May Magazines 2018 89144 - Page 33

Petpourri Pets and Essential Oils Diffusing a Hot Topic By Hana Haatainen-Caye You’re at the dog park with Jake and overhear some people chatting about essential oils. “Well, I never thought she’d be up and running around like this again,” the woman who accompa- nied the Fox Terrier to the park states. “I’m so thankful I found out about yarrow. But you have to use the deep blue yarrow to effectively treat the arthritis.” “Oh, I’ll have to try that,” the woman with the lab mix says. “I’ve been using lavender oil to keep the fleas at bay.” Despite conflicting opinions on the safety and effectiveness of essential oils and pets, many have had success using them on their animals. It’s of the utmost importance, though, that you are versed in the different kinds of oils, their application and the potential hazards you may encounter when con- sidering them for your pet. You should always consult your veterinarian with any questions you may have before using them on your furry friend. Why Oils? Essential oils have been used for centuries in Egypt, both on animals and in humans. Today, they are being used for a variety of issues, from minor allergies to anxiety, weight loss and keeping pests at bay, to more serious conditions like cancer. Some of the oils used for various ailments include: • Carrot seed, cedarwood, helichrysum, marjoram and myrrh for skin conditions and dryness • Cedarwood, geranium, lavender, marjoram and peppermint for flea and tick control • Cardamom, chamomile, ginger and spearmint for digestion issues • Chamomile, clary sage and lavender for anxiety and separation anxiety • Ginger, helichrysum, peppermint and yarrow for arthritis and hip dysplasia • Geranium for ear infections • Myrrh for allergies • Spearmint for weight loss • Frankincense for cancer Purity Matters May/June 2018 One of the most important things to consider when choosing oils for your pet is the integrity of their ingredients. Be cautious of labels. While terms like 'therapeutic grade' and 'food grade' are used to describe oils, these claims are not approved by the FDA or any designated group so you’ll want to check with a skilled veterinarian on oils best for animal use. Purity matters when it comes to essential oils. Less expensive brands found at some drug and big box stores may contain fillers and lower-grade oils, things which can put your pet at risk. Never use oils you don’t know the origin of. 33