AROMATHERAPY, YES OR NO FOR MY DOG
The popularity of using essentials oils topically and in diffusers has skyrocketed over the last few years. Many people use them to promote calmness and relaxation. But can pet parents use them for their dogs?
A dog’s sense of smell is nearly 40 times greater than our own. Dogs have up to 300 million olfactory receptors compared to our 6 million with a larger portion of their brain devoted to analyzing smells. Much of what dogs learn about their world is understood through their nose. Their highly developed sense of smell makes it important that pet parents take special care when considering the use of essential oils with their dogs and always consult with your veterinarian.
Aromatherapy has been around for centuries and contemporary scientific studies
suggest that the use of essential oils can be beneficial for your dog especially to
promote calm and relaxation. But there are some things you should know before
using them with your doggies or in diffusers in your home.
1) Always check with your veterinarian being using essential oils with your dog.
2) Only use essential oils that are safe for dogs (see the list of safe essential oils below).
3) Use only 100% pure essential oils and be sure they are high quality.
4) Always dilute in a carrier oil like coconut oil or olive oil. Non-diluted oils can be overwhelming for a dog's sensitive nose. Essential oils can be purchased ready to use with your dog.
5) Avoid the eyes, nose, anal and genital areas.
6) Consider the dog’s size when using essential oils. The smaller the dog, the more sensitive they will be.
7) While most dogs do fine with essential oils, use caution when using them with puppies, seniors, pregnant dogs, and dogs that suffer from seizures. Do not use with puppies younger than 12 weeks of age.
SAFE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR YOUR DOG
Some essential oils are safe for dogs and some are not. Here is a list of safe essential oils that you can use in moderation with your dog for promoting relaxation and calm:
Always consult with your veterinarian before using essential oils with your dog.
For more information on the use of aromatherapy with dogs, check out these articles.
“Aromatherapy for travel-induced excitement in dogs” from the Journal of the
American Veterinary Medical Association
“The influence of olfactory stimulant on the behaviour of dogs housed in a rescue
shelter,” Applied Animal Behaviour Science.
“Benefits from Essential Oils,” Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine &
To learn more about a dog’s unique sense of smell, check out these articles:
“Dog’s Dazzling Sense of Smell”
“A Dog’s Sense of Smell”