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In the wild, animals keep themselves healthy by eating plants and minerals that they need. Yes, even carnivores eat herbs and grasses – you’ve probably seen it in your own backyard. When your dog eats grass, or drinks from a dirty puddle, he is expressing that instinct.
Scientifically this is known as Zoopharmacognosy.
When using essential oils, we use this natural sense and allow dogs to select which essential oils and herbal oils they need.
In our home, we limit our dogs’ choices, controlling what they eat, who they play with, and how they spend their days. This causes stress.
But when we offer essential oils we reduce this stress, by respecting their choices and listening to their preferences. Any time we reduce stress, we increase health.
Zoopharmacognosy: The Basic Rules
First, decide which oils might help your dog.

Make a shortlist of about five oils and put the closed bottles on the floor, well spaced out. Encourage your dog to smell the bottles. Watch carefully and take note of which ones your dog sniffs more intently, or tries to lick. Once he has found the oil he needs, he’ll stop sniffing. He might also try to pick up the bottle, so be prepared to stop him from running off with it.
The ability to pick exactly what they need is so acute that I have watched dogs go through my collection of 60 essential oils, sniffing the closed bottles, till they find what they want. Every animal is clear about which essential oil he needs, and will guide his own healing if given the chance.
The Major Responses
There are three major ways in which dogs choose to interact with aromatic extracts:

Localized topical application
Inhalation is the most powerful, as the essential oils go straight into the brain via the olfactory system, altering the brain chemistry. Dogs often go into a trance, eyes flickering, or fall into a deep sleep. I have seen emotional problems clear up completely after one session like this.

Dogs are more likely to want the oils orally if they have a physical problem, or one that isn’t deeply rooted.
Often dogs will indicate by pointing at their body with their heads, stamping a foot, or moving into you. This tells you that they want the oil topically on a particular spot, many times an acupuncture point. In this case, rub a little oil into the area indicated.
Understanding Your Dog’s Responses
When you offer essential oils to your dog, you must watch carefully, interpret his responses and follow his direction on how he wants to interact with the oils. This develops your listening and observational skills, making you more attentive to your dog in all areas of his life. And your dog loves that!

To start, hold the open bottle in your hand and let your dog come towards it. He may look a little surprised or perplexed at first, sometimes even wary.
If your dog likes the oil, he will keep his head turned towards you or come closer. If he does not like the oil, he will turn away, put his head down, or otherwise avoid the smell. Licking the lips quickly is another indication of interest in the oil. A big, yawning lick can indicate they are feeling stressed and you need to move the oil further away.
Allow your dog to settle at a comfortable distance from the bottle; he may move away from it at first. As long as he stays in the room with you, with his nose in your direction, it is a positive response. Allow your dog to leave the area if he chooses.
One of the keys to success is patience.
Don’t rush to decide if your dog likes the oil or not; just wait quietly and give your dog time to decide what he wants to do.
Take the character of each individual into account: shy ones need more time to interact; greedy, enthusiastic types need to settle down and engage fully.
Dilute The Oil
Once your dog has chosen the oil(s), dilute each oil separately, with 1 to 3 drops in 1 teaspoon of cold pressed vegetable oil, such as sunflower or olive oil. Offer each diluted oil separately and follow your dog’s responses.

Offer the oils once or twice a day until your dog loses interest. He will have a different response to each oil he has chosen and the responses will change daily.
If his response is very keen, offer the oils twice a day, for a moderate interest offer once a day. Your dog will lose interest in the oils within approximately three days to a week, at which point you should see a marked change in the problem.
Use only good quality essential oils. The best quality is usually available from small companies who cater to professional aromatherapists.(Karen is a qualified Specialist Treatment Aromatherapist and prefers Tisserand Oils or Neals Yard)

Always dilute essential oils. Overuse of essential oils can cause liver failure and commonly causes skin irritation. Undiluted essential oils assault the dog’s sensitive sense of smell.
A very small amount of essential oil is highly effective, so there is no need to take the extra risks involved with using undiluted oils.
Never be tempted to add essential oils to your dog’s food, rub them on him if he doesn’t want you to, or otherwise force him to take them. This can cause adverse reactions.
Is your doggy anxious , if so here are some oils to use in a diffuser around the home or prior to travelling (30 mins) to reduce anxiety,
39 drops jojoba (Simmonsdia chinensis)
OR Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) gel
OR Lavender Hydrosol (Lavandula angustifolia) for a spray mist

Suggested Essential Oils:
8 to 10 drops of Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
6 to 8 drops of Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
4 to 6 Drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

Essential oils can be applied in various ways. Always be aware that some dogs may not like certain oils, and if you find your dog turning away or avoiding you when you try to apply the oil, be very cautious in using it. It’s a good idea to let your dog sniff the oil before applying it, and to start with very tiny amounts of oil. If your dog pants, whines or rubs her face on the carpet, the oil you’re using probably isn’t a good fit for your dog.
For a dog who’s hypersensitive to sound, lavender, melissa or neroli oils are good ones to try.
Anxious, Whimpering, Restless
Essential Oils To Consider:
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Melissa (Melissa Officinalis)
Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
Application Methods

Inhaling (during)
Diffusion (before/during/after)
Topical message (before/after)

Separation Anxiety
If your dog experiences separation anxiety when left alone at home, try the following blend. Here is a situation where a diffuser might work well to calm your dog while you’re out!

8 to 10 drops of Sweet Orange (Citrus Sinensis)
4 to 6 drops of Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
4 to o 6 drops of Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)

Essential oils are a fantastic solution to many issues, and a simple, safe and respectful way to keep your dog happy and healthy. Providing a level of support that can help your dog fight itchy skin, anxiety, digestive upset and plenty more, essential oils are a safe alternative to harmful medicines. Below are the top five essential oils you can keep on hand (or paw) for your dog
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) 
A protecting oil that helps unblock things. For wounds, itchy skin, allergies, stings, bites, to stop bleeding (I use it to stop bleeding if I nick the quick when nail clipping), ear infections, kidney infections, anti-inflammatory for sprains and pulls or arthritis, physical or emotional trauma. Deep blue yarrow is more anti-inflammatory than the paler blue or green one.

Cedarwood Atlas or Himalaya (Cedrus Atlantica or deodara) 
Calming and strengthening and a great pest and flea repellent. Antiseptic for the lungs, anticatarrhal, expectorant for coughs, such as kennel cough, stimulates circulation, good for stiffness, arthritis, back pain, stimulates hair growth, clears scruffy skin and dandruff, strengthens kidney function, diuretic, lymphatic decongestant and general tonic, calming, especially for nervous aggression, extreme timidity or shyness or those who need grounding and a sense of inner security.

Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) 
The magical antidote to anything irritant or offensive and anything that bites, including other dogs! Antiseptic, heals broken capillaries, soft swellings, broken bones, deeply bruised emotions, resentful anger, anti-viral, anti-allergenic, good for the liver and digestive process, particularly for dogs who tend to vomit, clears mucus from lungs and supports immune function.

Lemon (Citrus limon) 
Uplifting and clarifying, it clears confusion, is an immune stimulant, antiviral, antiseptic, stimulates pancreatic function, antidiabetic, anti-anemic, anticoagulant, antifungal, antisclerotic, antiseptic (air), antispasmodic (stomach), breaks down excess bone deposits, good for arthritis and kidney stones, clears mental confusion, increases concentration and assimilation of new information, increases trust in self and others and is useful with dogs who have moved homes a lot.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) 
This gentle oil is the most soothing of the essential oils. Soothes skin and states of mind, mildly sedative, relaxing, for burns, bruises, grazes, flea bites, repels fleas, antiseptic, reduces scarring, helps wounds heal well (do not apply to deep wounds until you are sure they are clear of infection), steadies the heart, reduces anxiety, hyperactivity, hotspots and fungal infections. Be sure to buy good quality as lavender is often adulterated.

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