Healing for Guinea Pigs - 5 steps to help them Squeak with Contentment with essential oils and herbsJul 17, 2023
Even our smallest furry animals have the ability to self select essential oils and herbs for their emotional and physical wellbeing. Healing for guinea pigs is a wonderful way to increase their confidence around people and to help them to be calmer and friendlier when handled.
I work with essential oils and herbs, in a healing method called Applied Zoopharmacognosy. It enables our domestic animals to have access to some of the many plant compounds they would naturally find in the wild.
5 steps to helping your guinea pig with essential oils and herbs and what to expect from an Applied Zoopharmacognosy session:
- Bring your guinea pig indoors if possible. It’s tricky to offer essential oils and herbs outside as they can be affected by the airflow, making it harder for your piggy to catch the aromas. If it’s windy the herbs and herbal powders tend to blow away.
- Lay down a towel so that you have an area to sprinkle with natural plant items such as dried rosehips, barley grass powder and powdered green clay. Your guinea pig may enjoy eating, sitting on or rolling in the powders, replicating their natural behaviours in the wild.
- Check which end is which!!! Some amazing guinea pigs have hairy camouflage, such as Betty Boo, the black guinea pig, starring in the featured video. I had great fun with her. At times it was almost impossible to tell which way she was facing! Offering essential oils to a guinea pig’s bottom does not make for a good first impression! However, if they choose to reverse up to an essential oil bottle, they probably have a good reason, so don’t worry!
- Gradually open essential oils for your guinea pig to approach. Favourite oils for Guinea Pigs are often seen to be Rose, Lavender, Neroli, Vetiver, Violet Leaf, Frankincense and Linden Blossom. Placing the bottles about 30cm away from your guinea pig, allows them to choose how close they want to be. They may wish to inhale from the bottle closely. If they nibble the top of the bottle, it’s a sign that they may like to taste the oil, so a little may be dripped onto a suitable twig for them to nibble. Fruit tree twigs are ideal for this. They may also like to have a little stroked onto their coat and this can be a very effective way of helping nervous guinea pigs. Put a drop on your fingertips and approach slowly, giving your guinea pig the chance to say no thank you if they prefer not to have it put onto their fur.
- Relax and enjoy watching your guinea pig as they approach different oils, lie down, squeak, vocalise and flop to one side. They can become incredibly relaxed (you can end up with a very flat piggy!) and it’s a really lovely thing to share with your furry friend.
Betty Boo and Too Ticky were very nervous about being picked up and handled before their Applied Zoopharmacognosy session. They also didn’t vocalise very much. It was possible to see the emotional and behavioural changes in both guinea pigs during their session as they became more confident and more vocal...see the video... and this continued after their session to their owners delight. They are still squeaking happily when they are handled and are far happier and much more relaxed!
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