Caring for dogs is tricky, especially when it comes to purchasing uncertain and expensive over-the-counter products promising to cure or relieve ailments. Recently, however, dog owners are beginning to catch on to a cheaper, more organic solution: essential oils.
Normally reserved for humans, essential oil use for animals has been on the rise as an alternative method for treating anxiety and respiratory issues; promoting digestive, skin, joint, immune and muscle health; as well as a pesticide-free insect repellant. “They're just getting refined enough now for people to use them at home on their own,” explains Karen Mahmalji, owner of Huntington Beach-based dog groomer and boutique Top Dog Barkery. “Everybody is looking for the natural solution for things; instead of putting a dog on flea medicine, try a mixture of oils that prevent fleas in the first place.”
But not all oils that are beneficial for humans will be so for your beloved four-legged pal. Make sure that each one is 100 percent pure and not simply used for aromatic purposes. Lavender is said to relieve anxiety over riding in a car, insomnia, even allergies. You can dillute the oil in water for consumption or rub it on your dog's collar and body (while making sure to avoid the eyes and nether regions).
To learn more about how to implement essential oils into your canine's health care, check out the upcoming Essential Oils for Dogs 101 class at Top Dog, held by organic product manufacturer Young Living. An expert will discuss the company's line of doggie oils and how to best use them. Class size is limited, and registration is first come, first served; attendees will get a doggie bag of oils to take home.
Essential Oils for Dogs 101, at Top Dog Barkery, 21010 Pacific Coast Hwy., Ste. A-160, Huntington Beach, (714) 960-3647; topdogbarkery.net. Aug. 25, 6:30 p.m. $19.99.