Don’t let their small size fool you! These animals are very loving and quite smart (especially ferrets and rats, which love to play fetch and hide and seek), and make nice companion animals for those that are unable to have a larger animal such as a dog in their living situation. With many being a part of individual family homes, and for some people, their first experience of having an animal to care for and this would also include being aware of the use of essential oils within their environment.
Caution with the use of essential oils with and around these precious pocket pets should be taken due to their small size and metabolic system. While the use of diluted hydrosols is a safer and more gentle option to use for such issues as skin and minor wound care, there are some smaller mammals that have benefited from the use of essential oils when highly diluted and with short-term used and based on their individual health history and needs. Flower essences are also another option for emotional support.
- Use caution when diffusing essential oils in a home with pet rodents and small mammals (gerbils, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rabbits, rats, etc.)
- Avoid use of diffusing directly within their habitat areas.
- Do not apply pure essential oils (non-diluted) directly to their skin.
- Use caution when handling small mammals after you have applied essential oils and aromatherapy products topically to your own skin. Be sure that they do not lick your skin.
- The use of diluted hydrosols and flower essences are a more gentle option for use with this group of animals.
- Always keep essential oils and aromatherapy products out of reach of children and pets.
A note on exotic smaller mammals (such as hedgehogs, chinchillas and, sugar gliders), they too may benefit from the use of diluted hydrosols for specific short-term use such as minor wound and skin care. With the use of essential oils be sure to also work with the guidance of an animal aromatherapist and your veterinarian.