Whole Dog Journal Tips March 9, 2015

(Kennel Cough #3) Clearing the Air

When Faith Thanas, an aromatherapist who lives in Leicester, Massachusetts, adopted a Doberman Pinscher from Louisiana one year after Hurricane Katrina, Sasha arrived in a van carrying 20 rescued dogs. A few days later, she started coughing.

To help soothe Sasha’s throat, Thanas mixed a blend of essential oils to spray in the air around the dog. She started with Ravensare (Cinnamonum camphora), one of the “must have” essential oils listed by Kristen Leigh Bell in her book Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals. As Bell explains, this gentle and tolerable antiviral, antibacterial essential oil supports the immune system and has tonifying effects.

Thanas then added Eucalyptus radiata, the gentlest of the many eucalyptus varieties available. It is known for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and expectorant properties. Bell writes, “Due to its gentleness, it is very appropriate for use in blends for animals for congestion, and it makes an excellent room air cleaner, deodorizer, and flea repellent.”

Eucalyptus globulus, the next ingredient, is the eucalyptus commonly found in chest rubs, cough drops, and cough syrups. It has a fresh antiseptic fragrance and, when inhaled, acts as a decongestant.

Thanas added Spike Lavender (Lavendula latifolia) for its powerful antibacterial properties.

After diluting the essential oils, Thanas used a spray bottle to mist the air around Sasha. “The results were instantaneous,” she recalls. “She stopped coughing, she was able to breathe, and she was so much more comfortable.”

For advice on preventing kennel cough as well as natural and effective ways to soothe the symptoms, purchase Kennel Cough Prevention and Remedies from Whole Dog Journal.