Will Aromatherapy Massage Oil Work For Animals?

Although aromatherapy massage works incredibly well for the human animal, does it also work as well for other kinds of animals? Pet owners are constantly searching for more natural ways of helping their pets heal. After the tainted pet-food scandal and more controversy brewing over annual vaccinations for dogs, it’s only natural to assume that what works for people will also work for pets.

Aromatherapy Massage Oil – The Jury’s Still Out

Massage is definitely welcomed by horses, dogs and cats, but usually they would prefer if you kept your hands dry and warm. Since most pet animals and livestock have a much heightened sense of smell than the human animal, the smells of even the mildest of aromatherapy massage oils (like chamomile) may smell overpowering to the pet.

What some pet and horse owners do is diffuse calming aromatherapy scents into the air while they are giving their pet a massage with warm, dry hands. This has had mixed results with cats, dogs and horses. A lot had to do with the individual animal over whether they liked or hated the aromatherapy scent.

Some Don’ts With Aromatherapy Massage Oil

Don’t just subject your pet to an aromatherapy massage without taking some precautions. First off, you really need to talk to your vet. An aromatherapy massage might not be helpful for the kind of problem your pet has. You need to be sure your pet has a proper diagnosis in order to get proper treatment. Aromatherapy is great for many people and pets – but it’s not a cure all.

Please don’t place aromatherapy essential oils at full strength on your pet. This will sting and may cause a chemical burn. Your pet will go off aromatherapy massages for life. You need to use only one to three drops of pure oil at the most in a mixture of olive oil or some other vegetable based oil that’s easily absorbed by the skin. Some people even skip on oils altogether and put a drop or two or aromatherapy oil into rubbing alcohol.

Don’t use just any old essential oil you may have on hand for an aromatherapy massage. There are some oils like rosemary that should never be used on a pregnant animal (or a pregnant woman) because the oil can induce contractions. There are also scents that can trigger seizures in animals with epilepsy.

If your pet clearly is uncomfortable with the smell or the aromatherapy massage, please stop and let the pet relax.