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At Pampered Puppy we have amassed a large selection of informative dog articles. We have dozens of articles on designs, fashion, dog books, and much more.

Pet Aromatherapy 101

Article Author: Kyla Sims

The beginner's guide to using aromatheraphy for your pampered pet by Kyla Sims

Whether it be with luxury dog beds, gourmet treats, aromatherapy, holistic care, designer dog collars, or luxury grooming services, there's no denying it — people love to pamper their pets. Aromatherapy is a great way to pamper your dog's body, mind, and spirit. Essential oils can also help with all kinds of common canine ailments from bad breath to itchy skin.

Aromatherapy is not just about smelling good; essential oils have a wonderful ability to heal the body, mind, and spirit through their therapeutic use. The great smells are just a wonderful bonus. Essential oils can be found in many different parts of plants, fruits, roots, leaves, flowers, and bark.

Oils are extracted through a variety of processes. The most common method is distillation. It takes hundreds of plants just to produce one ounce of oil. In fact, it can take up to 2,000 rose petals just to produce one drop of pure essential rose oil! This is the reason essential oils are so valuable. They are said to be the heart, soul, and spirit of the aromatic plants from which they are derived.

Did you know that our sense of smell is the most powerful of the five senses? Essential oils can gain access to emotions through the limbic system and can actually help to bring our bodies into balance and enhance our immune system. When a scent is inhaled the odor molecules are carried up through the olfactory nerves to the olfactory bulbs where the scent is then recognized by the brain. Nerve cells in the brain then relay this information to the limbic system.

The limbic system is located deep in the brain and controls moods, desires, motivation, and creativity. The limbic system is also directly connected to the pituitary gland and hypothalamus area that controls the release of hormones that can effect our appetite, nervous system, body temperature, stress levels, and concentration. Essential oils can also gain access through the skin, helping to ease arthritis and soothe sore muscles.

A dog's sense of smell is up to a thousand times more powerful than ours. When making aromatherapy blends for your canine you need to highly dilute the essential oils. Try to stick to oils that are recognized safe for use with children. Blends for dogs should be about a 1/3 of the dosage of an adult blend.

You should never use essential oils on or around your cat. A cat's system can not effectively excrete essential oils and they can build up to toxic levels creating major heath problems.

Aromatherapy (when used correctly) can be very safe, however, for our canine companions. Essential oils can help heal all kinds of canine ailments and help improve their moods as well. Here are a few common doggie ailments and the essential oils that can help.

Skin problems

Skin problems are the most common problem in dogs. With their hot spots, allergies, dermatitis, excema, and many others, it's no wonder over 80% of canines have skin problems! The following essential oils will help to soothe and heal your canine's skin.

Chamomile is very gentle and helps reduce dryness itching, and sensitivity of inflamed irritated skin. Lavender is another very gentle oil that also calms and soothes the skin. It can balance oil production in the skin and help repair the condition of damaged hair. Cedarwood is famous for its scalp and hair care. It has the ability to normalize both oily and dry skin and hair.

Hyperactivity and Anxiety

Just like our children, our dogs can get overexcited. They can also experience feelings of fear, anger, nervousness, and stress. The following oils help to calm down and comfort the canine mind and body.

Clary Sage is wonderful for calming nerves and balancing extremes in emotion. It reduces anxiety, fear, and feelings of panic. Lavender strengthens the nervous system, relaxes the mind, and can reduce hyperactivity. Ylang Ylang relaxes exited emotional states and promotes feelings of security and love.

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and ticks can cause a lot of discomfort for our pets and can invade our homes as well. But they can be controlled through good nutrition and the use of essential oils. The following oils help keep these nasty little bugs off your pet and out of your house!

Lemongrass is an alternative to citronella and is extremely effective at repelling all kinds of insects. Grapefruit repels insects especially fleas. Lemon is a great flea repellant and it smells clean and refreshing. Peppermint is wonderful at repelling flies, fleas, mosquitos, and ants.

Arthritis and Sore Muscles

Thousands of canines suffer from arthritis and sore muscles. Whether your dog is old or young, a working dog or a lazy one, he/she can always benefit from a delightful massage. Massage is a great way to connect with your pooch and it helps build a lasting bond! Here is a recipe for massage oil that can help soothe sore muscles and ease inflamed joints.

1 ounce of a light carrier oil (sweet almond or sunflower oil)
5 drops Chamomile
4 drops Lavender
3 drops Black Pepper

To use: massage directly into inflamed joints and stiff muscles. Store in a cool dark place or in the refrigerator.

I haven't even begun to tell you all the wonderful benefits essential oils can provide our canine companions with, but hopefully this article has sparked some curiosity and you can begin your own journey into the wonderful "aromatic" world of aromatherapy.

Kyla Sims is the owner of Spot Organics. You can find out more about Spot Organics from their web site at www.spotorganics.com.

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