Once available at only the natural food stores and specialty shops, essential oils are now available everywhere. In recent years, the popularity of essential oils has increased to a great extent. Not only do the essential oils have an amazing aroma but also have many benefits. Their soothing fragrance can elevate your mood while improving your health. Yes, there are many health benefits of essential oils. Therefore, many people have been inclined to essential oils lately.
But one question that many people have in their minds is: Are essential oils safe for our pets? Well, the answer is yes. You can use essential oils to improve your pet’s health. However, you need to stay away from certain essential oils that aren’t pet-safe. It is because an unsafe essential oil for your pet can put their health at risk. Therefore, it is best to consult only a veterinarian before using any essential oil on pets.
Don’t just pick anything that says ‘all natural’ or ‘organic’. There are many essential oil products in the market with toxic ingredients for your pets. These can be quite dangerous for your pet if applied or ingested, particularly in more concentration. That’s why pet parents need to be aware while using essential oils on pets.
However, some general essential oils are safe to use on pets. Still, it is best to understand ways to use those essential oils safely on your pets. And, also know which essential oils to avoid.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are generally the compounds that are extracted from plants. The oils contain the plant’s flavor, scent, or essence. Due to unique aromatic compounds, each essential oil gains its distinct characteristic essence.
The essential oils are often obtained via the process of distillation or using mechanical techniques, like cold pressing. After extraction of the aromatic chemicals, these are combined with a carrier oil for creating a ready-to-use product.
However, the way these oils are extracted matters a lot. It is because oils obtained with chemical processes are not pure or true essential oils.
Best Essential Oils for Dogs & Cats
Best Essential Oils for Dogs
Here are the well-known essential oils that are also good for your dogs:
Lavender oil is known for its calming effect in humans. What’s interesting is that this essential oil also has the same effect on dogs as well. It is great to relax your dog and reduce its anxiety. So, you can use lavender oil, if your dog struggles with anxiety. You may even use it for specific situations that are likely to stress your pet. For instance, moving to a new place or a trip to the vet.
This essential oil is also great for treating skin issues due to allergies. Moreover, it’s also good for treating wounds and burns. In addition, the essential oils have amazing fragrances that are likely to make your entire house smell wonderful. So, if you don’t like the dog odor, choose this essential oil for its aroma and magical benefits for dogs.
This particular oil can ward off cancer in humans, as well as dogs. Hence, it works as a powerful natural remedy for this dangerous disease. Frankincense oil has antimicrobial properties that keep your dogs healthy. Meanwhile, it helps in boosting their immune system.
This specific essential oil is useful as a natural flea repellent. It is a major advantage if you fear using chemicals on your pet for preventing fleas. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal, and known for its pleasant aroma. Due to its aroma, dogs feel relaxed and calm.
Is your pet suffering from irritated skin, wound, burn, eczema, or ulcers? You need to consider using chamomile oil for treating your furry friend. Moreover, it helps in treating anxiety and stress in dogs like lavender oil.
Best Essential Oils for Cats
Not just dogs, even cats can enjoy the benefits of essential oils. If used safely, cats may get amazing benefits from using essential oils. You may use these oils around your home. This way, you and your feline friend can both enjoy the benefits of the oil’s relaxing and natural healing properties.
Here are some beneficial essential oils for your cat:
This oil is good for making your cat’s life comfortable. How? It helps in reducing diarrhea and nausea in cats. It even assists with their weight management, as it re-balances the cat’s metabolism.
As given in the previous section, frankincense oil helps ward off cancer. It’s also beneficial in increasing the blood supply in the brain.
However, frankincense oil can even increase blood pressure. So, if your cat already has high blood pressure issues, don’t use this oil.
Do you like the smell of licorice? If so, you’ll love this essential oil. Plus, its health benefits are better than the scent. It is helpful for cats suffering from certain health issues, like thyroid, pituitary, and pineal glands.
This oil aids in detoxification simply by breaking the toxins accumulated in the cat’s tissues. Therefore, it’s great for your cat’s health.
This oil has abundant antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties due to its antioxidant content. Therefore, it can help in reducing inflammation.
It can even slow down bleeding in case of emergencies. Moreover, it’s good for improving your cat’s heart health, skin, and nervous system.
How to Administer Essential Oils To Your Pet
There are some common ways to administer various essential oils to your pets. You can either administer them via a topical application or via a diffuser.
No matter what way you choose, keep in mind some basics. Since it says ‘natural’ does not mean that the oil is healthy. There can be certain poisons in it. So, it is best to do your research on a manufacturer before buying essential oils. Make sure that the essential oils have excellent reviews and produce high-quality organic oils.
But go light and easy, as dogs have better smelling power. So, with a strong diffuser level, they’ll sniff more than the required essential oil.
When applying essential oil on pets, don’t apply undiluted oil directly on their skin. Even if they are listed as pet-safe essential oils, undiluted oils can irritate their skin. You always need to apply them after mixing with carrier oils. This way, the oil mixture is safe and lightly scented. Meanwhile, it delivers oil safely to the dog’s skin.
Some good carrier oils include avocado oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, aloe vera, and sweet almond oil. For diluting an essential oil, you need to drop the very little amount of essential oil in half of the carrier oil. It’s best to create around 0.25% dilution to keep things in a safer range.
You even need to conduct a patch test before starting the regimen. You have to apply a dime-sized amount for up to 15 minutes. If your pet seems unphased with the application, begin with the application carefully.
The diffusers release essential oils to heal you through aroma. It works the same way for pets as for humans. You just have to add one or two drops of essential oil to a water-based diffuser. When used in homes, you can drop the oil and get back to your chores. However, when you use it for pets, you just have to run the diffuser for 10 minutes around them. After that, let the air clear for around 30 minutes.
Since you don’t want your pet to swallow any essential oil, make sure you place the diffuser in a higher place where it’s difficult to knock over by a pet. However, for cats, it’s best to keep a diffuser in a drawer or cupboard.
Symptoms of Essential Oil Poisoning In Pets
What if your pet accidentally swallows or gets exposed to excessive essential oil? First, don’t panic if you enable your diffuser to run on a toxic essential oil for a short period. There are chances that your pet will be fine. But in the worst-case scenario, they can vomit for clearing their system of any toxic substances.
If you run a toxic oil through a diffuser or apply any harmful oil onto their skin topically for an extended period, it may cause poisoning in them. Given below are some symptoms of poisoning caused by essential oil:
- Muscle tremors
- Difficulty walking
- Excessive drooling
If you observe any of these symptoms, it’s best to rush your pet to a veterinary clinic in an emergency.
5 Tips For Choosing The Best Pet-Safe Essential Oil
Most essential oil poisoning cases have a good prognosis with immediate detection and proper veterinary treatment. However, it’s best to avoid it. Pet parents need to reduce the risk of essential oil poisoning for pets by following the given tips:
- Use pet-safe essential oils by well-known brands
Always get essential oils from a reputed pet-safe brand. Also, dilute it appropriately using a pet-friendly carrier oil. Administer an essential oil only to your dog or cat after mixing it with a carrier oil. Also, avoid using toxic essential oils around your pets. Moreover, never diffuse or apply the oil in high concentrations.
- Don’t mistake that all essential oils are priced the same
Different essential oils have varying prices, depending on their extraction process. So, don’t buy essential oil for less price thinking that it would be great for your pet. It is best to research well before investing.
- Only buy essential oils with the label of “100% pure”
Always buy essential oils with a “100% pure” label on the bottle. Many companies are trying to fool customers by offering them chemically extracted essential oils. So, always be careful. And, choose only the ones that offer “100% pure” product manufacturing.
4. Know which essential oils aren’t good for pets
Certain essential oils are not safe for your pets. Some of these essential oils are:
- Bitter Almond
- Tea tree
- Sweet Birch
- Ylang Ylang
- Search for companies with membership to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA)
You must buy essential oils from companies with membership to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. This reflects their aromatherapy professionalism. How? Well, the companies with NAHA membership often abide by certain ethical standards. It also indicates that their products are worth the purchase.
It is best to research well about essential oils for pets and then make a purchase. Or simply consult your veterinarian before using any essential oil for your pet.