If you share your life with an occasionally stressed dog, chances are you could benefit from another calming tool for your arsenal. Whether your dog is triggered by traveling, fireworks, or separation anxiety, the therapeutic use of essential plant oils could be a game changer for you both.
We’ve all enjoyed a scented candle or favorite perfume, but the art of aromatherapy lies in understanding the deeper effects of the scents of common plants, trees, and flowers, how to combine them, and how to most effectively apply them when you need them. If you’re new to aromatherapy and you don’t feel comfortable jumping right in, a professionally certified Aromatherapist can guide you and your dog through a course of treatment.
To get the benefits of essential oils, they need to be diffused into a massage oil or lotion, or into a plain base to be used as a mister. For for more general or human use, essential oils can also be heated in a diffuser, added to a bath, or stored in a portable inhaler.
If you’re ready to get started without doing all the science yourself, pre-mixed aromatherapy products are a safe way to go. Essential oils are mixed with a neutral carrier to a safe level of concentration for immediate use for your dog.
Aromatherapy stress relief for dogs
Chill Out from Aromadog comes in a spray bottle you can use to spritz your dog’s bedding, kennel, your car, or anywhere your dog hangs out. If your dog responds well to the blend, you can spray your hands and give your dog a relaxing massage.
Chamomile – deep calming, soothing pain relief
Lavender – sedative, mental clarity
Sweet Marjoram – calming, stress relief
Cedar – grounds and reduces panic
Cypress – soothes frazzled emotions
Frankincense – quiets anxiety
Lavender – classic calming
Vetiver – stress relief
Bergamot – uplifts and balances
Bergamot – anti-depressant
Tangerine – soothing to the nervous system
Lavender – mental clarity, sedative
Geranium – balancing, uplifting
Marjoram – calming, stress relief
Ylang ylang – anti-depressant, soothing on the skin
While it’s one of the most well-known holistic treatments for tense people and pets, Rescue Remedy is actually a homeopathic use of essential oils and is intended to be ingested. You sprinkle four drops onto a cookie, into a dinner or in the water bowl.
Contains homeopathic (extremely diluted) amounts of:
Rock Rose – terror and panic
Impatiens – irritation and impatience
Clematis – inattentiveness and lack of interest
Star of Bethlehem – shock or trauma
Cherry Plum – lack of self control
Grow your own aromatherapy garden for your dog
Does your dog have a favorite chill-out spot in your yard? Why not plant some aromatherapeutic plants near their favorite area? You might already have some aromatherapy power plants growing in your yard, in fact. Hardy plants like rosemary, lavender, and peppermint will spice up your space without breaking the bank or requiring a lot of attention.
Essential oils that are safe for dogs
Here is a great list of essential oils that are safe for dogs (and people of course). You can look up the beneficial qualities of plants here.
Essential oils to avoid for dogs
These essential oils are not suitable for use on pets. They are either irritating or toxic if ingested. Remember, anything that touches your dog gets eaten by your dog when they groom themselves.
- Juniper wood
- White Thyme
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy – Information and resources from the US governing body
Essential Oils – Encyclopedia of essential oils and their effects
How to use essential oils safely with dogs – Thorough discussion of aromatherapy for dogs with more great links to books and training info
Featured image: © Deborah Hall | Dreamstime.com – The love for his Dog and loyal friend