Nowadays, essential oils and aromatherapy are all the rage. Many people are effectively using them to care for their families, including their furry friends. If you’ve ever considered using essential oils with your dog, keep reading for some information on the most popular oils and how they can benefit your mutt. But remember, you must always seek your veterinarian’s guidance before using any natural product, including essential oils, for your pet.
There are many essential oils that are safe and effective for use with pets. Below I’ve listed just a few of my personal favorites, and in addition to these, there are so many other options available to pet parents. Take a look!
1. Peppermint – Peppermint has been known to stimulate circulation in dogs, and it may also work as a natural insect repellant. I have a friend who swears by peppermint for arthritis and dysplasia in dogs, and has also used it to treat motion sickness when she travels with her dogs.
2. Roman Chamomile – Touted for its analgesic and nerve-settling properties, Roman Chamomile is also reported to be effective in treating muscle pain and cramps. I personally love the smell of this one!
3. Lavender – Used universally, lavender may provide immune support for allergies, ulcers, insomnia, and burns. Specifically in dogs, it may also be used to calm car ride anxiety and car sickness. Some pet owners use it for its anti-itch benefits as well.
4. Spearmint – This popular essential oil may help reduce weight, and is also good for diarrhea and nausea. Used on a short-term basis, it’s also reported to be helpful for gastrointestinal problems in cats.
5. Bergamot – This oil is known for being highly effective for treating bacterial ear infections, as well as ear infections caused by yeast, and it also has anti-fungal properties. One word of caution: when using Bergamot, limit your pet’s time in the sun, as it may cause photosensitization resulting in sun burn.
When purchasing essential oils for use with your pets, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Always purchase oils that come in amber, cobalt blue, or violet purple glass bottles;
- Check the label for important information such as the country of origin, how the oil was extracted, and the names – both common and scientific – of the oil;
- Be sure the label specifically says “100 percent pure essential oil” and “therapeutic grade”. Accept no substitutes!
Although aromatherapy and essential oils may provide many wonderful benefits for pets, it is imperative that we know which ones are safe and how to properly use them so as not to harm our pets. If you have any questions about what is safe to use for your pet, always consult your veterinarian BEFORE using any essential oil or other natural product.
Your turn: have you ever used essential oils and/or aromatherapy with your pets? I’d love to hear about your experience in a comment below!
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