Using Aromatherapy for Dogs and other Pets
While conducting the research necessary to write an informative and helpful article on aromatherapy and pets, I came across many more things Not to do, rather than how helpful aromatherapy can be. One of the most important of these was that aromatherapy is not good for cats. Just about every essential oil you can buy, as pure as the label may say, is not helpful to cats in any way and can cause irritation and breathing problems. So my first order of business is to caution you against it. Seek out the advice of a holistic veterinarian before attempting to use any oil around or on your cat. Birds and aromatherapy are not a good mix, either, and read all aromatherapy instructions closely before using. You could be hurting all of your pets by just splashing it wildly. Anything that states “for external use only” is a bad idea, because cats and dogs lick themselves clean-making whatever you put on them internal.
That said, there are some good sites with information about aromatherapy for dogs. Most herbs used in misters and sprayed on the couch and carpets are okay for use around animals, much like the commercial fabric fresheners on the market. These are made up of diluted oils and are much safer, but tend to sell for upward of $18.00 for an 8 oz. bottle, so perhaps you could make it at home. That way you know exactly what went into the spray.
For instance, if Fido is a little on the high strung side, try mixing chamomile, lavender, and marjoram ( sweet) to spray in their bedding area. Lavender can be nasty on the coat if overused, so you only need a very small amount to smell the aroma. Any apothecary store can show you what you need to make a tincture from organic herbs, so take advantage of their knowledge. They will know which oils are the safest to use for mixing- from spraying the cat litter box to doggy antidepressants. Essential oils will take the ever present pet smell out of your house, too. An online aromatherapy class can teach you the basics, in animal therapy and human scents for relief of stress and fatigue. Until then, ask questions when visiting your homeopath, research about using essential oils around your pets and read all aromatherapy instructions.