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I am not a veterinarian nor am I an expert in using essential oils. There is a ton of information online about using essential oils with pets. Please be sure to do your research. I've learned that every dog is different and I've learned to go slowly as I find the right amounts and blends for each of my dogs. Two sources for more on using essential oil with pets are Dr. Melissa Shelton and Dr. Jodie Gruenstern.

I'm an essential oils fanatic. A friend introduced me to them years ago and today, I have over 100 oils and I use them to freshen our home, clean our home, and make products for myself and my dogs.

The number one reason I was drawn to essential oils was because of my dogs anxiety.  A friend told me about diffusing different oils at the end of the day to calm everyone down and I was curious.  When it worked with my dogs, I was sold.

In this post, I list 20 different oils that produces calm in the home and helps to ease anxiety along with 5 blends that not only produce calm, but makes the house smell great.

Society spends a lot of research, medical focus, and support for humans who suffer from anxiety or panic-related disorders, which is excellent. But dogs are not immune from feeling overwhelmed and anxious as well, both situationally and chronically. In fact, over 70% of dogs display anxiety behavior. While I'm not averse to medication to help ease anxiety, I have found that my dogs do respond to essential oils for mild triggers. Many medications have adverse effects, trazodone, which Rodrigo takes for fireworks, leads to digestive issues when given too many days in a row, so I limit use to when he truly needs it. Choosing to reach for essential oils first to ease my dogs' discomfort.

During this time at home, I'm taking the time to learn more about essential oils. I know that some feel that essential oils are toxic to pets and there are many websites that will confirm this, however, I believe that it's more about the quality and amount of the oils as well as how we use them that matters. Therefore, I try and read up as much as I can about an essential oil, including how to use it on or around my dogs, before using it.

I do not recommend giving essential oils orally to dogs unless directed by a veterinarian experienced in the use of essential oils.

Better safe than sorry.

20 Essential Oils for Dogs that Relax & Calm

Here is a list of 20 essential oils for dogs that can help keep them calm, relaxed, and happier. I've also added how to use the below oils with dogs per the Animal Desk Reference II, which was written by Dr. Melissa Shelton. I primarily diffuse oils in our home using diffusers that I purchased on Amazon (URPOWER essential oil diffuser).

Fun Fact:  Dogs have 40X more scent receptors than humans do, which means they can identify smells about 100,000X better than we can. Their world revolves around scent, and because of this, aromatherapy is the best choice for dogs.

1 – Bergamot

Bergamot essential oil helps balance emotions, soothes panic, frustration, and irritability. It also reduces insecurity and loneliness, which makes me think that it may help a dog with separation anxiety.

Bergamot can be used with our dogs via…

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)

Bergamot is a photosensitizing oil, which means that when we use this on our pets, we should limit sun exposure.

2 – Cedarwood

Cedarwood essential oil is another one of my favorites. Aside from repelling pests, this essential oil can have relaxing effects on your dog as it alleviates stress and anxiety.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)

When shopping for cedarwood essential oil, you'll see Atlas and Himalayan. I purchase the Atlas because the Himalayan isn't commonly recommended for use with pets.

3 – Chamomile, Roman

Chamomile (Roman) essential oil is great for calmness and soothes anxieties. I love chamomile so much that I also add the herb to my dogs' dinners to help them relax at the end of the day. With regard to the essential oil, I prefer to diffuse it in the house or mist a diluted strength on the dogs using a spray bottle.

There is also a Chamomile (German), which is used differently with pets.

4 – Citronella

Citronella essential oil is so nice that I purchased a plant for my flower garden too. Usually known or repelling mosquitoes, citronella also helps us relax by creating a refreshing scent in your home.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)
  • an ingredient in a product (shampoo, paw balm, etc).

5 – Clary Sage

Clary Sage essential oil as loads of benefits, but, for the sake of this post, it's good to know that this oil is gentle, sedating aroma promotes calming for both humans and dogs. I diffuse this oil at least once a week and no only purchase 30 ml bottles because I love it so much.

6 – Frankincense Boswellia Carterii

Frankincense Boswellia Carterii essential oil (must be this version) promotes a calmer mentality and alleviates feelings of depression. Frankincense also amplifies other essential oils when used together as a blend.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)

There are several versions of Frankincense, the Boswellia Carterii is the version recommended for use with pets.

7 – Geranium Bourbon

Geranium Bourbon essential oil is one of my favorites and it works well with balancing moods (PMS / Menopause anyone?), releasing nervous tension, and minimizing feelings of both fear and insecurity.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)
  • an ingredient in a product (shampoo, paw balm, etc).

There are several versions of Geranium essential oil, the Bourbon is the version recommended for use with pets.

8 – Lavender

Lavender essential oil reduces stress, fear, shock, and agitation.

While I will diffuse lavender (or a lavender blend) in the room with my dogs, I won't use lavender essential oil on my dogs (with one exception) any longer because I've learned that lavender is one of the most synthetically created oils on the market. So, unless it's pure lavender, I won't use it on my dogs. I haven't experienced a negative side effect with myself or my dogs when diffusing lavender.

The one exception is when buying products from Kin+Kind and 4-Legger. I trust these brands immensely.

9 – Mandarin

Mandarin essential oil has a sweet scent is very relaxing, relieving your dog of panic, fear, and stress that can cause them to feel anxious. Diffusing mandarin essential oil creates an uplifting and soothing environment in the home and I often reach for it when my dogs are restless and when I'm having trouble sleeping.

10 – Sweet Marjoram

Sweet Marjoram essential oil is used to relax and ground your dog. It can soothe excess sexual energy, supports grief, and remediates digestive cramps.

Sweet Marjoram can be used with our dogs via…

  • an ingredient in a product (shampoo, paw balm, etc).
  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)

11 – Melissa (Lemon Balm)

Melissa essential oil is another expensive one and I only purchase it when my favorite provider is having a sale. It has a lot of amazing health benefits while also relieving depression, grief, and anxiety.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)
  • an ingredient in a product (shampoo, paw balm, etc).

12 – Myrrh

Myrrh essential oil has a warm, comforting earthy aroma and can help with pain (see your veterinarian) and promote a more relaxed mindset overall. I diffuse myrrh in our home to create a warm and calming environment.

13 – Orange, Sweet

Orange, Sweet essential oil is big in our home and it turns out that this is a popular essential oil. Its popularity is due to its calming fragrance, perfect for uplifting and diminishing anxious behavior within your dog. I diffuse this essential oil regularly, I use it when I make cleaning products, adding it to water when moping and dusting, and I use it as a fabric freshener (misting it on the furniture, dog beds, and bedding).

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)
  • an ingredient in cleaning products

Orange, sweet is a photosensitizing oil, so if you do mist it on your furniture, know that any furniture regularly exposed to the sun may experience a color change.

14 – Patchouli

Patchouli essential oil isn't just for hippies. This oil promotes calmness and I've read that less is more and I believe it. Adding a couple of drops to a diffuser is all I need. I'm still learning about this oil and limit my use to diffusing only.

15 – Rose

Rose (or Rose Otto) essential oil is used to calm, stabilize, and reduce nervousness, fear, panic, and anger. Known for being a luxurious scent, rose is terrific at promoting relaxation and is evident in stabilizing the central nervous system. Rose is also one of the most expensive essential oils on the market. When shopping for rose essential oil, it's imperative to choose the steam distillation oil, not a cheaper option.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)

As I said, Rose is expensive so it's not an oil that I would use daily with our dogs. Instead, I would use it with our senior dogs when they're having a tough day, or I'd make a spray with it and wear it myself, around my dogs. That way, we'll all benefit.

16 – Sandalwood, Australian

Sandalwood (Australian) essential oil offers grounding, stress relief, and calming. Sandalwood curbs aggressive, irritable moods while improving sleep habits.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)
  • an ingredient in a product (shampoo, paw balm, etc).

This is another expensive oil and due to the over-harvesting, it's important to be careful about your sourcing because some areas of the world have listed sandalwood as protected to prevent extinction. According to Dr. Shelton's book, a company in Western Australia is cultivating and harvesting Santalum sandalwood.

17 – Spikenard

Spikenard essential oil is another grounding and calming essential oil for dogs. It can guide emotional healing, making it ideal for people and dogs with PTSD. Also known as Jesus oil, I read that this is the oil that was used to anoint the feet of Jesus before the Last Supper.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)
  • an ingredient in a product (shampoo, paw balm, etc).

Take care when it comes to sourcing on this one; this oil is derived from a protected plant so you want to make sure your source is reputable.

18 – Tangerine

Tangerine essential oil is one of my favorites. It smells so good and puts a smile on my face whenever I add it to the diffusers around the house. I always thought citrus scents would energize everyone, but this one just makes us happy, which makes sense because Tangerine essential oil is great for depression, insomnia, and anxiety.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)

19 – Valerian

  • water diffusion
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)

Valerian essential oil is ideal for skittish dogs who suffer from separation, noise, or new environment anxiety. It relaxes, reduces fear, and manages anxiety levels.

20 – Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang Complete essential oil works to reduce nervousness and insecurity, calm anxiety, alleviate depression, and acts similar to a sedative.

  • water diffusion (this is what I prefer)
  • petting application (apply a couple of diluted drops to your hand, rub, and then pet the dog)
  • spray on your dog via water spritzer (number of drops used depend on the size of the spray bottle)

When shopping for Ylang Ylang oil to use with dogs, look for the “Complete” version. If it's not clear which one this is, ask your supplier.

Calming Essential Oil Blends for Your Diffuser

If it's not clear, I use essential oils in three ways: diffusing, creating products (shampoo, coat freshener, paw balm), and when cleaning (mopping floors, freshening our furniture and bedding). When it comes to diffusing, the easiest thing to do is add your favorite essential oil, however, I love to try new oils out and I've quickly learned that I don't have a nose for which oils go together, so I found a few that I love online.

I use a lot of drops of essential oils because our home is open. I use half the amount for smaller rooms, leaving the door open for my dogs to leave if they choose.

Calming Blend 1

A friend shared this one with me and it's my go-to blend. In fact, I've used this so many times that I was running out of these oils quickly.

  • 10 drops cedarwood
  • 10 drops lavender

Calming Blend 2

  • 8 drops lavender
  • 8 drops sweet orange
  • 4 drops frankincense

Calming Blend 3

  • 10 drops lavender
  • 6 drops chamomile
  • 4 drops Ylang Ylang

Calming Blend 4

  • 10 drops bergamot
  • 6 drops patchouli
  • 5 drops Ylang Ylang

Calming Blend 5

  • 8 drops geranium
  • 8 drops bergamot
  • 4 drops lavender

As you can see, there are tons of options out there that can help you and your dog live a happier, more relaxed life. Keep in mind that though the list above targets relaxation and calmness, depending on the one(s) you choose, you are also subjecting your dog to even more health benefits. In the end, whichever one you decide to try out, just know that you are giving your dog the best ability to be their peppy, loving self without the anxiety mask on.

I'm an essential oils fanatic. A friend introduced me to them years ago and today, I have over 100 oils and I use them to freshen our home, clean our home, and make products for myself and my dogs.

The number one reason I was drawn to essential oils was because of my dogs anxiety.  A friend told me about diffusing different oils at the end of the day to calm everyone down and I was curious.  When it worked with my dogs, I was sold.

In this post, I list 20 different oils that produces calm in the home and helps to ease anxiety along with 5 blends that not only produce calm, but makes the house smell great.

Read More About Essential Oils

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