Can essential oils and aromatherapy help pre and post surgery recovery for pets?

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It`s known that essential oils and aromatherapy have been used for centuries to alleviate stress and promote well-being in humans however did you know that the use of aromatherapy with dogs is going back to the mid 1800s? 

Scientific studies in Germany and France regarding the medical effects of essential oils on animals and humans were quite advanced by the mid-1800s. Due to positive clinical results, the practice of veterinary aromatherapy was not uncommon in these countries by the mid-1900s.

As a reason that dogs have 40 times more scent receptors than humans, allows them to identify smells up to 100,000 times better than us. With their remarkable olfactory memory, and because their world revolves around scent, aromatherapy is ideal for use with dogs.

Recent research  has shown that olfactory enrichment with essential oils might be able to modify the affective states of certain species (dogs, cats, horses, zoo animals…). In these studies, the welfare measurements included physiological indicators, such as corticosteroid levels, and/or behaviors related to chronic stress. The olfactory effects of 9 essential oils including Lavender and Geranium and a blend of these oils were explored on a cognitive bias test, cortisol levels and the behaviors of 110 shelter dogs (n = 10 dogs within each group). Olfactory enrichment with the blend resulted in a reduced latency to the ambiguous cue, indicating a more optimistic bias and improved welfare. The results of this study suggest that olfactory enrichment with essential oils can have specific effects on the affective states and behaviors of dogs. 

In my earlier blogs Pet safe essential oils for dogs and their health benefits, I have already described the pet safe essential oils and their health benefits for dogs, however in this blog I would like to focus on how these natural remedies can also be used to support the pre and post-surgery care of our beloved pets.


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Pre-Surgery Use of Essential Oils


Aromatherapy works by stimulating the olfactory senses which helps release energetic responses, balancing the physical wellbeing of the body. In combination with other natural therapies, essential oils can support the health and healing of our pets, both mentally and physically.

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Jut like humans, pets can also experience stress and anxiety before surgery. This can be due to the unfamiliar environment or procedures, such as transportation or hospitalisation, uncertainty about how their daily routine will change, or even anticipating the pain. The use of essential oils can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels and promote relaxation in these situations.


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One particular essential oil that is suitable for calming pets before surgery is Lavender oil. This oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties and is commonly used in holistic approaches to reduce stress and anxiety. Lavender oil can help to ease a pet's tension and promote feelings of peace, allowing them to relax and feel comfortable before surgery.


Another essential oil that can be effective pre-surgery is Chamomile. Chamomile is known for its ability to relax the nervous system and soothe anxiety. It can be particularly helpful to calm hyper pets and to relieve the temporary anxiety caused by the surgery.


Post-Surgery Use of Essential Oils


At times, even post-surgery recovery can be stressful for pets. Similarly to pre-surgery, the use of essential oils particularly Lavender and Chamomile can help to reduce stress and anxiety levels and promote relaxation in these situations.

Post-surgery, most pets also experience pain and discomfort, leading to lethargy and inactivity, which can severely impact their mood and therefore the recovery time. Essential oils can be used to help manage pain and create a soothing and calming environment conducive to optimal healing.

Frankincense oil is one of the most useful essential oil for post-surgery. This oil is well-known for its therapeutic properties and has been used for centuries for its perceived pain-relieving abilities by promoting relaxation and slowing down breathing rates. It can also help the body to combat inflammation and promote healthy cellular regeneration.

 Geranium oil is also an excellent choice for post-surgery care. This fragrant essential oil helps to release negative memories and ease nervous tension which is particularly beneficial for animals who experienced any trauma due to the unusual situation or pain, which can be particularly beneficial for animals recovering from surgery.


Wood oils, such as Cedarwood, can also be beneficial when used in combination after surgery. Cedarwood is known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and can particularly help heal soft tissues that have been damaged during surgery. Cedarwood reducing stress and anxiety and supports a good night sleep, allowing the pet to have some quality rest and recover faster to bounce back to their daily routine soon after surgery.


How to Use Essential Oils Pre and Post Surgery


Essential oils can be used in various ways to support your pet's pre and post-surgery care. One of the most effective methods is through diffusing. Essential oil diffusers can be effective as they can disperse oils evenly into the environment such that the pets can naturally inhale the aromas. It can create a calm and relaxing atmosphere around the pets, promoting stress relief.

The other very effective solution is the Halo Pet Aromatherapy Collar developed by Halo Products. This exquisite Vegan Leather Dog Collar has a unique Aromatherapy Pendant. This custom designed stainless-steel pendant is housing a scented disk to slowly diffuse the selected pet essential oil blend.


Halo Pet Aromatherapy Collar:  Off white Dog collar, Off white dog accessories.  The go-to anti anxiety treatment for dogs. Say goodbye to separation anxiety in dogs with this trendy and healing collar. 100% pure and natural, combining several organic essential oils this collar provides natural anxiety relief for dogs. Discover the ultimate dog anxiety treatment with the Halo Pet Aromatherapy Collar.


By adding 1-2 drops of Halo Inner Peace or Pure Happiness Essential Oil you can provide your furry friend with a relaxing and therapeutic experience anywhere and anytime.


Halo Pet Crystal Aromatherapy collar with Inner Peace and Pure Happyness pet essential oil blend for calming pre and post surgery recovery for pets.Halo Pet Aromatherapy Collar, the go-to anti anxiety treatment for dogs. Say goodbye to separation anxiety in dogs with this trendy and healing collar. 100% pure, combining several organic essential oils, this collar provides natural stress and anxiety relief for dogs. Discover the ultimate dog anxiety treatment with the Halo Pet Aromatherapy Collar.

Halo Inner Peace Pet essential oil blends the aromatherapy benefits of organic Lavender, organic Frankincense, organic Geranium, Roman Chamomile and Cedarwood oils infused with amethyst crystal to help your pet relieve stress, anxiety, and other emotional problems, also provide anti-inflamation properties. This Animal Naturopath approved and recommended essential oil blend is combining all five essential oils to provide the perfect combination and support for the pre- and post surgery recovery.


Halo Pure Happiness essential oil essential blend is all about balance & happiness.

This unique blend was developed for dogs & cats to balance and uplift their mood and to promote feelings of unconditional love. All botanicals in this essential oil blend (Organic Geranium, Organic frankincense, Organic  Sweet orange and Roman chamomile infused with Rose Quartz crystal) are purifying, heart opening and uplifting the little patients mood and promoting faster recovery. The recommended use is 1 or 2 drops on the Aromatherapy Pendant or 5 drops in a diffuser.

Another method is to use direct application to the pet's body. This should only be done under the direction of the veterinarian and the pet's owner as improper usage can lead to complications. For instance, diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil before applying to pets is essential. Carrier oils such as coconut oil or olive oil can be used to reduce the intensity of essential oils when applied directly.

Additional benefits of "aromatherapy the Halo way", that your dog skin doesn’t need to be in contact with the essential oil. This is specially important if they have sensitive skin.

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In conclusion, essential oils and aromatherapy play a vital role in pet care, particularly in pre- and post-surgery situations where pets can experience pain, anxiety, and discomfort. Therefore, incorporating aromatherapy in combination with other complimentary therapies can be effective in supporting the pet’s body and mind for optimal recovery. However, it is essential to consider the particular needs of each pet and to cater to this with specific types of essential oils and their applicable dilution ratio.

While they do not replace traditional medicine, essential oils and aromatherapy can enhance the pets' healing process and therapeutic recovery. Always use Holistic Vet or Animal Naturopath approved products and/or consult with your veterinarian to determine the best essential oils for your pet's pre and post-surgery care routine. By using the natural healing capabilities of aromatherapy and essential oils, our pets can experience a more gentle and comfortable recovery from surgery.




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