Essential Oils for Dog Anxiety and Stress
By Caryn Gehlmann
Our four-legged canine friends are an integral part of our lives. They become part of our daily routines and allow us to get unlimited hugs and kisses. Since dogs do much for our emotional health, many pet owners want to help their dogs feel calm and protected. Essential oils are a natural way to help with dog anxiety and stress, but you want to use oils cautiously and safely.
According to some pet experts, dog anxiety and stress show up in 4 different ways. They include social, noise, separation, and veterinarian visitation anxiety.
What might dog anxiety and stress look like?
- Social anxiety can stem from a lack of socialization or a previous negative experience with a human or another animal that leaves a traumatic impact.
- Noise anxiety is relative to being scared of loud or unfamiliar noises such as car horns, smoke alarms, thunder, and alarms.
- Separation anxiety is when your pet gets anxious when you leave, and it can cause your pet to be frightened and depressed. Abandonment is a fear your pet might have if they come from a previous abusive home. Your pet will fear every time you walk out the door you will not return causing unsettlement for them.
- Lastly, veterinarian visitations can cause your pet to feel an extreme high of anxiety. Being in a crate, bringing them into an unfamiliar environment and around others can trigger a combination of social, noise, and separation anxiety.
Recommended essential oils for dog anxiety, stress, or uneasiness…
Essential oils can be helpful when your dog has an anxious flare-up. First, you will want to look into how to safely use essential oils on your pet. Essential oils such as Chamomile, Lavender, and Rose oil can be good options to help your dog feel calmer. E3’s Be Calm Spritzer also seems to be a good choice. Don’t forget that animals have super-olfactory senses. Smells that may seem mild to us can be super potent for our furry friends.
Note: Cats, birds, and reptiles have kidneys that can’t process the essential oil molecules, so please don’t diffuse oils where these pets can’t escape from the scent… an adverse reaction could build up over time. Also, be extra careful that they aren’t ingesting the essential oils as they can be harmful to their digestive system. (Read an interview with e3’s animal health advisor on some of the dos and don’ts of aromatherapy with animals.)
One of our favorite scents is lavender, which can help our dogs with anxiety and stress. Lavender is so versatile and is one of the safer and gentler plants. e3’s Love Your Pet Lavender Hydrosol is 100% natural hydrosol. To use for an anxious pet, spray it in the air near your pet or spray on the dog collar.
Note: (For cats, spray onto a small towel or cloth and leave it in an area where your pet normally sleeps. Allow your cat to choose if it wants to lay on the towel or not.)
If your dog has a serious anxiety disorder, you will want to have a discussion with your vet. They may prescribe medication for them on top of utilizing essential oils or a hydrosol. Prescribed medication is an alternative route that can be costly, but necessary. You may wonder, does my vet take pet insurance? That’s a good question because this can help cover the cost of prescribed medications. Some pet owners find that pet insurance allows them to explore the best medical treatment possible.
Essential oils can provide positive reinforcement for your pets and often prove beneficial for their anxiety and stress. Take it slow and do your research and you may find that you and your pet will feel much calmer when you find a scent that you both love!
As always, we invite you to share your specific concerns with our staff of trained aromatherapists. If you have questions, feel free to contact us via the website or on our social media channels. We’d also love to hear if you use essential oils for dog anxiety and stress or for any other pet you may have. And be sure to sign-up for our newsletter with more essential oil tips the whole family can enjoy and for a 20% coupon off your next order.