Are Essential Oils Safe to Use on my Aging Dog?
Essential oils have become increasingly more popular in the past few years, but they have actually been used for hundreds of years! Prior to that, before the distillation process was discovered, a less concentrated and crude form of plant were used dating back to biblical days and even King Tut’s time! Plants were man’s first medicine and it’s really cool to see them making their way back into our everyday health – pure, distilled, plants from the earth.
And using them on animals – this is totally a thing! After all, animals are often in nature more than we are! Just like for humans, certain precautions have to be taken, but they can be incredibly beneficial! Possibly the greatest thing about essential oils is that there is not as much rigidity on how much or how often to use because there are no harmful side effects as long as you are following trustworthy guidelines.
Some things to consider when figuring out what oils to give your dog:
1) PURITY : This is the most important one. Essential oils are not regulated by the FDA similar to cosmetics and supplements, so it’s incredibly important to trust the company you buy from to be sure no synthetics are added and that the distillation process and testing is sound.
2) QUANTITY : Diluting an oil means to mix it in with a carrier oil (like coconut, jojoba, olive oil) so that the effects are less intense. If you use essential oils on yourself, don’t assume that your pet can use the same amount as you no matter how big he is!
3) TYPE : There are certain oils that are dangerous for your pet to ingest or have absorbed into their skin. Make sure you are using a reliable source for guidance like the Essential Oils Animal Desk Reference by Life Science Publishing that will give clear instructions on how much and what to use on your pet for each specific need. We think you’ll be surprised at how many oils they can actually use and the vast amount of organ systems they can support!
Many of the negative affects that oils have had on animals have been attributed to the poor quality of an oil such as synthetics that have been added – which should never happen in the first place. Between air fresheners, candles, and cleaners, your dog could potentially already be exposed to a vast amount of toxins everyday which can be much more detrimental to their health.
For those of you who are wanting to integrate essential oils for yourself and worried about how they could affect your pet, start off by applying your oils or running your diffuser either in a different room from your pet or in a room where they are free to leave if needed. If following the three guidelines above for yourself like you would your dog, you should especially feel confident using them with your pet around!