Animals and Aromatherapy
Our favorite friends to give gifts to are often times our furry friends! Whether it’s a treat, toy, or just walking through the front door, our pets are always generous receivers. And while we may love sharing the goodness of essential oils with all of those who cross our path, your four legged friends will thank you for resisting to share essential oils with them.
Essential oils have become a staple in natural remedies, and while we always want what’s best for our pets, essential oils may actually do more harm than good. For example, it’s not hard to tell from the outside that animals are different than humans. But just as all people have different medical histories, allergies, health needs, etc., animals do as well, and what works for one animal, may not work for another. They have a very unique physiology, and cannot metabolize most essential oils like we can. It is for this reason that the use of essential oils around pets can cause severe health damage if used incorrectly. If you have pets in your home, we suggest speaking with a holistic veterinarian before using essential oils on or around them.
We see so many blog posts and articles online ranging from cures for ticks to bladder problems for pets that have to do with essential oils and natural remedies, but we rarely see these articles being backed by scientific studies or animal aromatherapists. While they may not necessarily be wrong, they could be wrong for your animals. An example would be using the same EO recipe on a small Boston Terrier and a large Great Dane. Which is why, if you are considering using any oils on your pets we again, strongly suggest working with a holistic veterinarian.
The most important thing we want to stress is that your pets do not have a voice, and cannot tell you when something is not working. A major sign to watch out for would be behavioral differences, such as whining, scratching, or acting loopy. These types of signs are a red flag, and a prime reason to stop using EOs around them.
Exploring safety further
But not all hope is lost when it comes to using essential oils to help your beloved pals. With proper use, and under the supervision of a certified animal aromatherapist, essential oils can be beneficial to animals. For more information on animal aromatherapy, we recommend picking a copy of Kristen Leigh Bell’s book ‘Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals.’
Finally, here are some guidelines on using EOs on pets...
Do not use essential oils with the following:
Cats/Felines (due to their highly sensitive metabolic systems, cats and essential oils do not mix) Fish and reptiles (due to their pH levels and aquatic environments) Birds (due to their respiratory and metabolic systems)
Pet rodents and small mammals (gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, rats etc.) (There is not enough research on this topic, other than actual animal-testing and research results gained for knowledge use with humans). (1)
- Azzaro, Kelly Holland. Animal Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Safety. N.p.: Ashi Aromatics Inc, 2013. PDF.