PETS + ESSENTIAL OILS
doTERRA + Pets
by Misty Woolf, Certified Vet Tech
Our animal friends are now, more than ever, considered part of the family and as more and more people turn to natural remedies for themselves and their families, there is more interest in how holistic options can benefit our pets. Essential oils can have the same amazing benefits for animals as it can for people which makes these precious gifts of the earth a must-have for any household! It is extremely important, however, that essential oils are used properly and safely, taking into account each individual species’ specific sensitivities.
When it comes to using essential oils with your pets, the most important thing is to consult your veterinarian first. Animals (especially cats and birds) are very sensitive to essential oils, and just like with medications, a particular oil can interact with other medications your pet may be taking and could be contraindicated due to a particular health issue.
Also incredibly important is that you only use 100% therapeutic grade essential oils!
Animals have a much stronger sense of smell than humans. Whenever you diffuse essential oils be sure that your pets are able to come and go from the room freely in case the smell is too much for them. Never use essential oils on their faces, in their ears, eyes, nose or on the genitals. And dilute, dilute, dilute with a carrier oil! A little bit goes a very long way with people and even more so with pets!
There are some essential oils that may not be recommended for certain pets. In particular, “hot” oils such as Cinnamon, Melaleuca, Oregano, Clove and Thyme should be used with caution (and heavy dilution) or avoided completely with dogs and cats. The use of Melaleuca and Wintergreen are especially controversial with our feline friends.
An excellent resource that can guide you in what oils to use and which ones to avoid is the book ‘SpOil Your Pet, A Practical Guide to Using Essential Oils in Dogs and Cats’ by Mia K. Frezzo, DVM and Jan C. Jeremias, MSc. I highly recommend getting a copy! There is also a SpOil Your Pet app available.
So, now that we’ve established some safety guidelines, how can essential oils be used to benefit your pet's’ health? For one, switching to plant-based household cleaners will benefit everyone in your home! Essential oils such as Arborvitae, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass and Lavender can be used as a flea and tick repellent. Lavender, Calming blend and Grounding blend can help promote calm in a stressed pet, and Lavender, Myrrh (Cats) and Melaleuca (dogs) can help with skin irritations. That’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Perhaps you noticed one oil in particular that seems to come up over and over again - Lavender! It has so many uses and is one of the safer oils for pets. If you are interested in using essential oils with your pets this is a great one to start with as it has so many uses!
When using 100% Therapeutic Grade essential oils, following the safety guidelines for your specific species of pet and following your veterinarian’s advice and recommendations, essential oils can be wonderful wellness tools for your furry family members!
Written by Misty Woolf, Certified Pet Tech