How to Safely Introduce Essential Oils to your dog
Updated: Nov 30, 2022
Lets talk about the method I use before I even begin to diffuse or apply Essential Oils to a pet, this method is called Self-Selection.
What is Self-Selection?
Self-selection, one of my absolute favourite things to teach.
Self-Selection comes from the methodology by Caroline Ingraham called Zoopharmacognosy.
"Zoopharmacognosy is a behaviour in which non-human animals self-medicate by selecting and ingesting or topically applying plants, soils, insects, and psychoactive drugs to prevent or reduce the harmful effects of pathogens and toxins. The term derives from Greek roots zoo ("animal"), pharmacon ("drug, medicine"), and gnosy ("knowing").
A pets Intuition
So our pets are highly intuitive as you can all agree. They are a great judge of character. They don't tend to judge their ability to just know something. They take in someone's energy or intentions very well and make an almost immediate judgement. Obviously past experiences may inhibit this in some animals, for example, a dog may have had one bad experience with a man and therefore be completely untrustworthy with all men in general from a young age. Something like this could take years to build trust on depending on the dog. Many of you can agree though your household dog will automatically know the difference between a friend visiting the house and a burglar and the difference in their tone of barks.
Animals know what their bodies need
Does your dog sometimes eat dirt? This can be because they may be lacking certain nutrients in their diet. Does your dog love sunbathing? That's because sunbathing helps release and activate Vitamin D on their hair and later absorbs into their skin. Does your cat eat grass and then later throw up? This isn't just a random act, animals often to do this as they know it induces vomiting. We don't need to tell our dogs to eat dirt, sunbathe or eat that grass they just know that's what they need to do. The same thing goes for avoiding poisonous plants in Nature, most animals tend to just not go near them.
Does it work for Essential Oils:
Since our dogs know exactly what they need, I use this method when introducing them to Essential Oils. Essential Oils are basically concentrated bottles of plants so this method is ideal to use in the exact same way.
Steps to choosing Essential Oils for your pet
Using Essential Oils & Self-selection together is basically offering your animal an essential oil. Keeping in mind the Oils to avoid.
I cover this in our Dog Essential Oil Course
When introducing Essential Oils to your dog
1. Ensure they are 100% Certified Tested Grade (Zero Synthetic fillers) I only recommend using Doterra Essential Oils due to their high levels of testing, I cannot speak for any other brand. (If you don't have access to Essential Oils you can get them here at 25% off.)
2. Always make sure the bottle is closed.
I then grab a few different essential oils, keep in mind what you're helping your dog with. For example, if they seem to be displaying signs of Stress or anxiety grab some calming Essential Oils such as Lavender, Roman Chamomile & Frankincense. I then ensure they're in a calm space with minimal distractions, get down to their level and introduce the first bottle allowing them to sniff it.
The Signs to look out for
Observe their signs. Take a little bit of time doing it and try not to put them under too much pressure. Take your time allowing them to inspect the bottle.
Expand your range of Essential Oils
The first time I tried with my dog, the signs were very subtle, but as time went on he started to get very aware of what essential oils he needed. No joke, one day he had a few too many roo treats, he came over lay on his back lifted his back leg and allowed me to massage some "digestive blend" on there happily. Be aware sometimes you many think they need a calming oil but they may appear stressed as there is something physical wrong so don't be afraid to try some completely different Oils. You know your pet the most so you intuitively select and then allow them to choose, the more you do this over time the more you will begin to learn about your pet.
Ciara & Archie x