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Are Essential Oils Safe For Pets?

Are Essential Oils Safe For Pets?

Your pets can also benefit from essential oils, but beware, only some of them. Some types of essential oils are great for dogs, but in general, essential oils should not be used on cats. Unlike dogs and humans, cats do not have the liver enzyme glucuronyl transferase that allows us to metabolize essential oils.

You may come across claims that certain types of essential oils can be used by cats, but the vast majority of reports state the exact opposite. That's why we prefer not to take risks. Since the cat's organism cannot metabolize essential oils, we simply do not expose the cat to substances it cannot handle.

Therefore, today's article is mainly about essential oils and their use for dogs. Many of the same essential oils that you enjoy using on yourself can also be used on your dog when diluted properly. However, consult your veterinarian first before giving essential oils to your pet, especially if they have any specific health problems, and take the instructions in today's article as general recommendations for animals without special needs. If you have other types of pets (e.g., birds or ferret), it is best to check with your vet first if such animals can come into contact with essential oils. Whether you use essential oils or not is up to you. But do it responsibly.

Proper Dilution of Essential Oils for Dogs
Essential oils are very strong. Some of them we humans can tolerate in their undiluted form (lavender, for example), but this is almost never true for dogs (and probably not for any other pet that your vet has otherwise approved). Dogs are much more sensitive than us, so essential oils must always be properly diluted.

In general, less is more. Recipes for topically applied essential oils for dogs should be diluted to an average of 2%, maximum 3% of the total content of the product. This means that for every 2 or 3 parts of essential oil, there should be 99 parts of diluent, usually a carrier oil. A 1% dilution is required for inhalation.

Shampoo with essential oils for sensitive dogs
Bathing a dog can be difficult in itself, but if he doesn't like the shampoo you use, he can get quite upset. This is especially true for dogs with an extremely sensitive sense of smell. Regular shampoo can be quite irritating to a dog's nose.

This gentle homemade shampoo recipe will make your dog (and you too) have a good time:

5 cups water (soft, filtered)
4 tablespoons castile soap (unscented)
4 tablespoons jojoba oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops rosemary essential oil
2 drops grapefruit essential oil
2 drops citronella
essential oil 1 drop cedarwood essential oil

Mix all these ingredients well in a bowl and then pour into the bottle. It won't be as thick as most shampoos you're probably used to, but the castile soap will create a lather.

A fairly similar recipe with diluted castile soap is also used in homemade shampoos for human consumption, so you can easily wash your head with it. Castile soap is gentle, it is produced by saponifying vegetable oils and is very versatile, it can be used to make many different products.

Because this product does not contain preservatives, due to the content of the aqueous component, it should be used as soon as possible, or prepare an adequate amount just for the size of your dog and the amount of fur you need to wash. (But otherwise, the dosage of the Cosgard preservative is 19 drops per 100 g of the finished product, if you want to store it for longer than a week somewhere on a shelf. However, it is better to always make a fresh dose for your dog.).
If your dog will smell even this gentle preparation and has a tendency to overpower the smell with something, the essential oil can be completely omitted and only diluted Castile soap can be given.

Natural collar against fleas and ticks
If overpriced flea collars get on your nerves, don't work, and bother your dog, you can try this natural alternative. It's disgustingly cheap and will look pretty cute on your pooch. Here is the procedure:

A cotton scarf of your choice (or a suitable piece of cotton linen)
2 cups of water
5 drops of lavender essential oil
2 drops of lemongrass essential oil
1 drop of cedarwood essential oil
Pour water into a bowl, then add essential oils. Mix it up. Insert the scarf, let it soak and then let it dry. After drying, it can be put on your dog's neck.

You can find or invent a lot of similar instructions. Let the animal tell you what it prefers. If your dog doesn't seem to respond well to a certain recipe, don't use it. Just like us, animals have their preferences.


Translation by CrystalWind.ca

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© Alue K. Loskotová, www.aluska.org 2022

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