Sniffing to ecstasy

We all know our pooches are nosey – olfaction is their primary and most important sense. Humans have five million scent receptors in their nasal folds but these guys have over 200 million!!! No wonder then that our pooches love and actually benefit from aromatherapy

Our pooches know all the secrets of simply sniffing. They might not like the synthetic scents and perfumes we use but they are actually drawn to the essential oils of aromatherapy – the nature’s most concentrated botanical.

What is aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the science of using essential oils, which are extracted from plants for therapeutic benefit. It enhances well-being, helps in improvement of health and boosts immune, respiratory and circulatory systems. Earlier, humans were benefiting from this therapy but now research has shown that dogs have also benefited from the healing powers of aromatherapy. Aromatherapy works via the senses. In particular, smell and touch are important vehicles by which aromatherapy is delivered.

Natural aromatherapy for pooches

Dogs have long used aromatherapy in the wild to treat various conditions. They rub themselves, eat or smell different plants, grass, etc. to cure themselves.

Perks for your pooch

Aromatherapy for dogs has been known to treat fleas, ticks, skin irritation, anxiety, aggression, travel sickness and many more ailments. Aromatherapy for dogs is the therapeutic use of hundred percent pure essential oils. Aromatherapy for dogs can be applied topically (through massage), by diffusion and inhalation, or orally.

What is an essential oil?

An essential oil is a volatile substance contained in the glandular hair, sac, or veins of different parts of a plant, such as the leaves, flowers, bark, roots, seeds or fruits. They are the ‘essence’ of that particular plant form and are responsible for giving that plant its unique scent.

Properties of essential oil

For humans and animals alike, essential oils are powerful antiseptic, detoxifying and revitalising. Essential oils can also be used to control pet odours and to purify the air from dust, dandruff and allergens. Some essential oils are also known for their ability to decrease stress and promote relaxation. Some essential oils include lavender, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus while the carrier oils include jajoba oil, sweet almond oil and olive oil.

How to use essential oils with your dogs

Essential oils are highly concentrated and therefore extremely potent. When using essential oils on dogs, we should be careful not to overuse them. Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil before use.

Massaging with essential oils

Topical application is the most commonly used technique, and has the greatest benefit because the oils are applied directly to the area needed. Essential oils can be topically applied via massage, or via spritzers, sprays, and of course the oils can also be added to shampoos, conditioners, salves, ointments, etc. The oils penetrate the skin and are quickly absorbed by tiny capillaries, which carry them to the bloodstream. Add one drop of essential oil to 1/2 tsp carrier oil. Massage into hairless or least hairy area of the skin, such as the armpit, groin or inner thigh. Massage gently for 3 – 4 mins.

Use of essential oils for massage benefits in three different ways – it improves circulation, relaxes when the vapors of the essential oils are inhaled, and skin gets nourished.

So, for the all the unconditional love, affection and care that our pets give, pamper them with an aromatic treat because you know they are worth it!

(Gagandeep Dhillon is a groomer and pet stylist at Petswill – a pet grooming studio, spa and boutique in Gurgaon.)

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