Canine Aromatherapy

Canine Aromatherapy

February 01, 2019

 

A growing number of dog owners are reluctant to use behavior medications on their dogs because of the time involved in figuring out the right dosage, and the related levels of sedation that often accompany treatment. In moderate cases, a successful incremental change in behavior may be achieved using essential oils combined with a behavior modification training treatment plan.

Anecdotal evidence reported by professional dog trainers, using essential oils to change brain modality while incorporating exercises designed to help change the emotional state of mind, has proven to be successful.

According to Dr. Joie Power – a retired board-certified neuropsychologist with experience in the olfactory and limbic systems of the brain, and a student of aromatherapy and herbal medicine – aromatherapy was found to be a useful adjudicative intervention in cases of chronic stress and/or depression in humans. The bond between odor and memory can be useful in psycho-therapeutic settings. Practitioners may be able to facilitate recall of an event by presenting aromas linked with the event.

Research also shows that different live botanical essential oils produce consistently different brain wave patterns on EEGs, even when subjects report little to no perceived change in their mood. Findings suggest aromas can have unconscious effects on mental states.

Aromatherapy, also known as Essential Oil therapy, has been used for thousands of years to promote physical and psychological health in humans. The naturally extracted aromatic essences, derived from plants can help balance our canine companions too. After all, a dog’s sense of smell is up to 10,000,000 times more acute than a human’s!

Essential oils are potent liquids which have extremely powerful medicinal properties. These oils can be used therapeutically for the treatment of both physical and behavioral issues in dogs.

Many Essential oils on the market today are dangerous for dogs and should never be used.  Quality matters with essential oils; countless oils sold today are not pure or food grade; this may be fine for humans but top quality is especially important canine applications due to their intense sensitivity to scent.

If a dog is experiencing severe anxiety or fear, it is best to first have him assessed by a DVM behaviorist (dacvb.org) or certified applied animal behaviorist (animalbehaviorsociety.org). A training team should also include a professional dog trainer certified in behavior from an organization like CCPDT.org and IAABC.org.

Aromatherapy is a lot more than making your dog smell pretty. Essential oils, though useful in the therapeutic treatment of health, wellness, and behavioral issues in dogs – can NEVER be used at full strength. Due to their potency it is not recommended to administer Essential Oils on canines without an aromatherapist who specializes in animal care.

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