Essential oils are commonly known for having healing properties and are used for a myriad of health-related issues. Both humans and pets can benefit from its attributes as more and more people are becoming aware of its use. Since animals and people are vastly dissimilar, it is vital to understand certain characteristics, so we do not unintentionally harm our pets. Therefore, consider these important factors before using essential oils on your pets.
Sensitivity to smell
Most pets have a very sensitive sense of smell. Even if your “natural” and expensive essential oil is “safe to use,” most of the time, it is very potent because of its concentrated formula. That’s why they should be steam diffused and never given directly to ingest. Cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and hamsters are highly susceptible to certain essential oils as their liver is less efficient at detoxifying compounds. It’s best to take advice from a vet before introducing them to essential oil.
Combinations may work better
Specific oils have particular requirements which enhance their effectiveness. Some may work on its own, and some may work best if combined with other elements. Essential oils can be used alongside medicine, supplements, exercise, and massages in dogs (take vet’s advice for more cautiousness). However, if your dog is already suffering from skin conditions such as rashes and raw skin, he/she may likely be sensitive. In the worst-case scenario, if essential oils get absorbed into the bloodstream, it may cause irritation and hives. So proceed with caution.
Use quality stuff
Inferior quality essential oils are usually sold under misleading labels like “natural” and “100% pure.” Hence, it is important to get your vet’s recommendation before investing in anything. Labels that read “for aromatic use only” are not to be used around pets. Although there are various benefits like treating joint pain, anxiety and arthritis in senior dogs, it is only effective when the quality is right.
Consider the positive and negative features of each variant
Certain “hot” essential oils, containing polyphenolic compounds, such as cinnamon, oregano, clove, wintergreen, thyme, melaleuca, and birch, may be toxic for the kidneys and liver in sensitive species. On the other hand, essential oil extracted from eucalyptus, citronella, lemon tea tree, and white cypress work as an excellent flea, bugs, and mosquito repellent in cats and dogs. It’s important to remember that less is more when it comes to the application of essentials oils in pets. Care must be taken in exposing oils to sensitive parts like ears, genitals, eyes, and nose. It’s best to start utilizing it under the careful guidance of a certified vet.