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Aromatherapy for Pets: The Truth is Out There

George selecting Lemongrass

What you don't know can kill them

Let me start out by saying that even though I took the time to get certified in aromatherapy, I will admit to you that there is not enough scientific information out there regarding essential oils and pets. I base my formulations on my understanding of safe essential oil use for people and from the practices of people who have spent decades working with essential oils and pets: Kristin Leigh Bell and Niyana Morag. Knowing that the skin is the body's largest organ and that what we put on it gets absorbed into the bloodstream, there are special considerations that you should keep in mind when working with your dog and essential oils.

Robert Tisserand, who literally wrote the book on essential oil safety, along with Rodney Young, is founder of the Tisserand Institute. I love checking in there because Tisserand states that his focus is on "new research and scientific findings on the benefits of essential oils using clinical evidence and scientific research." Tisserand has begun an adverse reaction database which you can view here:

I have too tell you, I was surprised to see 2 reactions that ended up with the person being hospitalized for anaphylactic shock-a severe allergic reaction that can kill if you do not get the necessary medical help in time. Both came from using essential oils repeatedly and undiluted.

I have to say that what I see floating around on the internet regarding essential oil use with pets concerns me and pisses me off! There is even a veterinarian (I won't name names) that has marketed her own brand as Veterinarian Grade -(misleading) and makes "kitchen sink" blends of up to 35 different essential oils in one 5ml bottle for your dog or cat. That's not therapeutic blending that's dumping.

Let's talk common sense and safety when it comes to our animals and essential oils:

1. In order to understand how concentrated essential oils are, search a rose or lavender distillation on youtube.

2. According to this PBS special, there are over "300 million olfactory receptors in your dog's nose compared to our 6 million."

Imagine what mixing 35 different oils would do to them! More is not better.

Check out the special here:

3. Allow your dog to select his or her oils by offering the closed bottle to them.

4. Knowing that people have had life-threatening reactions to the overuse, improper use of essential oils,


*Get "recipes" from Pinterest or Facebook groups

*Use essential oils "neat" (undiluted) on your pet

* Use essential oils daily or diffuse nonstop-

*Turn to the internet if you pooch is in peril!

*Think that burning red skin is body detoxification-it is a reaction-see Tisserand blog.

*Get sucked into MLM marketing terms: Therapeutic grade/Veterinarian grade -there is NO governing body that determines essential oils"grades"

*Put essential oils into your pet's water-oil & water don't mix duh. Your pet can't tell you their esophagus is burning.

And please, for God sakes call your vet!

No one can diagnose your dog but a licensed veterinarian. Let me repeat-NO One can diagnose your pet but your veterinarian.

I'm sure there are many more things I want to rant about but I'll save them for another post. Like essential oils & cats ...don't get me started!

Main Idea: If any person can have an allergic reaction to any essential oil-even Lavender-then so can your pet. This is why I urge you to skin patch test before you cover your dog in anything containing essential oils-even my blends. We are all unique individuals and so are our pets. This is why you do not see a lot of generic blends on my site-there is much to consider when using oils with your dog. Of course, I am always here for anyone: dog, cat, person to custom formulate.

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