Is aromatherapy safe for pets?

Once I began teaching workshops regarding aromatherapy a common question kept coming up. Can I use this with my pets? My opinion is utilizing complimentary care is always a good idea for anyone whether it is human or animal, but I honestly wasn’t sure how safe it would be to use essential oils with our animal friends.

This question has put me on a quest to understand the benefits of complementary and alternative options for our animal friends. I will always advise you to seek veterinary care, but wanted to find out a better answer. I began studying animal aromatherapy with my amazing instructor Kelly Holland Azzaro and have discovered that there are many options available.

Animal aromatherapy truly encompasses more than just the use of essential oils. As I share in my article about the definition of aromatherapy it truly is the use of aromatic plants in a variety of forms. I have been fortunate throughout my studies to work with a large variety of animals from small bunnies all the way up to large horses. Each animal brought me a deeper understanding of viewing a concern from all aspects, both internal and external. Since animals can not communicate it is important to spend some time really getting to know them.

Aromatherapy works on all levels of an animal including the physical, emotional, conditional and spiritual. Animals have a strong sense of smell, much stronger than humans so extra caution is required when using aromatherapy. They can’t tell us what they like or don’t like so being able to pay attention to the physical cues is important. I have been fortunate to volunteer at Celestial Farms, a farm animal rescue, and have really been able to learn the personality and cues of all the animals. When I work with clients I offer them a list of things to watch for. Each animal is different and will respond to holistic care differently.

Ultimately, the answer is yes, aromatherapy does work for animals*. I would advise you to take it slowly, work with a qualified holistic veterinarian or animal aromatherapist whenever possible. Always remember that this is a complimentary health care option and less is best.

*Not advised for birds, cats, fish or reptiles.

Companion Animals

Relaxing on the porch

I have grown up with animals, usually a dog. I honestly can’t imagine my life without a pet of some kind. As I have been growing my holistic practice I have been asked numerous times about using various products on our fur babies. As I began exploring the options, I have also been volunteering at a rescue farm and learning about the love that we can get from more than just common house pets, cats and dogs.

 

Animals of all types have been companions to humans for thousands of years. The origin of these companionship’s were probably formed to help with hunting food, but that also meant that man and beast had to put some trust in each other and form a bond. Over the centuries the relationship has changed and developed into one of simple enjoyment. Most pet owners today have an animal simply for the joy that it brings.

 

In the last 20 years there have been numerous studies about the benefits of having a pet. Pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, and can improve cardiovascular health. On PetPartners.org they review several studies showing the therapeutic benefits of animals. In one study patients that spent time with animals rather than in an outpatient area showed decreased pain symptoms and positive mood.

 

According to Animal Planet’s site opening your home to a pet might be just what the doctor ordered. Owning a pet can help reduce allergies and blood pressure. Some of the mental benefits include:

  • Lifts spirits
  • Decrease depression
  • Lowers feelings of isolation
  • Lessens boredom
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Helps with communication
  • Motivation to recover faster

 

Pets can truly enhance your life for the better. Even if you are in a situation where you can’t own a pet consider volunteering. There are always animals out there that can benefit from your love and can provide you love in return. Besides who can’t resist smiling while watching a baby goat jump and play or any animal for that matter.

Baby Goat