A dog relies on its sense of smell to interpret the world, just as much as people rely on sight. Why…? Because a dog’s nose dominates its sensory detection capabilities and provides it with huge amounts of information. Whereas a human has around 5 million scent receptors, a dog can have as many as 300 million – 60 times as many! A dog’s brain reflects this – it is specialized for identifying scents. The percentage of the dog’s brain that is devoted to analyzing smells is 40 times bigger than the percentage in a human! That’s why dogs identify smells between 1,000 to 10,000 times better than humans.
What does this mean when we think about essential oils, some of the most potent and powerful smelling substances in nature? The article below from Fabulous Farm Girl (see full accreditation and link below), addresses the possible uses of using these oils to benefit your best friend. But don’t be surprised if he finds it a bit overwhelming!!!
Essential Oils For Dogs • Fabulous Farm Girl
By now you’ve probably heard that essential oils have lots and lots of uses. Around here we use them as natural medicine, to clean the house, to balance mood, to enhance our beauty routines and even to flavor our food. But did you know you can also use essential oils for dogs? That’s right, even man’s best friend can benefit from the amazing power of essential oils.
There are approximately 80 million dogs in the U.S. and about 40% of all households own at least one dog. If you own a dog like we do you probably love him like a family member and want to give him the best life possible. I was thrilled to find out that it is safe to use our beloved essential oils on our dog and that they can help with some occasional canine problems.
Essential Oils For Dogs
Lavender–calming, relaxing, occasional skin irritations, repels ticks/fleas
Cedarwood–promotes clear,healthy skin, supports healthy respiratory function, calming, repels tick/fleas
Peppermint–repels insects, alleviates occasional upset stomach
Frankincense–supports healthy immune system, promotes relaxation
Helicrysum–helps skin recover quickly, helps relive tension, promotes circulation
Lemongrass–repels fleas/ticks, purifies and tones skin, soothes aching muscles and joints
Eucalyptus–assists with clear breathing, helps to lessen stress
Wintergreen–soothes achy muscles and joints, promotes healthy respiratory function
Only 1-2 drops of essential oils are necessary on most animals including dogs. Their powerful sense of smell and sensitive systems respond more quickly to the oils than we humans do. A carrier oil such as extra-virgin olive oil or fractionated coconut oil can be added to extend the oil over a large area or to dilute the essential oils for use on smaller dogs (like our chihuahua, Nico).
Essential Oil Recipes for Dogs
A lot of products sold for use on dogs contain nasty chemicals you probably don’t want to use on your furry friend. Here are just a few ideas of easy DIY recipes you can make yourself.
1 cup water
2 tbsp. castile soap
5 dr. lavender
4 dr. peppermint
5 dr. cedarwood
Mix all ingredients together in a glass dispenser. It will appear watery but use like regular shampoo.
2 cups water
8 dr. lavender
8 dr. peppermint
Put ingredients in a 16 oz. glass spray bottle. Mist dog everyday avoiding eyes and nose. Spray on bedding or dog clothes as well.
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 dr. lavender
5 dr. roman chamomile
5 dr. marjoram
Combine ingredients, then apply a few drops of solution to your palms. Massage into dog’s armpits, toe pads, outer edges of ears and thighs.
Next time your dog engages in an activity he really enjoys (going on a walk, a ride in the car, eating, playing fetch) get out the lavender. Place a drop on your hand and rub it along his neck, on the tops of his paws and the bridge of his nose (being careful to avoid his eyes). Then put a drop on your hands and rub them together. Before he starts the fun activity, put your hand in front of his nose. If he turns his head away that’s okay, don’t force it. Let him start the activity but every few minutes have him stop and smell your hand. You are teaching him to associate the smell of lavender with something that makes him happy. Do this every time he does something he enjoys over the next week or two. You can even add in a few rub-downs with lavender on your hands to reinforce the association because who doesn’t love a rub-down?
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