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Aromatherapy for Pets

Pets can enjoy the therapeutic effects of aromatherapy asmuch as humans can. Aside from possibly eliminating badodors and giving your pet a pleasant perfume, essentialoils also serve many practical functions such as boostingyour pet's immune system, fighting off bacteria andviruses, preventing the growth of yeasts and molds andrepelling insects.

Aromatherapy is used by enthusiasts, groomers and petsalons to trea mild ailments such as skin inflammations,itchy skin ear infections, rashes, bad breath, flatulenceand motions sickness. Psychologically, certain oils alsohave a calming or relaxing effect on animals. For examplelavender oil not only helps kitties repel insects but italso makes them feel sleepy or content. Roman chamomilecan be used to treat an ear infection as well as soothe thenerves of a dog in pain.

Essential oils are also frequently used as home remedies.However before you attempt to use aromatherapy on your ownpets, keep in mind that essential oils are always dilutedbefore they are applied to a pet's skin or sprayed on theircoat. Almond oil, olive oil and jojoba oil are common baseoils to which a few drops of the essential oil is added.Usually all that is needed is about one ounce of the baseoil combined with two to three drops of the essential oil.

Essential oils can also be diluted in a spray bottle andmisted onto the pet or the pet's bedding. You can simplydilute a few drops in distilled water or you can use waterand a mixture of aloe, witch hazel or cider vinegar. Thetraditional recommendation is to use 20 to 30 drops of oilper eight ounces of liquid. Any less might not beeffective and any more might be toxic to the pet.

Oils can also be diluted in vodka or brandy and dabbed onthe bottom of the pet's paws or on an acupressure pointsuch as the tips of the ears. This is the technique to useif you are dealing with a panicky pet. Never feed your petalcohol or essential oil directly.

Essential oils are also effective flea and tick repellentsand are nearly as effective as sprays and powders thatcontain a lot of toxic chemicals. Oils such as peppermint,citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon, geranium, bay andmyrrh have been components of herbal flea sprays and fleacollars for many years. You can easily make your own fleaand tick spray by combining about 25 drops of any of theseoils into eight ounces of water. Shake the mixture welland spray it on your pet, being careful to shield its eyesfrom mist. This mixture can also be sprayed anywhere thatyou suspect there may be a breeding bug infestation.

When using essential oils it is also essential for you toremember that a dog or cat's sense of smell is much moreacute than our own. Signs that an aromatherapy treatment istoo overwhelming for your pet are tearing eyes, sneezing,pacing or whining. Cats may lick themselves excessively anddogs may rub their head on the ground in order to escapethe smell. Many pets also have allergies to essential oils.For instance, chamomile is related to the ragweed plant,which is a common allergen for both pets and humans. Thisis why it is so important to use a mild solution at firstand use your powers of observation the first few times youuse an essential oil mixture on a pet.

*******(c) 2005 Liz Santher - All Rights Reserved

Liz Santher is a aromatherapy enthusiast and freelanceauthor.*******

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