May Magazines 2018 89144 - Page 34

What you dilute the oil in also matters. Carrier oils best used for mixing include coconut, jojoba, and olive oils. A general rule is to dilute at least 75 percent essential oil to the carrier oil prior to application. Giving it a Try Response can vary from one animal to another, so start off slowly when introducing any essential oils. Begin by wear- ing the oil on your own skin. That way you can determine if your pet has an adverse reaction when it is close to you. Once they become accustomed to the scent, you can move on to topical application. The best place to apply the oil is to the paws. Alternatively, you can rub the oil between your palms and then pet your dog or cat. Use caution. Never add the oils to their food or water, avoid high-phenol oils, such as oregano and thyme, especially with cats, and don’t use for more than two weeks at a time. Diffusing oils is another way to reap the benefits of essential oils and is the preferred method by some experts. Diffusers emit fine particles of oils into the air. The scents produced can have healing and therapeutic properties. The type and location of your diffuser is quite important. With better quality diffusers, you are able to control how much oil is emitted into the air. In this case, less is best. When oils are diffused, droplets can land on your pet’s fur and, depending on whether or not they can reach the moistened area with their tongue, can be ingested. Diffusers should always be kept on high shelves where they cannot be knocked over by your cat or dog. In many cases of accidental poisoning, oils were either spilled from dif- fusers or pets got into the bottles and ingested the oils. Essential oils must be stored out of your pet’s reach. A Word of Caution Some oils can be toxic to your pets, and unknowingly dif- fusing oils in your home may cause them harm. According to veterinarian Dr. Bob Hale, essential oils can be dangerous to cats due to their genetic makeup. Ashley Younger, Executive Director of CARE for Animals, agrees, explaining that cats cannot metabolize the oils, causing liver toxicity. Owners need to exercise extreme caution while using essen- tial oils in their homes, always avoiding citrus oils around cats, but also taking care to remove them from the room being diffused when using: