Essential oils are incredibly powerful and if you've used them before, you would know how potent a single drop of essential can be. As users of essential oils ourselves, we are familiar with the benefits and strengths of the essential oils we use regularly. Despite this knowledge, how many of you have asked yourself this question?
That is if you own a pet at home, of course.
While we can go on and on singing praises of how essential oils have been an absolute lifesaver for us, some pet owners may not think the same especially when it comes to exposing their precious companions to these volatile elements.
Essential oils can be extremely dangerous to pets, and in some cases, fatal. Pets are most often poisoned when essential oils come into contact with their skin, or in some rare occurrences, poisoned through accidental ingestion. Although the chance of ingestion seems highly unlikely, think about your household products - cleaning products and liquid diffusers contain ingredients that are dangerous to pets and could cause symptoms such as seizures, vomiting and drooling. Imagine you have a bottle of uncapped essential oil laying out there on the table and your pet happens to get it hands (or paws) on it. What happens then?
That being said, not all essential oils are dangerous to pets. On the contrary, certain essential oils do help in relieving illnesses or ailments in pets - only if used the right way. Here are some examples.
Lavender is by far the safest choice of essential oil to use around pets. Not directly, but with a diffuser. You can diffuse Lavender Essential Oil in a diffuser to calm your pet down in times of stress. It also helps with lowering anxiety levels and keeping stress at bay.
Lavender essential oil can also be used for small cuts and wounds on dogs, but it is advisable to mix it with a carrier oil before applying onto the skin. A small precaution to take note of, however, Lavender contains small trace amounts of a chemical compound called linalool. This chemical compound, when consumed in large quantities, may cause Lavender poisoning.
Another safe essential oil to use on pets is Geranium. It has strong antifungal properties and is effective in repelling ticks and fleas. For pets that love the outdoors and grass, Geranium is a must-have for all owners.
To make your own D-I-Y flea repellent spray for your dog, try the following recipe below:
What you will need:
- 30ml of purified or distilled water
- 2 to 6 drops of geranium essential oil
- 3 drops of lavender essential oil
- 1 drop of peppermint essential oil
Mix all the ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well before use. Avoid spraying the eyes or face of your pet.
As an antispasmodic oil, Chamomile helps to relieve cramps and stomach discomfort. Its calming quality is also useful in relieving stress and anxiety in pets. The most ideal time to use Chamomile on your pet is when you want your pet to feel at ease and relaxed, usually in the bedtime. You can also mix a few drops of Chamomile essential oil into your usual carrier oil and apply it as a nightly massage for your pet.
Cedarwood is another essential oil that has similar properties to geranium. On top of its flea-repelling benefits, Cedarwood can stimulate blood circulation, improving respiratory function like coughs and breathing issues. You can add Cedarwood into your pet shampoo or spray it onto your pet's bedding to prevent fleas and ticks from being attracted to your pet. In older pets, Cedarwood helps with easing pain related to arthritis, stiffness and sore muscles.
Although Frankincense is not a popular essential oil among pets to begin with, this essential oil has therapeutic benefits for dispirited pets that are experiencing shyness, fear and depression. Apart from its lifting properties, Frankincense also contains anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties that are helpful to the immune system. This strengthening essential oil is best recommended to diffuse around pets to strengthen their immune system and prevent any unwanted sickness away.
As always, all essential oils should be kept out of reach from children and pets. If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned or afflicted with essential oil toxicity, bring your pet away from the location site for a breather. The best place if of course the outdoors for some fresh air. If needed, make a trip down to the vet to seek immediate treatment.