Do you have a best friend, or maybe two (or perhaps more)? I have a few best friends and they are the three beautiful kittens that I adopted. At times, they do take a lot of work like taking care of small little children!
Have you ever encountered a situation in which the vet’s prescriptions for your pets don’t work well on them? Or perhaps if you are an essential oil user, you’re just dying to know if you can use any of your oils on your pets, or wanting to know if there are any essential oils that are harmful to your furry friends? If you do, then be rest assured, for you are about to find out the beneficial and harmful essential oils for your pets.
High-quality essential oils can greatly benefit your pets. Many essential oils for dogs and other pets have emotional benefits as well as physical benefits. Because essential oils are lipid soluble, they can be absorbed into cells through the cell membrane. But first of all, it is important to know what kind of oil or ingredients that your pets are compatible or incompatible with.
Essential oils can safely be used around dogs and other pets and they can receive the benefit from them in many different ways. With large animal herbivores such as cows, horses, sheep and goats, diluted essential oils can be applied topically to the area of concern or along the spine, similar to how you would apply them to a human, and they are both safe and effective. However, with small animals such as cats and dogs, you do have to be a bit more careful.
First of all, why don’t we venture the possible harmful and toxic essential oils for pets?
Starting off with CATS, below are some of the essential oils that can be harmful for they have a high content of phenol, ketone and D-Limonene:
- Sweet Birch
- Tea Tree
As for DOGS, avoid using:
- Juniper Berry
- Sweet Birch
- Tea Tree
The list provided is not all-inclusive of the essential oils that may be harmful to your furry friends. Please ask your veterinarian regarding the essential oils that can be used as different animals may react differently to each oil. If your pet has symptoms of essential oil poisoning such as squinting, excessive drooling, scratching, increased breathing rate, muscle tremor, pawing on face or mouth, redness, vomiting and lethargy, please take your pets to the veterinary clinic immediately.
Although the list may have given the impression that none of the essential oils is safe for your friend, fret not, for there are some essential oils that you can actually use on them too! However, humans have a much higher tolerance for phenol in essential oils, though they are usually recommended to be used at a 1% dilution, animals will require a higher dilution rate.
Essential Oils that are Safe for Cats
1. Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil
Often made without phenol, cedarwood atlas essential oil is essentially safe for your cats, though you should always check the label of contents before use. Cedarwood Atlas essential oil has been proven to be lethal to adult fleas. After giving your kitty a flea bath, try adding a drop or two of diluted cedarwood atlas essential oil into their collar in order to prevent future flea infestations. Additionally, you can use cedarwood atlas essential oil in spray for fabrics in order to kill the fleas as they are hatching, by adding 5 drops of cedarwood atlas essential oil in a 100ml water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture on your cat’s fur, avoiding the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and tail.
2. Sweet Basil Essential Oil
Sweet basil essential oil is not only a fragrant plant usually used in many culinary dishes but it is also great at fighting odour with its natural anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties. This oil is an effective essential oil to be used as an air freshener and is safe to use around your cats.
3. Peppermint Essential Oil
Much like cedarwood, peppermint essential oil is great for keeping fleas and other pests at bay without harming your kitty. Fill up a spray bottle with water and mix in 2-3 drops of peppermint oil. As usual, don’t spray it directly on your cat, but rather around the furniture, bedding and carpet where your cats usually hang out at. You can also dip a flea comb into the diluted mixture and then comb it through your cat’s fur.
4. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary baths can be a wonderful flea control for your kitty! Most prefer to mix 1 or 2 drops into a pitcher, pour the mixture over your cat, and let it dry without rinsing. However, if your cat hates water (like most other cats), consider using it alongside cedarwood essential oil on your cat’s collar with the spray. Apart from cedarwood, you can also add 4 drops of geranium essential oil to one cup of rosemary, and spray on cat’s fur, avoiding the face.
Essential Oils that are Safe for Dogs
1. Cedarwood Atlas Essential Oil
Just like cats, cedarwood atlas essential oil is also safe to be used for dogs! Due to its lethality for fleas, cedarwood atlas essential oil can also be used after giving your doggie a flea bath, at about 2-3 drops on its collar to expel fleas. Dogs can use slightly more drop due to their larger size compared to cats.
2. Helichrysum Essential Oil
Helichrysum essential oil is a magical antidote to anything irritant, offensive or anything that bites, including to dogs! Particularly for dogs who tend to vomit, it is good for their liver and digestive process, as well as clears mucus from lungs and support immune function.
3. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon is uplifting and clarifying, it clears confusion, increases trust in self and others and is useful with dogs who have moved homes a lot. House moving will cause anxiety, restlessness, sadness or even depression to dogs. As lemon essential oil is a photosensitising oil when exposed to sunlight. Just like humans, dogs are capable of suffering for burns, inflammation, redness and sensitisation when exposed to the sun. Diffuse lemon essential oil at home to calm them down instead.
4. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is a universal oil that can be mixed with any oil. While it is useful to calm your pups and felt like they’re in a safe space, it can also help with allergies, burns, ulcers, insomnia, car ride anxiety, car sickness and many more.
For getting rid of tick and fleas on your dogs, add one drop of lavender, grapefruit, eucalyptus, geranium and lemongrass essential oil into a spray bottle that has been filled with 2 tablespoons of sweet almond carrier oil and 250 ml of distilled water. Shake well before use.
To make an anxiety spray for your restless doggie, mix one drop of lavender, frankincense and vetiver essential oil into a bottle spray that has been filled with 100ml of distilled water. Mist the mixture on your dog’s back, toys, bedding or diffuse in the home while you’re away.
You can also make an anxious collar for your dog by dropping 2 drops of frankincense, lavender and vetiver directly on their collar.
After identifying which essential oils that are safe and harmful for your cats and dogs, let’s recap a few important pointers when using essential oils with your pets.
- Always dilute your essential oils, and never apply topically on their fur or skin.
- Smaller pets always require more dilution than 1%. Consult your veterinarian on the safe dilution rate for your furry friend prior to use.
- Search for any behaviour changes on your pets that might indicate they have essential oil poisoning. If they show any symptom, take them to the veterinary clinic immediately.
- Avoid essential oils with phenol, ketone and D-limonene for cats, and other essential oils that may be harmful to both cats and dogs.
- Always seek advice from your vet on which essential oils that your paw friends can use or which that needs to be avoided. After all, you don’t want to harm your best friend.
Happy trying natural remedies using essential oils on your kitties and doggies! Hope they will stay equally happy and healthy with essential oils!
Happy International Pet Day!