Updated: Feb 5, 2019
Tips for keeping your pets safe as you enhance your life
In the state where I live the winters can get brutally cold; the wind-chill was an eye-popping -55 f last night. During these winter months, many people choose to stay in their homes until it warms up, and those who use essential oils to better their lives are utilizing them for aromatherapy, as an additive in cleaning supplies, and massage oils even more right now.
The down side of this is a lot of people don’t realize many of the essential oils we love are very toxic and can be poisonous for our beloved pets. Even if we don’t use essential oils directly on pets, it’s important to know which oils can have harmful effects.
Having worked in the animal profession as a Professional Pet Groomer in multiple salons including a high-end veterinary clinic and boarding facility for several years, and now as an Animal Communicator and Healer, I have a lot of experience with this topic and have seen first hand how holistic treatments are becoming more prominent with our pets. Whether it is looking for relief from emotional and behavioral problems or treating physical health issues, essential oils are being chosen as a natural, holistic option for consumers.
This is something I have become very conscious of in my own life, as I make and use my own blends of oils. I rub my “Healing” blend on the palms of my hands before I preform energy healings on my clients. Now that I have a cat in the house, I make sure to always wash my hands before petting him. I also communicate my clients that purchase my products that they should avoid using them on their pets. Even if there isn’t anything specifically toxic to pets, oils are extremely concentrated and can still be harmful. Always exercise caution. Every pet can have unique sensitivities and allergies…just as people do.
When I started making holistic infusions for my horses’ arthritic joints, I made sure to research which plant extracts to stay away from as the substances went directly on her joints and soothed the pain and inflammation when acupuncture, steroid injections, and laser treatment fell short of providing help.
I witnessed this at a barn during my time as a riding instructor and horse trainer. My friend wanted to show off her new stable to me. The owners had been using essential oils in the mares barn to help alleviate “marish” attitudes, but the horses were refusing to eat any hay and getting crankier as well as a few with mild cases of colic. I "asked" one of the horses what was going on and the mare replied that the oil was all over all the hay… making it taste bad and giving them a stomach ache. They turned off the diffuser and everything returned to normal.
*Here are a couple tips to keep your pets safe with the use of essential oils.
1.Know Your Oil Diffusers
It is important if you have indoor pets to know how the oil or fragrance is being distributed. There are a large variety of diffusers and some of them actually spray a fine mist into the air. Its great for aroma therapy, however if the oil is toxic to pets not only are they breathing it in, but it can get on their skin, fur, in their eyes, etc. If your pet licks their fur or paws, they are ingesting it as well. Plus, the oil eventually settles on carpet and furniture, which pets comes into contact with. Even if you haven’t seen any negative reaction to the oils you are using, keep in mind the small amounts they are in contact with can build up over time, making them sick as they have prolonged exposure.
The safest diffusers
Evaporative Essential Oil Diffusers. With these diffusers a couple drops of oil is heated (usually in a ceramic or terracotta diffuser) and the scent spreads as the water and oil mixture evaporates. The oil is also diluted in the water making it safer for pets. These diffusers can be electric or use a candle as a heat source. These are not an optimal approach to achieve the therapeutic benefits of oil for us; however it can be used in combination with other pet safe methods of use. Like adding it to our own baths, food, steam bath, message, etc.
Reed Diffusers- These use rattan sticks which allows the oil travel to the top of the stick and scent the room. The same drawbacks exist in this method as the one above, but you can use this method in conjunction with other methods.
Some caution needed
Electric Diffusers-These diffuse oil by a fan blowing across either a water and oil mixture or a pad with oil on it which blows oil into the air. With this method a small amount of oil is misted into the air.
Use the most caution
Ultra-sonic Diffusers use frequency and vibration to create a fine mist that is released in to the air.
Nebulizer Diffusers are the most dangerous for pets. They spray full strength essential oil into the air after breaking down the molecules which makes it easier to absorb the oil.
2. Know Which Oils Are Toxic To Pets
This is just a short list of some popular oils that are toxic to cats (cats are more sensitive than dogs to oils) and dogs. Please research and speak to your veterinarian before using any oils on or around your pets.
-Tea Tree (also known as Melaleuca)
3. Know the warning signs
Observing these behaviors in your pet could be the result of exposure to toxins.
-Sneezing and coughing
-Pawing at the face
-Ataxia (uncoordinated gate)
-Low body temperature
-Changes in appetite/won’t touch their food
Prolonged exposure and symptoms can cause health issues such as ulcers, pneumonia, liver and renal failure, and even death.
If you think your pet may be experiencing any of the symptoms of poisoning, please call your vet immediately.
Another thing to keep in mind is even if the oils aren’t harmful to your pet, they have preferences just like people. I had a client call and ask me why her dog was no longer sleeping in bed with her at night. He had always slept at the foot of her bed but now he avoids her room at all costs. She was worried the room might be haunted. Nope, he told me he really missed sleeping with her and he was actually depressed about it…but he couldn’t stand the smell! She recently had started using essential oils in her humidifier to help her sleep. Once she stopped using the oils, he was back every night at her feet.
Animals senses, especially the sense of smell, are much more sensitive then ours. So a light refreshing scent to us may be an assault on the senses to them. We want our homes to be comfortable and inviting to them, as much as for any other member of the family.
Although essential oils can help your pet, please be studious and educate yourself on the best way to use them and which oils are safe. Overall, The best medicine is preventive care.
Allie Maurer is an International Spiritual Teacher that uses her abilities as a Psychic, Medium, and Healer to empower others on their own journeys. Through Private Sessions, Spiritual Mentorship, Life-Coaching and Events; she teaches clients around the globe how to embrace their path, move beyond fear and blocks, and powerfully create the vibrant life they desire. Discover why thousands of people around the world turn to her for guidance...
She also adores working with animals
as an Animal Communicator and Animal Healer!
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