Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Pets

Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for Pets

The use of essential oils, either in a diffuser in the home, or combined with a carrier oil for massage or bathing, can help pets to remain calm and relaxed.

Don’t use essential oils internally since they are not suitable for internal consumption.

Here’s how aromatherapy works with essential oils:

When odors are inhaled, the receptors in the olfactory bulb signal nerves to carry the information to various parts of the brain. One of these parts is the hypothalamus which regulates the pituitary gland. Another area it is sent to is the thalamus and then is carried to the neocortex. It is here that scent perception occurs. This is all possible because the molecules that make up essential oils are small enough to be readily absorbed through the mucous membranes in our noses and skin. Essential oils usually leave the body within a 24 hour period.


Chamomile is particularly suited to relieving conditions of nervous tension & depression, as well as emotional stress, fear and worry. This is a sweet, slightly herbal & fruity scented oil with wonderful relaxing, soothing properties. Chamomile is an herbaceous plant similar in appearance to the daisy family.


Lavender is a fresh-scented oil from the purple-blue spike-shaped flowers of the lavender plant. It is one of the most versatile essential oils and is used to combat stress, anxiety, panic and depression. Lavender also brings about clarity and focus. Both Lavender and Chamomile work well in combination with one another in aromatherapy.


Neroli is one of the best essential oils to act as an anti-depressant and a sedative. It is great for ridding anxiety, and induces sleep. This oil is said to rid nightmares, so use it if your pooch has been whimpering during his slumber. Neroli can also be used as a shock remedy. Although this oil is know as the Orange Blossom it does not have a citrus scent, but more of a spicy and floral one.

Ylang Ylang

This essential oil is primarily used as a sedative because it helps lower high blood pressure and a rapid heart beat. This is another essential oil that works well for treating depression. It benefits as an anti-depressant for those with feelings of frustration and anger. Neroli and Ylang ylang are complimentary and blend well together. If you do not have an aromatherapy diffuser, you can try aromatherapy this way: Put a cup of water is a small pot and bring to a boil. Add 4-5 drops of Neroli and 3-4 drops of Ylang ylang. Turn heat down to low and let the scent penetrate through the room.


Marjoram (sweet) is a warming oil that works well for overly sensitive and emotional pets. This essential oil helps to comfort and soothe frayed nerves, and relax the nervous system. Marjoram also relieves anxiety, stress and helps to calms hyperactivity – ideal for highly-strung breeds. Marjoram when given as a fresh or dried herb (never use essential oils internally) helps to sooth the digestive system to help with cramps, indigestion, constipation and flatulence. It also has a beneficial action on colds, sinusitis, bronchitis (kennel cough) and asthma. The company ‘Aroma Dogs’ carries a nice product called “Chill Out” This product is a powerful blend of chamomile, lavender and sweet marjoram act to calm and quiet pet nervousness.Check it out! The purity of essential oil ingredients is a concern, so it’s important to do your research and buy from reputable suppliers in order to be sure of purchasing a good quality product. The Whole Dog Journal has several articles that reference the use of Aromatherapy for dogs. If you are not already signed up to receive this journal, we highly recommend it. To subscribe Click here!

Brandy Vachal

Brandy Vachal Moore is a dog mom to three pint-sized dogs: Donnatella the Maltese, Ernie the Yorkie-Maltese mix and Rico the Chihuahua. When she’s not defending her personal space from three dogs who know no boundaries. Brandy enjoys anything fitness related, traveling, hiking, and being outdoors in the San Diego sunshine. She loves all things social media and journalism and has worked for The Honest Kitchen for the past 5 years.
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