Our pets mean the world to us, which means we do everything we can to make sure they live a happy and healthy life. When our furry friends are suffering from a physical or mental affliction, we seek help so they can go back to being our happy little friends while living pain-free.
As we start to look for alternatives to conventional medication, we start to wonder if our pets can take the same approach. They cannot speak to us, after all. They’re incapable of making these decisions for themselves. Cats and dogs will eat, smell, or drink whatever you put in front of them. They’re not going to care whether it’s a pharmaceutical drug from the vet or a vitamin D supplement.
Much like you would when you try something new, you have to ask yourself, “is it safe?” It’s always a good idea to research whether or not something is safe for you or your pet. The same lesson can be applied to essential oils.
Yes, for humans, essential oils are generally safe. Of course, they’re only safe when used correctly. It’s a good life lesson to always use anything in moderation. In order to understand whether or not essential oils, especially lavender, are safe for dogs or cats, you have to understand how much stronger their sense of smell is.
How Strong Is Your Pet’s Sense Of Smell?
Believe it or not, we humans used to have a stronger sense of smell. We needed that sense of smell to survive back when we were hunter-gatherers. However, as our brains got bigger, our sense of smell decreased because we stopped relying on it.
That is not the case for cats and dogs. They both have millions of more olfactory receptor cells in their nose than humans do. Combined, their sense of smell is thousands of times more potent than ours. They’re also able to process smells we don’t even know exists. To say they have a keen sense of smell would be an understatement.
In the case of dogs, they need to follow any exciting scent they smell. In fact, many dogs won’t be satisfied until they can discern where a smell is originating from. It frustrates many dog walkers when they’re trying to take their dog on a walk down an unfamiliar walkway only to stop every couple of seconds to sniff something.
Does That Mean Lavender Essential Oils Are Safe For Dogs And Cats?
If you’ve already been using essential oils for yourself with your pet around then, chances are, they’re already reaping the benefits of it. However, if you want to start using essential oils for yourself and are worried it will affect your pet or you want to use them for your pet themselves, then you don’t have to worry.
Lavender essential oils are strong. There’s no doubt their smell is very potent. When a human smells a lavender essential oil, then they start to react to it. That’s how you know it’s working. If the molecules from the oil didn’t trigger a positive reaction within us, then that means they’re not working. However, that doesn’t mean purchase a powerful diffuser and put it right next to your dog’s bed right away. When used incorrectly, any essential oil can be dangerous to your pets. It’s essential to start them off slowly.
Don’t Let Your Pet Eat It
While there are some essential oils recommended for human consumptions, lavender is not one of them, for yourself or your pet. If you want to introduce your dog or cat to essential oils, then do it slowly. You can start slowly through direct inhalation, applying a little oil on their color, mixing water with the oil into a mist, or rubbing a little onto their skin, but not enough for them to ingest it.
How Is Your Pet Reacting?
Don’t assume you can splash a bunch of oil onto their collar and let them go on their merry way. It’s important to monitor your pet to ensure they’re not suffering from any issues right away, whining, having respiratory distress, or any other visible indication that the smell is bothering them. If you’re also starting to notice that they’re sneezing, have red eyes, or itchy skin, then it’s time to discontinue it.
What Are The Benefits Of Lavender Essential Oils For Your Dog Or Cat?
You can’t just go out and purchase any essential oil. Make sure the essential oils you’re purchasing are high-quality oils. However, if your cat or dog is receptive to lavender essential oils, they will enjoy some valuable benefits.
Dogs and cats can suffer from anxiety, much like humans do. Dogs especially suffer from separation anxiety when their own is gone, so applying lavender essential oil directly to their collar before you leave can help calm them while you’re away at work.
Cats are nocturnal creatures, but it’s hard for them to get sleep during the day when they live with humans. If you notice your cat is suffering from insomnia, then letting them inhale lavender essential oil can help calm their minds so they can get some sleep. Make sure when they’re sleeping not to wake them up to play or eat, let them do so naturally.
Finally, lavender essential oils are some of the best smelling oils out there. Applying some to your dog or cat’s coat can help them smell good. However, don’t apply too much as any overpowering smells can mask other scents. Apply just a little to their skin, especially on any swollen red parts, to help calm any inflammation.
Dogs and cats can absolutely benefit from lavender essential oils. Just remember everything in moderation.