Lavender is a plant with purple flowers and a sweet fragrance. The plant itself is not normally used as is true with other herbs. Instead, the oil of the lavender is commonly used to control nervousness and anxiety in pets and is quite popular in aromatherapy applications.
Oil of lavender can be used to calm nervous or aggressive animals. It is also recommended to help “lift the spirits” of depressed animals. Many owners place a small amount of the oil on a cotton ball, and then place this ball in the transport carrier with the pet when taking the pet to the veterinarian’s, groomer’s, or simply for any travel in the car.
A few drops of oil placed in a vaporizer may help the pet with respiratory congestion.
A tick preventive can be made in the following way (taken from Wulff-Tilford, M, Tilford G. Herbs for Pets, BowTie Press, 1999, page 169):
- 100 ml oil of lavender
- 300 ml olive oil
- 500 ml essential oil of terebinth
- 100 ml of St. John’s wort-infused oil
A small amount of the oil is rubbed onto the pet to help prevent tick infestation.
Internal uses should be avoided due to the potential for toxicity on the liver and kidneys Topically applied oil should not be licked off by the pet. Do not use the undiluted oil directly on the skin as this may cause irritation. While some sources warn against using the oil around or on cats due to the potential liver toxicity, applying a few drops of diluted oil to a cotton ball and placing the ball in the transport cage with the cat has not been shown to be harmful. The oil, even in the diluted form for tick control, should not be used on or in cats.
Lavender for Pets
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Shawn Messonnier, DVM
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Shawn Messonnier DVM Past Supporting Member, Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians Author, the award-winning The Natural Health Bible for Dogs & Cats, The Natural Vet’s Guide to Preventing and Treating Cancer in Dogs, and Breast Choices for the Best Chances: Your Breasts, Your Life, and How YOU Can Win The Battle!
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