut oil, as it has health benefits by itself (as discussed at length in one of my earlier posts.  You can also use almost any type of oil:  almond, grapeseed, olive, mineral, etc.  I put some mixtures in a roller bottle, ready to use… or in a spray bottle with witch hazel or coconut oil.  Oils MUST be stored in a glass container, but the carrier oils do not.  It should also be mentioned that essential oils do not stain clothing, but the carrier oils do!

Now, where to put the oil “mixure” and how to “mix” it.  The roller balls are ready to go… just roll those on.  Same with the spray, just spritz it on.  Always avoid the eye, nose, and genital areas!  If you are using just oils, not yet mixed, and a carrier oil…. a drop of the oil mixed with a few drops of the carrier oil in the palm of your hand, and then place it behind their ears, on their collar (for a more aromatic and diffused approach,) OR on the bottom of their hind feet.

There are points on their hind feet that are directly linked to certain areas of the body.  Here is a chart to explain what will be benefit what….  but putting it on the rear paws, in general, will do some good.

dogs essential oils both paws with points

Now that you have the basics, we can move on to what helps out what “ailments.” I will get to that, in the next post.  Young Living Essential Oils came out with a line just for animals, called “Animal Scents.”  If you are interested in purchasing some, here is a link to buy some sample kits I put together, or to just buy the entire thing, or at least check it out!  Or if you prefer doterra products, I have one of those, too!!  Have a great weekend!  It is WAY past my bedtime!!!

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