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We’re all well aware that scents (and odors) can evoke memories, set a mood, or calm one’s mind. The use of essential oils as a form of therapy is nothing new and is relatively common in the human world, but did you know dogs can benefit from it, too?
Because dogs are so adept at detecting scents, with olfactory systems far more advanced than our own, it’s no surprise that introducing certain, specifically selected, scents can alter a dog’s physical and emotional state.
Aromatherapy is believed to improve the emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being of an individual when he or she inhales or absorbs essential oils through their skin. These essential oils are extracted from stems, bark, flowers, roots and leaves of certain plants.
There are a wide range of essential oils available especially for the benefit of dogs. The use of certain oils can treat itchiness, repel fleas and ticks, and fight infections. While other essentials oils can be used to promote a sense of calm or to ease anxiety, particularly during stressful situations such as travel and bad weather.
How do I use essential oils for my dog?
Just like with the human beauty market, essential oils have started to make their way over to our pets, too! These natural solutions not only help our dogs smell superb, but also have soothing effects that can do everything from calm an anxious pup or soothe an older dog’s joint pain.
The best part? A lot of these are DIY. We’ve found specific recipes by FragranceX that let you create your dog’s personal mix, but whatever you chose the recipe is incredibly easy.
Each one has a specific benefit to it, so make sure to have your pup’s tendencies in mind when choosing. Lavender can even help calm anxious dogs. Peppermint can soothe joints, whereas eucalyptus can help clear congestion if your pet is having allergies. Either way, they all smell great.
Learn all about the wonders of essential oil for dog perfume below.
Infographic courtesy of fragrancex.com.
Because a dog’s sense of smell is so much more acute than our own, the use of essential oils can sometimes be overwhelming. For dogs, much less oil is needed to achieve results. You’ll know that an aromatherapy treatment is too overwhelming for your dog if his eyes water, he begins sneezing, pacing, or whining.
Additionally, not all essential oils are created equal. Most often, adverse reactions to essential oils and aromatherapy is a result of using poor quality or synthetic grade oils. When seeking out essential oils for pet therapy, always choose therapeutic grade oils from reputable manufacturers. Look for oils that are sold in cobalt, amber, or violet glass bottles and make sure the label reads “100% pure essential oils.”
And, if you share your home with both dogs AND cats, be sure the oils you’re using are safe for both. Certain essential oils that are safe and effective for dogs can be highly toxic to their feline friends.
Do you have any experience with essential oils or aromatherapy for your dog? Please, share your experiences in a comment below!
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I see lavender oil is a universal and the most widely used of all essential oils even for pets!
Please be extremely careful with EOs around animals! I’ve used them cautiously for many years in our holistic rescue sanctuary & boarding business. Not cautiously enough, unfortunately. Diffusing an EO combination for a heart problem in one of my dogs likely caused a seizure in another. We narrowed the problem down to ylang ylang, which is recommended in this article despite being known to cause seizures in vulnerable animals. It was the worst seizure I’ve ever seen, & my pup is a super healthy 18mo. I’ll never diffuse around my guys again & will stick with misting sprays.
Love this article! Which are best to use in a diffuser with dogs? I’ve only used lavender so far.