By Denise Fleck, Sunny-Dog Ink and Vicki Rae Thorne, Earth Heart Inc.
Most pet parents know it’s important to have a first aid kit around the house, and in their vehicle for their dog or cat. They also know it should include the obvious basics like gauze, first aid tape, eye wash, tweezers, antibiotic ointment, safety scissors, a digital thermometer, and a pet first aid handbook.
But did you know that remedies containing pure essential oils can be a safe and effective addition to your pet first aid kit?
How Pure Essential Oils Can Enhance Your Pet First Aid Kit
Pure essential oils - the volatile oils from the rind, flower, leaf, bark, root, or resin of aromatic plants that are released via steam distillation, cold expression or solvent extraction – can have a therapeutic effect on your pet. They are different from synthetic fragrance oils, which are not therapeutic and can be irritating or cause an allergic reaction.
Still, essential oils are very concentrated – for example, it takes about 200 pounds of flowering lavender tops to yield one pound of lavender essential oil – so it’s important that they be diluted before you put them in your first aid kit. You can make your own remedies or purchase many fine products that are safely diluted and ready-to-use.
The Pet First Aid Kits
developed by SUNNY DOG INK contain aromatherapy mists created by certified aromatherapist, Vicki Rae Thorne, who has been formulating essential oil remedies since 1992, and founded EARTH HEART in 1996.
EARTH HEART natural aromatherapy mists are:
• Easy to use topical solutions
• Safely diluted to use as often as needed
• Leave no sticky or messy residue
• Packaged in BPA free recyclable containers
• Made in the USA
Some of Earth Heart’s essential oil blends that make would make great additions to any pet first aid it are:
• CANINE CALM - combines pure essential oils that can relax your pet as well as yourself during emergencies. It can also help calm dogs during thunderstorms, fireworks, grooming, crating, separation, hospice, and clinic or kennel visits.
• TRAVEL CALM - uses pure essential oil of ginger, which is a proven remedy for stomach upset, along with essential oils for relaxation. This can be a welcome remedy to soothe stomach upset during travel or illness.
• GUARD WELL - contains the powerful yet gentle essential oils of niaouli, ravensare and frankincense, which have been used historically to help with skin and respiratory issues. It’s great in the first aid kit to help soothe dry, irritated or itchy skin, hot spots, scratches or scrapes, insect bites, or stings.
• BUZZ GUARD – contains neem seed oil combined with pure essential oils to help improve your dog's comfort in a variety of outdoor settings, any time of day or night, during all kinds of outdoor activities.
Another essential oil mix that is good to include in your pet first aid kit is a 15% tea tree essential oil diluted in vitamin E gel or pure aloe vera gel to sooth and promote healing or irritated skin.
How Can Scent Help Your Pet In An Emergency?
Dogs respond well to scent and touch, and topical applications of properly diluted pure essential oil remedies such as the EARTH HEART mists can lead to an emotional response, coupled with a bonding experience and potential behavior modification. The scent itself can anchor a positive experience with a trusted caregiver, and the end result is comfort for both the animal and the caregiver.
The scent molecules of pure essential oils enter the bloodstream through the skin when topically applied and through the lungs when the vapors are inhaled. Scent is the only one of our five senses that has an emotional response before a cognitive one. This is because the olfactory bulb has a direct link to the limbic system, the seat of emotion, memory and learning – for example, you don’t need to see a skunk to know it’s a skunk!
Because of this “memoristic” nature of scent, we encourage pet parents to use the EARTH HEART mists at a nonthreatening time (like when sitting around the house), so the dog can associate that scent with a person of comfort and safety, rather than using it for the first time in an emergency situation. Sometimes a particular essential oil can be chemically sedating, but because of a bad memory associated with it, actually causes agitation.
Common Questions About Pets and Essential Oils
There is some conflicting information out there regarding the use of pure essential oils on pets. To help clear things up, here are the two most common questions asked.
• Can I use products containing pure essential oils on my cat?
It is true that many cats react negatively to some essential oils, and experts are not in agreement regarding safety issues with cats. It is generally believed that very limited exposure to high quality, properly diluted pure essential oil products, such as EARTH HEART mists, for keeping your cat calm during an emergency is ok.
• Can I use products containing pure essential oils on my puppy?
The EARTH HEART mists can be used with medium to large breeds from 8-weeks old, and for small breeds from 10-weeks old. Remember to never use undiluted essential oils on your pet.
And for more information on essential oils remedies, visit Earth Heart Inc.
Denise Fleck, with Sunny-Dog Ink., is an award winning author and freelance writer. After extensive training, practice, more training and more practice, she developed her own Pet First-Aid & CPR curriculum and has been teaching animal life-saving skills for 15 years with many success stories to share. She also developed and teaches an Animal Care course through the Burbank Unified School District and has demonstrated animal skills on CBS –TV’s “The Doctors” and Animal Planet’s “Pit Boss,” along with other shows. To complement her teachings, Denise created a line of Pet First-Aid Kits, posters and books for children teaching animal respect and care!
Earth Heart has a long-standing reputation for designing effective natural remedies using plant-based ingredients that help dogs live happier, healthier lives. Vicki Rae Thorne, certified aromatherapist and herbalist, founded Earth Heart in 1996 to help others learn how to safely and effectively use herbs and essential oils as part of everyday life. Earth Heart mists are made in the USA, packaged in BPA free recyclable containers, easy to use, and can be sprayed directly onto cloth, skin or fur without staining or leaving a sticky residue. Feedback from dog lovers and professionals across the USA and Canada has shown that Earth Heart mists provide safe, easy, effective solutions for over 90% of dogs.