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September 2013

Essential Oils and Pets

There is more to essential oils than just a pretty scent. I use essential oils for their therapeutic properties at Hands And Paws-Reiki For All, in my mobile grooming business, as well as personally for my pets and myself.

What Are Essential Oils?

They are a hydrophobic liquid that contains the volatile oils that are distilled from the bark, berries, flowers, leaves, peels, resin, rhizomes, seeds, stems, or wood of living plants. Essential oils feel oily because they are often diluted in a carrier oil such as almond, apricot kernel, citrus, or grapeseed. Most essential oils are produced by steam distillation. The ‘waste’ water of the steam distillate process is called hydrosols. Nothing is wasted. For tougher materials, such as citrus peels, mechanical expression or cold-pressed methods are used. Solvent extraction is used for more delicate flowers. Solvent extraction is a complex process which usually leaves a trace residual solvent in the essential oil.

The How’s, Why’s, and Uses of Essential Oil.

The plant’s essential oil governs their immune system. It is the plants blood. It navigates that plant through the insects, fungus, viruses, and bacteria in their environment. Different essential oils have their own unique physical and emotional therapeutic properties such as anti-diuretic, anti-fungal, anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, decongestant, detoxifying, expectorant, insect repellent, uplifting, and revitalizing, etc. We absorb these essential oils into our or the pets bloodstream by contact, inhalation, or ingestion. In addition, essential oils have many household uses.

Contact with soaps, massage oils, shampoos, lotions, perfumes, cosmetics, added in bath water, and other spa products.

Inhalation is breathing in incense, air fresheners, aromatherapy diffusers, and candles.

Ingesting tinctures made by a medical or other licensed professional.

Household use in trash cans, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and drains. Many essential oils have cleaning and disinfecting properties.

Store essential oils in dark glass colored bottles as heat and sunlight degrades them.

Price and Available Options

There are many considerations in factoring prices.

1. Quality and/or rarity of the botanical.

2. Country of origin.

3. Amount of oil that can be distilled from the botanical.

4. The standards of the distillery, as well as size. Larger companies can reduce operating costs through volume.

5. Organic sourcing. I only buy organic essential oils as I feel it is counterproductive to use them laden with pesticides and fertilizers.

Type of oil also affects price.

Some companies try to pass off fragrance oils as essential oils.

Fragrance oils are synthesized in a lab, cheaper to produce, and have none of the therapeutic properties.

Therapeutic grade essential oils are the only oils that can be ingested. They are more expensive to produce than their non-therapeutic grade counterparts.

Hydrosols are a water-based version of the essential oil. It is a byproduct of the distillation process. It was discarded until it was discovered that it still retained the therapeutic properties, minus the Terpenes. Cats are unable to metabolize Terpenes, which is why essential oils are dangerous for them. Most hydrosols are a safe alternative for cats.

Absolutes are a very concentrated essential oil. It is an involved process and will likely have trace amounts of solvents. They are very expensive and are not ingestible.

Blends are a combination of several essential oils designed for a particular issue.

Tinctures are therapeutic grade essential oils in an alcohol base.


As with any product, there is a danger of an allergic reaction. Do a patch test before applying topicals and use caution when ingesting or administering tinctures. Improper dosing of tinctures can result in mild to severe medical emergencies. In addition, improper use of topicals and inhalants cause damage to eyes and lungs. Consult with your medical/veterinarian professional before treating any medical condition. Cats and pregnant woman or dogs should not use essential oils. However, most hydrosols are safe for cats. Use products according to manufacturers or your professional’s instructions. Never use essential oils undiluted. Though many products are packaged already diluted in carrier oil. Read the label to ascertain. Essential oils are flammable. Use aromatherapy diffusers according to manufacturer directions. In addition, they damage plastics. Do not apply essential oils directly to the plastic components of household appliances.

The aromatherapy industry is NOT regulated. Buyer Beware. Read labels carefully. Key words to look for are “made with” or “includes”. Those products may contain very little essential oils. Ingredients listed on the label as an item such as blueberry, clove, cinnamon, apple, etc are a fragrance. Essential oils are identified by their Latin name or includes the word oil, such as cinnamon oil or oil of cinnamon. It is also up to the manufacturer to determine if the product is cat or dog safe.

Essential oils are part of my day-to-day life. They complement all I do. They can augment your life when used in the manner for which they are intended.

Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund

The Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund (GEAF) is the brainchild of Ileana Nogueras. It has been in the back of her mind since Hurricane Sandy. Then the tornadoes in Oklahoma occurred. And again, Ileana was hearbroken by the devastation. Certaintly there was something she could do to make it easier for groomers to get the assistance they needed. Thus, the GEAF was born.

The GEAF was created on July, 4, 2013 and its purpose is to have a centralized location where groomers in the USA facing hardships due to unforeseen and catastrophic circumstances can get assistance. The GEAF is currently awaiting the 501 C non profit status. It is limited to the USA as the rules and regulations to go outside of the country are daunting. It is the hope that the GEAF will encourage groomers in other countries to follow suit. 

Every request for assistance will be evaluated by a Board of Directors.
The current board is:
Judi Cantu Thacker
Ileana Nogueras
Dawn Omboy
Mary Oquendo
Ellen Sachs Ehrlich
Jennifer Walker
Daryl Waters Conner 

For more information, please visit our Facebook Page. The website and newsletter is in the works. 

There are many ways to help.

You can make a cash donation.
PayPal Info:
You can donate gently used or new equipment. The Geaf has access to storage.

Many vendors have already offered their assistance.

Todd Shelley of Groomer To Groomer and Stephen Mart of Egroomer have offered to print the quarterly reports.

Barkleigh Productions
Driving Me Knots Bowtique
Frank Rowe and Son
Go Mobile And Succeed
Groomers Mall
Hands And Paws-Reiki For All
Southall Sharpening

And let's not forget the Hershey Internet Mingle were the funds raised are going to The GEAF. Many of the above vendors have donated products for the raffle. It is being held at Groom Expo on Thursday, September 19 from 7-9PM.

Hershey Internet Mingle 2013

Eight years ago, Dawn Omboy had a great idea. How fun would it be to actually meet the people you "talk" to everyday on the Internet. 

Many of us have been friends for so long, yet have no idea what each other looks like. At trade shows, we would sit next to each other or look at the same pair of scissors at one of the booths. But not make a connection.

Dawn approached Sally Liddick about hosting an internet get together the night before the show opened thinking Sally would put it together. Sally was all for it, BUT it was up to Dawn to coordinate it. After the panic subsided, Dawn and her friends pulled it off. It was so successful, that it is now a staple at Groom Expo.

Every year, the Internet Mingle hosts a fundraiser. Thanks to the generosity of vendors such as Espree, Groomers Mall, Davis,, Groomers Lounge, Wag-n-Tails, Bardel bows, Barkleigh, Talon Shears, and so many others, they were able to sell raffles tickets for donated products.

This years proceeds will go to the GEAF. The Groomers Emergency Assistance Fund has been set up to help fellow groomers in need. Their mantra is "Groomers Helping Groomers." 

There will be a cash bar and Espree is providing giveaway's to the first 75 people in the door PLUS a free raffle ticket. You can always increase your chances of winning by donating and receiving MORE raffle tickets. The bonus is getting to meet all your interney buddies for a night of fun.

Iinternet Social 2011