Once I learned about the health benefits of essential oils, I started changing my world immediately. Not only are all the products we use for ourselves and our families riddled with hazardous chemicals but so are most all of the products available for your pet! After all if something will harm us humans after 10-15 years of continuous use, who cares about whether or not it will harm your dog? Most dogs have a life span that doesn’t last much longer than 10 years or so anyway, right? Well, in my opinion, NO, that’s WRONG and it is NO reason to subject our pets to harmful chemical products. Shampoos, skin and coat care products and flea and tick repellents are among the worst. And yet it is very easy to make your own natural and safe products that can clean your pet and offer protection from bugs and critters.
My dogs travel between Arizona and Wyoming. Since both climates are dry, skin issues are common. Although fleas are not a real problem, I prefer not to take risks with a flea infestation. Ticks, flies and mosquitoes on the other hand can be problematic. The use of essential oils in a DIY Pet Shampoo safeguards my guys from these pests. In addition the use of the proper oils in the shampoo can be good for the coat.
The shampoo recipe I use for my dogs is:
3 tbls All Natural Castile Soap
3 tbls Coconut Milk
2 tbls Aloe Vera
6 oz Distilled Water
1 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
2 drops of Cedarwood Essential Oil
2 drops of Citronella Essential Oil
2 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Place all this in a clean bottle, shake well before each use. Apply enough for a good lather. If possible let set on the coat for a few minutes before rinsing off. Make this in small batches as the coconut milk is perishable. You can also leave out the coconut milk. As well take it easy with the Peppermint. I know everyone loves the smell but… Peppermint is a deterrent for bugs, spiders especially are driven away by the smell. You don’t want the smell on your dog’s coat so strong it bothers him or her. It is also known to help with constipation. Too strong a scent could produce undesirable bowel movements!
If you have trouble rinsing out the shampoo or it leaves the coat a little too oily, use this clear rinse formula:
1 cup distilled water
3 tbls apple cider vinegar
1 drop Cedarwood
1 drop Citronella
1 drop Eucalyptus
1 drop Lavender
1 drop Peppermint
1 drop Rosemary
For real dry or itchy skin problems you can also add Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree Oil). Be certain to avoid getting either product in the eyes or in the ears. If you get this in the eyes, rinse with a good vegetable oil such as olive or grapeseed. Do NOT rinse the eyes with water. Water will drive the oils deeper in to the tissue causing more discomfort.
Since one method of application for essential oils with pets is through topical application, you can also add other beneficial oils to your shampoo mixture. For instance, when dealing with emotional problems besides diffusing the appropriate oils for your pet’s condition, you can add them to your shampoo. I have one Chihuahua with a collapsing trachea. For him I diffuse Copaiba and an essential oil blend known as RC. He also receives an oral diluted dose twice daily of the Copaiba and I have added it to his shampoo.
For our other Chihuahua who doesn’t like being alone, I move my bedroom diffuser close to their pen we keep them in when we are out of the house for extended periods of time (4+ hours). I use a variety of combinations such as the common blends of Acceptance, Peace & Calming, Stress Away, even Valor. Single oils I use in combination with the blends are Frankincense, Grapefruit, Lavender and Ylang Ylang. This seems to keep his stress level down while were gone which in turn makes are arrival back home a bit less exciting and hectic as well! For him I add Stress Away to his shampoo blend as an extra boost.
There are so many ways essential oils can help you help your pet in a natural and safe manner. Change your life, and change your pet’s life, for the better! Remember, the market for adulterated oils is large and encompasses most all oils since everyone wants to make a buck. Find a company who can detail for the consumer the process from seed to seal that is used to ensure the highest quality products. A little goes a LONG WAYS. Spend the money up front for high quality oils and they will last much longer and provide a safe and happy experience.
I am not a trained animal husbandry professional. These opinions and recipes are suggestions from my own experience or from suggestions I found and tried from the Animal Desk Reference by Melissa Shelton, DVM. Consult your own Veterinarian before starting any treatment.