Hydrosols for Pets — The Safest Aromatherapy Option
By Caryn Gehlmann
We get so many calls from people who want to use aromatherapy to love and nurture their pets. They love their essential oils, and since they’re all natural they figure they’ll be good for their pets too. But wait a minute…
We shouldn’t forget that animals have super-olfactory senses. Smells that may seem mild to us can be super potent for our furry friends. And there are a myriad of other health and safety concerns that come into play when using essential oils for your pets. (Read an interview with e3’s animal health advisor on some of the dos and don’ts of aromatherapy with animals.)
Hydrosols — The Safest Choice for Pet Owners
Many pet owners don’t have time for hours and hours of research on the best aromatherapy practices, so we’ve been looking to provide you with a simpler solution. The answer — hydrosols for pets. Hydrosols are gentler than essential oils as they are far less concentrated, yet they’re still full of health and wellness benefits for our animals. It’s no wonder hydrosols are considered to be one the safest forms of aromatherapy.
Before we tell you more about our new product, Love Your Pet Lavender Hydrosol, let’s do a quick review on what a hydrosol is and how it’s made.
When aromatic plants are distilled, two products are created in the process: the essential oil (which is lipophilic or “oil loving”) and the hydrosol (which is hydrophilic or “water loving”). Hydrosols contain the water-soluble constituents of the plant and micro-droplets of essential oils. The properties of the hydrosol are similar to the properties of the essential oil, but are much less concentrated. They have a softer, subtler aroma and a gentler action, which is why people love them too!
So real hydrosols aren’t distilled water with a few drops of essential oils added and they certainly aren’t water mixed with some synthetic fragrance. True therapeutic hydrosols should be free from preservatives, alcohol, or stabilizers. Because of this make sure to use the hydrosol by the expiration date, keep it stored in a cool location (the fridge works just fine), and smell it periodically to make sure it isn’t rancid.
Love Your Pet Lavender Hydrosol is 100% natural hydrosol made from lavender harvested at our local co-op Lavender Farm. We decided to use lavender as it is so versatile in the way it can be used and is one of the safer and gentler plants. Lavender is considered by many pet owners as the all-purpose hydrosol since it is gentle, soothing, relaxing, and antibacterial!
A good first step when using a hydrosol with your pet is to spray a small amount on a cloth and let the animal smell it. Pay close attention to how they respond, if they run away, take that as a no and maybe try later. If he/she likes it, they’ll usually let you know by rubbing up against it or licking the air or their mouth.
You can use this product to:
- Calm and relax your beloved animal companions
- Cool and soothe inflammation or treat mild skin irritation
- Help disinfect and encourage healing of minor scratches and wounds
- Freshen smelly beds or bed linens
- Help to discourage fleas and tics
- Keep coats clean and shiny
Don’t use any kind of aromatherapy product on birds, amphibians, or aquatic animals. Cats need special care. We appreciated this advice from Aromahead Institute’s Co-Educational Director, Karen Williams, hydrosol can be used by applying a small amount to your hands and running them through your cat’s coat. Since your cat will lick his coat, the hydrosol is going to be ingested so you want to use only a small amount.
Here are 3 suggestions to use Love Your Pet Lavender Hydrosol:
#1 – Freshen Up Funky Smelling Bedding
This is a great way to get rid of any funky smells on bedding or another favorite hangout spot — maybe even your bed. Simply spray it on the area you want to freshen up. (If you find your pet doesn’t like the smell, air it out before reintroducing it.)
#2 – Treat Small Cuts and Scratches
It is common for pets, especially dogs, to get injured while playing. Lavender hydrosol can help you wash and disinfect the wounded area and promote healing. Of course, any serious cuts or wounds should be attended to by your veterinarian as soon as possible.
#3 – Shine Up Their Coats
Next time you give your pet a bath, add hydrosol to the natural shampoo (one that doesn’t contain synthetic chemicals). Depending on your pet, you can use up to a 30% ratio of hydrosol to shampoo. Their coats will shine, and since many animals find lavender relaxing, it may just help you have a more tranquil bathing experience!
We’d love to hear what you think about our new Love Your Pet Lavender Hydrosol. Have you used hydrosols for pets before? We’d love to hear your experiences. Please give us your feedback and join us on Facebook, we’d love to see a photo of you with your pet!