With all the hype online about the use of Geranium essential oil - I will see daily comments by well intending animal people recommending its use. "Just put some drops on your dog's collar." "Soak a bandana in this solution and put it on your dog." The problem is - the quality of the essential oil, species of the Geranium, source of the essential oil, or even proper recommendations for amounts to use - are never mentioned. Leaving a person reading the comment to figure it out on their own.
What to do? Create a veterinary Geranium-based blend, that will "tick the boxes" for someone who is determined to use Geranium essential oil - and provide some good sound instructions as well.
I saw this fact more and more within the essential oil community - when choosing which essential oils they would apply to an animal, and with how they would choose to apply it. So many recommendations start out based on good information, but become a bit out of hand when everyone starts recommending its use without a lot of experience or knowledge base behind it. I feel that Geranium essential oil really fell into this situation. Sure, Geranium can repel insects, and many humans use it for many reasons. But it is a really strong smelling, and floral essential oil. Not always the most "animal appropriate" scent profile. However, I would see blog after blog, and post after post of people recommending to put a bunch of Geranium oil onto a bandana or dog collar and put that around your dog's neck to repel bugs. To see the flaw in this - I just urge any human to do the same for themselves. Soak a bandana in essential oils and put it around your neck for even an hour. I'm pretty sure you will be overwhelmed by the scent fairly quickly. And this mentions nothing of the quality of the essential oil being selected for use either. The number of Geranium oils that I have smelled that are absolutely a poor quality and give me a headache - is quite staggering.
Oust RTU Drops contain Fractionated Coconut Oil - so is NOT recommended for Diffusion!!!
NOTE the Cedrol crystals present at the bottom of a bottle of Juniperus mexicana.
A note on Cedarwood in general... Cedarwood is quite an interesting oil. It often will be found with crystals in it (some species more than others) - and for proper blending or pouring of the essential oil - it is often required to gently heat the oil to dissolve or "melt" the crystals. If suppliers or manufacturers of products containing Cedarwood oil do not handle this essential oil correctly, the chemical profile could be greatly changed if only the liquid portion of the essential oil is used. I'm not going to lie...heating this oil is sometimes an all day adventure - and takes careful monitoring, mixing, and a lot of patience. When I work with this oil, I just cringe at the thoughts of those who are more lazy and do not know or care to recognize what is needed to use a "complete oil." It is a lot like adding a bunch of sugar to coffee - yet never stirring it. The top part of the coffee will still not taste sweet - and by the time you get to the bottom of your cup - you will get one giant sludgey gulp of coffee-sugar!
Onward to Citronella. This essential oil is often a favorite in bug blends, and it lends a wonderful scent profile to many essential oil recipes. It certainly is not a dominant note within the blend, but definitely lends its unique properties and characteristics, as well as being helpful in "toning down" Geranium. Citronella also has a good safety record with animals, and has been used quite extensively in proper amounts and dosages.
Rosemary (of the Cineole chemotype) - has long been a favorite oil for me in terms of insects. I feel it is entirely under-utilized and it's addition into this blend really brings its amazing abilities to the table. Rosemary often gets a misplaced "bad rap" - and it is not harmful or worrisome when used properly. People often want to avoid use of Rosemary with animals with seizures, and I am here to tell you - it is just not a founded concern. The sheer number of animals who are exposed properly to Rosemary essential oil through diffusion or properly dosed topical use, who actually benefit from the exposure - far outweighs the risks or issues I have ever witnessed. In Tisserand & Young's book Essential Oil Safety - 2nd Edition - the essential oil and seizure issue is well discussed in The Nervous System chapter. Basically reports of misuse and over-dosage (especially orally) of various constituents (not often the whole oil) are used to incriminate an essential oil. In clinical practice - we just simply do not see that proper use of oils is harmful - and actually quite the opposite - are usually helpful to a variety of health concerns.
Basil Linalool chemotype is a glorious oil - and if you have not experienced it - you should! Again, this oil carries it's own amazing properties, but when blended with Geranium also just really helps in scent profile and acceptability of a blend. With Geranium, finding several oils that "play nice" together, create a synergy, but also tone down the "obnoxious friend" - is worthy of addition!
Finally Thyme is added the Oust RTU Drops. But this TIME...this THYME is completely different!!! This Thyme is a Geraniol chemotype. So basically the same Genus and Species of Thymus vulgaris - but due to a variety of growth conditions - it produces an essential oil with a dominant Geraniol component, instead of the "hot" Thymol. Thyme has also been long recognized as a fabulous aid in bug repelling - and so when it is included in blends like AromaBoost or Boost in a Bottle - we have noted great help in repelling fleas or other nasty insects. Within the Oust blends - the Geraniol chemotype of Thyme is simply perfect.
The unfortunate truth is that many people do not follow directions. And even when they do, I have encountered pretty significant errors in diluting essential oil blends for use with animals. I feel that having a "Ready To Use" product available for use - really helps not only in convenience, but to avoid the accidental dilution errors that can occur. Even for me - an experienced veterinarian - I greatly prefer to have an RTU blend that I can grab quickly!
I selected my favorite Geranium essential oils for use within the Oust blends. If you'll notice, this is actually THREE different types of Geranium. Each have their own unique scent profile, as well as slightly different benefits and properties. While Oust RTU Drops still smell predominantly of Geranium, it is more acceptable within a proper blend, than used as a single essential oil. Research articles such as THIS ONE - show the interest in the science community and also confirm what we hear about the ability of Geranium to repel insects. And if you search on www.PubMed.gov - you can find many research articles on a variety of essential oils and insects.
Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) is also added to this blend. It is also a wonderful insect repellent, but really aids in mellowing out the strong scent of the Geranium. Cedarwood is also a lovely oil that is a bit more on the dense/thick side - and lends itself to "fixing" certain blends so that they last longer. With many blends, we try to find a "base note" oil that is thicker and heavier, that can act as an agent to help keep the blend from evaporating quite as quickly - or results in a bit longer "hang time."
Oust RTU Drops is a "Ready To Use" product - which is already diluted within Fractionated Coconut Oil for topical use - directly from the bottle. Oust RTU Drops are perfect for almost all topical application methods.
For Birds & Exotics: Oust RTU Drops can be considered when topical insect control is desired. Oust RTU Drops can be added to shampoos - however we will generally recommend the use of Oust (which is the undiluted blend) for use within Shampoo creations. Oust RTU Drops are still being evaluated with many exotic animal species, and our results so far are really excellent for a variety of insects including flies, fleas, mosquitoes, lice, gnats, and more. However, for these delicate species - we have a longer experience base and understanding of the Away blend - and will typically suggest Away as the preferred blend to start with. If you have an small exotic animal such as a rabbit - please start with the use of Away or Away RTU Drops first - and only move to the use of Oust or Oust RTU Drops if Away has not proven effective for your needs.
Cats: For most cat situations, I would suggest starting with the Away blend when insect repellent actions are needed beyond the basic KittyBoost recommendations. Oust RTU Drops are recommended for use when topical applications are necessary for cats. Oust RTU Drops could be added to shampoos for cats (if they are accepting of bathing) - however we generally recommend the use of Oust (the undiluted blend) for use within Shampoo creations. Please see the Shampoo Instructions page and the Oust product page for more information.
Although it would be safe to mist a cat with a water mist made from the Oust RTU Drops - we find that most cats just don't appreciate being sprayed. We always attempt to make the applications of essential oils as happy and well accepted as possible. You can certainly use your discretion on if your cat would be accepting of a spray, if you find yourself in need of it - but most of the time, we attempt to select other "cat friendly" products and methods instead. I suggest applications of KittyBoost when general insect repellency is needed. Away RTU Drops will be another excellent option for you to explore, along with the various ways we can use Away.
Oust RTU Drops are being evaluated for use for feline ear mites at this time (end of 2018) - and while this is undergoing clinical evaluations - I suggest the use of Away RTU Drops for any ear mite concerns. Oust RTU Drops has been successfully applied to many of our outdoor farm cats with great acceptance. Several of our cats seem to enjoy the application, while some of our cats are pretty turned off by the scent profile. Now that we have multiple options available - finding the blend best suited to your cat is a great goal when you need more than KittyBoost or Away RTU Drops in your arsenal.
Dogs: Oust RTU Drops can be used for direct topical application to dogs, generally without any further dilution required. Oust RTU Drops carry a mellow and more pleasant, Geranium-like scent - so if you like Geranium - you are sure to love this blend! Oust RTU Drops can be mixed with distilled water to create a water mist - but in general I will suggest creating water mists with the neat (undiluted) version of the blend.
For use directly on a dog - place between 4-10 drops of Oust RTU Drops into your hands - rub them together to distribute a film of oil, and then pet your dogs coat. For insect repellent; rubbing down the legs, neck, shoulders, and back are good locations to concentrate on. I especially focus on the "ankle" area of my dogs, since ticks will often contact this area first, as they start to climb up the legs. You can also pay special attention to ear tips or the rear end where insects often attack most. You can repeat these applications to each region you need to apply to. Put more drops into your hands, rub them around, then massage into your dogs coat. Simple as that!
Horses & Large Animals: These animals can use Oust RTU Drops in all of the ways described for dogs. I enjoy the convenience of a RTU bottle for quick applications on the trail, or to the ears or face of my horses when bugs are bad. However, most of the time I will add the undiluted Oust to a large spray bottle of Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) - in up to a 10% concentration - and then mist it onto them. See the Oust page for more information on that.
With large animals - "Petting" Oust RTU Drops directly onto places of need is very effective. I will often put approximately 10-20 drops into my hands, rub my hands together, then rub down the legs or wherever bugs are bothering them. For each location, I may repeat placing 10-20 drops into my hands. For gnats and little bugs that bite inside ears, and on chests, adding the undiluted Oust to Raw Coconut Oil (the kind that is solid below room temperature) or to another natural ointment or salve, and using this to coat the inside of the ears or chest area is highly effective. Oust RTU Drops are great for "spot treatment" of areas such as the chest or inside of ears.
In general - if you have become familiar with using the Away blend diluted in Fractionated Coconut Oil - you can Oust RTU Drops in all of the same ways. For sensitive species - I will still rely on suggesting the use of Away as an initial recommendation. We simply have more use data accumulated for Away than for the Oust blends at this time. While you can dilute the Oust blend yourself, Oust RTU Drops are provided to eliminate errors in diluting as well as the additional time and materials to make your own dilutions. If you are a fan of Geranium - you are sure to LOVE this blend!