Why aromatherapy for pets?
There are many ways that essential oils and hydrosols can be beneficial for our pets. If it works for us....why shouldn't it work for our pets?
Some oils will help physically with minor ailments such as itching, ear infections, fleas and ticks, but there are certain oils that also work on an emotional level, calming and relaxing your animals.
Another obvious use for aromatherapy for pets is to help get rid of those bad odours that can occur! Believe me I know too well about this after my dog Tweeny, (pictured above), has taken a swim in a nearby lake, or decided to roll in something very smelly!
Dogs and horses are the two types of animals that are best suited to the use of essential oils. Hydrosols are considered to be safer for cats and smaller animals.
There are so many different essential oils out there that it can be a minefield trying to decide which to choose! Which ones are safe for your pet? How many do you need? How do you apply them?
The answer will depend on what sort of pet you have, and what you are trying to treat.
Get permission from your pet! As odd as that may sound, a dog or horse's nose is much more acute at smelling than our own. They may not like the aroma of the essential oils you are trying to use. Let them smell the oils before you use them and see how they react. Your pet probably likes it if they sniff it and seem interested. If they turn their heads away and don't want to know......they probably don't like it! Sneezing, whining, pacing and teary eyes can be a sign that your pet is overwhelmed.
Make sure you dilute your essential oils well in a good quality base oil such as sweet almond oil or jojoba oil. A rough guideline is to add about 8-10 drops of essential oils to 20 ml of carrier oil.
It is a good idea to start off by using a mild solution and to monitor your pet the first few times you use aromatherapy blends with them.
Knowing the properties of the oils you are using is a wise move as some oils do have side-effects (such as lemon which is photo-toxic and can burn skin if exposed to sunlight within twelve hours of application).
However, we do have to be a little bit careful with aromatherapy for pets, as animals are different to humans, so that essential oils and blends that we use on ourselves are not always safe for our pets.
Using hydrosols in aromatherapy for pets is certainly an alternative. In fact, it is thought to be safer to use these on cats, puppies, small animals, young horses and sick animals.
Hydrosols are a by-product of essential oils, but they still have the wonderful healing properties because they contain the essence of the plants. They are also more affordable than essential oils, making them a great choice for animal aromatherapy.
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