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Essential Oils for Calm and Relaxed Dogs

Essential Oils for Calm and Relaxed Dogs

Sniff Your Way to Serenity

Let’s face it, being a dog is ruff sometimes. Between loud noises, separation anxiety, and pesky pests, our furry friends have a lot to contend with. But did you know there’s a natural solution that can help them feel more at ease? That’s right, I’m talking about the power of essential oils.

As a proud dog parent myself, I’ve seen firsthand how these aromatic plant extracts can work wonders for canine stress and anxiety. And let me tell you, it’s not just me – the science backs it up too. Studies show that essential oils can have a profoundly calming effect on our pups, helping to soothe their minds and bodies.

In this in-depth article, I’ll dive deep into the world of essential oils and share my top picks for keeping your dog calm and collected. From the classic lavender to the surprising benefits of ginger, you’ll learn which scents can work wonders for your anxious pooch. And don’t worry, I’ll also give you the lowdown on how to use these oils safely and effectively.

So, are you ready to sniff your way to serenity? Grab your snuggle buddy, and let’s get started!

The Science Behind Scent

You know the old saying, “a dog’s nose knows”? Well, it turns out they’re not kidding. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, with a whopping 40 times more olfactory receptors than us humans. This means they can identify scents up to 100,000 times better than we can.

And when it comes to essential oils, this enhanced sense of smell is a game-changer. You see, these highly concentrated plant extracts interact directly with a dog’s olfactory system, which is connected to the limbic region of the brain – the part responsible for emotions, memory, and behavior. Studies have shown that certain essential oils can have a profound effect on a dog’s mood and physiology, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and even pain.

But it’s not just about sniffing – essential oils can also be absorbed through the skin, making them a versatile tool for calming our canine companions. When applied topically, these plant-powered potions can interact with a dog’s endocrine and nervous systems, helping to regulate hormones and promote relaxation.

So, whether it’s spritzing a calming blend in the air or massaging a soothing oil into their coat, essential oils offer a natural and holistic way to help our furry friends find their zen.

Top Oils for Canine Calm

Now that you know the science behind essential oils and their calming effects on dogs, let’s dive into the specific scents that can work wonders for your anxious pup.


Ah, lavender – the classic calming scent. This fragrant flower has been used for centuries to promote relaxation and well-being, and it’s no different for our canine companions. Studies have shown that the linalool compound in lavender can have a soothing effect on a dog’s nervous system, helping to alleviate stress and anxiety. Plus, it’s particularly helpful for pups who struggle with separation anxiety.


You might be surprised to learn that lemon can also be a powerful calming agent for dogs. While the bright, energizing scent might seem counterintuitive, research has found that lemon essential oil can actually help reduce tension and promote focus in our canine companions. The secret lies in its ability to regulate norepinephrine, a hormone that plays a key role in the stress response.


Ginger is another unexpected essential oil that can work wonders for calming anxious dogs. This aromatic spice has been shown to increase serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, which can help reduce barking, whining, and even jumping behaviors. Plus, it’s great for soothing an upset tummy, making it a versatile option for our furry friends.


Who doesn’t love the comforting scent of vanilla? It turns out, our dogs are just as fond of it as we are. Vanilla essential oil has been found to boost levels of oxytocin, the “feel-good” hormone that’s responsible for strengthening the bond between dog and human. This makes it an excellent choice for pups dealing with attachment anxiety or separation issues.


Last but not least, we have valerian – a flowering plant that’s been used for centuries to promote relaxation and sleep. Research suggests that valerian essential oil can help regulate GABA, a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role in calming the brain. So, if you’ve got a dog who just can’t seem to wind down, this might be the oil for them.

Safely Using Essential Oils with Dogs

Now that you know all about the top calming essential oils for dogs, you’re probably itching to get started. But before you start dousing your pup in these aromatic wonders, it’s important to understand the proper precautions and techniques for using them safely.

First and foremost, always remember that essential oils are highly concentrated and can be potentially harmful if used improperly. As certified aromatherapist Kelly Holland Azzaro warns, you should never apply essential oils directly to your dog’s skin or allow them to ingest the oils. These powerful plant extracts can be overwhelming for our canine companions and can even cause skin irritation or digestive issues.

Instead, it’s crucial to dilute the essential oils in a carrier oil before use. Kristen Leigh Bell, a Certified Master Aromatherapist, recommends a ratio of 10 drops of essential oil to 1/2 ounce of carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil. This helps to ensure that the scent is gentle and the oil is easily absorbed by your dog’s skin.

Another important safety tip is to always introduce new essential oils slowly and monitor your dog’s reaction. Some pups may be more sensitive to certain scents than others, so it’s best to start with a small amount and watch for any signs of discomfort, like panting, whining, or excessive rubbing. If your dog seems uneasy, it’s best to discontinue use and try a different oil.

When it comes to application, there are a few options to consider. You can dilute the essential oil blend in a spray bottle and mist it around your dog’s living space, or you can apply the diluted oil directly to your pup’s skin by gently massaging it into their coat. As Kelly Azzaro suggests, you can also try diffusing the oils in the room, but be sure to keep the area well-ventilated and give your dog the option to leave if the scent becomes too strong.

Remember, when it comes to essential oils and dogs, safety should always be the top priority. With a little care and attention, though, you can harness the power of these natural wonders to help your furry friend find their inner zen.

Putting It All Together

As a proud dog parent myself, I know how challenging it can be to see our four-legged friends struggling with stress and anxiety. But with the help of essential oils, you can give your pup a natural way to find calm and relaxation.

Whether it’s the soothing scent of lavender, the uplifting aroma of lemon, or the grounding presence of ginger, there’s an essential oil out there that can work wonders for your anxious canine. And by following the proper safety guidelines and techniques, you can ensure that your furry friend enjoys all the benefits without any of the risks.

So, why not give it a try? Head on over to I Have Dogs and explore our selection of high-quality essential oils and carrier oils. With a little bit of creativity and a whole lot of love, you can help your pup find their inner peace and transform their world into a much calmer, happier place.

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