Pure From Nature Pet Guide
Essential Oil Blends for Dogs & Cats
If you are reading this you are probably well aware of the environmental hazards that we face on a daily basis. You may have even wondered what dangers may be lurking around our beloved furry little friends. As many pet parents may suspect, there are tons of toxins in and around our homes that our pets can pick up throughout the day. This year we’re making sure we show our pets some love with our essential oil blends for pet guide.
Pets are more vulnerable to toxins than people due to their small size and curious nature. They have faster metabolisms and smaller lungs; which makes them breathe in and process toxins more rapidly than we do. Pets are closer to the ground, carpets, flooring and lawns; which may harbor chemicals and pesticide residue. They unknowingly poke their noises into places where certain chemicals linger, like cabinets that store chemical cleaners. And they can even ingest some contaminates if they drink from a toilet bowl. Small changes in your daily routines can help limit such exposures.
In addition to around the home, many holistic vets have been known to use essential oils to help boost their pet’s immune system, fight problems such as itchy skin, separation anxiety, excessive barking and as a calming agent.* In the Veterinary world, the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association sites aromatherapy as a holistic veterinary technique that can help improve physical, mental, and emotional well-being. (Source)
Inhalation through diffusion of essential oils is called aromatherapy. Our sense of smell is registered in one of the oldest parts of the brain, known as the limbic area. This is the part of the brain directly involved in processing emotion and stress. When we breathe in a scent, the aromatic molecules are quickly inhaled via the millions of sensitive cells that line the nasal passages, triggering messages that pass directly to the brain. This is believed to cause a chemical change in the body, which can affect the state of mind, health and spiritual aspects of the person. Pets will benefit from the effects of the essential oils, just as we humans do.
Many professional breeders and trainers swear by the use of essential oils to help keep their animals healthy and calm. Alisia McIntyre owner of Highlander German Shepherds has been diffusing Lavender and Sweet Dreams essential oil blends in an air revitalizer when her girls are in labor with great success for years. She tells us “the scent is soothing to both mom and pup during delivery.” She also recommends both scents to help with separation anxiety, if needed. Pet owners can use essential oils at home in a similar way to keep their pets happy and healthy in a non-toxic way.
Using Aromatherapy to Help Reduce Barking and Calm Dogs
Dogs bark. It’s just how they communicate. Sometimes they bark for good reasons. Sometimes they bark to be territorial or to just get attention. Regardless of the reason for the bark, excessive barking can be irritating for both owners and others in ear shot.
Dog collars with the citronella scent have been used in the US since 1995 and have been effective in helping dogs overcome the incessant need to bark. When it comes to calming “nuisance-barking” dogs, a spritz of fragrance under the chin can be more effective than electric shock, a test by the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine has found. (Source) Yet, sometimes the microphones placed in the collars to detect barking will pick up sounds of other dogs barking, and then inappropriately punish your dog for another’s behavior. If a citronella collar doesn’t work for your pet or situation, you may want to consider diffusion as another option.
Diffusing lavender in an enclosed space such as the home, kennel or car is a way to help calm a barking pet. A 2006 study showed that the use of Lavender helped ‘reduced dogs’ movement and vocalization during travel. The study’s author went on to conclude: “Traditional treatments for travel-induced excitement in dogs may be time-consuming, expensive or associated with adverse effects. Aromatherapy in the form of diffused lavender odor may offer a practical alternative treatment.” (Source).
Pet’s will not be able to tell us what is working and when enough is enough. When diffusing essential oils and blends around your pets be sure to watch their reactions. Excessive scratching, nervousness or whining are signs to be wary of.
Using Essential Oils Around the Home to Reduce Toxins
Essential oils and blends can also be used in and around the house to replace everyday toxic chemicals, which can come in contact with your pet’s noses and paws. Everyday cleaning items such as ammonia, bleach and air fresheners have been found to cause an array of respiratory, hormonal abnormalities and reproductive problems. We discussed in detail 7 Toxic Cleaning Products to Avoid and the studies behind them in a past post. Here’s a short list of indoor and outdoor items to replace and what to replace them with:
DIY Household Cleaners & Bathroom Scrubs
The chemicals found in the cleaners and disinfects that make our dishes, bathtubs and countertops germ-free, many also contribute to indoor air pollution, are poisonous if ingested, and can be harmful if inhaled or touched. In fact, some cleaners are among the most toxic products found in the home. (Source)Cleaning products with ingredients such as bleach, ammonia, chlorine, gycol ethers or formaldehyde can cause many problems in adults and children, but young children and pets are particularly at risk for things such as cancer, anemia, liver and kidney damage.
Many people that keep toxic cleaners in their homes may not realize the permanent, harmful effects they have on their pets. (Source) DIY household cleaners made from all natural, non toxic ingredients can pack some serious punch to break through the soap scum, mildew and grim, yet can be gentle enough to keep our precious pets safe. Try this for a heavy-duty scrub that deodorizes while it cleans.
• Mix ½ cup of baking soda
• A cap of liquid Castile soap
• A few drops of your favorite essential oil or concentrate
If you have some serious grime you can first spray pure white vinegar on the area. Let sit for 30 minutes then rinse away with warm water. Then scrub away with your homemade scrub. Some people say the acidity of the vinegar will cancel out the effectiveness of the Castile oils so it’s best to rinse off the vinegar before applying the scrub. Switching to an all-natural cleaner will ensure your felines or fido won’t pick up any nasty chemicals when sniffing around your home.
To help reduce pet odors diffuse your favorite scent in an air purifier or air ionizer to combat pet odors without releasing potential phthalates and formaldehyde in the air (Source). The natural antimicrobial properties of the essential oils and blends will help kill odors and eliminate germs.
Pesticides and Insecticides
Pesticides and insecticides have got to be the worst culprits of everything mention so far. Not only do you have to worry about what pets can be tracking in from your own backyard, you also have to wonder what chemicals adhere to the bottom of your shoes as you’re out and about. While you may be super conscious on being toxic free, the landscaper that tends the lawn at your office everyday may not be. We all unknowing track contaminants into our homes from the outdoors, which ends up on the bottom of our pets paws.
If you are reading this you are probably well aware of the environmental hazards that we face on a daily basis. You may have even wondered what dangers may be lurking around our beloved furry little friends. As many pet parents may suspect, there are tons of toxins in and around our homes that our pets can pick up throughout the day.
If you aren’t already doing so, using non-toxic, natural insect repellents at home is good first step to keeping your home pesticide free. Citronella has been registered with the EPA as a natural pesticide since 1948, which we discuss in this article about natural insect repellants. Three other essential oils that you can use to naturally keep the bugs at bay are Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, and Peppermint.
In general, about 30 to 40 percent of the contaminants found inside of our homes are tacked in from the outdoors. Since we really don’t know exactly what we may be tracking into our homes, it’s best to leave your shoes at the door. (Source) By simply keeping a mat on the inside and outside of the doors, you can help keep your pets paws clear of chemicals and contaminants.
In conclusion, if you are using essential oils for your family, you may want to consider using them for your pets? Pets are much like humans in that they respond well to aromatherapy and essential oil usage. Next time you visit your holistic veterinarian, try asking them about how you can start to integrate essential oils and essential oil blends into you and your pets daily routine.
*The advice on this page has not been evaluated by the FDA. The products and methods recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease, nor is it intended to replace proper medical/veterinary help.