Unconventional means of treating your dog have become more popular in recent years. Rather than always rely on synthetic drug-based solutions for minor problems, dog owners have turned to various alternative medicines. Alternative approaches to dog care and treatment have opened up the possibilities to a variety of different types of less invasive treatment of your dog’s physic, emotional and psychological problems. Nor is this a full-scale revolt against modern science. Some act in conjunction with the conventional approaches to provide your dog with a holistic treatment.
As a responsible dog owner, you need to have a veterinarian. You can also visit a holistic vet. You can try many of the diverse types of treatment. They include acupuncture, acupressure, Bach Flower Treatments, homeopathy, magnetic therapy, massage, reiki and, aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy is a form of alternative treatment. It in non-invasive means of treatment. It bases its healing efforts on the senses. Highly aromatic and concentrated oils are used to stimulate and arouse the physical. The released scent of the oils flows into the air. It proceeds to the nose. The dog inhales the selected scents. The aroma enters into the mucous layers of the membranes. Here, it stimulates tiny smell-sensing cilla. These, send a signal to the brain. The brain than directs the body in its response.
While, theoretically, aromatherapy could use crushed fresh herbs, it does not. It relies on what is termed essential oils. These are highly concentrated plant extracts. The specific part or parts of the plant are distilled down to a fine essence. In the past, the method used to create them could have taken days, weeks, months or even years.
The essential oil is never used in two major ways. It is inhaled and/or it is absorbed through the skin through application by massage or dabbing. The undiluted form is never placed directly on a canine. This can be harmful to the dog.
The use of aromatherapy is, as noted above, either through direct application or indirect means.
• Directly to the skin - The aromatherapist takes the pertinent essential oil. He or she then weakens the solution to, usually, a half-and-half. This is a half essential oil and half base oil combination. One of the most common base oils is almond oil. You can use others.
The new treatment oil is applied directly to the skin. It may be puddled on the hands first then massaged in the dog’s coat and hair. It can also be applied to the dog’s coat directly.
• Essential oils may also be applied directly in their diluted form to specific body parts without rubbing. This is to ensure the animal receives full benefit of the scent. You can dab a little bit behind the ears or in one ear. You can also put a little bit on a dog’s neckerchief, doggie coat or other apparel.
• Essential in their undiluted essence may be burnt. You can apply them to a herbal burner and let the scent escape into a room or kennel.
• Another option is to dilute the essential oil and spray it into the air. You can use a diffuser or atomizer.
The use of essential oils is claimed to induce a number of effects in both the canine and human populations. The oils used are said to be antiseptics, detoxifying agents revitalizers and strengtheners. The major uses of essential oils are
• to increase the resistance of your dog to disease
• to strengthen the immune system
• to control pet odors
• to repel parasites
• to purify the air
• to help alleviate various conditions such as stress, anxiety, discomfort and nervousness
Each essential oil has a specific use. There are, however, those who are standbys or regulars in treating your dog. They include the following 4 basic essential oils:-
• Lavender - the most commonly employed essential oil. It is to calm anxious or stressed dogs.
• Chamomile - also an anxiolytic (calming) agent
• Peppermint - soothes the stomach, repels insects and boosts energy levels
• Rosemary - revitalizes a weary animal
There are many different essential oils. They alone and in combination can be used to help your dog remain healthy and happy. Before you jump on the aromatherapy bandwagon, do your research. Talk to a vet, a herbalist, a holistic vet and an aromatherapist. Do not start such a treatment without knowing all the facts.
(Article written by Harry Dawson)