Aromatherapy and Pets
Olfaction, the act or process of smelling, is a dog's primary special sense. A dog's sense of smell is said to be a thousand times more sensitive than that of humans. In fact, a dog has more than 220 million olfactory receptors in its nose, while humans have only 5 million. As a dog loving society there is already a developing market of aromatherapy doggy goods out there. I have seen dog collar attachments that emit aromatherapy oils, but I do not recommend them. Dogs need to be able to move away from the oils when they have had enough. One whiff may be enough for them.
Cats have a unique physiology, they are known to be deficient in the ability to detoxify certain molecules, particularly some of those found in essential oils. Lack of this important detoxification mechanism in cats may result in slower elimination and thus build-up of the toxic metabolites in the body causing toxicity problems. This may be more evident in pure breeds. This is not to say they cannot benefit from aromatherapy we just need to use low dosages.
Horses depend on their sense of smell the way we depend on language. It allows them to identify their owner at 100 paces and alerts them to the presence of yucky medications in their sweet feed even though you’ve doctored them with herbs, etc! As prey animals, it enables them to be able to detect even the slightest scent of danger on the wind. They’re also quick to detect the "smell of fear" in other animals and in humans.
Dogs - Fleas
Prepare a bowl of warm water and mix in 4 drops of cedarwood or pine and soak a brush that has been prepared with a piece of material (i.e flannel) pulled down over the teeth. This treatment will disinfect the dog, condition the coat and collect the parasites and eggs in the brush – rinse the brush regularly.
Put 5 drops of fennel into 100ml of fennel hydrolat and spray around the pets bed to deter fleas.
Dogs – Skin Irritations
Dogs can be prone to skin allergies, carrier oils and hydrolats can each be used effectively to treat the conditions. Calendula and almond carrier oils can be blended and applied to the skin to soothe irritation.Blend chamomile and rose hydrolats and spray onto inflamed areas. Add thyme essential oil to either of the above for skin infections.
Dogs - Teeth
Dribbling and bad breath often indicate that the dog has dental problems. Teeth should be cleaned regularly.
Baking soda and essential oils are a great way to keep teeth clean and fresh and help to remove tartar. To 2 tablespoons of baking soda add one drop each of clove and aniseed.
Use a fine cloth or a toothbrush and use on the teeth. Give the dog a drink of water afterwards.
The same blends can be used for cats – just be aware you are working with a smaller animal than a dog, so therefore dilutions should be smaller, and only use the blends for a few days and leave at least 48 hours between ‘treatments’. This includes vapourising the essential oils in your home – make sure that the cat can leave the room if it needs to. Hydrolats are much milder and would probably be more appreciated by your cat!
Horses – Flies
Flies can be a problem in stables. To stop horses fretting with these annoying pests, put 3 neat drops of lemongrass or citronella on to the brush you use to brush them down. You could also vapourise lemongrass around the door of the stable or just outside to deter them.
Horses – Hoof Rot
Hoof rot should be treated with hot compresses. Use 1 teaspoon in 100ml carrier oil of the following for each compress:
Chamomile roman 10 drops, Thyme thymol 15 drops, Melissa 5 drops.