Want to get started using essential oils with your dog?
First lets do a quick recap of what essential oils are and how we primarily use them for ourselves:
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are secondary metabolites produced by plants as part of their health and defense systems. I like to think of them as the blood of the plant. We get essential oils in most cases by steam distilling parts of the plant which separates out the essential oils.
Primary ways that we use essential ois:
Aromatically by Inhalation
Today, let's focus on aromatically as that is one of the easiest ways to use essential oils....
Why do we want to inhale, you ask?
Well, plain and simple, most essential oils have an amazing aroma, but more than that, when we inhale, we absorb these essential oils and their evaporating constituents into the brain.
The sense of smell is connected to the limbic system of the brain. This is where emotions, memory, and certain regulatory functions of the body are found. Thus, essential oils work quite well and quickly on the emotional level. Wake up on the wrong side of the bed-turn your mood around in 5 seconds or less by simply inhaling the aroma from an essential oil (give lavender, orange, or lemon a try )
Three easy ways for inhalation:
● Simply remove the lid and inhale directly from the bottle for at least 5 seconds ( that's about the time it takes to make it into the limbic system)
● Make a scent tent by applying 1 drop of essential oil into your palms, rub together, and then cup your hands over your nose and inhale deeply,
● Put your favorite essential oil in an ultrasonic diffuser which disperses essential oils without heating or burning that can cause the essential oil to be less effective. The atomized essential oil can remain suspended in the air for several hours. (Follow instructions on the label of your diffuser)
Now lets apply that for dogs....after a quick chat about quality!
Quality matters! Why?
The Essential Oil market is highly unregulated for the most part. It is overseen by the FDA. The FDA only requires as little as 5% of essential oil in a product, to be labeled 100% pure. Hmmm🤔…. the rest to be made up of whatever the company chooses, usually solvents, scent balancers (so the aroma is standardized), or carriers to dilute the oils for cost/yield benefit. Dogs, and animals in general, are more sensitive to aromas, and in certain species, how they metabolize an oil. I don’t know about you, but I think we use enough chemicals without adding unnecessary ones. I have also found that a low quality oil just doesn’t work as well. The cliche ‘you get what you pay for’ really does apply here! I use Young Living Essential Oils because of their Seed To Seal guarantee!
Their farms and partner farms abide by very strict guidelines to fulfill their promise to send pure products to your home.
- They select the strongest seeds from strong thriving plants.
- They hand-weed and use their own oils on plants for pest control to avoid the use of toxic chemicals.
- They harvest at peak times to ensure quality oils are produced.
- They distill on site without chemicals.
- They test every batch. If it does not meet their standards because of weather conditions or for any other reason, they do not bottle it up
All of these factors make a huge difference in the quality and effectiveness of the oils you bring into your home and you can even visit the farms and check it out for yourself!
Check out more about their Seed to Seal promise here!
The easiest way to get started with your dog is to be a walking diffuser. Do NOT force an oil on your dog as it can cause stress and adverse effects. The more time you take to introduce the oils, the better! Dogs are very sensitive to aromas and a new smell may be too intense at first.
➡️ Apply a drop on your wrists or behind your ears and wear as a perfume
➡️ There are many pieces of diffuser jewelry such as necklaces or bracelets on the market today-give those a try
➡️ Add a few drops of essential oil to the laundry as you wash your pets bedding, or your clothes.
➡️ Make your own dryer sheets by adding a few drops to a wet rag and put in the dryer with your clothes, or apply a few drops to your wool dryer balls.
➡️ Make a spritzer to refresh bedding or clothes for your dog
➡️ Refresh carpets by adding 10 drops to a cup of baking soda. Sprinkle on carpets and let sit for a few minutes before vacuuming.
➡️ If you are running a humidifier, add a drop of oil on each end of a q-tip or cotton ball and place on top of your humidifier.
Next, start diffusing in your home with your ultrasonic diffuser.
➡️ Start with the minimum number of drops and always leave an out for your dog (never lock them in a room with a diffuser running...also keep in mind that some dogs will choose to stay in the room with us no matter what, so keep an eye out for unusual behavior: watery eyes, excessive licking, scratching, or anything to indicate they might be uncomfortable.
No diffuser? No problem! Try these tips...(Although, trust me, you are going to want one!)
➡️ Apply a drop or 2 of essential oil on a cotton ball and leave in locations where you would want to enjoy the aroma or in heating/cooling vents (out of reach of your pet, of course).
➡️ Make a spritzer: Use a high quality PET plastic or glass, add around 10 drops of essential oil to 2 ounces of water, add a pinch of salt or a few drops of a carrier oil to emulsify, shake well.
After you have experimented with the above ways of using essential oils aromatically and if your dog seems comfortable...you can try these additional methods:
➡️ Have a few of your favorite oils on hand and let your dog choose by holding a bottle in each hand and offering a whiff-no need to take the lid off, dogs have a much greater sense of smell than we do and oftentimes just a whiff of the bottle will do...
➡️ Apply a drop of oil to the palm of your hand, rub your hands together and offer to your dog. Some dogs may try to lick your hand!
If your dog doesn't seem interested in the above methods, you may just need to try a different oil. Again, don't force an oil on your dog! You might need to be a walking diffuser for a bit longer, or stay with diffusing or spritzing for awhile. Every dog is different and there are plenty of ways to use essential oils and find the way that your dog likes!
Excited to learn even more about getting started safely and easily using essential oils with your dog? Be sure to grab my free quick guide that will walk you thru, step by step, all you need to know to get started safely and easily, click HERE!