Dog aromatherapy usage is mainstream now. Years ago, when I first created RELAX Roll-On Aromatherapy for Dogs, using essential oils for dogs was still considered pretty woo-woo, even fringe. Over the last few years we have seen more acceptance of what were once considered alternative treatments. Seems like our grandparents actually knew what they were talking about. Though my Meemaw used to make me eat Vicks Vapo-Rub when I coughed and to this day I hate the smell of that stuff.
It has been proven that smells connect us emotionally to events in our past and trigger memories, both pleasant (gingerbread cookies baking) and not-so-much (damn Vicks). Since ours dogs have noses that are so much more powerful than our puny sniffers, they will benefit even more from the light usage of essential oils.
Oils have been shown to reduce anxiety and inflammation, fight infections by inhibiting bacteria, keeping fungi and viruses from growing and to soothe muscle aches and pains. Aromatherapy oils are also used to lessen stress, calm anxiety, activate memory and more…in people and their pets.
By using aromatherapy oils, we can take advantage of the benefits of herbal remedies without having to grow a bazillion different herbs on our windowsills.
It is our job to be able to tune into our dogs needs and know when they could use some extra support. You are probably more tuned into your dog than most, or you wouldn't have read this far, but just in case here are a few tips on tuning into your dog’s tips and signals.
Ancient Egyptians were probably the first to use essential oils like we do. Those ancient Egyptians were sure busy, it seems they were the first to do so many things! They created distillation methods of extracting oils from the trees, herbs, and plants that were available. These essential oils were used in medical, spiritual, and daily tasks activities, such as embalming.
Ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese and native cultures worldwide all utilized some sort off distillation process to extract the essential oils. Keep in mind, there was no freeze drying or canning back then. This distillation allowed them to preserve the benefits of the various plants into a compact form that needed no preservatives.
Many have heard the story of the thieves who soaked themselves in a variety of protective antibacterial oils, then crept into the homes of those who had died of the Black Death or Plague and robbed the homes. When captured, they were given the option of telling the secret of the oils and being put to death quickly or not telling and being out to death…very VERY slowly.
French chemist and perfumer, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, discovered lavender oil’s ability to help heal burns after plunging his burned hand into a vat of lavender oil.
Recently, at the University of South Dakota, a student received her doctoral degree for pioneering work in ethnobotany, which examined veterinary essential oil use.
Plants cannot move to escape predators or disease (except on creepy movies), so they produce compounds that neutralize or repel pests and pathogens. Yeah, plants get stinky or prickly to repel threats! By using the natural defenses that plants have we can create healing substances for our (and our dogs) health and well-bring.
Essential oils are absorbed by inhalation, ingestion and contact with the skin. They enter the body and the blood stream and are distributed to various tissues very quickly. With a good working knowledge of what oils work for what you can start the support and healing process quickly with aromatherapy oils.
Aromatherapy oils and essential oils are essentially the same (bad pun). There is a lot of overuse of aromatherapy verbiage in advertising. Everything seems to be lavender this or that…I can almost guarantee that there is little or no REAL lavender in any of those products. We are talking about high quality essential oils NOT the scent-only oils you find in most consumer products such as room fresheners, etc.
Here are a few calming oils or comforting that are great for use on your dogs (and yourself). If you have a good nose, you may recognize some of them in our RELAX Dog Aromatherapy