There are multiple ways to use lavender oil for dogs who suffer from anxiety. One of the best methods is to place a few drops of lavender oil on a bandanna, then softly tie the bandanna around your dog’s neck. Most dogs will calm down after a few minutes.
Humans have been using essential oils to treat various ailments for centuries. However, in the past decade, the use of essential oils has exploded. As we learn more about the benefits essential oils bring to humans, we are also learning about the benefits essential oils bring to dogs.
More specifically, lavender oil is the one that has shown the most promise for our dogs. It may seem odd to think aromatherapy can benefit our furry friends in the same way it helps us, but considering dogs are much more perceptive to smell than we are, it makes sense.
In this guide, we will go over how to use lavender oil for anxious dogs, then go over a few ways to calm your dog’s anxiety along with the use of lavender.
What You'll Learn
- 1 What Are Essential Oils?
- 2 Applying The Oil
- 3 The Top Benefits of Lavender Oil For Dogs
- 4 A Few Warnings Before Using Lavender Oil
- 5 Never Use These Oils
- 6 Lavender Oil is Worth a Try
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are created by using concentrated parts of a plant (lavender oil comes from the lavender flower).
The oils are used on both humans and animals to help with issues ranging from anxiety or joint pain to digestive problems and coughing.
There are almost 100 different essential oils. They each have their own potent smell and offer varying benefits.
When opening a container, you’ll immediately notice how strong the scent is. This is especially true for your dog, since their sense of smell is 100,000 times more acute than ours. The aroma may overwhelm dogs, so start small when introducing them to oils like lavender.
Applying The Oil
Lavender oil is very potent, so diluting the mix to reduce the strength and smell is considered “best practice” for your pup.
There are three main ways to use this essential to calm your dog’s anxiety.
1) Using a Diffuser
You can purchase a quality diffuser for under $30. Make sure the diffuser is in the same room as your dog. When adding oil to the diffuser, remember that dogs have a strong sense of smell, so you don’t need to add nearly as much as the instructions say. Two or three drops of lavender oil should be plenty to help calm their anxiety. Make sure the diffuser is placed out of reach from your dog.
2) Direct Application
The second way to apply lavender oil is through direct application. Rubbing lavender oil onto your dog can help with their anxiety, but make sure it’s diluted with water. Lavender oil is extremely concentrated and might dry your dog’s skin if applied without diluting.
3) The Bandanna Method
The third way to use lavender oil on your dog is to purchase a doggy bandanna. Place a few drops of the oil on the bandanna, then put it on your dog. You should notice your dog calms down after a few minutes.
The Top Benefits of Lavender Oil For Dogs
Calm and Relaxation
Humans predominantly use lavender for calming and relaxation. It has the same effect on dogs and can help if they get stressed out when going to the vet or groomers. When fireworks or thunder have your pup on edge, applying some lavender oil may help ease their tension.
Keeping Insects Away
Lavender has the natural ability to repel ticks and fleas, making it one of the most useful essential oils for both dogs and cats. If the goal is to keep ticks, fleas, and other insects away, you can use it as a spray on their bed, collar, or fur. Fill a spray bottle with water and place a few drops of lavender oil in the bottle. Shake before each use.
Relieves Skin Irritation
If your dog has been itching nonstop, it might be helpful to use lavender to soothe their skin. It will also prevent them from doing more damage by scratching at wounds.
Lavender is known to help humans with insomnia. Although dogs rarely have any issue with falling asleep, it helps promote deep sleep. If your dog wakes up a lot in the middle of the night or you feel like they aren’t getting quality rest, place a diffuser in the room they sleep.
A Few Warnings Before Using Lavender Oil
We have already mentioned this once, but never use lavender oil without first diluting it. You should also avoid putting it on puppies without consulting with a vet. All dogs will have different reactions to things they are not used to, so it is important to monitor them after applying the oil.
Periodically examine their skin to make sure they aren’t getting a rash. Also, monitor their mood and behavior.
If you have multiple pets in the same household, it is important to monitor all pets. Even if you are only directly applying the oil to one dog, you want to make sure the other dog isn’t having a negative reaction from the scent.
Signs to Look For
Some dogs may have negative reactions to the oil. It’s necessary to look for these signs on the first few applications.
Your dog may be hesitant at first because of the strong aroma and presence of a new substance, but if they start whining, become sick, or have other extreme reactions such as vomiting and diarrhea, you may need to try another oil or avoid using them on your pet altogether.
If the distress is getting worse, and you suspect an allergic reaction, contact a veterinarian immediately. This is especially true if they ingest the oil.
Never Use These Oils
Not all essential oils are safe for dogs. This may not seem like the case when most botanical treatments have a pleasant smell and positive outcomes for humans. However, oils such as pine, citrus, and tea tree are just a few of the oils you should keep away from your dog. They can cause stomach problems, irritation of the skin, and more.
What Other Oils Can I Use Along With Lavender?
Cardamom is a great oil for dogs. It’s anti-bacterial and can help with their appetite.
Frankincense is known to help with reducing tumors and ulcers. Although some dogs experience negative side effects from this oil, it’s still considered safe.
Spearmint can help dogs boost their metabolism and increase their appetite. It can also help dogs that suffer from ADD.
Helichrysum has been known to reduce pain in animals. If your dog has arthritis or hip dysplasia, helichrysum oil may help with the pain.
Always be cautious when exposing your dog to new oils. Give it some time to see how they react.
Lavender Oil is Worth a Try
If your dog suffers from anxiety, lavender oil is worth a try. There have been enough studies and real-world examples proving the benefits. Since there are very few side effects, you have nothing to lose. Although it won’t work on every dog, it seems to work well on most.
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