It’s difficult to search the web for natural remedies for anxiety in pets and not find articles, Facebook posts, tweets and pins with information about the wonders of essential oils. They are extremely effective plant derivatives with healing properties that have been used for thousands of years. They can be very effective to relieve anxiety in pets. In that regard, it is awesome that more people are being introduced to them everyday.
Unfortunately, with the rise of essential oil popularity comes lots of misinformation about what oils to use for pets and how to use them.
This is very frustrating for me since many people follow bad advice simply because they have read it on the internet.
If you’ve ever used essential oils for your dog, cat or horse’s anxiety or even just to calm them down when they are out of sorts, it’s very likely that you have used the most incorrectly used essential oil for anxiety in pets. Can you guess what it is?
It’s Lavender. When used properly Lavender can be very calming for some pets. The problem is that most people have been told to diffuse this essential oil in a room with their pet or apply it topically.
The problem with this is that if your pet takes in too much Lavender through diffusion or through their hair follicles or skin, it will actually make their anxiety worse.
In my practice, I have been trained in and follow a natural method of helping animals heal that animals still use in the wild. It’s also one that our dogs, cats, horses (and all other animals) still have the ability to benefit from if allowed to do so. That method is one of self-medication.
Yes! Wild and domestic animals self-medicate. They do it with plants, flowers, tree bark, roots, mud, clay and more by sniffing, eating or rolling in them. It’s a brilliant practice designed by Mother Nature herself. If you aren’t already familiar with it you can read more about it in my article on Zoopharmacognosy. That’s a mouthful, but it just means animals self-medicating based on knowing for themselves what they need.
So when you are diffusing Lavender or applying it to them, your pet has not been given the opportunity to self-select that oil. And in my practice, where I have worked with hundreds of pets, horses and wildlife, only one has ever chosen Lavender as a healing remedy for himself. And based on his case, it was likely that it was for pain not anxiety.
Use this instead
So what do I recommend for anxiety in pets instead? You (or more specifically, your pet) would benefit by being offered Roman Chamomile or Clary Sage. These are the two most beneficial essential oils for anxiety. And the best way to use them is to first allow your pet a sniff or two to see if they appear to want to sniff it or if they turn away.
If they seem to like the aroma, it’s best to use a diffuser and diffuse 2-3 drops of the chosen essential oil for just 20 minutes. Do this in a room that allows your pet the freedom to leave the area if they want. If they turn away from the oil when you allow them to sniff it, that is not one that has healing properties that they need. Be sure to check on them after 15 minutes to be sure the diffused oil is not causing any problems.
It’s safe to diffuse in this way 1-2 times per day. After a few days you should notice an improvement in your pet.
PLEASE NOTE: Using essential oils with cats can be dangerous and possibly fatal. Never diffuse essential oils in your home if you have cats and never apply essentail oils topically. Always work with an experienced pet aromatherapist who has been trained in zoopharmacognosy.
If you would like a healing session for your pet which may include essential oils, click here to schedule one now. I look forward to working with you for your pet’s health and well-being.
What other essential oils have you used for your pet’s healing and for what reason?
Lots of love,