Making Sense of Scents For Pets

By Chad Ruiz

Use this oil for calming and this one for aches.  This fragrance suppresses anxiety and this one helps you sleep. From soap to lotions to candles to sprays: essential oils seemingly crop up everywhere in today’s retail environment. What about using essential oils around pets?  Have you thought how diffusing and applying oils affects your furry (or feathered) friends?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much research on the effects of essential oil use around and on animals so we’ve developed the following tips based on what little veterinarian advice we could find.

  1. Always consult your vet before introducing an essential oil into your pet’s life. This applies to both topical and diffusion methods.
  2. Most of our four-legged friends possess noses that can smell hundreds and thousands of times better than us.  Keep this in mind when diffusing oils.  Avoid saturating an area with fragrance and instead, use only a few drops in your diffuser in a well-ventilated area.  Pets should have a safe place they can escape to if agitated by a scent.
  3. Pets also metabolize differently than people. Take care when applying essential oil to their skin. Always dilute with a carrier oil like jojoba or olive oil and apply a very small amount. You should never apply anything to your pet without first consulting with your vet.  Never allow your pet to ingest essential oils.
  4. Some oils to avoid altogether include: citrus, cinnamon, clove, tea tree, lemon, wintergreen, garlic, anise, thyme and horseradish.
  5. The quality of the oil matters.  For your pet’s (and your own) safety, only use therapeutic grade oils. These should be free of contaminants and purchased from reputable companies.  There is no agency regulating the manufacturing of essential oils so you’ll have to do your own research before selecting an oil producer.
  6. Some of the safer essential oils to use around pets include lavender, chamomile, myrrh, marjoram, cedar wood, sage, peppermint and rosemary.  Some pets react differently to certain oils which is why it’s important to consult with your vet prior to use.

Strangest Essential Oil Blends

  • Beer
  • Dirt
  • Money
  • Alien Princess
  • Reindeer Poop

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