October 4, 2016 | Erin | 6 Comments Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for health purposes. Today the use of these oils range from aromatherapy to medicinal to natural cleaning products. The essential oil is made through a distillation process using different parts of a plant such as leaves, roots, and flowers. The benefit that we get from an essential oil come from it’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. The essential oil is valued for its natural healing with no side effects. Sounds pretty amazing, I would say. Of course, now I am thinking of my four legged friends! So what about Essential Oils for Pets? Essential oil use for dogs have benefits that range from fighting infections, reducing anxiety, stopping bacteria, viruses and reducing inflammation. They can help your dog physically and mentally. Since they contain strong, active ingredients, they should always be used with caution, especially until you know how your dog reacts. It is always advised that you speak with your veterinarian when using any essential oils. This is particularly important if your dog has persistent and severe symptoms. Safe Essential Oils For Dogs Carrot Seed – Good for dry, flaky skin, healing scars. Cardamom – Diuretic, helps regulate coughs, appetite, and nausea Cedarwood – Repels fleas, good skin and coat conditioner and stimulates circulation German Chamomile – Anti-inflammatory, good for skin irritations, burns and allergic reactions Roman Chamomile – Analgesic, calms nerves, relieves muscle cramps Clary Sage – Calms nerves when diluted and used in small amounts, sedates. Do not use on pregnant dogs Eucalyptus Radiata – Antiviral and anti-inflammatory, expectorant. Do not use on small dogs or puppies Geranium – Repels ticks, anti-fungal, good for ear infections Ginger – Aids digestion, helps arthritis pain – use in small amounts and diluted Lavender – Calming, antibacterial, anti-itch, skin irritations Sweet Marjoram – Strong antibacterial, muscle relaxer, repels insects, good for skin infections Spearmint – Helps diarrhea, nausea, balances metabolism and helps reduces weight Peppermint – Repels insects, stimulates circulation, good for arthritis and sprains. Do not use on small or pregnant dogs Thyme – Pain reliever, good for skin infections, antibacterial and anti-fungal Valerian – Good for anxiety, calms nerves How To Safely Use Essential Oils Can use topically or by having your dog inhale the oil. Never mix an oil in the dog’s food or water Always dilute the oil since dogs have a very keen sense of smell Only use as needed, not a preventative measure Never apply essential oils on or near a dog’s eyes or mouth Use caution when using on puppies and older dogs If your dog has a health issue, research the oil before using to avoid complications Start introducing your dog to an oil with a small amount to test for any reactions. You can always increase the amount Only use quality, therapeutic oils that you have purchased from a trusted source Cats My research states that particular caution needs to be used with the use of essential oils for cats. They are prone to a reaction to an oil, much more that dogs. Essential oils are not used that often with cats since some oil can cause liver or kidney poisoning. Cats are especially sensitive to oils such as oregano, cloves, cinnamon, and wintergreen. Essential oils should never be put in the eardrum of a cat as they can damage the ear and surrounding nerves. If oils are used with cats, the dilution ratio should be much higher than with that for dogs. A good mixture would be 1 drop essential oil to 50 drops of a diluting base such as coconut oil or grape seed oil.