A Holistic Pet Wellness Approach

August 26, 2014 at 4:15 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | Leave a comment
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In case you haven’t yet noticed, there is a quiet evolution occurring in pet care that mirrors the evolution in people care. People are becoming more mindful of alternative options to maintain wellness, avoid illness, and treat disease if it does develop. Pet owners are discovering that, in addition to relying upon their veterinarians for preventive and medical care, new, additional options for creating wellness and supporting health are emerging for their pets, just as they are for themselves.Dog & Cat Together for FB May 9 2016 Pet practitioners are all around us. You may not have yet embraced them as part of your pet’s health team. But, if you consider that each in some way supports our understanding of our pets, and our ability to create the most supportive and healthful possible environment for them, then you may begin to identify them as important components of your pet’s path to maximum wellness.
Just who are some of these practitioners, and why should pet owners know about them? There are trainers, communicators, aromatherapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists, chiropractors, exercise and physical therapists, herbalists, psychologists, behaviorists, and combinations thereof. They offer an array of holistic approaches that go beyond what has been available to our pets in the past, often combining available holistic techniques.
Let’s take the example of aromatherapy, in order to discover the value of the holistic approach. There are now safe, proven botanically based products that may be used in place of, or in addition to, medicines currently on the market. A few veterinarians are beginning to discover and embrace these alternatives to synthetic chemicals. Many other practitioners routinely integrate essential oils into their work, along with other modalities. Essential oils offer a wide range of therapeutic actions which benefit people and pets. Some oils are distasteful to fleas, ticks, and flies. Some help calm the skin or soothe the digestive tract. Others reduce inflammation and discomfort. Some kill viruses or bacteria. Some support the immune system or specific organs. The benefits of the oils go on and on. Botanicals have been used since ancient times to treat diseases, promote wellness, enhance comfort, for cosmetic purposes, in perfumery, and to restore emotional and psychological balance.
Perhaps most importantly, these natural products, used judiciously, may help to prevent disease before it occurs. They can help our pets adapt to, and be more comfortable in, our complex and demanding society. By helping them to adapt, our pets can avoid stress which might lead to disease (dis-ease) . From that perspective, the pet owner has an opportunity to be the preventive “moving force” in the pet’s life.
When a dog is behaving uneasily, applying a properly prepared blend of botanicals which allay fear and induce relaxation is just the ticket. Unlike traditional medicine’s “magic bullet” approach, in which results are expected to be instantaneous, using the oils in this manner allows for owner participation and interaction. As the owner applies the oils through gentle massage each day, the dog becomes more relaxed, more outgoing, and happier overall. The human-canine bond is strengthened, and a more satisfying relationship results. Because the dog is happy and relaxed, he or she is less pre-disposed to illness.
It is important to note that with aromatherapy, as in any other alternative therapy, there is a body of experience and knowledge supporting the safe and effective manner of application. Some species (e.g. cats) respond badly to essential oils, but not to the by-product of the distillation process – hydrosols. Each species tolerates and responds most positively to specific dilution percentages. Some oils are safe for some species and not for others. It is important to do in-depth research, or work with someone who has, when applying any alternative care.
Our pets add so much to our lives. We live in a time of expanding awareness of the many ways in which we can enhance their lives and support our special relationship with them. By taking a journey into a more holistic approach, you and your pet can only benefit from the amazing and ever-expanding array of alternatives available to us all.


A Dog’s Nose Knows

February 10, 2013 at 4:15 am | Posted in Aromatherapy | 2 Comments
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Your Dog’s Nose Knows

Aromatherapy has gone to the dogs!  And it’s about time. Considering the power of your dog’s sense of smell, it is small wonder that he or she would love to be included in the fragrant fun. It may seem like an extravagance or just a fad, but aromatherapy – whether for us or our dogs – has serious benefits for all.

What exactly is Aromatherapy?  Aromatherapy uses the essential oils of plants, carefully extracted to retain the original characteristics and fragrances inherent to them. Many parts of the plants are used, including the flowers, leaves, bark, roots, and resin. Aromatherapy is an alternative to the use of synthetic chemicals in our search to feel good, support wellness, bond with our pets, and enjoy beautiful scents.

Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years. Ancient cultures learned to access the oils from plant parts, and to use them for medicinal and cosmetic purposes.   As people benefitted from them, their use expanded across the globe. Eventually, the antibacterial qualities of some oils were scientifically proven, supporting thousands of years of anecdotal experience. During the last century, the development of synthetic chemicals largely overshadowed the use of essential oils and other natural modalities for both therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. However, by the 1990’s, interest in more natural alternatives that preserve the “life force” inherent in botanically based products, began to re-emerge.

As interest in natural alternatives re-surfaced, studies were conducted to determine their potential use with pets and other domesticated animals. A body of work developed that identified which oils are safe to use, and in what dilutions, for many different animals. As it turns out, we may safely use a wide variety of effective oils with our dogs, as long as we dilute those oils appropriately.  What’s more, our dogs love having aromatherapy added to their everyday regimen. Some  dogs are so accustomed to receiving their aromatherapy blends that they actually “ask” for them by approaching their owners with head bowed and the back of the neck (suggested application location) exposed.

There are many ways for you to incorporate aromatherapy into your life with dogs. You can start by using blends intended to support, calm, or relax your otherwise excitable pet. You might look for blends that soothe itching, relieve discomfort, or deter fleas or ticks. Take a close look at the products’ ingredients to determine if they are made with true essential oils, or if they are synthetically compounded to smell as if they are the “real thing.”  True essential oil blends offer not only life force from the energy sources that made them grow (water, sun, earth), but also work synergistically to multiply the benefits of each oil included in the blend.  An appealing blend will not only be effective, but will also smell wonderful, and will please you as the applicant, and your dog as the recipient. Make a special time each day to interact with your pet. Make it a ritual for just the two (or more?) of you. Find a nice quiet place to sit down together to apply the oils. Pet your dog, give a little massage, and talk to him or her. Enjoy the immediate response as your dog settles into enjoying your special time together.

Don’t forget yourself! You deserve some pampering and support, too. Treat yourself to a blend that gives you the same relaxation, energy, peace of mind, and comfort that you would wish for your canine friend.  When you  incorporate aromatherapy into your and your pets’ lives, you create a unique connection that will expand your relationship in new ways.






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