What is Hydrosol?
If you’ve been following along with the latest trends, holistic aromatherapy for animals is high up on the must-try list. From lavender to cardamom, the medicinal benefits of essential oils are undeniable. However, what if your pooch is more sensitive than the average pup? Is it worth risking a possible adverse reaction for a potential positive gain? Never fear. Meet hydrosol for dogs: your new go-to for a holistic approach to your pet’s health and well-being.
Hydrosol for Dogs: The Scientific Basics
Before we dive into hydrosol for dogs, we have to be familiar their counterpart: essential oils. Essential oils are the naturally occurring, aromatic compounds commonly found in plants. So how do they transform into the perfectly bottled supplements we see on the shelves of health food stores? It’s not as complicated as you may think.
- First, the plant materials are gathered and placed in a large container with water in the bottom.
- As the liquid heats up, steam distillation occurs, causing the plant to release both its essence and oil.
- The extractor then collects the oil in a separate container, thus creating the essential oil. But what happens to the water?
- BINGO. Hydrosol is born.
The word hydrosol, or “flower water,” comes from ‘hydro,’ meaning water, and ‘sol,’ meaning solution. Hydrosol is specifically the water that supplements the essential oil during the distillation process. This makes the majority of hydrosols a by-product of primary essential oil production.
Plants and… Silver?
It’s also important to note that plant material such as seeds, roots, bark, and flowers serve as the base for most, but not all, hydrosols. In addition, Sovereign silver, or colloidal silver, is micro-fine silver particles suspended in distilled water. It is becoming widely respectful for antimicrobial benefits in dogs and humans alike.
In fact, colloidal silver hydrosol is becoming so recognized as a natural way to mitigate pain and cure infections, a new device called the Micro-Particle Colloidal Silver Generator has emerged, allowing individuals to make bio-active silver hydrosol in the comfort of their home for a fraction of the cost.
Hydrosol for Dogs vs. Essential Oil for Dogs
Essential oils and hydrosols share many similar properties; however, the distillation process causes hydrosols to be much milder than the corresponding essential oil. The significantly diluted hydrosol is better suited for smaller dogs and cats whose systems are unable to process the heaviness of essential oil.
Therefore, animals (humans included) who don’t react positively to the dominant essential oil fragrances may prefer the diluted, light nature of hydrosols. However, it’s important to note, distillation has a larger impact on essential oils than meets the eye.
Interesting enough, hydrosols have different chemical makeups than their corresponding essential oils counterpart. This chemical difference causes the hydrosol of a plant and its parallel essential oil to not always to have the same scent. For instance, lavender hydrosol and lavender essential oil smell quite different from each other.
Another bonus in using hydrosol for dogs is that they are cheaper than essential oils. While money may be no object when it comes to pampering your fur baby, it’s always nice to be able to take a test drive before making any final decisions, especially with the number of oils to choose from. From a financial standpoint, experimenting with hydrosol for dogs is the way to go.
However, because hydrosols do not contain added preservatives, they have a shorter shelf life than most essential oils. Making sure to store your hydrosols in air-tight glass in the refrigerator will help maximize the shelf life and give you the best cost-effective deal.
Hydrosols can be used internally as well as externally. Comparatively, owners should use precaution with essential oils due to their potential toxicity for their pets. Diluting essential oils is crucial and can prove to be highly dangerous if not done correctly. Conversely, hydrosols are gentle enough to use on puppies and on older dogs, making them much more versatile than essential oils.
Why Use Hydrosol For Dogs?
Here are just a handful of ways that dog owners see the benefits from this holistic approach to pet health:
Use a spray bottle to lightly mist an anxious dog with Neroli hydrosol or lavender hydrosol to help ease nerves.
Helichrysum hydrosol on the gums aids in treating an infection.
Use a compress of helichrysum hydrosol heals broken capillaries.
Diluted lavender hydrosol, in combination with coconut oil, can aid in pain relief and healing. Coconut oil, or even olive oil, are good choices because they act as a carrier oil. In addition, they are proficient at diluting oils and hydrosols if necessary.
Diluted chamomile on a cotton swab aids in healing.
Use a compress of Yarrow, Lavender, and Chamomile hydrosols to treat skin irritations. Aloe vera is an additional natural remedy. However, it is important to find the root of the irritation rather than mask it.
Minor Burns and Wounds
Spraying sovereign silver and colloidal silver hydrosol on wounds help with healing. Additionally, helichrysum italicum helps with pain while hearing abrasions and cuts.
Puppy Teething Pain
A cool compress of roman chamomile hydrosol helps alleviate pain.
Lightly misting your dog’s coat with rose geranium hydrosol can help with the smell as well as repel ticks.
Ticks and Fleas
Neem oil and neem hydrosol aid in keeping bugs away. By adding neem oil to an all natural shampoo, you can create a safe flea bath for your dog without the added chemicals.
Orally delivering bio-active silver hydrosol helps to fight infection and reduce inflammation.
Nausea and Motion Sickness
To help with nausea, peppermint hydrosol can be diluted with vegetable oil and given up to 3 times per day.
Both coconut oil and lavender hydrosol assist in curing yeast infections.
Lastly, if there’s one essential oil or hydrosol that takes the cake, it’s lavender.
Lavender aids healing:
- Bruises on the paw pad
- Ear infections
- Hot spots
- Itchy skin
- Minor burns
- Odor control
- Restlessness at night
- Skin infection
- Skin irritation
- Soothing the central nervous system
- Yeast infections
Lavender is also very gentle, safe, and has been proven effective many times over!
How To Use Hydrosol For Dogs
There are many safe and effective ways for pet owners to use hydrosol for dogs. For instance, you can administer it…
A colloidal silver hydrosol is available for purchase in a liquid, gel, and spray form and is one of the most popular hydrosols for a slew of ailments.
The most effective way to administer hydrosols orally is to sprinkle on top of your pup’s food, water bowl, or directly into the mouth.
Another popular method is by creating a hydrosol compress:
- Dilute 2-3 tablespoons of hydrosol in one liter of water.
- Soak a clean washcloth in the mixture.
- Administer it to the affected area or use as a bandage to prevent licking.
Individual hydrosols are effective on their own; however, if you want, feel free to mix and max hydrosols to see greater effects.
Adding hydrosols such as rose geranium, lavender, and Roman chamomile to a spray bottle and lightly misting over your dog’s coat and body can help with issues such as anxiety and odor.
Adding hydrosols to a warm bath is another way to experience the holistic benefits of aromatherapy.
Whenever introducing a new element into your pet’s life, it is always best to keep an eye out for any changes, big or small. Owners may wrongly assume that their medium-sized dogs can “handle” more than a teacup dog, but every pup is different. Closely monitoring your pets is of the utmost importance in keeping Fido safe and healthy!
Precautions When Using Hydrosol For Dogs
There are several essential oils and hydrosols that dog owners should avoid. The following essential oils may cause a range of issues from skin irritations to liver toxicity, even in a diluted, hydrosolic state.
- Cinnamon Oil
- Clove Oil
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Garlic Oil
- Tea Tree Oil*
- Thyme Oil
- Wintergreen Oil
- Witch Hazel (can be effective but can be dangerous if misused)
* Research shows that tea tree oil and tea tree hydrosol can be effective, but only when diluted correctly. In very small amounts (.1% to 1%), tea tree oil is safe for dogs and cats topically. Yet with the rise in popularity of tea tree oil in skincare routines, households now have bottles containing 100% tea tree oil. The combination of incorrectly diluting, along with the potency of the substance, can cause extremely adverse effects.
Additionally, unlike water-based hydrosols, essential oils do not dissolve in water and therefore cannot be washed off. When using essential oils around dogs and cats make sure to avoid all contact with their eyes.
Hydrosol for Dogs. Worth a Try?
While hydrosols in aromatherapy have only recently been trending, many specialists would agree that they are worth giving a try. Researching specific essential oils will assist in knowing what hydrosols may be best for your pup, depending on their specific needs.
While we fully believe in educating on the benefits of natural medicine for your pets, be sure to always speak with your veterinarian before stopping any medication that your beloved pooch may be on.
Illustrations inspired by our furry friend Scotch!