Essential Oils For Animals: Learn The Basics

Tapping into the earth’s most powerful botanicals that are thne made into essential oils can benefit not only ourselves, but our pets too. Extracted through careful steam distillation, resin tapping, and cold pressing, the purest essential oils are far more powerful than the botanicals from which they come. Traditionally, essential oils have enhanced lives for thousands of years and this ancient tradition has made its way into modern uses with great success.   For those seeking health solutions, natural living, emotional wellness and spiritual enhancement, the use of essential oils in everyday living can unlock a whole new lifestyle filled with many benefits.

Whether we are using oils for ourselves, our family or our pets, it is of utmost importance to choose quality oils. When I first began using essential oils in a diffuser, I had no idea about quality and purchased some oils at a big retailer. After a couple of uses, there was golden-brown “gunk” in my diffuser that was sticky and required cleaning. I stopped taking the time to use the oils because I didn’t want to clean the diffuser with alcohol every other day so I just let the practice die away. Then I began hearing the ladies at the barn where my horse boards discuss the essential oils they were using on their horses, dogs, themselves, husbands, etc. and as I listened to their stories of success in treating various ailments or enhancing overall wellness and state of mind, I started asking questions and learning more. I was truly impressed by the “naturalness” of the approach because like most people, I want to learn how to get rid of toxins, chemicals and other bad actors that are unfortunately part of our everyday lives. I relayed my experience of the “gunky” oils and quickly learned that I was using synthetic substances rather than 100% pure essential oils. I thought to myself, “Well that is really crazy. I’ve been diffusing chemicals into my household which is the exact opposite of my intentions.” 

I then went on to investigate how to determine the quality of oils and found there are a number of factors to consider:

Botanical origin 

Part of the plant used

Cultivation and harvest techniques

Time of harvest

Method of oil production

Length and method of storage after production. 

One of the primary factors that is super important is the quality of the actual plant. Does the manufacturer know if the farm is truly organic? What is the quality control? 

In the essential oils industry, there is scientific testing that can determine exactly what is in the bottle or if other elements have been added (like almond oil or other carrier oils for example) and reputable companies will have their oils third party tested and release the results. 

Determining quality through the factors above is important so that you know you are working with a pure product that will have the properties of the plant from which they are derived, so do your homework before choosing a brand. 

After researching the subject and trying a few different oils from some of the most-trusted, best reviewed brands, I settled on Young Living because of their Seed to Seal promise. They literally own their farms all over the world and have 100% control over quality. I will say that the high quality oils are not cheap (if an oil is inexpensive, you are most likely getting what you pay for) but these oils are going in my body and my pet’s body so it’s worth paying for the quality. Plus, they are pure enough that only a drop or two is needed in most situations. So, I’m happy to report no more gunk in my diffusers!

Using Oils With Animals

Anytime you use a product on your pet that will be given orally or go into the body via air, you need to know that what you are doing is safe. Some oils are appropriate for topical only, while others are fine for ingestion. Safety also varies by species, by the size of the animal, etc. When I diffuse Lavender at bedtime, I can tell my dog settles down right away and relaxes but I always leave the bedroom door open so that she has a way out if the smell becomes too strong for her. I also have a “senior”dog that was abused before I adopted her, so she is very fearful. I use a blend called Stress Away and I put a drop on my hands, rub them together and then rub just the essence of the oil on her fur each morning. She curls up in her bed next to my feet as I’m working and relaxes. I believe it’s important for her immune system that I do what I can naturally to relieve her fear and anxiety.

I am definitely not an expert on using oils with animals, although I’m learning day by day and I have several really good mentors. As I’ve watched successes with the oils at the barn, I’ve become very interested in how to incorporate this ancient tradition of using the incredible plants that God gave us to live a healthier life. If we just look around, the answers to so many things are right in front of us…nature! 

In an effort to learn more for myself and for any of our readers that are interested in learning about Oils With Animals, PetTalk is hosting a number of classes over the coming months at various locations around Greater Houston. To learn more and sign up for classes (they are limited due to social distancing and safety protocols), visit myyl.com/furtheloveofhealth to sign up in the events section. I would love to meet you and discuss great ideas for keeping our pets healthy…naturally!