Holistic Health Guide: Aromatherapy for Natural Anxiety Relief in Dogs
Dogs seem to be highly in tune with their human owners. From sitting at the door waiting for their owner's arrival to lending a sympathetic paw when their human has had a bad day, these animals are always ready to provide comfort and attention. However, dogs can have their own off days, feeling either nervous or depressed when situations arise that upset them. In those times, it is important for us to extend concern for a dog's well being. While some behavior modification techniques can work well, there are also more natural alternatives to return comfort and security to your dog.
Recognizing Signs of Stress
It is important to recognize the signs of pet anxiety in dogs. Dogs have several signs of being stressed out. These include:
- Panting and rapid breathing
- Pacing back and forth
- Shaking or trembling
- Hiding behind or underneath objects
- Digging or chewing in an attempt to escape
Several natural methods can help relieve pet stress, and aromatherapy is one option well worth the exploration.
Aromatherapy is an alternative technique that primarily treats its patients (human and animal) by simply appealing to the senses. Essential oils have been determined to have essential aromatherapy properties called DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromones), and can be found anywhere that provides healthy pet products.
Before applying essential oils to a dog's skin, make sure to dilute the essential oil according to directions in an oil base first. Good base oils to consider are:
- Avocado oil
- Grape seed oil
- Hazelnut oil
- Jojoba oil
- Olive oil
- Sweet almond oil
- Almost any vegetable oil that is not hydrogenated or genetically engineered
Essential Oils for Anxiety in Dogs
When using essential oils to relieve stress and anxiety, the best oils to use are:
- Ylang ylang
- A combination of rose, ylang ylang, and clary sage
It is advisable to stay away from certain oils such as wintergreen and mustard.
Benefits of Aromatherapy for Dogs
These oils will help to:
- Decrease coughs, congestion & respiratory problems
- Ease pain from cancer
- End motion & travel sickness
- Help with digestion problems
- Help with gingivitis & bad breath
- Help with nervousness & anxiety
- Help your pet deal with grief
- Lessen the effects of arthritis
- Prevent and end nausea
- Repel fleas & other insects
- Tame aggression
- Temper hyperactivity
- Treat dry skin & itching
- Treat insect bites & stings
- Treat ringworm
- Stop diarrhea
- Stop vomiting
The best way to spread these essential oils is either through the use of a diffuser, or to massage the oils in manually (after mixing with the base oils). Use as directed, which is usually two to three drops, and work from the base of the neck down to the tail.
Dogs Need to Relax Too!
It is important to recognize and treat signs of anxiety in our pet. Taking natural steps to relieve this stress is a positive way to take care of our dogs, and one of the added side benefits of pet aromatherapy is that the effects can have positive effects on the owner as well.