Aromatherapy and Pets
Introducing & using essential oils with animals
Take extra care when introducing the essential oils to animals. They have a very accurate memory with scents so making sure they have a positive first experience is key! Be certain you are using the best quality essential oils you can afford. I do not recommend using cheap “grocery store” brands of oils in animals for any purpose.
Introducing your animal to essential oils
Open the bottle and smell the essential oil yourself. Tipping the bottle slightly, let a drop “fall” into your hand. Gently rub your palms together and slowly bring your cupped hands near your nose. With your eyes closed, take a deep inhale. What do you think? Rub the excess oil on your arms, chest or stomach. Do not rub on your face. Put the cap back on the bottle and put it where your animal friend can investigate. Be sure to not force the bottle near his sensitive nose. Let him approach in his own way and time. If your animal is wary, that’s ok, they’re just trying to figure it out. Go slowly and do not rush this part!
If your animal is very interested and sniffs/rubs/licks the bottle, they are ready for you to open it! So just open the bottle and offer the cap (not the bottle) for them to smell. Take care to not quickly “force” the cap under their nose, but go slowly and observe their reaction. Give them the chance to inhale (or not) as much as they want.
If they are still very interested you can try 1 drop on their fur. Put this drop in YOUR hands, gently rub them together and pet your animal. Pet in a place that is not near their face, head or nose. Using gentle strokes on their back is usually great.
If at any point, your animal turns their head and leaves the area, take it as a sign that they’ve had enough for the moment. This doesn’t mean they don’t like the oil, it just means they have inhaled enough. This might even be the first sniff. Put the oil away and try it again later. Be respectful but don’t give up quickly.
Smell – best option for the hyper sensitive noses of our animal friends: open bottle slightly or fully in the room (for smaller animals – put in center of the room so they can move closer or leave the room if they don’t want to be that close)
Put on hands, tissue or cotton ball: let animals smell (do not force right under nose)
Put on bedding or towel: let animal choose to be there
Spritz bottle: distilled or spring water, 3-5 drops of essential oil. Shake and spritz.
Diffuse: cold air diffuser – do not heat oils
You can apply calming essential oils to yourself first if the animal is jittery. Let the animal become accustomed to the smell.
Topical: (not in eyes, ears or “sensitive” spots)
You can apply the oils to the fur or feathers. These act as a wick and pull the essential oil into the body. Sometimes, you can also apply them directly to the skin, but be sure to observe any reaction the animal may have. Never repeatedly apply in the same spot if you see a reaction on the skin.
Ooops. I put it on and they don’t like it: DO NOT try to wash it off with soap and water. Oil and water don’t mix so if you put an oil on your pet (or too much) and they are uncomfortable, applying soap and water will make the experience MORE intense. Apply a small amount of carrier oil/fatty oil like olive, almond, coconut or sesame. Then use a towel to blot it off. Keep your pet calm since it is likely uncomfortable. The carrier oil will help the essential oil absorb more slowly making the experience less irritating.
Daily Use: Animals get a lot of benefit from just smelling the oils. Putting a drop on your hands and rubbing it in their coat is usually a great way to use them daily. Keep in mind, they might not need it every single day. Use your best judgment and be respectful of what your animals “tells” you. For the average dog, 1-2 drops is usually a good starting point.
Diffuse! The best option of using essential oils around your pet is to purchase a diffuser specifically made for essential oils. This way your pet can choose to be near the diffsuer or to be in another room away from the scent.
To learn more or to get a private consultation guiding you to which essential oils would be best for your pet and to schedule a private consultation: use this link.