Aromatherapy for Dogs

Photography by: Gabriela Costa
Aromatherapy for Dogs

People have enjoyed the healing powers of aromatherapy for centuries, and dogs can, too, according to Kelly Holland Azzaro, R.A., L.M.T., CCAP, president of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. (Sorry, kitties, essential oils are toxic to you.) Due to your dog’s heightened sense of smell, experimenting on your own with aromatherapy could be hazardous to his health. So consult with a pet-experienced aromatherapist or an integrative vet familiar with essential oils (to find one, search ahvma.org). If your dog has one of these issues, aromatherapy might help:

FRAZZLED FIDO? Lavender is calming for a canine’s body and mind. This floralscented essential oil is known for its versatility, earning it the nickname “firstaid- aroma-in-a-bottle,” says Holland Azzaro. In addition to treating anxiety, stress and hyperactivity, lavender helps heal skin irritations and repels fleas.

DEPRESSED DOGGIE? Sweet orange’s uplifting smell of citrus banishes blues, enhances appetite and aids digestion. Holland Azzaro recommends using this essential oil when you’re introducing a new member to your existing pooch pack. It can help ease the transition.

CARSICK CANINE? Warm, spicy ginger essential oil soothes and balances digestive discomfort. A popular choice for preventing motion sickness, this essential oil can also help relieve arthritis and joint pain, Holland Azzaro says.