Aromatherapy is an alternative healing technique using essential oils extracted from plants. While there’s limited research about their effectiveness in treating diseases in pets, some studies suggest they help manage pain, depression, and other illnesses. These oils, such as lavender, rosemary, and others, are inhaled or applied topically to treat stress, depression, and other ailments.
Many dogs respond well to aromatherapy. They seem to enjoy the various scents that humans find unpleasant or overbearing. How your dog perceives an oil depends on his tolerance threshold, just as it does with people. It’s not uncommon for dogs to completely ignore certain strong odors even though they may enjoy more subtle scents.
What Is Pet Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is now widely accepted as part of pet holistic medicine. The essential oils used in veterinary aromatherapy are the same as those that can be used in human aromatherapy.
Animal aromatherapy can be useful in veterinary settings to help animals cope with various conditions. Some examples are calming the pet before a car ride, during grooming or similar services, during visits by guests, and even for anxiety related to storms and fireworks. However, experts don’t recommend aromatherapy for all pets. It’s best to ask your vets about safety considerations before using aromatherapy products on any animal, including dogs.
According to Animal Wellness Magazine, the best essential oils to use are lavender, frankincense, geranium, chamomile, and ylang-ylang. The product you buy should be 100% pure essential oil that doesn’t contain any harmful additives or ingredients that can harm your dog. Furthermore, make sure there aren’t any warnings on the label saying it is unsafe for use around pets. Finally, don’t apply it directly to your dog’s fur where they might lick it off because some oils can cause dangerous reactions when ingested by animals.
How Pet Aromatherapy Works
Dogs have developed an incredible sense of smell over thousands of years of domestication with humans. According to research, dogs can smell anywhere between 10,000 to 100,000 times more acutely than humans. This means that dogs can detect scents 10,000 to 100,000 times fainter than what a human can smell. For this reason, aromatherapy is used to help calm dogs during stressful situations or emotional stress.
The way aromatherapy works with animals is simple. The scent of the essential oils goes directly into the nasal passage to receptors in the limbic system. This part of their brain is responsible for emotions and memories, which gives aromatherapy an immediate effect on your dog’s mood because of their increased sense of smell.
Experts say cats have 200 million receptors in the nasal cavity, and dogs have 300 million. A human only has 6 million. In short, we can’t even perceive a fraction of what our pets do.
Some dogs may find it hard to relax during stressful situations or emotional stress as their brain thinks they need to be alert for any potential danger. Smelling essential oils from aromatherapy can help them calm down by activating those same parts of the brain responsible for mood regulation, triggering an overall body response that results in calming your pet down.
But you have to remember that this is not always as easy as it sounds, as some essential oils shouldn’t be given to dogs smaller than 40 lbs because of the oils’ toxicity. Moreover, aromatherapy is just a part of your pet’s overall health care. They also need medical intervention as needed. You may visit Limehouse Veterinary Clinic if you need an internal medicine vet in Glendale.
Benefits of Aromatherapy for Dogs
Remember that not all dogs are affected by aromatherapy to the same extent. Some may be extremely sensitive to scent, while others could have no noticeable reaction. Try experimenting with various scents to see which ones work best for your dog. Most of all, consult with your trusted vet, such as this Glendale animal hospital, before trying aromatherapy on your dog.
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Promotes a positive mood
- Encourages relaxation and reduces pain
- Improves mental clarity and energy
- Supports respiratory health
- Enhance your dog’s sense of well-being
- Promotes overall wellness
- Promotes sleep