Diffusing Essential Oils For Pets
Diffusion of essential oils into the air of an enclosed space (such as a house, kennel or aviary) is popularly called aromatherapy.
That’s because the highly aromatic, sweet-smelling molecules of the essential oils are literally breathed into the body, at which point they trigger numerous immune boosting, healing, relaxation or stimulation responses depending upon the specific oils being inhaled.
Whether applied directly, or inhaled, essentials oils have virtually the same therapeutic impact on the body. The body’s response time to inhalation of essential oils can be as quick as one to three seconds! This is why, for many people and the treating of household pets, inhalation is the preferred method of use of the essential oils.
Inhalation of essential oils enters the bloodstream via the lungs, and are then metabolized by the liver.
Moreover, when oils are diffused in a home, kennel, or aviary, they purify the air itself by removing toxins, metallic particles and other harmful microscopic debris. They also increase the atmospheric oxygen of the air, and boost levels of beneficial ozone and negative ions, which dramatically inhibit the growth and reproduction of airborne pathogens. Further, as the odorous molecules drift to the various surfaces of each room (ie., ceilings, floors, walls, tiling etc.), they rapidly kill virtually all pathogenic bacteria, viruses, molds and fungi they come into contact with. And lastly, they completely destroy odors from mold, cigarettes, and more.
Essential oils can be diffused into the air in a number of ways.
During summer months when you have a fan or air conditioner running, one of the simplest ways to diffuse is to put a few drops of your favorite oil onto a tissue and secure the tissue next to the air vent or the fan cage so that the air blows across it. The blowing air then circulates the aromatic molecules of the essential oil throughout your house or kennel, and your pets (as well as yourself) breathe them in as you go about your normal daily activities.
Some find a favorite method of diffusing, (if only because of its simplicity and being inexpensive) is to take a 4 oz. or 6 oz. “mister” or spray bottle such as you’d use to mist house plants. Fill the mister with distilled or spring water, add 15 or 20 drops of one of our blends, shake well, and then walk through your home and/or kennel briefly “misting” each room or area with the solution as you go.
Cold Air Diffusion
Perhaps the most popular and effective method of diffusing oils is to buy a product called a Cold Air Diffuser, which sprays an ultra-fine mist of the essential oil of your choice into the air. The millions of misted particles sprayed from a diffuser are so fine they can hang in the air of your space (home, etc.) literally for hours, spreading from room to room via the normal air circulation that occurs as you walk through your house and/or kennel. (see product page for our recommended “Diffuser”)
*** NOTE: Always use cold diffusion. NEVER HEAT ESSENTIAL OILS. Heat will alter the chemistry, rendering them therapeutically useless.
When essential oils are diffused, the molecules are broken up into micro-fine mist particles. These mist particles stay suspended in the air for long periods of time. Not only does this reduce bacteria, mold and odors in the air, but these micro-mist particles also benefit those who inhale them.
Diffused oils don’t just mask odors; they actually alter the structure of the molecules that create odors – rendering them harmless! They also increase the available oxygen in the room and produce negative ions.
Research at Weber State University shows that diffusing essential oils destroys airborne micro-organisms. Diffusing is so effective that many hospitals in England and France diffuse essential oils daily to keep incidences of drug-resistant bacteria low and to keep the air free from micro-organisms.
- Research also shows that cold-air diffusing certain oils may:
- Reduce bacteria, fungus, mold, and unpleasant odors.
- Relax the mind and body, relieve tension, and clear the mind.
- Improve concentration, alertness, and mental clarity.
- Dispel odors.
With all these benefits, it makes sense to start using a diffuser today.
With the threat of super bugs growing ever more resistant to vaccines and antibiotics, our pets becoming infected as well as us humans, diffusing essential oils makes more and more sense. It simply is the ultimate home health care defense against life-threatening organisms.
While diffusing essential oils will not stop an animal or even a person from being infected outside of the home, it will/does create an infectious free zone of air within the home you can use to protect your loved ones. Breathing air diffused with essential oils attacks any virus or bacteria lining the respiratory tract which may have been inhaled outside of the infectious free zone. It also keeps the infection from spreading to other family members or pets.
Diffusing oils into a room with a sick pet or human family member with a cold or flu can actually cut their downtime by half or more! According to the experts, recovery can be accelerated by as much as 70%! And regular diffusion of essential oils can practically eliminate the normal change-of-season bouts with colds or flu.
By way of personal experience with these amazing essential oils, we have found them to offer much in the way of additional therapeutic benefits, going way beyond their powerful immune boosting and anti-microbial properties.
For example, try diffusing our Anti-Anxiety Formula at bedtime! Its amazing calming and relaxing effects practically guarantee a sound nights sleep. And again, you and your pets receive these benefits on top of all of the other powerful anti-pathogenic, immune-boosting, cell-nourishing, body oxygenating and health-enhancing properties of the oils!
Many combinations of aroma are possible and the effects are beneficial for our pets and ourselves! That’s why we’ve chosen to harness this power by combining the most effective oils into properly mixed and diluted blends.
Cats are known to be deficient in their ability to eliminate compounds through hepatic glucuronidation (they lack enzyme glucuronyl tranferases). Glucuronidation is an important detoxification mechanism present in most animals except cats. Lack of this important detoxification mechanism in cats may result in slower elimination and thus build up of the toxic metabolites in the body causing toxicity problems. When diffusing oils specifically for your cat, try not to use excessive amounts of essential oil, and choose oils which have lower volatility’s as far as possible. In addition, ensure good air circulation especially during the diffusion process, so that local concentrations of essential oil vapour are not built up in non-airchanged areas inhabited by the cat. Make sure cat can get to ‘undiffused’ air at any time if possible, and only diffuse in an individual room if cat does not have access i.e. make it a multi-room location. Toxicology studies show that the feline liver usually needs 48 hours to process and excrete ‘terpenes’, thus allow 48 hours between end of last diffusion and starting another to avoid repeated exposure by inhalation.
Below are some research references documenting the therapeutic properties of essential oils:
Carson CF, et al. “Antimicrobial activity of the major components of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia.” J Appl Bacteriol. 1995;78(3):264-9. Compendium of Olfactory Research. Edited by Avery N. Gilbert. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt Publishing,
Benencia F, et al. “Antiviral activity of sandalwood oil against herpes simplex viruses-1 and -2.” Phytomedicine. 1999;6(2):119-23
Bernardis LL, et al. “The lateral hypothalamic area revisited: ingestive behavior.” Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 20(2):189-287 (1996).
Bilgrami KS, et al. “Inhibition of aflatoxin production & growth of Aspergillus flavus by eugenol & onion & garlic extracts.” Indian J Med Res. 1992;96:171-5. Bradshaw RH, et al. “Effects of lavender straw on stress and travel sickness in pigs.” J Altern Complement Med. 1998;4(3):271-5.
Brodal A., “Neurological Anatomy in Relation to Clinical Medicine”. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.