6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Dogs and Their Owners

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The Can Dogs Eat It Team

6 Relaxing Essential Oils for Dogs and Their Owners
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Aromatherapy is a holistic way to invite relaxation to the mind and body by inhaling the fragrance of essential oils. It is a little treat you can give to yourself and Fido after an exhausting day.

Here are 6 essential oils for dogs and pet owners that promote stress relief.6 relaxing essential oils for dogs and their owners infographic

Relaxing Essential Oils for Dogs and Pet Owners #1: Lavenderlavender essential oil

The scent of lavender essential oil has several good effects on humans. As evidenced by research, inhaling it helped improve the sleep quality of participants experiencing mild sleep disturbances.

In a different study, lavender aromatherapy showed a promising impact on reducing depression and anxiety. It was also observed to relieve symptoms of anxiety in humans.

When it comes to dogs, exposing them to lavender aromatherapy is found to minimize vocalization and restlessness brought on by travel-induced excitement.

Additionally, a 2005 study shows that diffusing lavender essential oil around shelter dogs promoted relaxation and diminished agitation.

Relaxing Essential Oils for Dogs and Pet Owners #2: Chamomilechamomile essential oil

Chamomile is a medicinal herb with a wide array of health benefits to dogs and their human companions, such as hastening wound healing, providing digestive aid, and fighting off bodily inflammation.

Its essential oil form can help address certain human mental and behavioral disorders. In a randomized controlled trial, combining chamomile and lavender for aromatherapy greatly diminished stress levels, anxiety, and depression in elderly people.

The nearly same effect has been noted in canines too. Diffused chamomile essential oil curtailed the barking of shelter dogs and encouraged relaxation but to a lesser extent than lavender essential oil.

Relaxing Essential Oils for Dogs and Pet Owners #3: Vanilla

vanilla essential oilHumans often associate certain types of fragrances with different kinds of moods. For instance, according to a journal article, respondents linked the scent of vanilla to emotions of happiness and relaxation.

Experts state that fragrance can be effective in curbing stress and relieving muscle and body tension.

Vanilla essential oil for dogs is capable of improving the mood of pooches too. In a peer-reviewed study, giving kenneled dogs pieces of cloth containing the scents of vanilla, ginger, valerian, and coconut remarkably minimized vocalizations and fidgetiness.

Relaxing Essential Oils for Dogs and Pet Owners #4: Jasmine

jasmine essential oilIn a 2017 study, researchers noted that jasmine essential oil emits a fragrance that inhibits the activity of the central nervous system of humans and promotes a sense of calm.

This observation is supported by different research, which pointed out the stimulatory effect of the essential oil’s scent on the nervous system function. Jasmine encouraged the manifestation of positive emotions, which suggests its ability to improve the mood of humans.

Currently, studies focusing on the calming effect of jasmine essential oil on dogs are few and far between. However, holistic proponents believe using it for canine aromatherapy decreases stress and soothes anxiety.

Jasmine essential oil for dogs is thought to help with minimizing the frequency of seizures. However, take this with a grain of salt due to insufficient scientific proof.

Relaxing Essential Oils for Dogs and Pet Owners #5: Rose

rose essential oilA research compiled studies that looked into the physiological and psychological effects of inhaling rose essential oil in humans.

  • One study shows that rose essential oil reduced activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which is responsible for thought and emotion regulation. Participants also shared feeling more natural, comfortable, and relaxed.
  • In another study, results indicate that the fragrance of rose essential oil induced a 40% reduction in sympathetic activity of the participants. Sympathetic activity is the process of the sympathetic nervous system, which regulates the heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate in humans.

Scientific evidence of rose essential oil’s impact on the mental and behavioral betterment of dogs is insufficient.

But in canine holistic medicine, diffusing it around dogs with separation anxiety, aggression, or emotional trauma is said to uplift their mood and alleviate distress.

Relaxing Essential Oils for Dogs and Pet Owners #6: Vetiver

vetiver essential oilThere needs to be more research on the therapeutic effect of diffusing vetiver essential oil on humans and dogs. However, the results of a mice experiment show that it activates sedation and supports good sleep.

In a 2015 rat experiment, vetiver aromatherapy exhibited the ability to decrease anxiety-like behavior almost to the same degree as diazepam, which is a human medication for anxiety disorders.

Vetiver essential oils for dogs are viewed as an anxiety soother in canine holistic medicine as well. It gives off a comforting scent that eases aggression in anxious dogs.

Passive vs. Active Essential Oil Diffusers for Dogs

flower essential oils for dogsEssential oil diffusers come in two forms: active and passive. Although both of them share the same function, one is safer than the other for your furry pal.

Passive Diffuser

  • Passive diffusers like reeds, oil warmers, and plug-in diffusers evaporate essential oils for dogs instead of emitting them directly into the air.
  • The fragrance it releases is milder compared to the active diffuser. Since dogs have a keen sense of smell, the passive diffuser is less likely to irritate their nose.

Active Diffuser

  • Active diffusers such as nebulizers and ultrasonic diffusers are specifically designed to forcefully pump out essential oils for dogs into the air. Thus, they effuse a stronger scent that can cause respiratory tract issues in dogs.
  • Active diffusers release small essential oil particles, which can stick to your dog’s coat and may cause skin irritations. He might accidentally lick these particles off of his fur too.

    The essential oils in our list are dog-friendly, but ingesting them frequently does not guarantee your dog’s safety from toxicity.

What to Look for When Choosing Essential Oils for Dogs

5 essential oils for dogsHere is a checklist to help you find a high-quality essential oil for your furry pal:

  • Only use 100% pure and organic therapeutic-grade essential oils for dogs. To confirm that the product is truly unadulterated, examine the ingredients list. It should only have one ingredient.
  • Avoid products with buzzwords like “fragrance,” “perfume,” or “potpourri” essential oils for dogs, as they are often made from synthetic ingredients that do not offer the therapeutic effects of authentic oils and may not be entirely safe.
  • A reputable company must be transparent about important information about its product. Generally, an authentic high-quality therapeutic-grade essential oil for dogs should have the following details on its packaging:
    • Common and Latin botanical names of the plant used
    • Parts of the plant where the essential oil is derived from
    • The method used to grow the plant
    • The extraction process used to extract the essential oil from the plant
  • Avoid essential oils stored in clear plastic bottles. The volatile compounds of the oils can gradually dissolve the plastic over time, which can lead to leaking and contamination. Moreover, the container’s transparency will hasten the oxidation and expiration of the product.
  • Choose essential oils for dogs kept in dark glass bottles. They tend to come in colors of brown, amber, or blue. Their dark shade protects the product from sunlight exposure and oxidation.

Tips for Diffusing Relaxing Essential Oils for Dogs and Pet Owners

3 bottles of essential oils with a dog next to themHere are some safety guidelines to keep in mind before having aromatherapy sessions with your canine companion:

  • Make sure to inform the veterinarian. Exposure to essential oils can worsen certain ailments in dogs. The veterinarian will check if aromatherapy is not detrimental to your dog’s health, especially if he has preexisting conditions.
  • Always dilute essential oils for dogs with a carrier oil. Even dog-friendly essential oils can induce poisoning if used in their undiluted form.

    For aromatherapy, the general rule is to mix an ounce of carrier oil for every 12 to 30 drops of essential oil.

  • Diffusing essential oils should be done in well-ventilated spaces. Sometimes the scent of diluted oils can become too much for your dog. So give him an easy and quick chance to escape the room by leaving the door open.
  • Place the diffuser out of your dog’s reach to keep him from accidentally knocking it over. This also prevents the device from diffusing the oil at his nose level, which can cause respiratory problems.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling the diffuser or essential oil bottles. Residues of the essential oil may stick to your hand. You might unintentionally smear it on your dog’s coat when interacting with him.
  • Prolonged exposure to essential oil diffusers is bad for dogs. Aside from causing breathing problems, it also puts them in danger of toxicity. So take 30-minute breaks after diffusing essential oils for dogs for 10 minutes.

Essential oils for dogs can trigger stronger side effects if not diluted properly or inhaled for too long.

If you noticed that your dog is vomiting, fainting, or has difficulty breathing, turn off the diffuser and bring him to the vet immediately.

FAQs About Essential Oils for Dogs and Humans

a dog standing next to two bottles of essential oils

1. Is Eucalyptus Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?

No, eucalyptus essential oil is not safe for dogs. It contains eucalyptol, which affects the gastric and neurological function of canines.

Exposure to this type of essential oil will lead dogs to develop depression, low blood pressure, and seizures.

2. Is Lemon Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?

No, lemon essential oil is unsafe for dogs due to its toxic compounds like d-limonene and linalool.

Symptoms of lemon essential oil poisoning in dogs include muscle tremors, hypothermia, diarrhea, and hypersalivation.

3. Is Cinnamon Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?

No, cinnamon essential oil is not safe for dogs. Similar to eucalyptus, it also houses the poisonous chemical eucalyptol. For this reason, avoid using cinnamon essential oil on your dog.

4. Is Peppermint Essential Oil Safe for Dogs?

No, peppermint essential oil is not safe for dogs because of its toxicity.

GI problems such as vomiting and diarrhea are common symptoms it can cause. However, the worst forms of peppermint essential oil poisoning may lead to liver failure.

5. Is Tea Tree Essential Oil Safe for Cats and Dogs?

No, tea tree oil is unsafe for a dog or a cat. It possesses several toxic components that harm pets, such as terpinene and pinene. Do not use this essential oil on your pooch since it can cause side effects like incoordination, tremors, and coma.

Tea tree oil is present in many household items, including air fresheners, detergents, shampoos, and skin care products. Always check the ingredients used in these kinds of products to ensure they are pet-friendly.

6. Can You Put Essential Oils in Dog Water?

In general, avoid putting essential oils in a dog’s water as they can be harmful due to their potency and potential toxicity for dogs. Dogs have a different metabolism from humans, making some essential oils unsafe for them.

Prioritize your dog’s safety and seek guidance from a veterinarian or certified aromatherapist for using essential oils with pets.


A good way to destress with your furry pal is through aromatherapy. Several types of relaxing essential oils are safe for pet owners and dogs, such as chamomile, lavender, jasmine, rose, and vetiver.

However, proper precautionary measures must be observed to safely diffuse them around your dog to avoid unwanted side effects.

If you are interested in learning more about the health benefits of essential oils for your pet, “The Ultimate Guide to Dog-Safe Essential Oils will provide you with the information you need.