Motherhood Leads to Aromatherapy Certifications and Love of Pets Takes it To a New Level
Pet Inspirations: Vicki Rae Thorne, Earth Heart Inc.
Did you have a pet that inspired you to start your business/product/service? Or that encouraged you to be in the field that you are in? If no, what inspired you?
It was love at first smell when I attended a weekend intensive on essential oils in 1992. Because I was pregnant and had a five-year-old, I wanted everything to be safe for my entire family, and I’ve applied that same level of responsibility to formulating for dogs.
My certifications in both aromatherapy and herbalism are through Jeanne Rose Herbal & Aromatherapy Studies, and I’m a long-standing member of the American Herbalists Guild, the Alliance of International Aromatherapists, and Women in the Pet Industry Network.
Earth Heart® has built a reputation for designing safe, affordable and effective wellness remedies that are made in the USA using plant-based ingredients. Education of consumers and wholesale partners in the current climate of overuse and misleading information led to Responsible Aromatherapy™ as the basis of our education. Earth Heart® is a proud sponsor of IJA Rescue MeRodeos, Anderson Animal Shelter and Lost Pet Prevention Month.
When did you get into this line or work or how long have you been in this position?
In 1996, I founded Earth Heart® Inc., to help others learn how to safely and effectively use herbs and essential oils in everyday life. I developed and taught community and continuing education classes for 14 years, authored a monthly magazine column, grew a private consulting practice, and formulated new products per customer requests.
Things started to change in 1999, when I was approached by a kennel owner who wanted help with calming her canine visitors. The dogs missed their families and felt anxious, agitated, angry or depressed. I developed the formula now known as Canine Calm® to diffuse in the kennel and reception areas 15 minutes before intake and feeding times.
Her customers liked the results, and the water-based spray was designed as easy, safe, affordable product for them to use at home. At their request, we formulated blends for travel sickness, first aid and wellness, and to help with insects.
The Earth Heart® line of canine products has been in the national marketplace since 2010, and I’m pleased that Earth Heart has built a reputation for designing safe, affordable and effective remedies to help create happier, healthier lives. All products are made in the USA and are responsibly formulated with 100% pure essential oils. They can be used with dogs from 10 weeks of age, and are also safe and effective for humans and horses.
How does your product or service help pets and pet parents?
Aromatherapy is the skilled and controlled use of essential oils to restore or maintain health and well-being. Essential oils are volatile, aromatic liquids in the rind, flower, leaf, stem, root, wood, bark or resin of aromatic plants that are obtained by distillation, expression, and CO2 or solvent extraction.
Scent is the only one of our five senses that has an emotional response before a cognitive one. The olfactory bulb links to the limbic system which is the seat of emotion, memory and learning.
Aromatherapy is also known as essential oil therapy, and is best used by topical application or inhalation. Internal use is not advised unless recommended by a health care practitioner trained in clinical animal aromatherapy.
A happy and heathy dog brings peace of mind to pet parents. Topical aromatherapy products can support the human-animal bond, facilitate behavior modification and improve health. An added benefit is that the remedies you are using with your dog can have the same effect on you!
How does it specifically help senior pets or senior pet options?
As your pets get older, they can become more sensitive to noise, vibration, smells, barometric pressure…for example, animals that never had issues with thunder may become terrified of storms. a calming remedy like our Canine Calm® has helped many dogs relax during storms, fireworks and other unsettling situations.Travel Calm® helps with tummy upsets. Guard Well® with dry itchy skin and other irritations.
What are the top 3 pieces of advice/recommendations concerning your field of expertise and that could benefit a pet’s and/or pet parent’s life, for senior pets?
Since there is no regulatory agency that grades essential oils, “therapeutic-grade” or “medical-grade” is merely a marketing ploy. Claims of an essential oil “cure-all” are false; your dog’s age, temperament, health, rescue status, symptoms and scent preferences all contribute to which essential oils are appropriate to use.
Responsible Aromatherapy™ is about conservation - less is more. Because situations (and dogs) are unique, using a highly diluted product allows you to control the amount and frequency of use - the least amount needed for the desired result.Diluting essential oils prevents the overharvesting of plants thereby preserving our precious plant resources. Diluting essential oils is not only safer, it's also more affordable.
Pure essential oils are highly concentrated; for example, it takes 200 pounds of lavender flowers to yield 1 pound of lavender essential oil. Some companies advocate using undiluted essential oils and this just isn’t safe. It’s also not necessary when 1% (or less) of an essential oil single or blend is generally effective for dogs. Undiluted or high percentages of essential oils can overwhelm your dog’s sense of smell, cause systemic sensitization, and irritate the skin or lungs.
Using a diffuser for 15 minutes one or two times a day is usually sufficient. Be sure to diffuse in well-ventilated areas, place diffusers away from bird cages and fish tanks, and make sure that cats can easily leave the area.
Where can someone get information or access the products or services discussed?