Essential oils provide powerful healing benefits to your pet on a cellular level, helping them to respond better to all treatments and recover more quickly. They can also be an effective tool for supporting training, weaning, ear infections, allergies, anxieties, fears, aggression or any other behavioral issues. However, it is critical that pet owners understand that the physiology of cats, dogs, horses, birds, or whatever your animals may be, is very different and they will each metabolize essential oils in their own unique way. You must take precautions with the types of essential oils you use on your pets and how they are diluted. Like humans, each of your animals will respond differently or be more sensitive to each essential oil. Be aware and present when introducing new oils to your pets and make adjustments as needed. You will also need to dilute essential oils according to the size/weight of your cat or dog. The smaller the animal, the more diluted the essential oil must be. For a comprehensive guide to essential oils and the correct dilution for your animal visit http://www.dogoiler.com
The best carrier oil for your pet is fractionated coconut oil or MCT oil. It combines well with essential oils, it slows down absorption into the tissues, helping to prevent sensitivities, it prevents the oils from dissipating too quickly, it does not go rancid, and it is nourishing to the skin.
Rules & Warnings
In general, you will be warned against using essential oils on cats. Cats lack an enzyme called glucuronyl transferase, which supports liver metabolism. This makes them vulnerable to toxins, in particular plants, NSAIDS, chocolate, lead zinc, and chemical pesticides. You should only use organic essential oils on or around your cats and in highly diluted forms. The oils you should never use topically on cats because of their high content of phenols and ketones are basil, birch, cinnamon, clove, fennel, tea tree, oregano, peppermint, thyme, Roman chamomile, rosemary, spearmint, and wintergreen. Cats are also sensitive to oils that contain a terpene called d-limonene like bergamot, dill, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange and tangerine.
It is best to use a water diffuser with cats, as the oil will then become properly diluted. You can diffuse any oils this way, as long as it is not done near their food, water or litter box. Make sure your cats are never locked in a room with a running diffuser. You can apply diluted essential oils (1 drop of essential oil per 1 tablespoon coconut oil) topically to their ears or along their spine. Cats will eventually ingest the oils through grooming, so diluting oils is imperative. You can also make a digestive blend with 3-4 oils of your choice (peppermint, ginger, anise, fennel, basil, juniper or patchouli), mix 4 drops into some baking powder and let saturate overnight in a sealed container. Then sprinkle on litter! This will help with any smells while helping to correct, treat or heal any digestive issues.
The oils you should not use topically on dogs are wintergreen, tea tree, birch, thyme, cinnamon, clove, camphor and oregano. These oils can be diffused if needed but they must be heavily diluted. For puppies younger than 3 months and dogs under 10 lbs, always dilute essential oils heavily- 1-drop essential oil with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. For puppies ages 3-6 months, 1 drop essential oil with 1-teaspoon coconut oil. If you dog is pregnant, old, or sick always use essential oils with caution and dilute heavily. Using a water diffuser is the best way to utilize the benefits of essential oils for emotional or behavior issues. Always choose the lowest setting on your diffuser. You can apply essential oils properly diluted along the spine, on pressure points, or around condition specific areas of the body.
Horses & Equids (other large animals like donkeys, sheep, llamas, and cows)
Horses respond very well to essential oils. Just because horses are large does not mean that they need more essential oils than you would use on a large dog or yourself. As with any animal, it is always best to start with a higher diluted concentration and work from there, increasing the amount of essential oils as needed. You should not be surprised to see that they respond to far less oil than you might expect with a large animal. Never use essential oils undiluted or “neat” on horses as this will cause their skin to welt and it is uncomfortable and painful. The only situation in which you might apply essential oils undiluted would be to the hoof. You can use essential oils topically when properly diluted (follow dilution guidelines for a large dog) to treat physical pain, respiratory disease, digestive issues, behavioral conditions, lacerations, muscular conditions, bruising and much more. You can water diffuse essential oils if kept in a small barn, or fan diffusers for large barns or more open areas. If a horse turns away from an essential oil when they smell it, they are telling you they do not prefer or need that oil.
Essential Oils for Dogs, Cats & Large Animals
Birds are extremely sensitive to chemical fragrances, and using scented air fresheners or candles with synthetic essential oils can be very dangerous. However, they can thrive when exposed properly to essential oils. A water-based diffuser is the best way to introduce your birds to oils. Start with three drops of essential oil to see how it is tolerated. You can increase if necessary. To use topically on birds, dilute essentials oils in water only. Birds seem to respond best to a blend of oils for any health needs.
Tinctures are potent herbal extracts that can quickly provide healing properties to your pets and are the safest way to administer herbal medicines. You can create strong teas if your pet won’t take a tincture or to avoid the alcohol content of herbal tinctures. Use 2 tablespoons of herb per 16 ounces of water, mix in a pot; cover and simmer slowly simmer to a boil. Take off heat and then let it sit for four hours. Do not strain the tea. Store in a jar covered with a paper towel and rubber band to hold in it in place, as it is best for air to flow through the tea. For a 30-pound animal give two tablespoons twice be day. Because of their earthy taste and smell, most pets will eat them when mixed with their food, even cats! Dosing should be compatible with your pet’s weight. It is more effective to administer several doses throughout the day than doing one large dose of any herbal tincture. As with humans, no herbs should be taken on a continuous basis, as their bodies will build a natural immunity. Using an herbal remedy for two weeks, and then taking one week off is recommended. Just about any herbal remedy you use for yourself can be applied to your pet. Do NOT give white willow to cats or dogs, as they are allergic to its active ingredient salycin. Toxic herbs for cats are marigold, pennyroyal, and red clover. Wormwood is toxic to horses.