Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Is Aromatherapy Safe for Pets?

The skin of animals is much more sensitive than people’s, so essential oils should always be used with caution.  Don’t use essential oils directly on the fur/skin of cats. While cats are considered more sensitive to the oils than dogs, both are far more sensitive than us, so even a little in an enclosed space could be overwhelming to them. 

The oils are considered potentially harmful to dogs and cats if eaten. For example, eucalyptus oil can cause stomach upset, and in high doses liver toxicity. Eucalyptus oil can also damage the ear canal of cats if applied directly. Other oils may have similar or different risks. 

Birds are not advised to be near aromatherapy oils at all, as they are potentially even more delicate in regard to smells than dogs and cats. 

Diffusing is likely safer than direct topical appliucation or letting the pet actually consume the oil, but it still represents some risk depending on the type and amount of oil used, the room size, the diffusion method, and the amount of fresh air entering and circulating in the room. Never diffuse essential oils diluted into carrier oils; always use 100% pure essential oils only. 

Be cautious and safe with essential oils around pets by avoiding excess exposure, concentrations of aromas, or opportunities for the animals to lick or otherwise consume them! If in doubt, don't do it. 

What is the Ketogenic Diet and What Foods are Acceptable?

The ketogenic diet is a low carbohydrate (carb) diet designed to change the energy source of the brain from sugar to fats (ketones) and to increase the use of fats as an energy source in the body as a whole by severely restricting the intake of dietary carbohydrates. It overlaps a lot with the Paleo diet in that the ketogenic diet consists largely of meats and fats.

For the ketogenic diet, fish are good choices. Full-fat dairy is allowed, but fermented and unsweetened ones are preferred. Fruits are quite limited though, to small amounts of berries, plus lemons and limes in moderation, and olives and avocado (these two are fatty fruits, rather than sugary). Vegetables consist mostly of non-root ones because those have more carbs. Legumes are largely avoided, except small amounts of green beans and peas.  Nuts and seeds are used in moderation as they have some carbs; but avoid peanuts, which are legumes, not nuts. 

Fats represent most calories in the ketogenic diet: avocado oil, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, cocoa butter, MCT oil, and nut oils in moderation (i.e. walnut, sesame). Eggs and unsweetened gelatin are fine. Processed foods and condiments that have added sugars or carbohydrates should be avoided. Sugar alcohols are also avoided; stevia is acceptable, but watch for added carbohydrates in some stevia products.

Unsweetened whey protein isolate (not concentrate) has the least amount of lactose of the milk proteins; unsweetened egg white protein is also fine. Though legumes are avoided if they have carbs, unsweetened pea protein or soy protein isolates are acceptable options in the ketogenic diet.