Essential Oils and Dogs

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There is a definite shift in our generation, where drugs and harsh chemicals are being avoided and natural remedies are instead used as preventative measures. People are opting to choose healthy, long term solutions and adopting better living habits, in turn extending our lives. After Ted’s round of vaccines and flea/tick/heart worm medications I had come to discover he has a problem with anxiety. He nipped at my boyfriend Michael for trying to pick him up, bit my dad on several occasions and at the slightest misstep would run and hide in his tee-pee if he became frightened. Rather that going back to the vet to get poked, prodded and doped up again, I opted for a different solution.

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Since I travel for work every other week, the last three months of having Ted as a new addition has been a steady transition. He seems to get upset when I go out of town and bored when I’m working from my home office. Ted has been coming along on local trips, but I make sure he gets plenty of exercise and has enough attention being in a new place. He started coming around but the anxiety did not seem to get better until we found a solution that started working. We take regular trips to the dog park so he can socialize and break his boredom from watching me in front of a computer all day. In addition this , every night before bed I started diffusing lavender oil. When we come back from walks, Ted gets a treat when he sees other neighbors walking by in the hallway. The combination of these methods has made him a much happier dog, he has been very loving to Michael, and the edge is slowly going away.

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The purpose of this article is to touch base on using essential oils on and around dogs safely and effectively. It’s important to be cautious when using essential oils and make sure they are introduced slowly. Less is more, and the size of the animal makes a difference in how the oils are used. Two ways to use essential oils around dogs are Aromatically and Topically.

Aromatically

Place a few drops of oil into a diffuser and allow your pet to smell them in the air. This is what I do for Ted since he doesn’t like the smell of oil on my hand. A few drops of oil can be added to a cotton ball and placed in an air vent. Oils can also be added to a spray bottle for misting on bedding or furniture.

Topically

The following dilution guidelines are helpful when opting to use the oils directly on your dog’s fur. Their hair is like a wick, therefore it’s important to make sure they receive the correct amount of oil for their size. Carrier oils can include V-6, olive oil or coconut oil among others. The best place to apply the oil is from the front of the crown of their head and down the spine. Eye and ear canals, nose and genital areas should be avoided.

Dilution Guidelines:

Toy Breeds Up to 90% Dilution

<50LBS 50-75% Dilution

>50LBS 25-50% Dilution

Percentage to Drop Conversion:

10%- 9 drops Essential Oil to 1 drop Carrier Oil

25%- 3 drops Essential Oil to 1 drop Carrier Oil

50%- 1 drop Essential Oil to 1 drop Carrier Oil

75%- 1 drop Essential Oil to 3 drops Carrier Oil

90%- 1 drop Essential Oil to 9 drops Carrier Oil

Essential Oils Generally Regarded as Safe for Dogs: 

Bergamot, Carrot Seed, Cedarwood, Roman Chamomile, German Chamomile, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus Radiata,

Geranium, Ginger, Helichrysum, Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Niaouli, Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Valerian

Essential Oils Known to be Toxic to Dogs:

Cinnamon, Citrus, Pennyroyal, Pine, Sweet Birch, Melaleuca (Tea Tree in Large Amounts), Wintergreen, Ylang Ylang

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There are a ton of uses for essential oils and I’m enjoying figuring out what everything in my starter kit does. Ted and Michael are literally hypnotized every night into a restful sleep. Ted tends to stay longer and cuddle before getting spooked by a sudden movement and going to his bed. Michael asks me to poke around in my oil box to find something soothing to relax to. Falling asleep to the sound of bubbling water and a sweet aroma cuddling with your two best friends is really hard to beat.

****I’d also like to add that it’s important to use good quality oils. For a long time, I purchased oils in health food stores. My mom had bought me a diffuser and I started playing around with what I had. When she sent me 100% pure oils to try out, I was floored by the difference. If starting on a healthy new ritual is something that interests you, I can help support you with additional information. Click here for ordering information or feel free to send me an email.