Monday, May 4, 2015

Are Essential Oils Safe For Dogs .......

Are Essential Oils Safe for Dogs?
Essential oils are highly concentrated and therefore extremely potent. When using essential oils on our dogs, therefore, we should be careful not to overuse them. Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil (such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, etc.) before use

Safe Essential Oils for Dogs

If we choose essential oils that are safe for dogs, and use them in diluted form, they are perfectly safe to use on dogs and are effective therapeutically for a great number of ailments. 

However, some essential oils, diluted or not, are unsafe for dogs and use of such oils should be avoided altogether. 

Here are some essential oils that should NOT be used on dogs
Anise / Camphor / Hissop / Juniper* / White Thyme / Yarrow
Because of uterine stimulation or possible toxicity, avoid using these oils on dogs, especially on pregnant dogs. 
*The oil of Juniper berry is perfectly safe, but the Juniper wood oil is toxic to the kidneys. 
Birch / Wintergreen
Some aromatherapy formulae found on websites suggest using the oils birch and wintergreen for joint pains caused by arthritis. However, dermal use of these two oils has been proven to be toxic as they contain high levels of methyl salicylate. Ingestion can cause severe poisoning and death. 
Cassia / Clove leaf and bud
These oils can cause dermal irritation and possible toxicity to both people and pets. 
Horseradish / Mustard / Tansy
Due to the pungent properties of these oils, they are considered to be hazardous and may cause severe dermal irritation. 
Although this oil is effective in repelling flea, it is also highly toxic to the kidneys and the nervous system. It is also a known abortifacient. Avoid using this oil on pets and yourself! 
This oil is a terrible photosensitizer. 
Both the herb and the oil wormwood are toxic to pets and should be avoided at all costs, even though some people suggest using wormwood for treating worm infestation. There has been reports of wormwood essential oil causing renal failure in humans. It is also a known fact that wormwood causes seizures, and possesses very high oral and dermal toxicity. 

How can I use Essential Oils on my Dogs?
Aromatherapy for dogs can be applied topically (through massage), by diffusion and inhalation, or orally. 
Topical application is the most commonly used technique, and has the greatest benefit because the oils are applied directly to the area(s) needed. The oils penetrate the skin and are quickly absorbed by tiny capillaries which carry them to the bloodstream. 
Essential oils can be topically applied via massage, or via spritzers, sprays, and of course the oils can also be added to shampoos, conditioners, salves, ointments, etc. 
Remember, the oils have to be diluted before use. Carrier vegetable oils, such as olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, can be used. 
Diffusion and inhalation is another way to practice aromatherapy for dogs. A diffuser is used to evaporate the oils which are inhaled by the dog. Leave the diffuser on for about 30 to 40 minutes in order for the dog to inhale and absorb the oils. You should be able to see result if you repeat this procedure twice daily for five to seven days. 
Oral application of essential oils to dogs should only be done under the supervision of a holistic veterinarian. As the oils are highly concentrated and potent, extreme care has to be taken to avoid overdose. And of course, some essential oils are not suitable for ingestion at all. 
For home remedies, therefore, it is advisable to limit yourself to the first two techniques (topical application and inhalation). 

Some Precautions When Using Essential Oils on Dogs
  • Always use 100% pure, therapeutic grade essential oils on dogs (and humans). 
  • Use only essential oils that are safe for dogs.
  • Always DILUTE essential oils before using them on your dogs. A rough guideline is to add about 10-15 drops of essential oils to 1/2 oz. (15 ml) of carrier base oil.
  • Use less amount of diluted oils on small dogs than on big dogs.
  • Use less amount of diluted oils on puppies, senior dogs, and those whose health is compromised. When in doubt, start off with hydrosols.
  • Check with a holistic vet before using any essential oils on pregnant dogs. In particular, do not use stimulating oils (e.g. peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree, niaouli) on pregnant dogs.
  • Do not use oils on epileptic dogs or dogs who are seizure-prone. Some oils, such as rosemary, may trigger seizures (in humans too).
  • Do not use oils in or close to the eyes, directly on or close to the nose, or in the anal or genital areas.
What are the Dilution Ratios for Dogs?
The best way to think about dilution for dogs is to go by the weight of the dog. A small dog under 20 pounds you would treat as a human child or toddler. I would dilute from 30-90% of the human dose again depending on its size.
Essential oils for larger dogs can be used similarly to humans. A medium dog that is in the range of 25-50 pounds can tolerate less than a large dog that is 100 pounds!
My dog, Lexie is a whippet weighing about 30 pounds. I usually don’t dilute the oils from the human dosage; however, I also just use one drop! But she is very clean; she eats raw food and never has a synthetic product on her body.
So keep in mind, as we do with humans, that if a dog is sick or toxic then it is best to use less essential oil at first. This is because most oils will detoxify the body at a cellular level.
How do I Use Essential Oils as Home Remedies for Dogs?
Several Ways to Apply Essential Oil to Dogs:
  • Apply directly on location;
  • Place oil in your palm then pet head to toe;
  • Place oil where the skin is thin such as belly;  or
  • Smell it right out of the bottle or from your hands!

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