Essential oils for pets

If you have already had the chance to discover the effectiveness of aromatherapy on yourself, and you are an animal lover like us, I imagine that it has already crossed your mind to use essential oils on your fur balls (or feathers?). Between ticks, warts, digestive or articular problems, they are unfortunately not spared. This is a good intention, but you should still take some precautions before relieving Kiki's back problems with Gaultheria. As with medications, and even food, something that you enjoy or that has worked wonders on you may not be safe for your pet. Aromatherapy can nevertheless represent a very interesting complement to relieve the small problems of your protégés. To guide you, we will give you some indications on the use of essential oils on your animals. Between precautions of use and physiological precisions, here is a small file to better prepare you!

Some useful essential oils for animals

Here is a non-exhaustive list of essential oils that can have beneficial effects on your pets' disorders (except for cats, which are a special case!):

  • The Basilisk: antispasmodic and anti-infectious, it will be able to act on gastric disorders;
  • The Cinnamon: anti-infectious and anti-parasitic, it could be used in case of intestinal infections, warts, or as a dewormer ;
  • The Atlas Cedar: anti-inflammatory, insect repellent and anti-parasitic;
  • The Citronella: very good repellent, it will be able to scare away gnats, mosquitoes, fleas and other small insects ;
  • The Clove: anti-infectious and analgesic, it may be useful in case of mycosis and dental pain
  • The Eucalyptus Radié: bactericidal, antifungal, antiviral and immunostimulant, will be very useful in case of respiratory problems ;
  • The Genévrier: anti-infectious, draining and anti-rheumatic;
  • The Rosat Geranium: anti-infectious, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory, it has a very good safety ;
  • The Italian Helichrysum: anti-hematoma, healing and circulatory draining;
  • The Lavender Aspic: skin analgesic, anti-infectious and anti-inflammatory, it will be essential to relieve stings and bites ;
  • The Lavender True: antispasmodic, analgesic and healing, it could be used in case of digestive spasms, wounds and dermatitis ;
  • The Peppermint: local analgesic by hypothermia and antispasmodic, it could be very useful in case of motion sickness or indigestion ;
  • The Palmarosa : antibacterial and antifungal, it will be very useful in case of respiratory infections. It is also insecticide and insect repellent ;
  • The Ravintsara: antiviral and antibacterial with a broad spectrum, very immunostimulant also, it is very useful against viral and respiratory infections ;
  • The Romarin cineole: anti-infectious, expectorant and mucolytic ;
  • The Verbenone Rosemary: Liver Protector;
  • The Mountain savory: against lung and intestinal infections ;
  • The Tea Tree: anti-infectious, immunostimulant, anti-parasitic.

Precautions for use

First and foremost, you should not self-medicate your pet. For any therapeutic use, always seek the advice of a veterinarian. The precautions for using essential oils will be the same for humans as for animals, namely:

  • Be sure to check the contraindications.
  • Do not inject essential oils intramuscularly or intravenously.
  • Do not use essential oils on or near the eyes, on anal and vaginal mucous membranes, inside the ears and muzzle. In case of projection in the eye, rinse with vegetable oil.
  • Carry out the allergy test before any use.
  • Do not use essential oils on animals under 3 months of age and pregnant or nursing females.

Here are some ways of administration to be avoided: sublingual route, application on the whole body, suppositories.

The dog and essential oils

It is well known that the dog has a highly developed instinct. Since the dawn of time, he will automatically turn to one or another plant to relieve his troubles. If you are the lucky owner of a canine, have you ever observed him eating grass in case of digestive problems? With essential oils, it's all the same! This makes things much easier, but Warning all the same, some people's instincts can to put it...a bit rusty (dedication to all the owners whose dogs eat everything in sight).

The dog will therefore be the animal on which the use of essential oils will be the easiest. They can be a good alternative to flea or tick treatments, with a little True Lavender, to deworming, thanks to Cinnamon, to fight against stress, etc. ...

How to use essential oils for dogs is going to depend on the way of administration, but more importantly on the weight of your pet. A Chihuahua won't require as many drops as a Great Dane, for example! In order not to make a dosage error and not to take any risk for their health, the advice of a veterinarian will be wise.

The cat and essential oils

We know them capricious, but here more than anywhere else, we will have to be careful with cats! On the one hand, cats will not easily be able to eliminate ingested essential oils, and for good reason: in humans, any compound ingested will be metabolized in the liver, that is to say transformed through various chemical reactions, especially enzymatic. Thus, the compounds will be more soluble and more easily eliminated. The cat, on the other hand, does not have glucoronyltransferase, a liver enzyme found in humans, dogs, and many mammals. It is required in the processing and elimination of phenol compounds, compounds found in many essential oils. It will therefore eliminate them more difficult, but especially more slowly. A duration or a dose too large of essential oils could then overload his liver and lead to risks of behavioral disorders, but especially hepatitis.

On the other hand, the cat has a particular organ called Jacobson's organ. This organ allows him to detect pheromones, chemical substances used as a means of communication, and other volatile molecules. Essential oils, similar to pheromones because of their volatility, will be perceived much more finely by cats than by humans! These are then likely to trigger hypersensitivity reactions (asthma, hypersalivation, regurgitation...) or, again, behavioral disorders.

For all these reasons, the use of essential oils on the cat remains very delicate, but nevertheless possible, and requires the advice of a veterinarian.

If you were wondering about the ferret, know that the precautions of use are exactly the same as for the cat!"

Why are pets more sensitive to essential oils than humans?

Simply because our bodies are quite different from those of animals! Therefore, some essential oils that will benefit our bodies may not benefit theirs for a variety of reasons:

  • First of all, at the level of the 5 senses. We are not going to give you a lecture on animal biology, but let's remember that some senses are much more developed in animals than in us. What will especially interest us is the sense of smell. Indeed,Man is described as microsmatic, which means that his olfaction will be very little developed, compared to dogs or cats for example, which will be macrosmatic. Because of this, animals will be much more sensitive to strong odors than we are! And essential oils and strong odors, generally, it's one and the same.
  • Second big difference: body mass. We can't repeat it enough: it's the dose that makes the poison! To treat a small cold, you will take for example 2 small drops of Eucalyptus Radiata, and it will be more than enough. 2 small drops for 60kg of body mass will be effective, so imagine the effect on a small animal of 4 kilos? In this case, it is better to dilute the essential oils.
  • Finally, and at this level we will talk about common point rather than difference: animals can, like us, be victim of allergies or increased sensitivity to essential oils. Unfortunately, this one is more difficult to detect on them than on us.

Did you know?

The cat has70 million olfactory cells and 20cm² of olfactory mucosa. The dog has 100 to 200 million receptor cells and 160cm² of olfactory mucosa.

The human has 5 million receptor cells and 5cm² of olfactory mucosa.

Some good aromatherapy recipes for dogs and cats

Fleas and ticks (spraying)

Take your empty bottle, and add :

  • 100 drops of Tea Tree essential oil.
  • 100 drops of True Lavender essential oil.
  • 50 drops of Clove essential oil.
  • 50 drops of Lemongrass essential oil.
  • 25 mL of modified pharmaceutical alcohol
flea and tick repellent with essential oils.

Cat litter box odors

Take your empty bottle, and add :

  • 60 drops of Lavandin super essential oil.
  • 10 drops of Field Mint essential oil.
  • 20 drops of Lemon essential oil.
  • 30 drops of essential oil of Scots Pine.
Cat litter deodorizer with essential oils.

Natural dewormer for dogs

Take your empty bottle, and add :

  • 30 drops of Cinnamon essential oil.
  • 15 drops of Green Oregano essential oil.
  • 20 drops of Tea Tree essential oil.
  • 10 drops of Roman Chamomile essential oil.
  • 60 drops (3mL) of Wheat Germ vegetable oil.
dewormer for dogs with essential oils.

Rheumatism in dogs (arthritis)

Take your empty bottle, and add :

  • 40 drops of Scented Wintergreen essential oil.
  • 30 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus essential oil.
  • 20 drops of Romarin Camphor essential oil.
  • 10 drops of Scots pine essential oil.
  • 60 drops of St. John's wort oil macerate.
relieve rheumatism in dogs with essential oils.