Monday, November 06, 2006

Insect Repellents on Animals (Aromatherapy)

Meant to post this a while back.

Can I use essential oils on pets for fleas, mosquitos etc?

There are many essential oils that are effective moisquito repellents for use on humans, but I don't know too much about what essential oils are safe to use on dogs (some essential oils that are used on humans are very toxic on other animals). I haven't researched this too much, since I'm a cat person and essential oils are toxic to cats. Some are fine to use on dogs.

There is one book which is supposed to be the best source for essential oils on animals called Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell (who is incidentally the owner of the mineral makeup company Aromaleigh--I am so sad they moved away from being all natural so i don't use their products any longer. Anyways...)

There is another book called "Veterinary Aromatherapy" but Aromaweb (an aromatherapy website) cautions about some of the advice in this book.

I do not have these books yet, but I suggest getting the one by Bell since she is considered the expert in aromatherapy for animals.

Worwood's complete book of aromatherapy also has some info on use on animals, but since it was written in 1995, and she recommends using essential oils on cats which has since been shown to be toxic, the info from that book is dated for animals (though it is considered one of the aromatherapy bibles for humans)

Be sure to dilute the essential oils well (probably only at the 1/2 to 1% concentration or less; remember: less is better!) or consider using hydrosols, which are much more gentle.

It would probably be better to use essential oils on a collar rather than on the fur so your dog can't lick it off.

Vermont soap sells dog shampoo, and Aubrey Organics has dog shampoo, a dip for fleas, and a spray. You can look at the ingredients to get an idea of what you can use. (For cat lovers reading this, please don't use these products on cats. Use plain castille soap to wash kitty if it is absolutely necessary).

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