Man’s best friend. No, I’m not talking about essential oils! For most of us, our pets are a vital part of our families (like our spouses or children, we can’t wait to see them after a stressful day away), so why not use essential oils on them too? Although many essential oils can be used on household and farm animals, it’s important to understand the precautions to take before using them.
When using essential oils on animals, it’s very important to take size into consideration. As you know, we dilute oils more heavily for children than for adults; the same principle applies here. You can apply a more concentrated amount to your thoroughbred than your Cocker Spaniel. Like with humans, it’s imperative that you dilute all essential oils prior to application.
As it is recommended that some people don’t use certain essential oils, the same goes for animals. Essential oils should predominantly be used on dogs and horses. Although there are some oils that can be used on cats, they are much more sensitive than other animals. Unlike us, cats lack the liver enzyme that helps break down the chemicals in the oils. This means that the chemicals can build-up over time and cause negative side effects, such as liver damage and even death.
Below is a list of essential oils to use or avoid with particular animals. This list is by no means exclusive, and it’s recommended that you consult with your veterinarian prior to use.
Use: Bergamot, Chamomile, Fennel, Frankincense, Geranium, Ginger, Helichrysum, Lavender, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Tea Tree (dilute extra well)
Use Sparingly: Camphor, Cassia, Clove, Oregano, Thyme, Wintergreen
If you’re interested in using essential oils on your dog, but don’t know where to start, here’s a recipe for shampoo that will leave your pup looking and smelling great (until he rolls in that puddle of mud again).
Essentially Great Doggie Shampoo
- 10 oz. Water
- 2 oz. Aloe Vera
- 1 Tbsp. Liquid Castile Soap
- 4 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
- 4 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 4 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
In a jar, combine all ingredients. Be sure to add essential oils one drop at a time. Secure lid and shake well. To use, lather and rinse well. Keep away from eyes. Use as needed.