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Essential Oils and Pets

If you're as passionate your boxers as I am about my boxers, then all-natural, non-toxic products are the only option. My white boxer, Daisy, developed Squamous Cell Carcinoma (cancer of the mouth) this past summer, which ate away at her bottom jaw.  Of course, we were heart broken when she needed to have her bottom jaw partially removed. The surgeon told us ... "if you do no other treatment, the cancer will be back in 3 months."  After hearing the dangers of chemotherapy, not only for her, but for my family -I started to research.  Long story short, I chose to have Daisy treated by a Chinese/Western Medicine Veterinarian.  She was put on a herbal form of chemotherapy.  It's been 4 months and ... no cancer.  I believe in the natural for my family, my boxers included. Below is a recent picture of Daisy (after her surgery). IMG_1627 Animals, and dogs in particular rely on their sense of smell to gain information about their environment.  This information is then used to predict what states of energy and response they should adopt.  As humans our emotions are strongly influenced by scent and so are animals. Veterinarians are trained in the diagnosis of disease in animals and should always be consulted prior to the use of essential oils.  Since my Daisy-girl is prescribed the herbal chemo right now, her veterinarian advised against the use of anything (natural or not) without being consulted first.   You should alert your veterinarian what natural products you are using on your pet. According to Dr. Richard Palmquist, Chief of Integrative Health Services at Centinela Animal Hospital, Inglewood California, the following oils can be used in first aid and are safe for short-term use:
  • Lavender: May help allergies, burns, ulcers, insomnia, car ride anxiety and car sickness, to name a few.
  • Cardamom: Diuretic, anti-bacterial, normalizes appetite, colic, coughs, heartburn and nausea.
  • Fennel: assists the adrenal cortex, helps break up toxins and fluid in tissue. Balances pituitary, thyroid and pineal glands.
  • Helichrysum: Anti-bacterial, reduces bleeding in accidents, skin regenerator, helps repair nerves. Also useful in cardiac disease.
  • Frankincense: Has helped some cases of cancer. Works on the immune system. Has reduced tumors and external ulcers. Increases blood supply to the brain (although it can worsen hypertension so use caution).
  • Spearmint: Helps to reduce weight. Good for colic, diarrhea, nausea. Helps balance metabolism, stimulates gallbladder. When diluted and used short term, this oil is helpful for many gastrointestinal issues in cats.
He also discusses the cautions of essential oils stating:
While oils are useful in healing and affecting mentation, they are powerful and can cause a wide variety of adverse effects. Principles of safe use are recommended. The largest problem with essential oils is that they may contain contaminates or adulterants that make more serious issues arise. For this reason, one should only use therapeutic grade oils from reputable companies and verify the quality of oils before using them. Animals have sensitive senses of smell, so in most cases it is best to use oils that are diluted and always provide an escape route... Since animals metabolize and react differently to essential oils, it is important to know about species-specific differences before using oils. One problem we see in our clinic involves people overusing oils. A person discovers essential oils and begins to diffuse the oils into their homes leading to an unintentional overdose for their pets. Lavender oil is highly useful, but it contains no antioxidant compounds and can therefore oxidize as it is stored. These oxidized alcohols can aggravate patients and lead to the development of allergic responses. Some essential oils can cause liver and kidney toxicity in sensitive species [i.e. cats]... To reduce the chances of sensitivity and organ toxicity, we generally use an oil for no more than two weeks and then provide a rest period. Under certain circumstances -- like in the treatment of cancer -- we will use oils for longer periods, but this is something best left to those trained in the use of oils.
To stay safe with essential oils- use shampoo, essential oils, and other products designed especially for them. I absolutely love Young Living's shampoo product and will never use a store bought shampoo product for my boxers again. 5167nimal scents Shampoo, Animal Scents Shampoo cleans, protects, and conditions your pet's coat without the harmful ingredients often found in pet care products. This all-natural shampoo contains five powerful essential oils, which are blended to gently cleanse, increase luster, and enhance grooming. If you want to use essential oils on your pet, it is important to work with someone who understands the organic chemistry of essential oils and how to dilute them appropriately. You can start by looking for a registered aromatherapist ( in your area.  You can also look for a member of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy ( in your area.  Keep in mind that the dose and length of treatment are extremely important in order to avoid toxicity and sensitivities (as the few stated above). Remember that doses that work well on humans are sometimes too strong for animals, and there have been reports of adverse reactions in dogs, especially at higher concentrations.  This would also support why you should involve your pet's veterinarian in the decision process. So, what have you used?  Do you have a success story in using essential oils on your pet? I'd love to hear about it - email me at

[UPDATE 4/11/2017]

Daisy is 8 years old now.  She is healthy and has that adorable, happy, personality that we love.  The holistic approaches that we have taken have kept her healthy and well.  We are convinced that we saved her life by removing the toxins from her body and our home.  The natural herbal treatment by our vet combined with supporting her immune system with essential oils has kept our girl healthy. If you have any questions, please email me at  

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