Aromatherapy: A Powerful Healing Approach for Dogs

Aromatherapy is a new alternative healing method using essential oils extracted from plants in veterinary medicine. Though there’s limited research on their effectiveness in treating diseases in pets, some studies suggest they help manage pain, depression, and other illnesses. These oils, including lavender and rosemary, are inhaled or applied topically to help treat stress, depression, and other ailments. 

Many dogs respond well to aromatherapy that seems to enjoy the different scents that some people find unpleasant or overbearing. The way your dogs perceive an oil still depends on their tolerance threshold like humans. Also, remember that it’s not unusual for dogs to completely ignore certain strong scents even though they may enjoy more subtle odors.

What Is Pet Aromatherapy?

Nowadays, aromatherapy is widely accepted as part of holistic veterinary care. The essential oils used in human aromatherapy are also used in veterinary aromatherapy.

Animal aromatherapy plays a vital role in veterinary settings, helping animals cope with various conditions, including:

  • During grooming, before a car ride, or similar services
  • When guests visit
  • Anxiety related to storms and fireworks. 

Note: Many experts warn pet owners that aromatherapy is not for all pets. So, it’s always safe to ask your vets about safety considerations before using any aromatherapy products on your dogs.

The Animal Wellness Magazine enumerated some of the best essential oils for pet aromatherapy, such as lavender, frankincense, geranium, chamomile, and ylang-ylang. Make sure to buy 100% pure essential oil products and don’t contain any toxic ingredients or additives that pose a threat to your dog. Also, see that there aren’t any warnings on the label saying it is unsafe for use around pets. Most importantly, never apply essential oils directly to your dog’s fur, which they might lick off. Some oils can cause harmful reactions when ingested by animals.

How Does Pet Aromatherapy Work?

Due to thousands of years of domestication with humans, dogs have developed an incredible sense of smell. Research says dogs can smell anywhere between 10,000 to 100,000 times more than humans. In other words, dogs can detect scents 10,000 to 100,000 times fainter than what a person can smell. That’s why many vets use aromatherapy to help calm dogs during stressful situations or emotional stress.

Aromatherapy works when the smell of the essential oil goes directly into the nasal passage going to the receptors in the limbic system. This part of animals’ brains is responsible for emotions and memories, allowing aromatherapy to affect your dog’s mood due to their increased sense of smell. 

Experts say cats have 200 million receptors in the nasal cavity, and dogs have 300 million. Humans only have 6 million. In other words, we can’t even perceive a small part of what our pets do. 

In some instances, dogs may find it hard to relax during stressful situations or emotional stress because their brain thinks they must be alert for any potential danger. Aromatherapy helps them calm down by activating their brain parts responsible for mood regulation, triggering an overall body response.

But you have to remember that some essential oils shouldn’t be given to dogs smaller than 40 lbs due to the oils’ toxicity. Also, aromatherapy is just a part of your pet’s overall health care. They also need medical intervention when necessary. You may visit this website to learn how aromatherapy and other therapeutic treatments help with your pet’s internal organs issues.

Advantages of Aromatherapy for Dogs

Keep in mind that aromatherapy doesn’t affect all dogs to the same extent because some may be extremely sensitive to scent, while others have no noticeable reaction. Experiment with various scents to know which ones work best for your dog. On top of these, always consult with your trusted vet, like this animal hospital in Glendale, CA, before trying aromatherapy on your dog.

  • Supports respiratory health
  • Promotes a positive mood 
  • Enhances your dog’s sense of well-being
  • Promotes overall wellness
  • Promotes sleep
  • Encourages relaxation and reduces pain 
  • Improves mental clarity and energy
  • Reduces stress and anxiety


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