Aromatherapy For Dogs: How & When To Use It

dog-with-flower-petalsWhether you’ve got a moody dog or an anxious dog, or maybe you’re dealing with some more serious behavior issues, aromatherapy could be the perfect answer.

Here’s how you and your dog can get the most from aromatherapy…

 

Dogs And Aromatherapy

Dogs can benefit from the healing and uplifting properties of aromatherapy, exactly as humans do! That’s why pet aromatherapy is such a hot topic these days.

Just as certain scents will make you feel calmer, or more alert, less moody, or more energized… the same is true for your dog.

Dog owners everywhere are rushing to try a particular scent (or combination of scents) to see if it has any effect on their dog’s moods or behaviors.

Truth be told, you can’t hurt anything by trying.

Even if aromatherapy didn’t have any effect on your dog, you alone would appreciate the pleasing aromas that would enhance your mood & well-being.

 

Reasons To Try Aromatherapy

Whether you’ve just got a moody dog, or you’re dealing with some serious behavior issues, aromatherapy could be the perfect answer.

Aromatherapy has been used to help dogs in the following ways:

  • to tame aggression
  • to lessen the effects of arthritis
  • to ease pain from cancer
  • to decrease coughs, congestion & respiratory problems
  • to help with digestion problems
  • to stop diarrhea
  • to treat dry skin & itching
  • to repel fleas & other insects
  • to help with gingivitis & bad breath
  • to help your pet deal with grief
  • to temper hyperactivity
  • to treat insect bites & stings
  • to help with nervousness & anxiety
  • to end nausea
  • to treat Ringworm
  • to end motion & travel sickness
  • to stop vomiting

 

Essential oils are very safe and much less toxic than the chemical filled shampoos and flea collars out on the market. As long as you don’t use too much and stay away from oils like wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) and mustard (Brassica nigra), you will be fine. — Aromatherapy For Your Pooch

Aromatherapy For Your Dog: Healing Blends For Dogs

 

How To Use Aromatherapy With Your Dog

1. The most popular way to take advantage of aromatherapy is to simply “diffuse” the scent into a room — or your entire house — allowing you and your dog to breathe in the scent naturally.

2. You could also place a drop or two of Essential Oil (mixed first with a vegetable oil as a base) directly on your dog’s skin and massage it in — for the fastest results.

Here’s how to do both…

 

How To Use Essential Oils With A Diffuser

With a diffuser, you are combining the Essential Oil with a heat source. Some diffusers are electric, others require candles. There is also a ring-shaped device that can be put on top of a light bulb.

  • Apply a few drops of Essential Oil to the diffuser — the aromatherapy scents will immediately begin to fill the room.
  • Leave your dog in the room with the diffuser for about 30 minutes, and your dog will breathe in the Essential Oils as they evaporate into the air.
  • Do this twice a day for best effects.
  • The results will be very subtle.

 

How To Apply Essential Oils By Massage

Combine 2-3 drops of the Essential Oil — or combination of Essential Oils — of your choice with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Then, massage gently into hairless (or least hairy) area of the skin such as the armpit, groin or inner thigh for 3 to 4 minutes.

  • When applying Essential Oils directly on your dog, only apply to areas from the neck down to the tail.
  • NEVER apply anywhere near the eyes, nose, or face.
  • And never ever should Essential Oils be given internally to your dog.
  • Likewise, if at all possible, you want to avoid placing the oil in a spot that your dog could lick.
  • Do not use Essential Oils on pregnant or seizure prone dogs without checking with your vet first.

IMPORTANT: Before applying to your dog’s skin, always dilute the Essential Oil in a base oil first! (Typically, you would combine 2-3 drops of Essential Oil with 1 teaspoon of carrier oil.)

Good base oils to consider:

olive oil
safflower oil
jojoba oil
grapeseed oil
sunflower oil
hazelnut oil
avocado oil
sweet almond oil
practically any other vegetable oil

For the record, grapeseed oil and avocado oil tend to penetrate the skin the quickest.

 

The Best Essential Oils To Use With Dogs

TO REPEL INSECTS:
Eucalyptus
Cedarwood
Pine
Peppermint
Citronella + Lemongrass

TO EASE PAIN ASSOCIATED WITH ARTHRITIS:
Juniper
Birch
Pine
Thyme
Rosemary
Sandlewood
Rosemary + Lavender

TO LESSEN AGGRESSION:
Sandalwood
Ylang Ylang

FOR CALMING & RELAXING HYPERACTIVITY:
(…more about the use of aromatherapy to calm anxious dogs here)
Ylang Ylang
Bergamot
Frankincense
Lavender
Jasmine
Chamomile
Lemon
Neroli
Marjoram
Rose + Ylang Ylang + Clary Sage

TO TREAT A COUGH:
Eucalyptus
Myrrh
Pine
Tea Tree
Thyme

TO HELP IN TIMES OF GRIEF:
Basil
Bergamot
Orange Blossom

FOR NAUSEA, TRAVEL & MOTION SICKNESS:
Peppermint
Chamomile
Sweet Fennel

TO RELIEVE DRY, ITCHY SKIN:
Tea Tree
Rosemary + Peppermint
Myrrh + Patchouli

FOR CUTS, SCRAPES & BRUISES:
Myrrh + Patchouli

TO END DIARRHEA:
Cinnamon
Peppermint

TO END BAD GAS:
Peppermint

FOR SORE MUSCLES:
Lavender + Marjoram

TO STOP VOMITING:
Peppermint
Lavender
Tarragon

 

Where To Find Essential Oils

You can order pre-mixed Essential Oil blends that have been proven effective with dogs under certain conditions (e.g. dogs that need calming, or energizing, or etc.) via online pet catalogs.

You can also stop by any health food store to find virtually any Essential Oil you might be interested in.

These days, you can find practically anything for dogs that comes in an aromatherapy version as well… such as dog shampoos and sprays.

Those plug-in kit air freshener kits found at grocery and department stores actually contain a mixture of fragrance oils that are synthetic (rather than pure Essential Oils). As a result, they put out the least potent scents, and thus, yield the least meaningful results. However, many people still call this a form of aromatherapy.

 

Helpful Resources

Lynnette Walczak

I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I frequently write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed several years until switching gears to pursue things I was more passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun websites).

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  • http://www.verticalpharmacy.net/petcare.html Pet Care

    Hi, i have tried several aromas for my dog, what makes him happy is the aroma of Sandalwood oil , i have applied directly on his body and it works well. Even i get a happy feeling by the smell, it works best for both of us. :)