Pampering your pooches with essential oils
We all want the best for our beloved pets! From providing nutritious food and exercise, to bathing, grooming and vaccinating; all good pet owners like to make sure their furry friends have everything they need to stay happy and healthy. So what about using essential oils on or near your pets?
In similar ways to how essential oils work for us humans, essential oils can also be wonderful for our pets! From DIY cleaning, to diffusing and even topical use, when carefully chosen and correctly used, not only will your oils be safe for use, they can provide many benefits for your pet too. From calming and relaxing them, to giving them a shiny, flea-free coat, to managing ticks and helping treat wounds; essential oils are a fabulous way to take extra care of your pet, naturally. But where do you start, and what do you need to be aware of?
We’ve done the leg work for you and have come up with some simple steps to introducing essential oils to your pets, the best oils to use and how to use them, along with all of the do’s and don’ts to make it easy for you to pamper your pooches with essential oils!
3 steps to introducing essential oils to your pets!
- Be sure to choose only 100% pure essential oils and those that are safe for your pet. For dogs, popular oils can include lavender, frankincense, cedarwood, sandalwood, geranium, chamomile and bergamot. For cats, you might consider lavender, frankincense or chamomile.
See important information below regarding unsafe oils on pets, in particular cats.
- Always introduce oils to your pet gradually. The best way to do so is by firstly diffusing them for short periods, gauging your pet’s response to ensure they are comfortable with the smell. Always follow the directions on the bottle, making sure to heavily dilute the oils, and ensure your pet is able to leave the area if need be.
- Once your pet has shown that it is ok with your chosen oil or blend of oils, you can either continue to allow your pet to enjoy the benefits of essential oils via diffusion and also DIY cleaning, or you may wish to consider using them topically. Examples of topical use include quick-rub, shampoo, swab, brush or spray. Allow time for your pet to become familiar with the oil you use topically.
See below for further information on recommended oils for your pet and how to use them topically.
Recommended essential oils for topical use for dogs
The following are essential oils recommended for use on dogs:
Lavender is first aid in a bottle. A drop is all you need to soothe, nurture and settle your pooch. It is a great way to introduce dogs to essential oils and is recommended during behavioural training, periods of transition or separation, thunderstorms and on plane trips to manage anxiety levels. Place a few drops on their collar, blanket or favourite toy. Use as a swab for burns.
Frankincense is grounding, a natural healer and a safe option for pet care. You only need a few drops and the transformation in a hyperactive, anxious dog is notable. A natural antiseptic, frankincense can also aid in the healing of injuries, itching, allergies and infections when applied by swab. With massage, it can also ease the pain and discomfort of arthritis.
Cedarwood is similar to frankincense in that it is deeply grounding. It will relax your dog and can also be used as a swab to treat skin conditions. It helps settle dogs before sleep time and its antiseptic properties can assist in repelling ticks and fleas with regular washing.
Australian Sandalwood is often costly but well worth it. It has antiseptic and soothing properties to calm, protect and nurture your pet. Use as a swab or massage for fungal infections. It also reduces inflammation and a few drops sprayed onto bedding will help relieve dog flu symptoms. For a flea repellent, combine 2 drops of Australian sandalwood and 2 drops of bergamot and spray bedding and blanket.
Geranium is a sweet-smelling option that can be used to heal wounds and to provide an overall calming effect when diffused.
Roman chamomile and German chamomile help with poor circulation and aid wound healing. Use either oil in a massage blend to reduce inflammation and relieve the discomfort of arthritis and painful joints.
Bergamot is very relaxing for hyperactive dogs. When they are overexcited, try placing a drop on your dog’s collar, favourite toy or blanket before a trip, hike or puppy school.
Lemongrass can be used with care on fully grown, healthy dogs. Combine 1 drop to a teaspoon of cider vinegar before adding to 5 litres of water. Mix well. It will keep the coat nice and shiny and help manage fleas without the use of harsh chemicals.
Recommended essential oils for topical use for cats
The following are essential oils recommended for use on cats:
Lavender will calm and settle your cat. Use 1 drop in a spray bottle or use palm method. Place a few drops on collar, blanket or favourite toy. Use as a swab for minor injuries.
Frankincense aids the healing of injuries, itching, allergies and infections. Use 1 drop as a swab, try it on your cat’s collar or apply the palm method.
Roman chamomile helps balance and provides calm. It also aids wound healing by reducing inflammation and relieving pain. Use in spray or palm method.
The following are examples of topical use of essential oils on pets, and recommended oils that may be used:
MASSAGE: (not recommended for cats) Your pet’s size determines the amount of oil to use. Whenever you apply essential oils to large areas of the body, you must first dilute them in a cold-pressed base oil, lotion or water. Dilute 1-2 drops of your chosen essential oil in 20ml of a base oil such as sweet almond, but never exceed 2-4 drops, even with larger dogs.
QUICK RUB/PALM METHOD: For easy and comfortable application, rub 1-2 drops of recommended oil between your own hands and apply by stroking your pet’s fur. For instance, you could rub 1 drop of frankincense or 1 drop of lavender to calm and relax while patting at the same time.
SHAMPOO: (not recommended for cats) Combine 2 drops of chosen oil to 50ml of a natural, non-fragranced shampoo base, such as EverEscents Fragrance Free shampoo, for a shiny coat and to manage fleas. Choose from lavender, cedarwood or frankincense.
BATHING: (not recommended for cats) Add 2 drops of chosen oil to 5 litres of water to wash your dog. Use lavender for overanxious dogs. Use frankincense to heal wounds and cedarwood for fleas.
WATER-BASED SPRAY: Combine 2-4 drops in a 1 litre bottle and shake well before spraying bedding area, car seat or use as a general air freshener. Lavender is excellent to spray on the underside of bedding to help settle pets when travelling long distances. Do not spray directly onto the pet, and always use a new, dedicated bottle. Think of it as your very own dog/cat perfume!
SWAB: Add 1 drop of chosen oil to a glass dish of 20 ml water. Use a cotton ball to apply solution to the area of pain or discomfort. Choose from lavender, Australian sandalwood and frankincense for their excellent antiseptic and wound-healing properties.
BRUSH: If you have a dedicated doggy/cat brush, dispense 2 drops of lavender or cedarwood onto a tissue and dust over the brush bristles and then brush coat to help manage fleas and ticks.
Important information regarding pets and essential oils
- Avoid unsafe oils for pets such as phenol-rich oregano, basil, cinnamon, thyme, wintergreen, clove bud, tea tree, citronella, sage, melaleuca, birch, peppermint, spearmint and camphor.
- Since cats lack a liver enzyme that is important for metabolizing certain things, more caution must be exercised when it comes to use of essential oils. In addition to the unsafe oils mentioned above, high phenol and eugenol oils such as pine, cypress, juniper berry, rosemary, lemon myrtle, fennel and nutmeg should be avoided for cats, as well as all citrus oils (bergamot, dill, orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, tangerine and mandarin). It is important to properly research any oils you plan to use before introducing them to your pets.
- For cats, any topical application should be kept to a minimum and only practised with healthy cats.
- Avoid prolonged use of the same oil or blend of oils.
- Remember do not apply oils to any area that your canine or feline can reach with its tongue, and keep them away from your pet’s ears, eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid leaving oils anywhere that you pet could ingest them.
- Do not use essential oils on or around puppies or kittens under 10 weeks old. Caution should also be used on small pets.
- Pregnant or nursing pets, or pets with certain disorders must avoid further types of oils. If you are unsure what may be safe to use, or if your pet is ill, seek the advice of a veterinarian.
EverEscents and your pooch
A fabulous way to incorporate essential oils into your pet’s routine is by purchasing simple, all natural flea sprays, shampoos and other treatments, and adding in your own oils.
EverEscents Fragrance Free shampoo is a natural and allergen-free shampoo suitable for use on your pooch and perfect for adding in your own essential oils! Try adding frankincense for itching, injury or infection, use cedarwood to help with ticks and fleas or try lavender for settling or injuries.
Alternatively, the EverEscents lavender shampoo is also safe for use with only low levels of 100% pure essential lavender oil used in the formula.
So, if you want your pooch to be clean, happy and flea-free, and if you’d like some extra nice smelling cuddles, give it a go! Oh, and don’t forget to tag #everescents if posting pics of your gorgeous wet pooch – we would LOVE to see them!