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Uck. It's so damn cold here and it's only going to get colder. Winter isn't my favorite time of the year. It's cold, wet, and a lot of work. The house needs to be cleaned daily (muddy paw prints), the dogs have to be dried off all the time, I do laundry regularly to wash all the wet towels, and traffic blows.
Marysville isn't as bad as Forks, WA, but we do get our fair share of rain here and during the winter, we're going to have snow. It's fun at first. I love the turning of the leaves. I love waking up to snow. But it doesn't take long for me to start wishing for spring flowers.
Being on a constant blanket of grey clouds and rain isn't fun. So, instead of wallowing in my winter blues, I diffuse essential oils that make me think of sunnier times.
I recently placed an order with Plant Therapy, choosing 7 essential oils that will freshen the house and make me think of sunnier days.
What are Essential Oils?
But first, let's go back to the basics and talk about what essential oils are because like everything that gets popular, the market gets flooded with inferior products which have the potential to harm humans and their pets.
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts that hold on to the natural scent or essence of the plant or flower from which they are derived. So, a rose essential oil will smell like roses and may improve your mood (roses always make me happy and content). Lavender essential oil smells like a lavender plant and creates a calming atmosphere when I diffuse the oil in the room.
Are Essential Oils Safe for Pets?
There's a lot of misinformation out there about whether or not essential oils are safe for pets and I have to say that I'm so OVER people telling me that this oil or that oil is toxic based on some random thing they read on social media.
I get my information from professionals and own the The Animal Desk Reference II: Essential Oils for Animals, 2nd edition, by Dr. Melissa Shelton, who is one of the foremost experts on the use of essential oils for pets. When I'm making products for my dogs (shampoo, coat conditioners, paw balms), I first check the Animal Desk Reference because not only does Melissa Shelton have an impressive list of oils, she also shares how they're used so I don't worry about harming my pets.
Another thing to consider when using essential oils with (or around) your pets is the scent. Dogs have a significantly stronger sense of smell than their humans. What may smell amazing to us can be over powering to our dogs. So I always let them smell things and if they run away, I know it's too strong. And when diffusing oils in the room, I make sure that there is an exit. Because if the oil is too strong, I want them to be able to leave the room.
How I Use Essential Oils
There are many uses for essential oils and the more I learn about them, the more I realize how many things I can make with them. Yeah, this can be an expensive hobby, but thanks to essential oils, I no longer have to purchase dog shampoo, coat conditioner, paw balm, moisturizer, and more.
Primarily, I diffuse essential oils in the house to freshen the air and create a calm atmosphere. We have five active dogs that can be high strung at times and I need all the help I can get. If I'm sick or if it's getting late and the dogs are still working off that last vestige of energy, I'll diffuse oils that promote calming and within 30 minutes, I'll begin to see a difference with my pups.
7 Essential Oils that Smell of Spring
Petitgrain – this oil brings a bitter-sweet scent combined with a woody, floral scent. It's said to be uplifting and energizing. A great scent for a diffuser necklace.
Lavandin – at first, I thought this was lavender, but it's actually a cross between two lavender plants (regular lavender and spike lavender). It has a sweet, floral scent and is said to be great for relaxation and a good night's sleep.
Love Vanilla – vanilla is one of my favorite scents; it smells delicious. This essential oil is great for massages, but I use it in lotions and the diffuser because it promotes relaxation and has a calming effect.
Thyme Linalool – I chose this one for the woody scent; which is everywhere during the spring. I love walking around our property as everything is blooming in the spring and this oil brings that scent in the home. It's also a great oil for improved digestion and it provides support during the cold season.
'70s Essential Oil Blend – I was born in 1971 and although I don't remember a lot about the time, I do remember the scents, which is why I chose this oil. This essential oil has a musky, spicy scent combined with a light, sweet aroma. It's a blend of Patchouli, Cedarwood, Lemon, Lavender, Clove Bud and Rose to bring back memories of childhood.
Lemon Eucalyptus – this is one of my favorite oils; it's a great way to freshen the home (in a diffuser) and I like to use it when cleaning too. It's a sweet, lemon scent combined with citronella. This oil creates a calming atmosphere, freshens the air, and improves respiration.
Eucalyptus Radiata – I love eucalyptus and remember purchasing the plants for my apartment in the nineties. It was the thing to do. Now I can get that scent in an essential oil. It's a great aroma with a floral, citrus blend. Eucalyptus helps to clear the mind, improves focus, and it's great during allergy season.
DIY Dog Coat Freshener
So, diffusing essential oils is one easy step to freshen the house and ward off the gloom of cloudy, rainy days. The next step is to freshen our dogs' coats.
I only bathe our dogs when they need it. A bath is prompted by a roll in a dead snake, too much time in the pond, or a run-in with a skunk. Doggy smell after a rainy day doesn't warrant a bath, but something needs to be done.
The following DIY dog coat fresheners are a hit in our home. All you need is an average-sized spray bottle filled with water, your favorite essential oils and a few other ingredients and you're done! My favorites essential oils for coat fresheners are:
The number of drops of essential oil depends on the size of the bottle. My best recommendation is to test it out, starting with 5 drops and moving up. I usually use a 16-ounce spray bottle with up to 25 drops of a combination of oils that work well together.
My Favorite Essential Oils
There are a lot of essential oils that you can use to make a DIY dog coat freshener; the following are the ones I reach for when making one for my dogs. They're not too strong for the dogs and, combined with the fractionated coconut oil, they do a great job of freshening and conditioning their coat and skin.
I like to start with Lavender because it smells nice, it's calming, and it blends with a lot of other dog-safe EOs.
- Cedarwood Virginian
- Clove Bud
- Clary Sage
- Geranium Egyptian
- Helichrysum Italicum
- Rose Absolute
- Rosemary 1,8-Cineole
- Sandalwood Australian
Not the DIY Type? Try These Products
We have a new independent pet store in town and I have a blast checking out their inventory. That's where I discovered a new, to me, product line called Nootie. I'm currently using the following products and I love them. Best of all, the scents aren't too strong for the dogs and my boyfriend loves them too.
- Nootie Japanese Cherry Blossom Daily Spritz for Dogs
- Nootie Warm Vanilla Cookie Daily Spritz for Dogs
- Nootie Sweet Pea & Vanilla Daily Spritz for Dogs
And here are a few wipes that do a great job of freshening the coat between baths:
- Nootie Sweet Pea & Vanilla Dog & Cat Waterless Shampoo Wipes
- Nootie Japanese Cherry Blossom Dog & Cat Waterless Shampoo Wipes