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Aromatherapy, the use of essential oils for improving physical or psychological benefits, is an age-old practice. Even though it’s becoming increasingly popular, it’s actually been around for centuries! The uses include everything from relaxation to pain relief and everything in between.
Many dog owners wonder if the same effects can be seen when using essential oils on their dog. The sense of smell, in both humans and dogs, is linked to emotions.
When used correctly, essential oils can be very useful in helping with many issues that dogs face, especially calming nerves and anxiety – which can be exceptionally useful during recovery periods. Here are five oils that can be used to calm your dog.
Frankincense oil also helps to ease anxiety in dogs and create a sense of calm in stressed-out dogs. This is a great overall oil as it can strengthen the immune system, as well as have a calming effect.
It also has promising benefits when fighting cancer! See our list of essential oils that help when facing cancer here.
Cardamom oil allows for dogs to feel a sense of control in overwhelming situations. It has shown itself useful for dogs with a history of aggression. This is an excellent oil if there are children present, as it is one of the more gentle essential oils.
One of the most popular essential oils is lavender. It’s definitely our favorite over here! Well-known for its relaxation benefits, it has a relaxing effect on dogs by soothing the central nervous system.
Lavender is great for separation anxiety or simply for a calming effect. It can be spritzed on the pet’s bed or applied topically, plus it can also be placed on the collar or sprayed in an area where the dog may be crated to calm nerves. Just be sure that you’re applying it safely.
We used lavender by mixing a few drops with coconut oil and rubbing it inside the plastic travel kennel before flying our pack from Puerto Rico to Alaska. While I wasn’t there to see how well it worked, I felt they would be comforted by the familiar scent and calming aspects of lavender.
Roman Chamomile Oil
Another gentle oil, roman chamomile helps to calm restless dogs. It has also shown to be uplifting and can help to erase negative emotions like anxiety, as well as promote peacefulness. You’ll want to make sure that they don’t ingest the oil by mixing it with a carrier oil and applying it along the back of their neck.
Now, this one isn’t usually considered an essential oil, but CBD oil is great for calming dogs! Just like in people, using CBD oil (a compound usually found in hemp and cannabis) can significantly reduce anxiety in dogs.
CBD oil contains the perfect ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which dogs do not produce naturally, but are necessary for optimal health. The oil works when the cannabidiol from the hemp enters the endocannabinoid system of the dog, allowing for specific receptors to be able to communicate, resulting in a state of calm.
Not to worry, though, your dog doesn’t get high off it! Read more about how CBD oil benefits your dog here. We especially LOVE King Kanine CBD Oil with Lavender Oil.
It’s made with krill oil, which is extremely beneficial for your dog’s health and wellness. The lavender oil provides an extra boost of calm to the CBD oil, while still making it nice and easy to put the dose in Rico’s food and he happily eats it.
How To Apply Essential Oils To Your Dog Safely
There are three steps you should take every time you use these essential oils on or around your dog:
- To test how your dog is going to react to a particular essential oil, first put 1-2 drops in an oil diffuser and let it run, filling the room with the aroma in 15-minute intervals. If you don’t have an essential oil diffuser yet, they’re amazing! We have this one from Amazon and love it. Always leave a door open so that your dog can get out if the smell is too much for them. Watch your pet closely to see how they react. Do this with every new oil you introduce.
- Never topically apply an undiluted, straight-from-the-bottle essential oil on your pet. Always dilute them beforehand with a carrier oil like coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, etc.
- Store your oils on a shelf or locked cabinet where your pet cannot get into them.
As with anything new, you will want to proceed with caution when introducing essential oils to your dog to avoid any adverse reactions or skin irritation.
Let your dog sniff them first before applying. If they appear to not like the smell, please don’t force it. Always use therapeutic grade oils, mix with a carrier oil, and always consult your veterinarian before use.