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Will Lavender Calm Dogs? Facts & Safety Guide

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Essential oils have been used for centuries for their medicinal, therapeutic, and aromatic properties. They’re even being used more frequently in modern society as a way to improve health and well-being. When you own a canine companion, it’s easy to take note of the olfactory benefits that an essential oil can provide. This is where lavender oil can come into play.

Dogs are just as, if not more, sensitive to scents as humans are — they just don’t have the same ability to communicate those smells through language. Lavender has long been known as an essential oil that is thought to elicit a calming response in humans, dogs, and cats. However, it’s important to ask whether or not lavender is safe for dogs in addition to calming them.

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Does Lavender Calm Dogs?

Many people use lavender to calm their anxious dogs while they’re away at work – all in an effort to reduce separation anxiety. It is thought that lavender can be used to reduce everyday stress in dogs that may be suffering from different chronic health conditions.

Even if your dog isn’t exhibiting any sort of anxiety, stress can lead to a number of issues, including GI upset and UTIs. Lavender may help to reduce stress levels in your dog, which can in turn prevent a range of other health issues. However, this has never been scientifically proven, so take it for what it’s worth.

Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay

Is Lavender Safe for Dogs?

In general, the lavender plant is toxic to dogs, so dogs shouldn’t be allowed to ingest it. The same thing goes for lavender essential oils, which are made from chemical compounds found in the lavender plant.

However, most lavender products geared toward reducing anxiety in dogs aren’t meant to be ingested. They are meant for topical use, meaning that they should be sprayed or rubbed directly onto your dog’s skin. By being used in this sense, it is generally thought that these products are safe for dogs.

But it’s important when using these products that you don’t allow your dog to lick themselves afterward. Licking could cause them to ingest the lavender essential oils, which can make them sick. You may wish to use a cone when applying lavender products to your dog.

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Helpful Herbs/Essential Oils for Dogs

Essential oils work wonders for both human and animal health. They can produce common effects and when ingested they can help balance intestinal flora and nourish your pet with antioxidants and vitamins. In fact, many essential oils can help with skin disorders, including acne, fleas, and even bad odors. The best part is that you don’t have to go to high-end natural pet stores to get these benefits. Let’s discuss some of the most popular ones used for dogs.


Rosemary is an especially popular choice for dogs thanks to its powerful antioxidant properties. Dried rosemary can even be added to your dog’s food. It’s a great way to help to reduce stress levels in your canine companion and to encourage healthy skin and coat. Rosemary is particularly popular for dogs with allergies, so it’s great to use if your dog is sensitive to certain scents.

Rosemary is especially useful for conditions that are caused by oxidative stress. It helps to reduce oxidative stress by encouraging the production of antioxidants in your pet’s cells. This can be particularly useful for dogs who suffer from allergies or skin conditions, such as sunburn or dry skin.

Rosemary essential oil is also thought to repel fleas, ticks, mosquitos, and other insect pests. It’s used in a lot of natural flea and tick remedies for dogs.

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Thyme is a great choice for any dog who suffers from UTIs or is prone to frequent stomach problems. It has powerful antibacterial properties, which can help to reduce bacterial load in the stomach, urinary tract, and intestines.

Thyme is particularly helpful for treating infections in the urinary tract and stomach. It can also help to reduce stress and improve your dog’s mood while they’re experiencing these issues. Thyme is one of the most popular herbs for dogs thanks to its wide range of benefits.

Even though thyme isn’t a very common essential oil, the herb itself is great for your dog because it’s easy to get and relatively inexpensive. Thyme is often used in cooking, and this means that it’s very common in grocery stores. This makes it very easy to find and inexpensive.

Balsam Peru

Balsam Peru is a common essential oil used for centuries for its therapeutic properties. It’s often used for natural remedies, including treatment of athletic injuries. Balsam Peru is a great choice for pets who suffer from frequent stomach problems. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce pain and inflammation in your dog’s stomach.

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Summing Up

With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why essential oils like lavender are making a comeback in modern society. Pets are just as sensitive to scents as humans are, so using essential oils can be a great way to help your dog to relax and focus. However, lavender is generally only safe for dogs when used topically and should not be ingested by dogs.

There are other essential oils and herbs that are safe for dogs. You can use them in diffusers, you can use them in your dog’s food, or you can use them in topical creams. There are even oils that you can inhale, which can have even more powerful effects on your dog. Keep in mind that there are risks associated with inhaling and ingesting essential oils, so it’s best to use caution with topical creams or and only infuse dog foods with herbs that are safe for dogs.

Featured Image Credit: Mouse23, Pixabay

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