Have an anxious pooch? Does Fido get all worked up over nothing? Does your dog have a whole lot of scratching and itching going on? As a concerned and caring pet owner, you want what’s best for your canine companion when it comes to their health and happiness. And while medical issues should definitely be addressed with a competent and professional veterinarian, sometimes a stressful medical visit for problem behaviors of recurring minor irritations can create more drama and mental and physical stress than the underlying condition. Enter hydrosols and aromatherapy for your dog!
How Does Aromatherapy for My Dog Work?
While you may understand the concept of aromatherapy for both you and your pet, you may not know the science behind the practice that makes treatment with hydrosols more than just a load of hooey. Essential oils make up the foundation of aromatherapy treatment. These oils are collected from a variety of plants. From roses to lavender to sage, plants are specially treated, typically through distillation, to collect highly concentrated doses of aromatic oils. These oils are then inhaled by your dog through a vaporizer or sometimes applied topically to treat mild skin irritations.
When inhaled, it isn’t the scent that helps calm Fido. That attractive fragrance when you vaporize eucalyptus is actually the product of various chemicals that affect the body in different ways. Antibacterial, anti-allergenic and expectorant compounds are just a few of the helpful qualities that make up these can-do scents.
What Conditions do Hydrosols Help With?
Now that we know how, it’s time to delve into the what. For major medical issues, emergencies, and severe chronic conditions you should always consult with your veterinarian before beginning an essential oil treatment. This helps rule out the potential of serious infection that no amount of rose-scented bliss can cure.
Improving mood conditions such as separation anxiety and loud noise-induced panic, and aiding in sleep while traveling or boarding are ideal situations for the use of aromatherapy. Systematic issues for your pooch such as mild seasonal allergies and cough can also benefit from a dose of hydrosol therapy. Other conditions that may benefit are digestive trouble, respiratory issues, diarrhea, and urinary tract conditions.
While aromatherapy and treatment with hydrosols can yield a variety of benefits for your dog, human owners should exercise caution before wading full on into the essential oil fray. For starters, just because your dog is having a positive reaction, doesn’t mean other pets in the household will also. Cats have very different enzymatic systems and more sensitive lungs than your pooch. The same goes for birds, lizards and small rodents. Keep the lavender-scented goodness limited to your dog and the rest of your pet family will be just fine.
It’s also important to note that each dog will have a different reaction to aromatherapy and some may even have previously unknown allergies to certain chemicals. Always begin treatment with hydrosol gradually and monitor your dog closely. Finally, certain chemicals don’t cross over from humans to canines very well. Tea tree oil for example, is an awesome essential oil for treating a variety of conditions for your human family, but can be potentially toxic to your dog.
The bottom line is that aromatherapy and hydrosol treatment can yield numerous benefits for your dog. Like all types of treatment, medical or otherwise, you should exercise caution and good judgment and always consult your veterinarian in case of serious illness. With proper usage, both you and your pet can be breathing in the scent of good health with aromatherapy.