As long as I’ve known my dog GhostBuster, we’ve been battling skin issues and seeking safe remedies for his chronic itchiness. My beautiful boy has been prescribed several medications in the 15 months since his adoption, including prednisone, which has some scary side effects. That’s why my husband and I have tried to control GhostBuster’s allergies by controlling what he eats.
Unfortunately, we found his food allergies are just part of the rashy, red puzzle — and he’s got seasonal allergies, too. His poor skin reacts to almost everything in nature except snow. Winter is good, but summer and especially fall are a merry-go-round of hotspots, topical treatments, and prescription pills (including prednisone, which we are currently tapering him off of). I’m thankful for medications, but I’m always on the lookout for more natural treatments, like the Pampered Pet Essential Oils Bundle Pack offered by Organic Infusions.
The company sent me the kit to review with GhostBuster (and his way less itchy buddy, Marshmallow), and I gotta say, for an essential oil newbie, the number of bottles that come in the bundle pack can be a little overwhelming. Luckily, Rose Heart, founder and CEO of Organic Infusions, was able to talk me through how to use the oils before I even opened the array of bottles.
The Pampered Pet Bundle Pack (which retails for $118.75) comes with the following:
Heart developed her Pet Care Serum and the Pampered Pet Bundle Pack for her own dog’s hotspots. I was not surprised to hear her pup is a Golden Retriever, as skin issues are pretty common in the breed (DNA testing lists my GhostBuster as between 37-74 percent Golden Retriever and between 20-36 percent Labrador Retriever, with a little Italian Greyhound in there for laughs).
According to Heart, her special Pet Care Serum (a blend of Rosehip Seed Oil, Golden Jojoba Oil, High Altitude Lavender Essential Oil, and Tea Tree Essential Oil) worked wonders on her own Golden’s hotspots. She suggested applying a little bit of the serum to GhostBuster’s hotspots after first misting some of the Lemongrass Hydrosol on the spot (the hydrosol is antibacterial and antifungal).
I followed her advice and found that this was an effective way of treating some of GhostBuster’s hotspots, but not others. The pinkish ones on his belly and underarms are like a localized heat rash, and if I catch these ones early and apply the hydrosol and the serum they clear up quickly.
The more stubborn, redder spots tend to appear on his back, and I only treated a couple of them successfully. During his most recent episode, they appeared so quickly that I only got to treat the first one with serum once before he freaked out, biting and scratching at his back until it was bleeding. While I was out of the house, he used a low shelf as a weapon against himself, dragging his back underneath it. When I came home, my pretty boy even had blood on his face. He went in a cone and back on the prednisone.
This is where the Spa Scenter Diffuser and the Meditation Essential Oil Blend came in handy as a way to calm down GhostBuster’s crazy obsessive behavior. Unlike the other bottles in the kit, the Meditation Essential Oil Blend and the Purification Essential Oil Blend are not to be applied to topically — you just apply a few drops to reusable aroma pad and pop the pad in the diffuser (do not diffuse any essential oils if you have birds or pocket pets in the house, it’s cautioned). The Meditation Blend smelled pretty and seemed to help chill GhostBuster out, and I kind of thought it chilled me out, too, as we were both pretty stressed about his skin.
We also used the Purification Blend throughout the house and in the car to help get rid of whatever allergens were attacking GhostBuster. I used the Lemon Hydrosol spray in the backseat of my car for its antibacterial properties, and I sprayed some on Marshmallow before trail hikes to protect her from insects (the bugs didn’t land on her as much, and she smelled nice). The Certified Organic Virgin Coconut Carrier Massage Oil knocked out GhostBuster’s dandruff (left over when the hotspots finally healed), and the combo of Tea Tree Oil and Jojoba Oil helped when Marshmallow stepped on a pine needle and hurt her little paw pad.
Quality: A+. Everything is certified organic, so I wasn’t worried that my pups were getting a dose of chemicals along with the oils.
Style: The Spa Diffuser is oddly industrial looking, but effective.
Function: Your milage may vary, depending on the intensity of your dog’s skin problems.
Creativity: Heart came up with the Pet Care Serum to help her own dog, and that’s definitely a good and creative use of her skills as a certified master aromatherapist and herbalist.
Value: The Pampered Pet Bundle Pack retails for $118.75; if you were to buy all the bits separately, you’d need to spend about $60 more.
In my experience, essential oils are not enough to combat the kind of skin issues my GhostBuster has, but they certainly can help. I’m currently using the aromatherapy in conjunction with a tricyclic antidepressant from our vet to deal with his obsessiveness, and the smell of the Meditative Blend does seem to soothe him. My dogs and I got a lot of use out of this kit and learned a lot about essential oils, which are certainly worth stocking in your holistic first aid kit.
Have you tried essential oils on your dogs? Tell me in the comments!
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About the Author: Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat was once her only animal, but the addition of a second cat, Specter, and the dog duo of GhostBuster and Marshmallow make her fur family complete. Sixteen paws is definitely enough. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook, and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google+.