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Essential Oils: A Better Way To Help Treat Common Pet Problems Naturally

This week’s guest writer is a BARF World member named Karla Ely, who wrote us last week about the amazing work she’s seen done with the use of essential oils in healing pets and people.

As the incidence of chronic disease rises in both people and animals, folks are increasingly turning to naturopathic remedies. Because of their effectiveness, lack of negative side effect and ease of use, Essential Oils are quickly becoming the “rising star” of this revolution in healthcare.

Essential Oils (EO’s) can be used with nearly every species of animal – one needs only to keep in mind the factors of “how much, how often, how delivered”. Dogs, cats, birds, horses, rabbits, and even fish – all can benefit from the use of EO’s.

Let’s consider some of the more common situations that pet owners face and how oils can alleviate/resolve them.

Essential Oils Can Be Used to Treat Common Pet Problems

Whether it’s their feet, their butts, or any other part that they can reach, dogs do LICK. The first thing to do is to determine WHY they are licking:

Do they have something lodged in their foot? If so, remove it and apply a drop of Melrose oil to speed up healing and prevent infection.

Do they have a fungal infection between their toes? This can be determined by looking for the telltale “rings” at the base of the nail. You can apply Oregano oil to the affected area to kill the fungus.

Fungal infections are also a common reason why dogs lick their butts and it is generally NOT impacted anal glands. Oregano oil will work great in this instance as well but it should be diluted with a high-grade vegetable oil to prevent irritating the tender skin in this area (5 parts Oregano oil to 1 part Vegetable oil).

Perhaps your dog is licking out of boredom – EO’s can be used to ease a wide variety of emotional issues including anxiety, fear, or trauma (easy application methods are given later in this article).

How about chronic ear infections in cats or dogs? In cats, ear mites are the most common cause of ear problems. Put 1-2 drops of Purification oil on a cotton swab and wipe inside the ear once a day (PLEASE NOTE: Oils should NEVER be dropped directly into the ear – yours or your pets!)

Mites are less common in dogs – ears problems with them generally result from allergies or bacterial infections. If of a bacterial nature, start with the same “ear swab” protocol that is used for cats, but additional oils can be included. The ear canal of dogs is long and L-shaped; for that reason you should continue administering oils even after the ear issues appear to be remedied. Many chronic ear infections in dogs are not “recurring” but are the SAME infection that was never completely resolved.

Molly – A True Essential Oil Success Story

Allergies involve more complex issues and treatment; which brings me to the story of Molly.

I volunteer with a dog rescue group and was asked to help a dog, named Molly. Her owner was about to turn her in to the shelter because of chronic diarrhea (usually indoors), aggression towards the other family dog and baby, and the high cost of her monthly prescriptions.

Starting with the most common reason for allergies, I suggested that Molly be put on a grain-free diet. I also asked that all familiar toxins be removed from the environment (spray aerosols, perfumes, carpet cleaning agents, etc). Molly had been prescribed steroids, which have many negative side effects. As an alternative to these, I mixed up a “blend” of oils in a spray bottle that Molly’s mom could just spray on her back and “pet in” with her hand – all in 15 seconds.

Fast-forward two weeks: Molly had a firm stool, was off the prednisone (her mom consulted with the vet on this), lost the weight that the steroids caused her to gain, and her hair was growing back! She was also in a much better mood…though still didn’t like to be bothered during her nap.

Essential Oils: How-To

So how do you apply these oils? This can vary greatly, but will be most closely governed by the breed of animal and “what they will allow”. Cats are some of the most sensitive pets and the least likely to “allow” treatment so I recommend using a diffuser. Put 8-10 drops of oil in a water diffuser and letting it run (it goes 24/7 in my home) to deliver the benefits of the oils to everyone in the house.

Dogs are easier to treat. Put a couple drops in the palm of your hand and pet your dog or mix it in with their food (all oils are safe for internal use). When treating the warts on my dog, I dropped a single drop of Clove oil directly onto each wart and rubbed it in.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using essential oils for your pets. EO’s have been used to treat cancerous tumors, heart issues, and other severe medical conditions. You can even use them in combination with any current treatments you may be using as EO’s are safe, noninvasive, and never counter indicative.

Writer’s Note: The recommendations outlined above refer to the use of Young Living oils, which are “medicinal grade”. I do not advocate the use of another brand (though there may be other brands on the market) because I have no experience with them. If you found this article helpful and want to see more like it, tell Amber! Please email ezine@barfworld.com.

Karla Ely is a naturopath and artist from Pahrump, Nevada. She has a deep love for animals and has two Jack Russell Terriers named Elvis and Priscilla. If you would like to learn more about using Essential Oils with your pets or where to purchase them, please visit Karla’s website: www.elvisnfriendz.com. Visitors can order from the complete Young Living product line, book a consultation, and even view Karla’s “pet art”- all from the comfort of their home!

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2 Comments  comments 

2 Responses

  1. Wow, I was so surprised to see such unsafe use of essential oils with animal published without any safety instructions and such a board term as ‘all essential oils are safe for internal use’! This type of terminology is very common via the multi-level marketing type companies based on marketing terminology such as ‘therapeutic grade’ essential oils (which there is no such grading system for essential oils, or that ‘all’ essential oils are GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the FDA, this again is another form of misinformation used to promote only purchasing certain companies essential oils. Not all essential oils are safe for internal use nor are they all considered GRAS. Essential oils are rarely used internally unless prescribed by a physician for human use for rare issues such as parasites or digestive complaints. There is not enough research or data to date on the use of essential oils internally with animals (let alone a broad statement such as ‘safe for all animals’). Essential oils are extremely potent and must be diluted for use topical for both humans and animals, and with only certain animals (not all animals). There are known cases (do an internet search) of cats having severe reactions to essential oils (even with diffusion)and we certainly would not put drops of essential oils into a fish tank to disrupt the pH levels. There are also contraindications for the use of some essential oils based on the individual’s health history and health conditions-again another broad-based statement that e.oils will not interfere with any existing health issue.

    A lot of this information is circulated via the internet and because certain companies and their distributors (often many without any professional aromatherapy education/training) claim that all e.oils are safe for use with everyone and everybody. It is up to us as caregivers to use common sense and safe use of essential oils for our animal friends. And posting generalized information/statements about internal use without proper education/training and following safety guidelines, scope of practice can lead to liability issues for some.

    I am a registered aromatherapist, certified clinical aromatherapy practitioner for over 20 years and work with both people and animals. I also teach on safe use of essential oils for our animal friends. Please research information based on safety before posting-thus continuing the cycle of misinformation.

    • Hi Kelly and thanks for the comments. We are not experts on the topic of essential oils for dogs and that is why we had a guest writer submit an article for us. If you have any article of your own on essential oils for pets, please let us know as we’d love to post more information about this subject to our readers so that they can make an informed decision on whether to use essential oils for their pets.

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