So what are essential oils?
Well…essential oils are concentrated plant extracts from the roots, stems, flowers, leaves or fruit of certain plants that contain naturally occurring chemical compounds.
These are extracted from the plants using different methods such as steam distillation of the leaves or cold pressing of the peel to ensure all the natural benefits remain within the oil, and although they are described as ‘oils’ they are not in fact oily substances.
Essential oils are elements produced by Mother Nature that hold more active agents than synthetically produced oils, therefore are less likely to cause adverse reactions as they are 1oo% natural.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of centuries for relaxation, medicine, cleansing, beauty and spiritual values, providing multiple benefits for humans, but only some are safe to use on dogs.
Many people are weary about using essential oils on their dogs and rightly so, they can be harmful if not diluted enough for your dog to be able to cope with due to their potency. Thats why it’s important to make sure only small amounts are used to keep your dog safe from harm…when used safely they have outstanding health benefits that far outweigh synthetic products.
But how do they work?
The skin is the body’s largest organ playing a vital role in internal and external secretions that contribute your dogs overall health. It is both strong and elastic, protecting internal organs from external attacks. It provides protection form germs and viruses, and rejects toxins from the body.
Essential oils work through their absorption through the skin, first working their way through the fatty parts of the skin, then through to the blood stream. The time taken for this to happen is between 20 – 70 minutes, meaning using products containing essential oils offer instantaneous effects for all kinds of conditions, internal and external.
From easing muscle & joint pain to healing wounds and burns; soothing dry flaky skin to aiding respiratory issues, and reducing anxiety to repelling bugs, these natural beauties are far overlooked in today’s consumer habits.
Each essential oil has its own set of benefits, but overall, they have overlapping properties that can aid in the care of your four legged friend:
- Antioxidants – using antioxidants protects the skin as they prevent the production of free radicals that can cause reactions and damage skin cells. As the skin is the largest organ, it is important to take care of it.
- Antimicrobials – antimicrobials are agents that kill microorganisms and stop them from growing. Essential oils include antiseptic, anti-fungal, antibacterial, disinfectant, anti-parasitic antimicrobials which all have positive benefits for infections, wounds, fleas, ticks and skin conditions in pooches. They attack germs but do not damage tissue!
- Anti-inflammatory – properties that reduce inflammation or swelling have positive effects for skin conditions, muscle pain and stiff joints for dogs. When essential oils are absorbed through the skin they ease inflammation in areas of your dog that may be problematic providing relief.
- Odour Elimination – essential oils are known to eliminate odours due to their bacteria fighting properties, safe to use in your home and on your pet, essential oils provide a natural way to combat doggy smells.
- Improved Breathing and Respiration – when essential oils are inhaled they send therapeutic molecules through the nasal passage that can eliminate toxins blocking nasal passages.
- Reduced Anxiety – Stress is known as a constant sate of tension, having both physical and psychological impacts on its beholder. Essential oils are profoundly known for their therapeutic effects on influencing the state of mind through acting on the nervous system. The effect on the brain causes relaxation and helps relieve stress and anxiety proving comfort for your pooch in times of unease.
- Insecticidal – essential oils contain natural substances that kill and repel various forms of insects, including fleas and ticks, which means using them on your dogs coat provides a natural way to warn off unwanted guests.
- Hair & Skin Care – essential oils are used widely in products for humans for health and beauty products, which can have the same effect for your dogs fur and skin. Dandruff, hot spots, burns, insect bites and dry skin can be soothed and eliminated to improve the overall condition of your dogs skin & coat. The antimicrobial properties also speed up the healing process to provide comfort and relief from irritating skin conditions.