We’re willing to do most anything for our beloved pets, particularly when it comes to their wellness. Over the years there has been a growing interest in alternative treatments for pets; aromatherapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, acupressure, massage, Reiki, and energy healing all of which when used in conjunction with essential oils can enhance overall results significantly.
The benefits of essential oils are meant for every member of the family, including pets. Whether your best friend is in need of a bath, a mood boost, or is suffering from minor skin irritation, Young Living has pet-friendly solutions. Please read carefully so you and your pet will have positive experiences – this article only refers to superior pure essential oils, do not expect to get the same results using other brands as we cannot speak for or vouch for the quality.
In response to the complimentary and alternative clientele, veterinarians are also turning to Young Living oils. Essential oils can be used on animals much the same way they are used with humans. It is recommended that you follow a veterinarian’s care in diagnosing specific conditions and speak with them on the use of essential oils as a complimentary adjunct to the pets wellness.
Before going further you need to know the information on this page is basic, it is not complete and provides a mere glimpse. Thus it is highly recommended to purchase this excellent book, Animal Desk Reference by Melissa Shelton, DVM after placing your essential oil order with a YLC distributor.
Using YL Oils Safely with Pets
To gain a better understanding of how to use essential oils safely with pets let’s take a look at ‘how’ they are used with humans.
Typically it is recommended that an adult begin slowly when starting to use essential oils, this means starting with 1-3 drops of a YL essential oil diluted with one teaspoon to one tablespoon of V-6 Massage Oil (a carrier oil).
Keep that in mind that you will need to consider the size of the animal. For instance, a three pound dog will need a much more diluted mixture – perhaps 1 drop of essential oil to 2 tablespoons of V-6 compared to a horse.
It is always best to start with a more diluted mixture and observe how the individual pet will respond, and never exceed 2 drops of YL essential oil on an average size animal unless advised by your veterinarian.
Important Note: more is NOT better! These essential oils are extremely potent and must always be used mindfully and with great care.
For much more and detailed information on using essential oils with pets please purchase and refer to the Animal Desk Reference by Melissa Shelton, DVM.
Cautions on Essential Oils with Pets
- A cats’ liver processes essential oils differently than a human, horse or dog liver.
- Dogs, cats, and birds have a keen sense of smell – never leave an animal in an enclosed room with a diffuser running for longer than 10 minutes.
- Never put essential oils in a fish tank!
- Never put essential oils (even diluted) on or near eyes, nose, or into the ear!
- Never force an animal to allow you to put essential oils on them.
- Always dilute essential oils with a high quality carrier oil such as V-6 Massage Oil.
- NEVER dilute essential oils with water – always dilute with a carrier oil such as V-6 Massage Oil.
- Using products and supplements that contain xylitol (a sweetener) can cause low blood sugar and liver toxicity in pets, unlike with humans which is safe.
- Do not use peppermint essential oil on open wounds (humans or pets).
- It is NOT recommended to use Melaleuca (Tea Tree) (including M. alternifilia, M. ericifolia, M. quinquenervia) on cats, dogs, or birds no matter how dilute. This oil became very popular which spurred an abundance of very poor quality essential oil. Being contaminated and synthetically created these poor quality oils have flooded the market and yes it is true that these poor quality oils have killed cats. Some cases of toxicity that had enough data to research and trace have always revealed a very poor grade of Melaleuca and gross misuse.
According to Dr. Shelton, a bottle of poor grade Melaleuca was spilled and a cat came into direct contact with the spillage and the cat seizured the next day and died. The brand was your basic ‘over-the-counter’ variety that can be purchased in most health food stores. Not only does this speak volumes in knowing your source has you and your pets health and wellness at heart but it also demonstrates the value of making smart brand choices. Know what you’re buying and who you’re buying your oils from before you pull out your wallet.
Dr. Shelton goes on to say, that a feline patient to her clinic was evaluated before an essential oil protocol was begun. The blood work was obtained, and the cat proceeded to receive 4 drops of Young Living Melaleuca alternifolia, directly in its mouth, twice a day. [NOTE: do NOT do this to any animal without the supervision of a skilled vet!] The cats blood work was re-evaluated after one week and was found to be completely normal. This is NOT to say every cat could handle this type of administration; however, it is a very interesting contrast medically.
If you are a pet owner and use essential oils you need the Animal Desk Reference!
Creating an Essential Oil First Aid Pet Care Kit
For those interested in creating an essential oil emergency kit for pets here is a list of 11 essential oils that we have been found quite useful for topical application:
Thieves (blend) – highly antibacterial, minor skin issues, cuts, wounds and dental concerns. This blend is safe for puppies and kittens,but remember to always dilute it with a carrier oil, dilute much more for the wee one’s.
Melrose (blend) – when used topically in conjunction with the blends R.C. and Raven, Melrose provides respiratory support. It can also be used for minor skin issues if Thieves cannot be tolerated.
Di-Gize (blend) – the gastrointestinal system responds well to this blend. Nutmeg or Ginger can also be added to Di-Gize for additional support. Di-Gize has also been used successfully with colic in horses. Used topically.
Purification (blend) – useful for external parasites such as fleas, ticks and mosquitoes.
Raven (blend) – topically utilized for respiratory and urinary tract support. Raven is more powerful than R.C. and features essential oils not found in the latter. Combined, R.C. and Raven are highly effective.
M-Grain (blend) – provides topical relief from head discomfort resulting from sinus pressure.
R.C. (blend) – ideal for topical respiratory and urinary support. R.C. is practical for cats that require bladder fortification, which does not respond to conventional therapy (it can be combined with Raven for additional support).
PanAway (blend) – with osteoarthritis common in older pets, PanAway is valuable for relieving discomfort and relaxing muscles, ligaments, and tendons when used topically. This blend can be used alone or in conjunction with other YL essential oils that aid in general discomfort. Using a moist towel over the area increases the effectiveness of the essential oils.
Peace & Calming (blend) – topically for fear, anxiety, stress or other similar conditions, Peace & Calming can be used to calm a pet. If an injury is present, Peace & Calming can help relax a pet enough so that other treatments can be administered. This blend is also useful for cats who are resistant to other forms of treatment for urinary problems or excessive grooming resulting from stress.
Palo Santo – can provide topical relief from muscle and joint aches. Palo Santo also makes a terrific insect repellant, and can be used to dislodge an embedded tick (move hair back, apply one drop Palo Santo directly on the tick, wait a few minutes and the tick should either dislodge and/or be easily pulled off).
Helichrysum – Melissa Shelton, DVM has this to say about Helichrysum essential oil…
“It [helichrysum] is truly miraculous and worthy of use in almost every condition. You will never go wrong selecting Helichrysum, and it is used in cases of blood clots as an anticoagulant, but is also used in cases of hemorrhage, bleeding and bruising. This is the interesting thing with many natural remedies, is that they tend to bring the body to a point of homeostasis… In animals, Helichrysum is especially indicated for nerve regeneration and neurologic conditions… circulatory and blood vessel disorders, heart disease, blood clots, liver disease, hypertension, chelation of chemicals, toxin exposure, poisoning, vaccination detoxification, healing of lacerations and wounds, for control of pain, and as a topical anesthetic. There is not much that Helichrysum does not contribute to, and it falls into a category of ‘must have oils’ in my opinion.”
Lavender – is one of the most adulterated essential oils on the market. Very few brands of lavender oil are pure enough to be called medicinal grade or qualify for use with animals. Being one of the gentlest oils, lavender has been used with all kinds of creatures. Known for its benefits for the skin, lavender can also be helpful for ringworm and other fungal skin issues, muscular discomforts, calming, burns, frostbite, and high blood pressure.
Geranium – this is an oil of many purposes regarding animals. Dr. Shelton states in her book that it can be used for hepatitis, fatty liver disease, skin conditions, ringworm, herpes infections, hormone balancing, liver and pancreas stimulation, stimulation of the bile ducts for liver detoxification, and emotionally to help with nervous tension. She also states that it is used less often as a single oil and more often in blends, such as: Acceptance, Animal Scents Ointment and Shampoo, Awaken, Clarity, EndoFlex, Gentle Baby, Joy, JuvaFlex, JuvaTone, K&B Tincture, Release, SARA, Trauma Life, and White Angelic.
Recently, my cat was feeling quite anxious and stressed due to an infestation of fleas we were battling, and so I put one drop of Trauma Life in my palm with 1 teaspoon of V-6 Massage Oil. I dipped my fingertips into the mixture in my palm and gently ran my fingers down my cats spine. Within a few minutes she became incredibly relaxed, so relaxed that she was almost like a rag doll. Needless to say, all of her stress and anxiety completely vanished making it very easy to treat the flea problem. her initial anxiety and stress never did return. I will remember to use this mixture on her when we have to make car trips, one thing that I know makes her very anxious – Trauma Life should help her greatly! ~ Evelyn Vincent, in NC.
V-6 Massage Oil – always have on hand a carrier oil, such as V-6 for diluting your YL essential oils.
Making Your Own Insect Repellant Sprays
Whether for dogs, cats or horses YL oils can provide a natural insect repellant for both pets and owner’s. To make a spray you will need the following:
A 14 oz. spray bottle (a 4oz. size is nice for traveling and hikes) 15-20 drops of either Purification or Palo Santo (use 4-8 drops in a 4oz. bottle)(Palo Santo may be too strong smelling for cats)
Fill spray bottle with distilled water (tap or spring water is also fine). Add essential oils, shake and spray avoiding eye and nose area – put your hand over the eye area, you don’t want to get essential oils in the eyes!
Tip: you will want to give your spray bottle a bit of a shake before using to disperse the essential oils in the water.
Always Practice These Cautions
- Dilute your YL essential oils with a carrier oil, such as V-6 Massage Oil when using them topically
- Consider the size of the animal, smaller ALWAYS means ‘less’ essential oil
- Consult a veterinarian when there is a health issue
Other Popular YL Products for Pets
AnimalScentsª Shampoo: Cleans, conditions, and protects your pet’s coat without harmful ingredients. Tip: add a few drops of Palo Santo for fleas and tick repellant.
AnimalScentsª Ointment: A protective and soothing salve formulated for external use on animals (and people too!). This ointment is terrific for topical bites, stings, wounds, and to seal in an essential oil that has been used.
Did you know…
Animal Scents Ointment is excellent for human First Aid kits too! Gary Young, founder of Young Living Essential Oils, believes that what we use on our pets should be the same high quality that we use on humans – so keep a jar handy for yourself too! Animal Scents Ointment is excellent for wounds, cuts, bites and stings; it would be used the same way and for the same purposes as Neosporin.
Many YL supplements can be used with pets too. You will have to break them down into smaller portions, and avoid using products and supplements that contain xylitol (a sweetener) as it can cause low blood sugar and liver toxicity in pets, unlike with humans which is safe.