Essential oils have been used for health and well being for centuries. In fact, well preserved oils have been found in Egyptian tombs. There are also 188 references to essential oils in the Bible! Essential oils are volatile liquids that are distilled from parts of plants. They aren’t to be confused with essential fatty acids.
The best oils have been distilled at low temperatures and low pressure. The oils are so concentrated that it may take thousands of pounds of plant material to produce just 16 ounces of quality oil. Pure oils aren’t made in a lab however and don’t have any added chemical constituents.
The natural chemical composition of an oil can have an emotional as well as a medicinal impact. Many oils contain hydrocarbons called terpenes which can aid in kidney and liver detoxification. Others contain high levels of caryophyllene, which is an anti-inflammatory constituent. These components make many essential oils a great choice for allergy symptoms.
Five Essential Oils For Your Dog’s Allergies
Lavender is a great analgesic, anti-fungal, antihistamine, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It can be used topically or in a diffuser. Note that while lavender is very useful, it contains no antioxidant compounds and can oxidize when it’s stored. These oxidized alcohols can cause allergic responses, so be sure your oil is high quality and hasn’t been sitting in your cupboard.
This oil has anti-inflammatory, anti-infectious and anti-parasitic properties. It can be used topically or orally.
Elemi is anti-infectious, antiseptic and works as a sedative. It can be applied topically, orally or it can be diffused.
This oil is anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and also has astringent properties. It can be applied topically.
Peppermint is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and analgesic. It can be used topically or orally.
Mountain Savory, Oregano and Clove
These oils can be added for immune support, an important component of allergy prevention and treatment. They can be applied topically, given orally or placed in a diffuser.
While oils are useful and generally safe, they are powerful and can cause a wide variety of adverse effects. The largest problem with essential oils is that they may contain contaminates that make more serious issues arise. For this reason, you should only use therapeutic grade oils from reputable companies and verify the quality of oils before using them.
Animals have an acute of smell, so in most cases it is best to use oils that are diluted and always provide an escape route. Watch your dog carefully for signs that he isn’t tolerating the oil, and remove it if he doesn’t seem to like it. Cats are particularly at risk for oil reactions and in most cases we use oils very sparingly on cats. One drop of essential oil diluted in 50 drops of a pure dilutional oil such as grape seed oil is usually enough.
To reduce the chances of sensitivity and organ toxicity, don’t use the oil for more than two weeks and then provide a rest period. Oils can be used for longer periods, but it’s best to consult with somebody trained in their use before considering this.
Jodie Gruenstern, DVM, CVA has been practicing veterinary medicine in Muskego since 1987. She is a certified veterinary acupuncturist and food therapist by the Chi Institute. Dr. Jodie is the owner of the Animal Doctor Holistic Veterinary Complex, an integrated, full-service small animal practice, selected Muskego’s Business of the Year in 2013. For more info, healthy products or educational DVD, visit www.DrJodiesNaturalPets.com or www.AnimalDoctorHolistic.com.