Aromatherapy for Animals, Part 1: Healing Blends for Dogs

The trend toward natural health consciousness in humans is gaining popularity in the animal world too. Many veterinarians are beginning to introduce natural therapies in their practice, including osteopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture, flower essences and more recently aromatherapy. It's just been a few years since aromatherapists and vets have begun to recognize how animals can benefit from this wonderful natural therapy.

For humans and animals alike, essential oils are powerfully antiseptic, detoxifying and revitalizing, thus increasing resistance to disease while strengthening the immune system. Essential oils can also be used to control pet odors and to purify the air from dust, dander and allergens. For example, mix 50 drops of lemon essential oil in a 2-oz spray bottle filled with water. Shake very well several times and spray the room. You'll notice immediately that it refreshes and cleanses the air!

But aromatherapy offers more than just fragrance. Their remarkable actions upon animals -- most notably dogs, cats and horses -- are immediate, profound and long-lasting, positively affecting their overall health and emotional well-being.

Today we will focus on recipes and tips for Fido. As faithful friends, dogs bring affection, pure joy and loyalty into our lives. Most breeds thrive in the outdoors, running and playing in the freedom of nature. In fact, dogs will naturally purge their system in the wilderness, carefully choosing specific plants their systems need, such as blackberries, raw carrots, etc. Now a domestic animal, most dogs have lost this natural instinct, and are becoming less resistant to illness in general.

Dogs have a predictable set of physical ailments that may occur during their life span. Today I'll share aromatherapy blends that will soothe and heal skin problems, remove and prevent fleas and ticks, relieve the pain of rheumatism and arthritis, revive energy and control pet odor.

Blend to Relieve Skin Problems

Pour the following essential oils into a 10-ml bottle and fill with Calendula oil. Apply to afflicted area.

5 drops Lavender
6 drops Geranium
Blend to Relieve Itching

Pour the following essential oils into a 10-ml bottle and fill with Calendula oil. Apply to afflicted area.

4 drops Lavender
5 drops Geranium
3 drops Roman Chamomile

Blend to Combat Fleas

Fleas are nuisances for man and animal alike. This sinister pest hides within your pets' fur as well as in our carpets, parquet and window coverings.

Prepare the following blend by pouring the following ingredients into a 1-oz spray bottle:

7.5 ml Mint essential oil
22.5 ml rubbing alcohol

Fleas absolutely dislike mint! Spray the affected areas of your home. Don't forget your dog's bed. Spray directly onto your dog, holding the bottle about 10 inches from him. Avoid spraying on the head and eyes.

Blend to Combat Ticks

Check your home and pet for ticks - look in his bed, window coverings, walls, etc. Burn the ones you find to prevent them from coming back.

Prepare the following blend by pouring the essential oils into a 10-ml bottle and adding organic vegetable oil to fill.

10 drops Tea Tree
10 drops Lavender

Apply 1 drop of Lavender and 1 drop of Tea Tree undiluted essential oils before extracting ticks from your pet. This will disinfect the inflamed area. It may sting a little bit (as alcohol would) but it works great!

Blend to Ease Rheumatism

Like humans, many dogs suffer from rheumatism as they age. Your veterinarian may treat him with specific medications or natural therapies. But locally, you can apply and massage the following blend in the morning and night to alleviate pain.

Prepare the following blend by pouring the essential oils into a 10-ml bottle and adding organic vegetable oil to fill.

8 drops Birch
8 drops Juniper
7 drops Rosemary

Blend to Ease Arthritis

As recommended by some veterinarians, soften your dog's bed to make it very cozy and warm. If your dog is an "outside" pet, allow him to sleep inside. A little moist heat, applied directly over painful joints, can be a great comfort to arthritic pets. Get him a warm sweater, or apply a moist heating pad. And massage the area twice a day with the following blend to soothe the pain away.

Prepare the following blend by pouring the essential oils into a 10-ml bottle and adding organic vegetable oil to fill.

12 drops Birch
8 drops Juniper
7 drops Rosemary

Blend to Boost His Energy

Prepare the following blend by pouring the essential oils into a 10-ml bottle and adding organic vegetable oil to fill. Massage the spine gently. Use in the mornings only.

5 drops Rosemary
6 drops Lavender
2 drops Peppermint

Blend to Control Pet Odor

Try this natural and aromatic spray. Pour the essential oils into a 1-oz spray bottle filled with water. Shake very vigorously several times before each use. Spray directly onto your dog, holding the bottle about 10 inches from him. Avoid spraying on the head and eyes.

10 drops Lavender
10 drops Geranium
6 drops Lemon

In Good Health,
Francoise Rapp

The Author:

(c) Francoise Rapp. Internationally renowned aromatherapist and alchemist, Francoise Rapp, shares her expertise in using essential oils to heal and revitalize body and mind. Highlights include aromatherapy classes, pure & organic essential oils, recipes and aromatic treatments for health and wellness.

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