There’s not enough hand sanitizer to go around right now and it sucks. The store shelves are empty, and unless you bought in bulk a few weeks ago, you’re probably fresh out like the rest of the country.
We’re all a little stressed and anxious at the moment, but having hand sanitizer is one thing you won’t have to worry about anymore. Below you’ll find quick, easy instructions for making a DIY hand sanitizer in the comfort and safety of your own home—and all it takes is three ingredients.
Reminder: Institutions like the CDC and WHO reiterate that hand sanitizers are not a substitute for washing your hands, which remains the most effective approach to preventing the spread of infectious diseases.
A former CDC doctor specializing in viral disease outbreaks, Dr. Rishi Desai, has stated that the below recipe will kill 99.9% of germs after approximately 60 seconds.
- 3/4 cup rubbing or isopropyl alcohol (go with the 99% strength)
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
- 10 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil (lemon juice also works)
It’s important to mention that you should not further dilute this recipe, as the CDC advises 60% alcohol content is the minimum strength needed to kill most germs. Increase the concentration to 70% for disinfectant mixtures.
First thing, thoroughly wash and dry your hands (remember: lather your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing them off).
Then, ensure the tools and surface you plan to use to make your sanitizer are also clean. We recommend disinfecting your countertop or tabletop with a diluted mixture of bleach and water or another disinfectant. Wash dishes and utensils as normal before use.
Finally, mix everything together in a bowl, stirring until the solution is completely mixed (a whisk will help you reach the desired gel consistency faster).
As per the World Health Organization’s recommendation, let your DIY hand sanitizer sit for a minimum of 72 hours once it’s finished. This gives germs and bacteria introduced while you were making the sanitizer time to die. For the same reason, be careful not to touch the mixture at any point during the above process to avoid contamination.
Lastly, don’t forget to clearly label the bottle so there’s no confusion later on.
- 60 seconds—don’t forget that number. That’s how long it takes for hand sanitizer to kill most germs. After applying, continue to rub your hands together for at least 60 seconds until the sanitizer evaporates.
- If your hands are visibly dirty, do not rely on hand sanitizers alone. When hands are covered in dirt or grease, hand sanitizer is far less effective. In these cases, wash your hands first, then sanitize.
- Again, hand sanitizers are not a substitute for washing your hands, which is still considered the most effective approach to preventing the spread of disease.
Unfortunately, no matter how diligent you are with pest control and applying repellents, bug bites are still going to happen. That’s just the world we live in. Thankfully, just as there are natural approaches for preventing bites, there are natural options for soothing them once they occur. The next time a bug leaves you with a red, itchy bump, try one of these 6 natural bug bite remedies.
Not only is oatmeal moisturizing and soothing, but research shows it’s also an anti inflammatory capable of relieving skin irritation caused by bug bites. To use: Make a paste by mixing equal parts oatmeal and water and apply it directly to the bite site. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes, then simply wipe it off with a wet cloth.
Bug bites and stings cause your immune system to release compounds called histamines, which typically leads to an itchy reaction. Aloe vera has antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, which can do wonders to relieve this irritation. For this approach: Cut open an aloe vera leaf and apply the plant’s gel to the irritated skin. Reapply as needed.
Lemon balm, an herb in the mint family, has natural antihistamine properties, which makes it awesome for alleviating bug bites and stings. To use: Finely crush fresh lemon balm leaves and spread liberally on affected areas.
It smells incredible, improves mood, and to top it off, it also helps soothe bug bites. Take advantage of lavender oil’s anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities by diluting it with a carrier like coconut oil and spreading in on bug bites or stings.
Ice or Ice Packs
Ice works to calm the itching of bug bites in two ways. Firstly, the cold constricts blood vessels, decreasing inflammation and the body’s natural histamine response. Secondly, the ice will numb the site, reducing the urge to scratch. Using a cloth or similar barrier, apply the ice or ice pack to the bite area. Remove after 5-10 minutes.
When applied topically, Chamomile has restorative, anti-inflammatory effects. In fact, one study found that it both reduces pain and helps lesions heal more quickly. To use: Steep a chamomile tea bag in a glass of water in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. Squeeze out the water, and apply the tea bag directly to the affected area. Remove after 10 minutes.
From social media to blogs to your local supermarket, it seems like essential oils are everywhere these days. Like many you might be wondering: What even are essential oils, and how can I use them? As natural lifestyle advocates and big fans of these organic oils, we’d like to help clear up the confusion. Below you’ll find 5 of the most frequently asked questions regarding essential oils. Enjoy!
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are simply highly concentrated organic compounds extracted from the seeds, leaves, flowers, bark, roots or fruits of plants and trees. Essential oils are usually distilled via a steaming process which helps separate the desired botanical oils from the rest of the plant material. Essential oils can be over 75 times more potent than their source material (for example, it takes roughly 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to make a single ounce of peppermint essential oil!)
What Are they Used For?
The internet is full of misinformation and countless unsubstantiated health claims when it comes to essential oils. While they’ve been used for centuries to help relief health issues and support wellness, scientists have only somewhat recently started researching their potential health benefits, including:
From minor to major, essential oils have been shown to help alleviate various forms of pain. A study from Pain Research and Treatment looking into a variety of potential applications ranging from postoperative pain and chronic neck and back pain to cancer and labor-related pain “found a significant positive effect of aromatherapy in reducing pain,” especially when combined with traditional pain management approaches.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Relieving stress is one of the most popular essential oil uses and science appears to back up this benefit. A 2016 clinical trial involving the effects of rose water aromatherapy on dialysis patients showed anxiety levels were “reduced significantly in the treatment group compared with the control group.”
Another study looking at anxiety and depression in postpartum women discovered “positive findings with minimal risk for the use of aromatherapy as a complementary therapy in both anxiety and depression.” A 2014 study centered on quality of life in the elderly found similar results, concluding “depression, anxiety, and stress levels were significantly reduced…showing that aromatherapy can help to maintain the psychological health of community-dwelling older persons.”Boosting Energy Levels
It’s long been believed that aromatherapy and other essential oil applications have a naturally uplifting effect on energy levels. A study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition looked at the effect of peppermint essential oil on young male athletes for this very reason, ultimately finding that the “results of the experiment support the effectiveness of peppermint essential oil on exercise performance…blood pressure and respiratory rate.”
Promoting Healthy Sleep
A 2014 University of Minnesota review evaluated 15 studies on the effects of essential oils on quality of sleep. Their search revealed the majority of these studies “suggested a positive effect of essential oils on sleep,” with lavender being the most frequently studied essential oil.
A more recent study published by the British Association of Critical Care Nurses investigated the impact of lavender essential oil on the sleep quality and anxiety levels of patients in a coronary intensive care unit. Their research concluded that “lavender essential oil increased quality of sleep and reduced anxiety” in these patients.
How Do I Apply Them?
Now that you understand what essential oils are as well as some of their benefits, you might be wondering: But how do I use them? While there are limitless ways to incorporate essential oils into your natural lifestyle, there are 3 main application methods: Aromatherapy, DIY mixtures, and topical.
We suggest starting with the first two and moving onto topical application only after you’ve done more research on essential oils and consulted a professional.
Aromatherapy is the most popular approach, and involves using a diffuser or simple inhalation to harness the beneficial aromas of essential oils.
Adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to DIY mixtures like homemade soaps, cleaners, or natural air fresheners is a fun way to enjoy essential oils’ therapeutic qualities.
Because of their small molecule weight, essential oils are readily absorbed into the skin, making topical application an effective way to enjoy these organic oils. After proper dilution with a carrier oil, essential oil mixtures can be applied directly to the skin as a soothing lotion or balm.
Should I Consult a Doctor Before Using Essential Oils?
For many reasons—including possible contraindications with medicine, potential allergies, and underlying health issues—we strongly suggest consulting a physician before starting an essential oil regimen, especially with the elderly and children. Essential oils, while natural, are highly concentrated and misuse can cause irritation and other unwanted reactions.
Do I Need to Dilute Them?
Essential oils are much too concentrated to use undiluted. It’s a common misconception that diluting essential oils with a carrier oil or other DIY mixture will reduce their effectiveness, but that’s simply not true. In fact, carrier oils can increase efficacy and the aromatherapeutic effects of your chosen essential oil by preventing evaporation and premature absorption into the body. Failing to dilute essential oils before use can lead to severe skin irritation, rashes, or more serious health complications like respiratory issues.
The exact amounts will vary, but start by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a carrier oil like almond, avocado or coconut oil, or to a mixture like a DIY soap or homemade natural cleaner. Start small and increase the amount of essential oil as needed—generally, aim for somewhere in the 1-4% strength range.
Can I Use Them on My Pets?
Yes and no. We suggest always consulting a vet before incorporating essential oils into your natural pet care routine, especially for cats. When used correctly, essential oils can offer a chemical-free alternative to help address inflammation, anxiety, and other health concerns. When used incorrectly, however, they can do more harm than good.
First, always dilute before use and never allow your pet to ingest essential oils. Second, know which ones to avoid, not all essential oils that are safe for people are safe for pets. In general, avoid using the following essential oils on or around your pet:
- Citrus oils (like lemon and orange)
- Ylang ylang
- Tea tree
- Sweet birch
Did you know traditional household air fresheners and scented candles can fill your home with harmful toxins, threatening the health of your family and pets? Cedarcide Pet+Bedding+Home is naturally sourced and free of synthetic fragrances and other harsh ingredients. Here are 5 ways to use our new deodorizer and air freshener alternative!
Pets and Pet Bedding
Face it: Our cute pups and their bedding don’t always smell so cute. Pet+Bedding+Home’s natural scents are a quick and easy way to combat canine odors between baths.
Alternative to Artificial Air Fresheners
Deodorize bathrooms, trashcans, hampers, and living areas without resorting to chemical-based air fresheners.
Gear and Sports Equipment
You know what’s worse than funky camping gear and sports equipment? Stinky, harmful chemicals. A few spritzes with Pet+Bedding+Home and you won’t have to worry about either.
Refresh Linens and Furniture
Harness the natural power of essential oils to keep furniture, blankets, and other linens smelling fresh every day. (For sensitive furnishings, test on a small area first.)
Deodorize Your Vehicle
Pet+Bedding+Home freshens without synthetic fragrances.Transform your car’s stuffy air by lightly spraying cloth seats and carpeting.
Essential oils are becoming increasingly popular in the world of natural pet care. When used correctly, essential oils offer a chemical-free alternative to help address inflammation, infection, anxiety and countless other pet concerns. However, as with any remedy natural or not, when used incorrectly essential oils can do more harm than good. Check out the following tips to help your pup enjoy a smooth and safe introduction to the natural benefits of essential oils.
Always consult a veterinarian before incorporating essential oils into your pet care routine. Specifically, ask if your chosen essential oil is the right fit for your pup, how the oil can benefit them, as well as dosage and application advice. We do not suggest using essential oils on or around cats unless first approved through a veterinarian.
Not All Essential Oils Are Created Equal
As with any over-the-counter product, not all essential oils are created equal. When selecting a brand, it’s crucial to do your research, shop around, and explore all available options. Sadly, many essential oil companies sell products contaminated with impurities and other toxins that could be harmful to your pup. Only purchase from reputable and well-reviewed sources, preferably companies that have an extensive history of offering essential oils for therapeutic purposes (pet-friendly companies are even better). As a rule, look for essential oils marked “therapeutic grade” or “medical grade.” Avoid those marketed as “fragrance-grade,” as these are typically inferior in quality and often contain contaminants that could harm your pet.
Never Give Orally
Dogs should never be fed or allowed to ingest essential oils. Oral ingestion can lead to gastric distress, tissue damage, organ failure, and general toxicity among other scary side effects. Keep it simple and avoid all internal use when it comes to essential oils and pet care.
Did you know on average essential oils are over 75 times more potent than their herbal counterparts? For example, it takes roughly 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to make a single ounce of peppermint essential oil! Given this, you can imagine why it’s important to dilute essential oils before using them around your pet. While the exact specs will vary depending on use, animal age, weight, and a number of other factors, we suggest aiming for approximately 3-6 drops of essential oil per 1 oz. of carrier oil.
Know Which Essential Oils to Avoid
In general, avoid using the following essential oils on or around your dog:
- Citrus oils (like lemon and orange, for example)
- Ylang ylang
- Tea tree
- Sweet birch
Watch For Signs of Sensitivity
Even when using the right essential oils in the correct manner your dog could still experience an adverse reaction to essential oil use. Knowing what to look for in the event of such a reaction can save you and your pup considerable stress and discomfort. Here are the common symptoms of essential oil irritation and poisoning:
- Loss of balance
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle tremors
- Pawing at the mouth or face
To prevent essential oil overexposure, avoid application on or near sensitive areas—such as the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and genitals. Additionally, avoid use on very young, very old, pregnant, nursing, ill or weak pets. And again, consult a veterinarian before incorporating essential oils into your pet care routine.
Over the last few decades, Essential oils have become a popular way to naturally improve physical health and mental wellbeing. Somewhat more recently, pet parents realised they could extend this same healing power to their dog babies as well. But not all oils that are safe for humans are safe for canines—so which oils are a good fit for your pup? The following are our 10 favorite essential oils for dogs. Enjoy!
A word of caution: Always consult a veterinarian before incorporating essential oils into your pet care routine. Specifically, ask if your chosen essential oil is safe for your pup, how the oil can benefit them, and what the best way to use the oil might be. Essential oils should always be diluted before use on or around pets. For useful essential oil recipes for dogs, click here. For additional essential oil safety tips for dogs, click here. We do not suggest using essential oils on or around cats unless first approved through a veterinarian
Because of its mild characteristics, frankincense essential oil is a great choice for pet parents new to essential oil use. Frankincense essential oil is said to increase blood flow, relieve nervousness and anxiety, boost immune system health, and ease pain associated with external ulcers. Many claim it also helps fight cancer by halting and/or reversing tumor growth.
As you might have guessed, cedarwood is our absolute favorite essential oil (after all, it’s the basis of nearly all our botanical solutions). Cedarwood essential oil smells awesome and it’s an effective natural alternative to chemical-based flea & tick products. Because cedarwood essential oil is antifungal, antiseptic and because it helps increase circulation, it’s also said to help relieve a long list of canine skin issues—from dandruff and mange, to hot spots and general dermatitis due by insect bites. Some claim it also helps ease kennel cough as well arthritis!
Helichrysum is one of the finest essential oils for canine pain relief. Gastrointestinal upset, cuts, bruises, aches, joint pain—all are said to be helped by this natural anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial and antifungal solution. Breathing problems due to allergies or build up of mucus in the lungs are also said to be helped by this flower-derived essential oil.
Lemongrass essential oil has become a staple here at the Cedarcide offices. In addition to adding it to our new Tickshield formula, we use it to naturally freshen the air, as an odor-fighter for our office pups, and for aromatherapy to keep our team alert, optimistic and feeling great! With a long history of uses—including natural pest control, topical pain relief, and to help with canine skin health—lemongrass is one of the most useful essential oils for chemical-free pet care.
Lavender is arguably the most popular essential oil among natural pet care enthusiasts. Prized above all for its soothing effects on anxiety, insomnia and hyperactivity, lavender essential oil can be an invaluable aid for calming your dog during car rides, vet visits, social events, and when left alone at home. In fact, a study from 2006 confirmed that lavender essential oil, when used in aromatherapy, helped alleviate travel-induced anxiety in canines. Cool, huh?
Reportedly antifungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial, Marjoram is an earthy essential oil used for pets primarily to prevent infection, soothe depression, and in some cases even aid in diabetes and liver complications.
Roman Chamomile essential oil is a known anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, making it especially popular among outdoor enthusiasts and their adventure pets. Muscle tightness, cramping, teething pain, and joint complications are all said to be helped by this powerful essential oil.
Peppermint is another essential oil praised for its soothing, pain-relieving effects. Its cooling, anti-inflammatory powers are renowned in the natural lifestyle community for helping improve discomfort associated with canine arthritis, hip dysplasia and other joint conditions. When used in conjunction with ginger, peppermint essential oil is also said to reduce symptoms associated with motion sickness in pups. As a bonus, it also boasts natural pest-control qualities.
Cardamom is a unique essential oil in that it helps with both digestion and respiratory problems. Pet parents have long given their pups relief from stomach aches, nausea, and gas using cardamom essential oil. Many also report that coughing and difficulty breathing are also improved through cardamom use.
Does your pup constantly suffer from allergies? Then niaouli essential oil might be just the natural remedy for you and your animal baby. As a powerful natural antihistamine and antibacterial Niaouli essential oil can combat both seasonal and skin allergies as well as secondary skin infections occurring as a result of allergy symptoms. Niaouli is often chosen as a safer alternative to tea tree oil, which can be harmful to some pets at higher doses.
After falling in love with lemongrass essential oil, we recently added it to one of our most popular formulas. In addition to classic Tickshield—our extra strength personal insecticide and repellent—we now carry an all new Tickshield with refreshing lemongrass! We sell pure lemongrass essential oil now, too! But why do we like it so much and why is lemongrass essential oil so great? We’re glad you asked 😉
Here are 6 reasons we love Lemongrass Essential Oil.
A Note on Essential Oils: Cedarcide has not verified the following claims. We suggest consulting a doctor before using essential oils.
It Smells Amaaaaaaaaaazing
Its refreshing, clean and complex aroma is a big reason lemongrass is one of our favorite essential oils! Citral, also known as lemonal, is what gives Lemongrass its sweet, delightfully citrus scent. There’s just something about its unique earthy smell that’s both relaxing and also kind of a pick-me-up.
It’s Super Great for Aromatherapy
Lemongrass’ awesome scent does more than make the air smell fresh, it has several real world benefits too! When used in a diffuser for aromatherapy, lemongrass essential oil is said to boost mood and relieve feelings of nervousness and anxiety. In addition to these uplifting and relaxing qualities, some users find diffusing lemongrass essential oil helps with headaches, body aches, and mental exhaustion as well.
It’s a Natural Bug Repellent
Lemongrass essential oil contains organic compounds called aldehydes which are a natural bug deterrent. Fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and many other biting insects are repelled by Lemongrass’ natural repellency. Whether applying to your skin, clothing, your dog’s bandana, or diffusing on the porch to keep mosquitoes at bay, Lemongrass is an effective alternative to chemical-based pest control products.
It’s Said to Provide Topical Pain Relief
Lemongrass essential oil is prized for its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent and muscle relaxing qualities. When mixed with a carrier oil or massaged directly into the skin, lemongrass essential oil is said to provide topical relief for everything from minor skin irritations to muscle pain and fatigue. Pretty cool, huh?
It’s an Awesome Additive in Natural DIY Solutions
Natural air fresheners, all-purpose cleaners, scalp & skin care—lemongrass is an excellent additive for countless DIY essential oil mixtures and solutions. Consult an essential oil book or online resource for tips and recipes on incorporating lemongrass essential oil into your natural lifestyle.
It Has Soooo Many Other Uses
Lemongrass has played an important role in the daily lives of people both ancient and modern. This tropical grass has historical uses in everything from cooking and health care to cleaning and mental stimulation. The following are all ways in which lemongrass has been traditionally used throughout the world.
- Headache relief
- Digestive issues
- Immune system health
- Infection fighter
- Fever reducer
- Muscle relaxer
- Insomnia relief
Did you know over 1 billion pounds of synthetic pesticides are used worldwide every year? Even scarier, over 95% of these chemicals end up somewhere other than their target destination—such as in oceans, forests, drinking water, our food, and inside our homes, pets, children, even breast milk! By choosing Cedarcide, you’re helping combat this worldwide problem, and taking steps toward a brighter, less chemical-dependent future. Here are 6 reasons you can feel good about switching to Cedarcide.
You’re Helping Protect You & Your Family
From flea collars to yard treatments to personal bug sprays, traditional pesticide use can have a serious impact on you and your family’s health, especially in the long term. Not to freak you out, but many synthetic pesticides have been linked to all of the following health conditions:
By switching to a non-toxic alternative like Cedarcide, you’re helping minimize you and your family’s pesticide exposure. Children and pregnant women stand to benefit the most from this switch. Studies show that children with parents who use chemical-based pesticides are at higher risk of behavior issues, brain damage, lower IQs and several types of childhood cancer. Because of their tendency to put their hands in their mouths and proximity to flooring (most floors are tainted with pesticides), children absorb considerably more pesticides from their environment than adults. And because of their low body weight, our kids are much more likely to be harmed by this exposure.
As public health scientist Miriam Rotkin Ellman has said, “with a pesticide it doesn’t take very much to cause effects that will stay with kid[s] for the rest of their lives.”
You’re Helping Pets Live Longer, Healthier Lives
Much like children, our pets are extremely vulnerable to pesticide poisoning. Unfortunately, from flea collars to yard sprays, our pets have countless opportunities for exposure. Choosing naturally sourced yard sprays and pesticides over traditional chemical-based options helps limit that exposure.
Think about it: Your pets live and play in your yard (they sometimes eat its grass, too!). Studies have shown that dogs exposed to lawn pesticides have up to a 70% higher chance of contracting potentially fatal canine malignant lymphoma. Other studies have found that bladder cancer is also associated with lawns treated with synthetic pesticides, with even indirect exposure from adjacent lawns raising your pet’s risk of this cancer. Chemical burns, gastrointestinal complications, organ failure, even death—all have been associated with use of traditional flea and tick medications. In addition to using pet-safe bug repellents, we suggest consulting a vet or holistic vet to find the healthiest flea & tick options for you and your pup.
Worried that your pet may have pesticide poisoning? Read Signs and Symptoms Your Pet has Pesticide Poisoning
You’re Not Poisoning Your Home or Yard
A big issue with traditional pesticides is that they contaminate your home and lawn with toxins. Whether used inside or not, pesticides almost always find their way indoors. Pesticides applied to your lawn, for example, are easily introduced inside via windows, vents, shoes, and even your pet’s paws. Studies have found that within a week after outdoor pesticide treatments, pesticide residues are commonly found on indoor surfaces—including flooring, kitchen countertops, and tabletops. By choosing non-toxic options like Cedarcide, you’re helping reduce the levels of pesticides both inside and outside your home, doing a big favor to the environment, wildlife, and your neighbors in the process.
You’re Helping Save Wildlife
Wildlife—especially marine life and birds—have been hit hard by traditional pesticide use. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, over 72 million birds die in the U.S. each year as a result of pesticide poisoning. Because many types of pesticides are bioaccumulative—meaning small, incremental exposures can can build up to toxic levels within an organism over time—they have the potential to disrupt entire food chains, affecting nearly every living thing on the planet.
But what can homeowners like you do to help minimize the impact of pesticides? A lot, actually! The average homeowner uses ten times more pesticides per acre than farmers do on industrial farmland. So in many ways, it’s in the hands of people like us to start reducing pesticide use for the sake of animals and families everywhere.
Your Purchases Support Good Causes
Without you we could not support the causes that inspire us! Animal welfare is one such cause essential to the Cedarcide mission. In addition to supporting animal rescues and founding the Cedarcide Horse Rescue, our team spends a great deal of their personal lives fostering and volunteering for disadvantaged cats, dogs and other animals.
Veterans, soldiers, and first responders also play a big role at Cedarcide. These real life heroes inspire us every day, which is why each year we support and participate in Dallas’ Carry the Load March. This 20-hour walk honors military service of all shapes and sizes, with proceeds benefiting corresponding charities.
You’re Helping the Environment
As mentioned earlier, pesticides nearly always end up somewhere other than intended. Wind, runoff, and over-application are the obvious culprits. In addition to wildlife, the environment pays the highest price for this widespread pesticide contamination. But just how extensive is pesticide pollution? According to one study by the U.S. Geological Survey, pesticides were found to contaminate every stream in the United States, and over 90% of all wells researchers tested. Unbelievable, right? By adopting non-toxic pesticides and engaging in responsible pesticide practices—like careful application and avoiding overuse—you can have a real impact on the health of your family and community.
In case our name didn’t give it away, cedarwood oil is the driving force behind our pest control products here at Cedarcide. So naturally, the obvious question is: How does it work? How does cedarwood oil (aka cedar oil) kill bugs? While the answer can get a bit technical, there are 6 basic ways cedarwood oil works to kill and repel pests like fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, ants, mites and more. Here’s a simple outline of each one.
Most bugs are extremely sensitive to moisture loss, which is bad news for bugs that come into contact with cedarwood oil. Cedarwood oil is extremely effective at leaching moisture from insects and other bugs, leaving them dried out and eventually dead.
It Disrupts Their Pheromones
Pheromones are chemicals that many bugs use for navigation, mating, searching for food, as well as to regulate bodily functions. Cedarwood oil disrupts these pheromones which not only disorients the insects but interferes with their fundamental bodily processes like breathing. The disorientation helps repel insects and other bugs, the interference with their bodily mechanisms kills them.
It Dissolves Them
Insects in earlier life stages—eggs, larvae, pupae—are extremely vulnerable, so vulnerable in fact that cedarwood oil can dissolve them on contact. In adult insects, arachnids and other bugs, cedarwood oil helps dissolve their exoskeleton. This allows the essential oil to penetrate their shell, hastening the oil’s pest control effects.
Emulsification, or the breakdown of fat particles, is another way that cedarwood oil works to control bugs. Like many organisms, bugs require fat to live. By helping disintegrate this fat into smaller, more fluid parts, cedarwood oil attacks bugs from the inside out.
As mentioned above, cedarwood oil can interfere with bugs’ capacity to breathe. Unlike mammals, bugs breathe through openings located on the surface of their bodies. When faced with the lethal effects of cedarwood oil, bugs attempt to limit their exposure by closing these openings, which prevents them from breathing. In other words, the bugs suffocate themselves.
It Messes With Their Body Chemistry
Like most every living thing, bugs must maintain a specific chemical balance to stay alive. Any drastic changes in this balance can have deadly results. Cedarwood oil neutralizes the acidity within bugs’ bodies, effectively throwing this balance out of whack. As a result they cannot properly function, and shortly die.
Does your dog freak out in thunderstorms? Does he or she bark and howl when stressed? How many shoes have you lost to a restless pup? While an overly energetic or nervous dog can be overwhelming, there are several ways to help your pooch out in such situations. The next time your dog’s suffering from anxiety, try one of these natural methods to calm them down.
Go for a Walk
This is the big one. Walks are a cure-all for many doggy issues—anxiety and restlessness included. A nice long walk will help relieve excess energy and provide your pup with plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Once thoroughly exercised, your pup will return home relaxed and likely ready for some downtime.
Look in the Mirror
From voice to body language, dogs pick up on their owners moods and behaviors. If your dog is constantly anxious, it might be time to look in the mirror. If you’ve been feeling stressed or nervous lately, that might be why your pooch has been acting that way, too. While it’s certainly easier said than done, making a conscious effort to maintain a calm and composed energy can do wonders for your pet’s own demeanor.
Mental exercise is every bit as important as physical exercise when it comes to your dog—especially if your pup’s dealing with anxiety. There are countless options for giving your dog a mental jump-start, but food puzzles and training are two of our favorites. Food puzzles, also known as food dispensing toys, are the best option if your low on time. Simply fill a Kong toy with your doggie’s favorite food, and let them have at it (more tips on using Kong toys can be found in the video above). From basic commands like sitting and staying to more advanced tricks like shaking hands, including a couple weekly training sessions into your dog’s schedule will keep their mind in tip top shape.
Explore Aromatherapy for Dogs
Smell is arguably the strongest sense your dog experiences. So doesn’t it make sense that smell might be one of the best avenues for calming your pup? It’s no wonder aromatherapy is quickly becoming a popular way to soothe anxious dogs. Essential oils like chamomile and lavender are a natural method for bringing some much needed peace to your nervous pooch. For more info on aromatherapy and what essential oils might be right for your dog, click here.
Introduce Them to Music
Music can be an incredibly effective way to relax otherwise nervous pups—particularly those suffering from separation anxiety. But what music is best for calming dogs? Thankfully, someone’s already done the work for you. A quick search through iTunes, Spotify or Pandora will turn up dozens of dog-specific music playlists. Just make sure to change up the music from time to time; studies have shown dogs can become bored with a single type of music in as little as 7 days.
From simple affection and thundershirts to quiet time, there are many ways to comfort your doggy when they’re feeling uneasy. The comforting embrace of a thundershirt can work miracles with nervous pets. Physical contact like petting and scratching is another option known to relax dogs (just don’t force a hug—most dogs don’t actually enjoy being hugged). If these aren’t doing the trick, consider giving your dog some alone time in his or her crate. A quiet space with low lighting can really reset your pup’s mood, leaving them relaxed and feeling safe.
Adopt a New Friend
Finding a friend for you doggy is an awesome and effective way to keep their mood in balance. Not only can an additional dog improve the relationship you enjoy with your current pup, they’re great company for when you’re not around. But remember—adopt don’t shop! There’s plenty of puppies out there in need of homes. Interested in adoption? Check out this resource to help narrow your search.