Aromatherapy does for animals what it does for humans. And while using aromatherapy on two- or four-legged friends, the human giving the therapy benefits, too. The practice is used to alleviate skin conditions, soothe emotions, treat animals for traumas or pests, and for their general well-being.
According to the AromaWeb, “Aromatherapy is the practice of using volatile plant oils, including essential oils, for psychological and physical well-being.” Life is stressful for animals. Owners’ emotions transfer to pets, no matter which end of the spectrum.
Aromatherapy Do’s and Don’ts
• Be sure to research which herbals are safe for the animal being treated.
• Buy or order herbs, oils, and other supplies from a reputable supplier or company.
• Essential oils should always be diluted before being applied to the skin.
• Some essential oils may cause skin irritation. If possible, perform a skin test.
• “Less is more.” Remember this phrase.
• Some essential oils should not be used in aromatherapy, but only by qualified practitioners.
• Even when treating pets, children should not be allowed in the area, since they may be appealing to them. Children may think they are food.
• Oils are never for internal use, either by mouth or in food.
• Essential oils are flammable, so keep them away from that which may ignite them.
• Keep essential oil or spray out of pets’ eyes.
• Before misting essential oils on pets’ belongings, dilute them.
• In case of accidents, where the oil is spilled on skin, dilute the area with as much vegetable oil or milk as possible. These work better than water.
Canine friends benefit from aromatherapy emotional, physically, and mentally. Properties in essential oils can be antiseptic, anti-microbial, calming, revitalizing, regulating and detoxifying. Dogs may experience some terrifying ordeals in their world outside safe indoor environments. Depending on the recipe, dogs are calmed, sedated, relieved of pain, and energized. Aromatherapy relieves insect bites, bad breath or skin allergies.
Cats are treated differently with aromatherapy. The recipes may never be applied directly on their skin. Instead, they are sprayed around living areas, gently onto cat’s fur, or placed under their noses to smell.
Many horse owners use aromatherapy for their show animals. Herbal essential oils that help equines are the following: basil, bergamot, chamomile, eucalyptus, frankincense, geranium, lavender, lemongrass, and tea tree. Each of these helps or relieves numerous conditions.
The following websites have animal aromatherapy recipes and are written by experts in the field.
http://www.healthyhappydogs.com/Aromatherapy Internationally renowned aromatherapist and alchemist, Francoise Rapp, writes the recipes for this site.
http://www.cyber-spy.com/ebooks/ebooks/Aromatherapy-for-Animals-Part-3-Holistic-Blends-for-Cats-(ebook).pdf Recipes for cats by Francoise Rapp.
http://www.gaitedhorses.net/Articles/Aromatherapy/Aromatherapy.shtml Catherine Bird is a Sydney-based qualified Aromatherapist, Medical Herbalist and Massage Therapist specializing in treating animals.