You may have heard of the amazing benefits of using essentials oils and scents to help relax or energise or even heal yourself. Well these oils also have huge benefits for our furry four-legged family members but like anything there are risks as well.
Our furry family member’s bodies, nervous system and overall biology is different than ours which means they react differently to different scents and oils. So something that may be of huge benefit to us humans could actually be extremely harmful to your pet.
There are many ways you can use essential oils or aromatherapy to help your pet, it can help calm an anxious dog or you can even make an all natural flea repellent.
A few words of caution however as animals have a more sensitive sense of smell:
- It’s best to use oils sparingly
- Make sure they are diluted and pure essential oils
- Use caution
- Always allow an escape route
- Monitor your pets reaction.
3 of our favourite oils and what they can be used for
We love lavender and it has amazing calming qualities which is why we use it in our Paw Balm and Doggie Soap. Lavender is the perfect scent to use to help calm your pets’ nerves, just put a drop on their collar or in a diffuser and it’ll help them destress and calm down.
This is one amazing oil not only will a few drops help to calm a hyperactive or anxious pet, it is also a natural antiseptic so it can be used to help heal wounds, itching, allergies or infections. It also works with the immune system including possible reduction of cancer cells in pets.
Next time your pet has an upset tummy add a few drops of cardamom in their food as it helps to increase the movement in your pets stomach and digestive tract. It can help a pet that is suffering from diarrhea or constipation. It also contains antioxidants and anti-cancer phytochemicals.
Top 3 oils to avoid due to toxicity
Despite birch oil being used in scent training for dogs it is best to be avoided for all our furry friends as it can cause ulcers, kidney failure, seizures and death.The scent should also be avoided around pets as it shares similar qualities to the wintergreen scent used in many sugar-free products that also contain xylitol which is extremely toxic to pets.
Besides the above mentioned concern of smelling like sugar-free products that contain the toxic ingredient xylitol, wintergreen itself is toxic. For humans it can be used to aid pain relief for muscles aches but for our furry family it can cause vomiting, ulcers and renal or liver failure.
Although pennyroyal has been known to be a good pest repellent it’s best avoided for pets as it is extremely toxic. Ingestion or topical application (which some owners may think to do to prevent fleas) can lead to liver failure or hepatic necrosis which can lead to death.
Also be on the lookout for negative reactions such as excessive drooling, vomiting, tremors, difficulty walking and respiratory distress.