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They say a tired dog is a well-behaved dog and I don't disagree, but there are days when I fail to tire our dogs out and I need them to chill out.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we don't have a lot of crazy weather that I read about in other areas of the country or world. We get windstorms in the fall (they didn't happen in 2019), snow in February, and the occasional thunderstorms. When it comes to noise, we get fireworks for a month or so prior to the Fourth of July and they come around again, for a shorter period of time, to ring in the New Year. My point is that there really isn't a lot to cause anxiety, and yet, each of my dogs has some level of anxiety. But I'm not judging because I do too.

One thing that works for all of us is essential oils. While other people are using oils for all kinds of health care, I stick to what I know and for me, essential oils are great for:

Recently, I decided to check my essential oil collection for what I needed to create a calming atmosphere (through diffusing) in our home and I found that I needed to place an order. The following are essential oil recipes I found on a Google search, in books that I own on essential oils, and through online shopping.

Diffusing Essential Oils

Although I have used essential oils on my dogs in the past, I no longer do this because one of our dogs is very sensitive to the smell. So I diffuse oils in each of the rooms on our main floor (living room, family room, and office). If a scent or blend is too much, the dogs can leave the room, but I always start with 5 drops and increase over time to avoid overwhelming their senses.

I use the following diffusers:

Diffusing Oils for Anxiety

Individual oils that work great for my dogs:

Blends that work great for my dogs:

When I want to get fancy and blend oils, then I go with the following:

I use the following combination of oils for separation anxiety, fireworks, and when company is coming…

Do Essential Oils Work?

When it comes to essential oils, it's tempting to think that this is some woo woo, tree hugger nonsense and that smelling flower essence doesn't do anything except give improve the scent in a room. But there have been studies on humans to show that essential oils do reduce anxiety.

  • In December 2009, the Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing found that the essential oil lavadin (which is a combination of two different types of lavender plants) reduced anxiety in pre-operative patients.
  • In a March/April 2009 article for Holistic Nursing Practice, a study found that lavender and rosemary essential oils reduced stress in graduate nursing students.

The above-mentioned studies are on humans, but I believe they can be applied to dogs too. And while I don't have an issue with diffusing oils in a room with my dogs, before applying essential oils on my dogs I check with the Animal Desk Reference Guide written by Dr. Melissa Shelton, who is one of the foremost experts in using essential oils with pets.

To be honest, when it comes to calming anxiety using essential oils alone doesn't work with my dogs. I still need to make sure the dogs get plenty of exercise daily and training is key to raising a houseful of dogs. Right now, Apollo is learning boundaries with us and the other dogs. If my dogs are bouncing off the walls, diffusing essential oils isn't going to turn them into calm, well-behaved pups. But it helps.

Another thing that helps is CBD oil. Apollo gets Canna-Pet daily for separation anxiety and my other dogs get Canna-Pet when needed.

But, ultimately, I've learned that when living with dogs, there is no way I'm going to get out of going on long walks or short runs if I want a peaceful home. Except with Sydney. She's a couch potato like me.

Read More About Essential Oils

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