Josie the dog and German Chamomile

Josie the beautiful dog

This is Josie. She is my friend’s dog and though she has visited me before she recently had her first sleep over by herself. As you can see she has very short hair and pink skin. She gets quite itchy and tends to bite and scratch a bit. Josie just couldn’t settle down when we got home and was bitey-bitey, scratchy-scratchy for quite a while. I thought it was nerves then realized she needed some help.

I had just used German Chamomile (among others) for a client and it jumped into my mind. This chamomile is blue in colour due to the ingredient called chamazulene. It’s a kind of bluey-green.

German chamomile looks a bit like this

As it is one of the more expensive oils it tends to be sold in a 3% jojoba blend like Rose, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Neroli. This means it is already diluted and ready to use.

I got the bottle, put 3 drops in my hand, and gently patted her skin and touched her paws. I didn’t even smooth it on – just lightly touched her – especially around her belly where her skin is exposed. She got on her mat, I completely covered her with a light blanket and IMMEDIATELY she chilled out, and didn’t move for a couple of hours.

Two things happened here with the oil. The presence of the oil on her skin helped cool and calm the irritation, and the scent went to work on her emotions, via her brain. We all know dogs and most animals have a very keen sense of smell, because they use it for information about their environment. It’s the action of the oil through her nose that was the most powerful. A few diluted drops was all she needed to give her a calming therapeutic treatment. It is really important not to use essential oils on pets if you are unsure, or if you don’t have the proper understanding of how they work and how sensitive animals are to odours.

Take note:

  • Be careful not to use pure oils on the skin of animals – a drop or two diluted might be fine, but always act with caution and intuition. Just because lavender works well on your skin doesn’t mean it will work for your cat, dog or guinea pig.
  • Animals will respond well to the scent of an oil, so the best way to treat will be to vapourise oils in the room they are in. You can also make a mist and mist around them, and on their beds. If you treat yourself, your pet will benefit too.
  • The smaller the animal the more sensitive they will be to any oil or chemical. One drop rubbed well into your own hands may be enough to soothe an animal when you pick them up.

Always check with a VET first if you are unsure, or don’t use any essential oils directly on them at all.

Treat yourself first and everyone will benefit – your partner, your kids and your pets.

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