Natural Health & Everyday Wellness...
Essential Oils to Support a Calming Environment Around an Anxious Pup
This post to assist you in uncovering calming essentials oils that may help support your dogs during times when they may have fear or worry.
Dogs, A Brief Look into the Evidence
I have always had a love for animals, especially dogs. My very first job through high school was at a boarding kennel. I now have two dogs of my own and I have really taken on the title of "dog mom". My day revolves around the needs of my pups. I am sure that I am not alone.
Consider that dog owners are generally healthier than those without dogs. It has been reported that dog owners have lower blood pressure than a person without pups. There is also a phenomenon known as the "pet effect" whereby respondents blood pressure decreases when they pet a dog.
Although the mechanism is unclear, some studies correlate dog ownership may help with lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides.
Further, and potentially most importantly, dogs provide excellent companions. They are like little (or big) stress-busters. They provide tremendous loyalty and facilitate feelings of happiness and provide excellent entertainment. They overall provide a calming effect.
Yet we should also consider their health, in addition to ours. We should also consider if we are promoting a calming environment for them. They are excellent surveyors of body language and are excellent communicators. Consider that dogs are estimated to have shared a relationship with humans for 30,000 years!
Dogs are even considered to have an "attachment" bond to humans much the same way a newborn and a caregiver bond.
With all this back and forth communication between canines and humans, we need to also be mutually considerate of both parties emotions. Calm and assertive behavior around your dog is very important. Please recognize that you are seen as the "caregiver" in this situation and, much like kids, are required to act accordingly. Using essential oils is no substitute for poor parenting.
Essential oils have shown some benefit when used with dogs to help facilitate a calming environment. A 2006 study of treated travel-induced excitement in dogs revealed some interesting effects of lavender diffusion. The study was quoted as stating the following regarding Lavender:
Dogs spent significantly more time resting and sitting and less time moving and vocalizing during the experimental condition (dogs exposed to ambient exposure to Lavender)
Essential Oils for Dogs
I choose to only use Young Living for products in our home. My concern is that whatever we choose to expose ourselves to, we also expose our dogs to.
There is no way that I want harsh chemicals being absorbed into their skin through their paws or licked up from the ground. If I am taking such great lengths to avoid toxins in products and ingredients we use, then why use harsh medications or store-bought items to induce a calming effect.
Remember, you can use this information for anytime of year for those puppies who need some encouragement for peace and calming in their life- such as dogs that are fostered, adopted, or were mistreated in their past.
If you have an apprehensive dog at home, or are just seeking to gain some information about how to help your pup get through difficult situations, keep reading. My goal is to share with you how essential oils can be the natural way to support your pups emotions and fears, just as they do for you and me.
A Few Words on Safety when Using Essential Oils with Dogs
As always, safety needs to be considered here because essential oils are powerful. It's necessary to know how to use essential oils safely with your pets, just as it is important to consider safety with children and babies as well.
It took me time to incorporate essential oils into our dog’s lifestyle. It is a process that requires patience and attention.
My very first tip, of course, is to only consider using Young Living Essential Oils.
Remember, not all essential oils are created equal.
My second tip is to use the Essential Oils Animal Desk Reference. I found it very useful and it gave me great confidence to use my Young Living Essential Oils with animals, especially our dogs. If you want to use essential oils in your home, and you have animals, you need this book! It gives excellent safety tips and advice, and provides proper dilution ratios based on size and type of animal.
Lastly, please consider the profoundly strong sense of smell that canines possess! Dogs reportedly have anywhere from 200 million to 500 million olfactory cells (we have approximately 5 million) which are responsible for the sense of smell. What seems diluted to you, is likely not diluted enough for your dog. If it smells potent to you, it is more than likely far too potent for them! Overpowering you animal with these aromas will likely have an adverse effect as well. Remember, there is an optimal amount.
Use caution and careful observation when applying oils to your animals and please consult with your veterinarian and desk reference regarding overall essential oil safety!
9 Essential Oils for Promoting a Relaxed Environment for Dogs
You can use these oils any time of year for pups who need some peace and calming in their life!
Here are the 9 calming essential oils for dogs:
1. Lavender - One of my go-to essential oils, its our swiss army knife of essential oils. Lavender aroma may support feelings of calm, supports a worry-free outlook, and may help the body fight occasional nervous tension. Its balancing scent may also help calm the mind and body.
2. Stress Away- The name says it all. An aroma of lime and vanilla encourages feelings of relaxation and helps create a calm, enjoyable environment. This includes Copaiba, Cedarwood, Ocotea, and Lavender.
3. T-Away - An Animal Scents product that is specifically formulated for animals. It is a blend of Tangerine, Lavender, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, German Chamomile, Frankincense, Valerian, Ylang Ylang, Black Spruce, Geranium, Orange, Helichrysum, Spanish Sage, Patchouli, Coriander, Blue tansy, Bergamot, Rose, Lemon, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile and Palmarosa. T-Away may help promote positive feelings.
4. Peace & Calming - A sweet-smelling blend of Tangerine, Ylang Ylang, Orange, Patchouli, and Blue Tansy. With a comforting, fresh aroma, Peace & Calming creates a sense of peace, balance, and emotional well-being.
5. Patchouli - Have feelings of jealousy, obsessions, or insecurities? Patchouli allows for these feelings to dissipate while it may support clarity in the mind.
6. Valor - a blend of Black Spruce, Rosewood, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense. It may help balance the energies within the body and seeks to provide surroundings which encourage courage, confidence, and self-esteem.
7. White Angelia- a blend of Bergamont, Myrrh, Geranium, Royal hawaiian Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Coriander, Black Spruce, Melissa, Hyssop, and Rose. With the aroma of White Angelica essential oil blend, you can create a positive atmosphere and inspire feelings of security and optimism
8. Joy - a beautiful blend of Bergamont, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lemon, Coriander, Tangerine, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, Palmarosa, and Rose. This blend of essential oils harmonizes and has a joyful aroma. When diffused, it creates a warm, comforting environment.
9. Frankincense - an essential oil that can be describe as having a sweet, warm, Boswellia aroma that is stimulating or centering. Frankincense is useful for its comforting properties, helping the mind focus or overcome challenges, and promotes grounding. (How to use Frankincense)
Essential Oils in the Diffuser
This is one of the ways to use essential oils to support your dog.
I like to practice safe and consistent use of essential oils with my dogs. I promote regular, safe use of oils over situation-based use simply because I want to help facilitate a calming environment for my animals year round. Consult your veterinarian if any concerns arise with routine use of essential oils with dogs!
Start the diffuser in the morning to create a calm, peaceful, and relaxed environment for everyone, including the dogs. It is routinely reported that diffusing is actually a good place to start when first introducing essential oils to animals.
We have provided our 9 favorite oils and blends. Please consult with your vet and use close observation to determine what the most effective oils are for your animals.
I usually put about 6 drops total of essential oils when using my diffusers. Perhaps also think about which of the 9 oils stated above also facilitate a good environment and mood for you as well! This is important! Remember, dogs are masters of communication and body language.
Essential Oils for Topical Use
Another option is to apply Young Living Essential Oils on the dogs fur topically.
I also apply oils to my pups for skin support and a natural solution for those outdoor annoyances! I apply essential oils behind their ears and all over their bodies. Start with a very small amount of oil (maybe only a drop or two) and carefully observe how this effects your dog! As always, consult your vet if you have concerns.
Remember, there are specific dilution ratios when applying essential oils to dogs. If you have small dogs or puppies, be sure to read the dilution chart in the Essential Oils Animals Desk Reference. You can use any carrier oil to dilute the essential oils when applying topically.
Even though I have two bigger dogs, I started out diluting all essential oils when applying topically to their body. They enjoy Lavender and Stress Away, which are both essential oils that really mellow them out.
To apply essential oils topically:
Apply a drop or two to your hand, rub them together, then rub down your puppy's fur. If you need to dilute - after consulting your animal reference - squirt carrier oil into your hands before you rub down your dog.
For convenience, I often make a calming roller for the dogs. I have even made a "Mellow Mix" spray for the dogs as well. You can apply the roller or spray to your hands first, or directly to the dogs. Please use common sense and safety when applying!
Here are the recipes for the "Mellow Mix" roller and spray:
A Note on Fireworks and Essential Oils for Dogs
I love July, Independence Day, and fireworks. Unfortunately for many dogs, this time brings on a ton of excitement!
Fireworks - and even thunder storms - can be scary for any animal. Perhaps Young Living Essential Oils may be a natural way to support your dogs emotions during this particularly stressful time.
The Fourth of July typically brings about plenty of noise, especially from fireworks. Meanwhile, some of our fur babies might be home alone and terrified. I actually hate the thought of a little pup feeling some of these emotions.
What worries me is that these celebrations not only occur on the Fourth, but might happen throughout the summer, and even the year (thunderstorms too depending on your location). This means that anxiety related to loud noises can be a concern year round.
Especially around the Fourth of July, I regularly use essential oils in the ways mentioned above. You now know my 9 favorite oils for calming down our pups. Since the entire week of the Fourth can be stressful for your animals, consider using them throughout the week (and even throughout the year) after consulting with your vet.
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