As a veterinarian, the use of essential oils is a win-win-win situation. A win for the owner (easy to apply), a win for the doctor (effective and no harmful side effects) and a win for the pet (pain-free)!
One of my favorite things about essential oils in pets is the application methods. There are three main methods: transdermal, ingestion and inhalation.
1. Transdermal simply means that it absorbs through the skin and gets into the blood stream and is absorbed systemically. The good news - this is done by petting your dog or cat. You can drip it onto your pet or into your palms and just pet it onto the fur or skin. Even if it gets into the fur, it will wick down to the skin and absorb just how it is supposed to. Your pet will never even know they are taking medicine.
2. Ingestion is another method. Occasionally we use certain essential oils dripped onto the food or placed inside a capsule and it is given orally. But mostly for me, this means if you use a transdermal application and your pet licks it - GREAT! They are getting the treatment via two methods - transdermal and ingestion. It also eliminates fear of putting a medication on your pet's skin and worrying about them licking it. In this case, we encourage it.
3. Inhalation is the third method. Often we use a diffuser to diffuse the oils into the room where the dog or cat is sleeping at night. We also use a sniff-it and place an essential oil onto the collar area so they can inhale the essential oil during the day. But again, the transdermal method, is enhanced by inhaling the oil while it is being absorbed.
We absolutely love the use of essential oils in our veterinary practice and hope to encourage you to try the on your pets!
Debbie Reynolds, DVM
Certified Animal Aromatherapist
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