Using Essential Oils for Your Pet
So, here's what I'm thinking. Lately I've been giving a lot of thought to taking a more holistic approach to my personal wellness. I'm not one to go overboard with life style changes, but I'm willing to make little changes for the better. Take mosquito repellent for instance... I hate to spray it on me! I don't like the way it feels or the idea that I'm absorbing who knows what into my skin. And if even the tiniest mist gets on my lip, BLETCH! So I found an essential oil mixture that repels mosquitoes. I think I can feel good about using lavender and patchouli so I plan to replace the chemicals with oils. I've learned that the quality of the essential oil really matters. And if you play around with them for a minute, you can "feel" the difference. Always look for certified therapeutic grade essential oils and don't settle for less.
Along this line of thinking, it occurred to me that perhaps I can use this holistic approach on my dogs as well. What if I could make their life a bit happier and healthier? I learned first and foremost that one should be careful with what we treat our furry friends with. Some essential oils are not easily tolerated by dogs and should not be used for any reason. Tea tree (melalueca) oil, pine oil, clove oil, and pennyroyal oil were some that jumped out at me that should never be used on your pet. Some of the research I read pointed to supposed "dangers" of lavender while other research promoted the benefits of lavender for our pets. I think the best advise here is to observe caution with the use of any oil much as we would for ourselves. Start with applying just a little and any time you are applying it directly always dilute the needed oil with fractionated coconut oil to achieve the desired effect. Remember that good quality (certified therapeutic grade) essential oils are potent and a little goes a long way. It is said that a dogs smell is about 20x more sensitive than ours, so you might not smell your pets bed sprayed with a few drops lemongrass, cedar wood or thyme mixed with water to repel fleas, but your pet does! So take is easy and find what works.
FLEA COLLAR RECIPE
Just to get you started I want to share some ideas I learned on making a homemade holistic flea collar. It's so simple and easy to make and so much kinder than those nasty plastic chemical filled flea collars that we buy over the counter. Start with a couple of nice soft material type collars that you can throw in the wash or maybe some colorful bandanas (you can cut them down to size with pinking shears if you need to). In a small glass container mix well a 1/2 tsp tsp cider vinegar (up to a teaspoon for bigger collars) with a two or three drops each of insect repelling oils such as cedarwood, citronella, and lemongrass (other good choices might include eucalyptus, geranium, thyme, peppermint or lavender). Only mix two or three oils and only use two or three drops of each oil. Pour this mixture over the collar and allow it to dry before putting it on your pet. You'll want to change it out about once a week and throw the used one in the wash. You can make up more than one at a time, just store the extras in a glass jar with a good lid.
You can find essential oils just about anywhere but remember, you get what you pay for. Inexpensive oils might smell pretty, but that's about it. If you want the best (based on my experience), you can order it here. And check back here at Dolly Dot's Corner for more ideas and tips to give your pet the best!!