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10 Aromatherapy Recipes for Separation Anxiety in Dogs

March 17, 2021

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

If you thought the only aromas that trigger behavioral changes in dogs were things like Garden Fox, Owner’s Sockand Dropped Bacon, you’ll be please to know that aromatherapy can have a noticeable impact on your furry friend’s stress levels – especially when it’s time forthat dreaded “I’ll be back soon sweetheart!” moment.

Around a third of dogs experience separation anxiety, and their distress can manifest in worrying ways: your pet may channel his heartbreak into the ruthless destruction of furniture or carpeting, wail plaintively at the neighbors, or internalize his sorrow as expensive long-term health complaints. Scientists are still not completely in agreement about how dogs experience time, so it is difficult to know what separation really means to the canine mind, but it appears they may be able to measure the passage of time through the intensity of aromas in the air. So as your comforting scent quickly disperses after you leave, it’s possible your dog’s anxiety increases exponentially (and this would also explain why a dog seems to ‘recognize’ a loved one after months or even years of separation).

 

Dog impatiently waiting separation anxiety

It's helpful to imagine a dog’s sense of smell as more akin to an emotion, an intensity of feeling difficult for a mere human to fully comprehend (this sense of the ‘alien’ alongside the familiar in our pets is probably another reason we adore them so much). Dogs’ hyper-curious noses are at least 10,000 times (and up to 100,000 times, in breeds such as Beagles or German Shepherds) more sensitive than our own. To put this in perspective with a sight analogy: it’s the equivalent of us spotting France on a clear day from Kent, while our dog admires his view of the Sydney Opera House. Dogs ‘feel’ aromas as much as they experience them, so it’s perhaps no wonder that essential oils can bring them great pleasure and comfort, if used with sensitivity and care.

 

2 small dogs running

How to  treat separation anxiety in dogs with aromatherapy?

The judicious use of aromatherapy can be as calming for our canine companions as it is for their owners. Using a diffuser is the safest way to fill your dog’s living space with essential oil molecules; turn on the diffuser before you leave the house, or time the diffusion for a specific duration when away for longer periods.

Use conservative amounts in your diffuser at first – you can always increase concentrations later. Once you’ve developed an understanding of his favorites, you can try spraying a diluted mist - 300 ml of water, instead of carrier oil, to 20 drops of essential oil, onto her bed or favorite blanket.

Important- some of the essential oils believed to be toxic to dogs to varying degrees: Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Juniper, Peppermint, Pine, Sweet Birch, Tea Tree,Thyme, Ylang Ylang, Wintergreen.

So because he’s been such a Very Good Girl, treat her with one of our aromatherapy recipes for dogs in your diffuser next time you say goodbye – and make the sorrow of parting as sweet as it can be!

 

10 Aromatherapy Blends for Dogs

Aromatheapy Recipes for Dog Separation Anxiety by LabAroma
Aromatherapy Recipes For Dogs Separation Anxiety

 1)  Encouraging Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

Sweet Orange, Green Mandarin and Lavender is a floral, citrusy blend to keep your dog’s mood optimistic until you return (*note: use any citrus oils in low amounts, especially with smaller dogs).

  • 4 Drops Sweet Orange essential oil
  • 2 Drops Green Mandarin essential oil
  • 2 Drops Lavender essential oil


2)   Calming Reassuring Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

       Lavender can also be combined with Petitgrain and Neroli to comfort a dog that presents a genuine fearfulness of being left alone.

  • 2 Drops Lavender essential oil
  • 3 Drops Petitgrain essential oil
  • 4 Drops Neroli essential oil

3)   Anxiety Coping Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

       Again, Lavender is the hero top note in another effective blend for general anxiety, combined with Valerian, Clary Sage and Marjoram.

  • 2 Drops Lavender essential oil
  • 3 Drops Valerian essential oil
  • 2 Drops Clary Sage essential oil
  • 2 Drops Marjoram essential oil

4)   Mild Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

       For mild anxiety, or for dogs that are particularly sensitive to aromas, try a mild but soothing blend of Roman Chamomile and Rosemary.

  • 2 Drops Roman Chamomile essential oil
  • 4 Drops Rosemary essential oil

5)   Drowsing Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

An even mix of Cedarwood, Copaiba, and Vanilla is gentle but snooze-inducing.

  • 2 Drops Cedarwood essential oil
  • 2 Drops Copaiba essential oil
  • 2 Drops Vanilla essential oil

6)   Profound Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

       Frankincense blended with Vetiver is a grounding blend for dogs that respond to a slightly stronger sent.

  • 3 Drops Frankincense essential oil
  • 3 Drops Vetiver essential oil

aromatherapy recipe for separation anxiety in dogs
Aromatherapy Recipe for Separation Anxiety in Dogs By LabAroma

7)   Reassuring Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

       If your dog is prone to panic at the first sign of your departure, try a blend of Sandalwood, Cypress and Bergamot to turn anxiety into uplifting reassurance.

  • 2 Drops Sandalwood essential oil
  • 4 Drops Cypress essential oil
  • 3 Drops Bergamot essential oil

8)   Soothing Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

       A traumatised rescue dog may respond well to the comfort of Spikenard, Damask Rose and Geranium.

  • 2 Drops Spikenard essential oil
  • 3 Drops Damask Rose essential oil
  • 4 Drops Geranium essential oil

9)   Summer Blend Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

       Mix gentle Cardomom with the acid kick of Citronella for a restful summer blend that will also help keep the mosquitoes away.

  • 4 Drops Cardomom essential oil
  • 2 Drops Citronella essential oil

10) Exhilarating Aromatherapy Recipe for Dogs

       And for that joyful reunion your dog has been waiting for? Try Palmorosa, Jasmine, Coriander and Lemon when you’re home at last and ready to play.

  • 2 Drops Palmorosa essential oil
  • 2 Drops Jasmine essential oil
  • 2 Drops Coriander essential oil
  • 1 Drop Lemon essential oil

Want to learn about how CBD (cannabidiol) can be used to manage pain in dogs? Read Dogs & CBD. You can also find out about how CBD can help with pandemic isolation anxiety by clicking here.

Want to learn about the different essential oils you can use for your pets? Check out the LabLearning Aromatherapy For Pets information by clicking here

 

You can also find out about how plants have long been used to help us care for our precious animals by listening to this amazing LabAroma podcast episode.

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