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What's That Wonderful Smell?!

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If you've never thought of aromatherapy as being a treatment for dogs, you might want to think again! Aromatherapy treats the whole body (human or canine) - both emotionally and physically.Essential oils have antiseptic, anti-microbial, calming, revitalizing, regulating and detoxifying properties... this is as true for dogs as it is for humans.Used properly, they're a safe, gentle, effective and a side-effect-free way to treat a whole host of doggy problems including anxiety or fear, allergies, skin conditions, joint health, liver function and much more.

The Romans, ancient Egyptians, ancient Greeks and the Chinese had a very sound understanding of how aromatic flowers/herbs and plants could be used to their benefit, and humans have used this natural treatment for centuries. Applying it to the canine world is a much more recent invention, but one that is growing in popularity.Many veterinary practices are beginning to recognize the benefits of alternative practices which include acupuncture, herbal remedies, aromatherapy and more.So are pet health insurance companies who are now including many of these treatments in their coverage/plans.

How Aromatherapy for Dogs Works

Aromatherapy works by stimulating the limbic system of the brain (this is the part of the brain that controls moods and emotions), which is why it's so effective in eliminating feelings of stress, anxiety, fear, anger etc.Aromatherapy oils can be inhaled, or absorbed through the skin (and occasionally taken internally).

Depending on the specific oil, or combination of oils being used, they can be:

  • Calming
  • Sedating
  • Pain Relieving
  • Energizing
  • Rejuvenating
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti-viral
  • Repelling Insects....... and more.

Using Aromatherapy for Dogs

If your dog has a fearful or anxious personality or gets stressed out when you take him on a road trip or let off 4th of July fireworks, then an aromatherapy oil that promotes a feeling of calm relaxation can work wonders.

Aromatherapy for dogs is also often used to treat....

  • Hyperactivity or aggressive behavior
  • Separation Anxiety and nervousness
  • Rashes, burns or minor skin irritations - including those caused by dog allergies
  • Parasites such as fleas and ticks, flies or mosquitoes.
  • Joint problems including arthritis and growing pains
  • Bad breath........ and many others.

They can also be used as 'preventative maintenance', keeping certain physical systems (such as the digestive tract, liver, immune system etc.) healthy.Dogs have a much more acute sense of smell than we humans do (with over 2 million scent receptors in their nasal passages!), and when they inhale the aroma of essential oils, it passes into their bloodstream very quickly.This makes aromatherapy a fast-acting and efficient way to treat a variety of conditions.

Generally dog aromatherapy essential oils are massaged into your furry friend’s skin - and what dog doesn't enjoy a nice massage!Depending on what condition is being treated you may need to target a particular area of the body, such as the spine and specific joint, or the belly (the ultimate belly rub?). Other times a gentle all-over massage can do the trick.To get the maximum benefit of the oil (and prevent an oily coat) concentrate on the hairless or least hairy areas such as the belly, inner legs and thighs.Often aromatherapy oils are incorporated into other dog care products such as shampoos, conditioners, 'spritzers' etc.

There are also other ways that you can use dog aromatherapy oils to help your pup. Heating the oil blend and releasing it into the air in tiny particles, over a sustained period of time, can help the effects last longer.Although some oils can be taken internally, or placed on your dogs' tongue, only do this if the instructions SPECIFICALLY advise this, because many essential oils are highly concentrated and can be dangerous, even toxic, if ingested.

Some of the more popular essential oils that are generally considered to be safe for dog aromatherapy include:

  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Clary Sage
  • Eucalyptus
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Marjoram
  • Niaouli
  • Peppermint
  • Rose
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood
  • Sweet Orange
  • Valerian
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang

It's also a good idea to check with your veterinarian before using any sort of natural remedy on your dog.

If you’re ready to start incorporating some essential oils into your dog’s environment, start with Phoebe’s Aromatherapy products for pets AND people! This line of essential oil products includes multi-use sprays, candles, spot-cleaning soaps and a honey butter salve great for paws, noses and hot spots. These all-natural products are all safe for use on dogs, on people and in and around your home. Available in five different scents that not only smell amazing but also deliver the good and positive effects of essential oil to you, your pup and your home. All products are available in the following formulas:

  • Lavender, Chamomile and Vanilla – relaxing, calming & comforting
  • Eucalyptus, Mint & Cucumber – revive, restore & awaken
  • Lemongrass, Sage & Sea Salt – for clarity, purity & balance
  • Sweet Orange, Ginger & Honey – uplift, joy & refresh
  • Rose, Cedarwood & Patchouli – promotes inner peace, healing & grounding

For more info, visit the website: www.phoebesaromatherapy.com

*Phoebe’s Aromatherapy is not for use on cats.

DON’T USE THESE OILS

There are some essential oils that you do NOT want to use on your dog. They include:

  • Birch
  • Camphor
  • Oregano
  • Cassia
  • Pennyroyal
  • Wintergreen
  • Clove
  • Wormwood

You want to be sure that your pet is perfectly healthy and that he doesn't have any health conditions that could interact with essential oils in a negative way.Don't use dog aromatherapy to treat very young puppies, very old dogs, those who may be pregnant or are nursing pups. In all these situations (and if your puppy or dog is sick), ALWAYS consult your vet before undertaking any sort of treatment, natural or otherwise.

Aromatherapy has many, many safe benefits for your pooch, but it should never be used to replace regular veterinary care. It's in your dog’s best interest to use canine aromatherapy as a complementary treatment, alongside any mainstream therapies or medications prescribed by your vet.If you follow all these safety precautions, dog aromatherapy can prove to be a wonderful, pleasant way to help your dog stay happy and healthy.

Cats are extremely sensitive to essential oils, so please never use aromatherapy on your cat without discussing it fully with your vet first!