Friday, March 6, 2009

Treating Seasonal Allergies in Dogs

I’ve blogged before about the dogs I adopted from local shelters, Lexi & Cooper. Lexi is a 6 year old mix, we think of Chihuahua & Rat Terrier. She is about 18 pounds & frequently suffers from seasonal (Tennessee) allergies. We deal with it naturally as much as possible & try to incorporate aromatherapy as much as we safely can for a small dog.

Over the last week she’s been sneezing quite a bit with runny, itchy eyes, & what seems to be sinus discomfort. I regularly use our hydrosols to clean under & around her eyes which she loves. Her very favorite is our German Chamomile Hydrosol which is anti-inflammatory & very soothing. All I have to do is ask her to come over when she sees the blue bottle & she sits patiently while I dab a cotton ball soaked with the hydrosol to clean her eyes. She always wants to lick the cotton ball–not a good idea, so as a treat I spray some on my hand when I am finished & let her lick it off. I do this several times & from her reaction, she must feel like she is getting a delightful treat! And she is! After all, how many dogs are pampered with hydrosols?

This week I also put a couple of drops of Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil on her collar & every night rubbed a very small amount of our diluted Sinease Massage Oil onto her chest. She couldn’t reach it to lick it from her chest, thankfully, because she was unusually interested in the Sinease this week. That told me that she must really NEED the benefits of it because normally when I pull out the Sinease to use on myself, she turns away, probably overwhelmed by the scent. I love the smell, but since dogs can smell so much better than humans; I imagine our oils can be overpowering to them at times. I also put a small dot of Blue Tansy Essential Oil with the Sinease to help with allergies.

She is not 100%, but after a few days of this regime, she seemed much livelier & relieved from her discomfort. We are also using some herbal tinctures that have worked well for her in the past.

Remember to treat small dogs as you would a child or baby when it comes to aromatherapy. Hydrosols are often a better approach due to the potency of the oils. And of course, do your research before using any oil or natural product on your pets. Natural does not always mean safe for their systems.

For best results when working with animals, Marge recommends (and I second!) Kristen Leigh Bell’s book: “Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals: A Comprehensive Guide to the Use of Essential Oils & Hydrosols with Animals.” It is an excellent resource & can be purchased online through our link from Amazon.


Nan said...

YAAY! Thank you!
We live in Northern Cal. It has been so windy and COLD wind...Every tree possible has been showering us with pollen! I have three small dogs..(Fox Terrier,Min Pin/Dachs,&Foxie wawa)
Two of which have been suffering. I do not like to dose w/anti-histamines. I also have suffered. Do you have a suggestion for arthritis in a small dog? Toddy had two surgeries on a broken hip, which resulted in cutting her trochanter off.Consequently, any damp or cold, or change of weather bothers her hip. Thanks a million!
Nan T.
Ukiah, Ca.

Nan T said...

Thank You!
I have three small dogs(Fox Terrier,Dachs/Minpin, & Foxie wawa)We live in N.Cal.and it has been horribly windy. Two of my dogs and myself have been suffering! One actually sneezes(smallest one).
What do you recommend for arthritis in a small dog? Toddy had two surgeries on her hip a couple of years ago.(before we adopted her)ANY weather change(esp cold or damp) bothers her hip. Thanks a million!
Nan T.

Christi said...


You might think about a plastic inhaler with our Blue Tansy Essential Oil for your purse. I keep one with me at all times for histamine reactions. It is blue, & ink like, so it can easily stain skin or clothing otherwise.

I will defer to Marge for comment & suggestions on treating arthritis in dogs. I haven't come up against that just yet.

BTW, a min pin & his owner just moved into the house next door to me!

Marge said...

I've not treated arthritis in a dog...and my copy of Kristen's book is not at hand (never is when I need it!)... so.. off the top of my head!

We've had amazing reports of success with our "Miracle Blend" for treating arthritis in humans, but I don't think it's a good suggestion for a dog. (The St. John's Wort oil base could cause sun damage... esp. in a shorthaired dog.) but perhaps the oils used in it (Helichrysum, Black Pepper, and Lavandin) used for massage in a different carrier oil? I'm wondering if Calophyllum would be helpful as the base oil. Either that, or just fractionated coconut. The blend of essential oils is available in our BackEase synergy.

But...I'd also be concerned about him licking it off.

Christi, if you can put your hands on Kristen's book... what does she say about arthritis?