The scent of lavender is so calming for humans, but did you know that there are many ways your dog can benefit from lavender too? Fresh and dried lavender blooms, lavender tea, and lavender oil have many curative benefits for dogs.
Lavender is a natural relaxant for dogs. It's also a protective and healing oil, an insect repellent, and a calming scent when they're lonely, bored, anxious, or sleepless.
Here is how some of lavender's benefits can be achieved:
Lavender For Relaxation
Dogs have the most anxiety when there's a storm, when new things are happening in their environment (like a household move) that they don't understand, when they're at the vet or the groomer, and when they are alone for a long period of time (see separation anxiety).
Lavender is an effective calming agent for dogs and cats. Lavender seeds, flowers, and essential oils can be used for calming but in very small quantities, because their sense of smell is hundreds of times more powerful than ours. "A dog contains about 225-300 million smell receptors, as compared to just 5 million of these receptors being present in a human nose." (ScienceABC.com)
Some dogs find relief in toys and bedding that are stuffed with lavender. I place my dog's torn toys in a toy infirmary. Before I sew them up again, I place (1) a small bag of dried lavender buds in the torn section of the toy before I sew it up again. You can't do that with rubber or plastic toys, but it turns pup's raggedy anns into comfort connies.
Of course, some teddies, like the (2) Aromatherapy Bedtime Bear, are already stuffed with lavender and are ready to cuddle. Lavender, as you may know from your own experience, is used in a variety of sleep inducers.
Some essential oils can be dangerous around your pets, depending on what they are made from. Lavender oil is a safe one, but even safe essential oils should be used in very small quantities because of the intensity of the odors to a dog or cat. And for those of you who own birds, as well, essential oils should not be used in their vicinity.
I use lavender oil in a diffuser stationed well away from where my dog or cat can disturb it.
(3) Warren London All Natural Essential Oil Dog Calming Spray is perfect for diffusers, although you can also apply it directly to your dog's tummy. I prefer the diffuser method because I dn't want my dogs to lick off the oil, but if applying oil to your pet's fur or skin, always massage it into your hands first to guarantee even coverage (and to keep your pets from running away!) If you have an anxious pet, you can lightly spray her bedding, pillows, blankets and/or toys with the Warren London a few hours before you go away, or before bedtime, to provide a calming sleep atmosphere for your pet. Remember to spray it on your hands first.
Warren London Dog Calming Spray is formulated with Lavender, Sweet Orange, Vetiver and Clary Sage - all very relaxing natural oils.
Customers report that Warren London Dog Calming Spray really helps calm their dogs, even terriers! Dog parents love the smell too!
Another way to to bring calm to your dog is to (4) mix a drop or two of lavender essential oil in your dog's wet food. Start with one drop , as some dogs have an allergic reaction to ingesting the oil. You could also try brewing fresh lavender flowers in water and mixing a small amount of your brew with your dog's food.
There is a company, though, that makes lavender bedtime treats, which you can use at bedtime or at times your dog is experiencing stress. The treats are (5) Bocce's Bakery Bedtime Tea Biscuits, made with only lavender, honey, banana, and oats right here in the U.S.
Lavender For Clean, Healthy Skin & Fur
PetPleasant makes the (6) Nourishing Lavender Pet Spray that helps your dog's itchy skin, but also has excellent calming effects. Spray it on your hands before rubbing it on your dog's fur and skin. It will not only nourish your pet's fur (you can use it on cats too), but help repel bugs and keep your pets calm.
If your dog does have allergies or just dry, itchy skin, you might like to try (7) PetPleasant Lavender Oatmeal Pet Shampoo, an all natural anti-itch shampoo. Both lavender and oatmeal are effective for dry, itchy skin, and lavender has the added benefit of being an insect repellent. Plus, lavender smells great!
You can also try lavender and camomile (8) Wahl 4-in-1 Calming Puppy/Dog Shampoo & Conditioner Concentrate, which cleans, conditions, detangles, and moisturizes. Pet parents and groomers alike find that using a lavender based shampoo is helpful to relax dogs during their grooming time.
The above shampoos are very highly reviewed and if your dog needs calming while getting clean, you can't go wrong with either one.
A more convenient way to spot clean your dog is the (9) Bodhi Pet Wipes made with high quality safe cleaning agents including organic Aloe vera leaf extract, Organic Chamomile and Lavender oil that help keep coats healthy, silky, and soft. Bodhi Wipes do not contain alcohol, parabens, SLS, allergens or petroleum. They are 100% hypoallergenic and non-toxic, safe for even sensitive skinned pets of the furry kind.
Lavender As Insect Repellent
If you would like a natural bug and flea repellent for your pet, customers really like the (10) Curealia Insect Repellent For Dogs. (Not for cats!)
Curealia comes in a jar and the texture of the repellent is like a balm. Dilute it a bit by rubbing it on your finger tips before massaging it through your dog's fur and skin. It's aim is to keep bugs - fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes - away, not to kill them. So if your pup already has fleas, you'd best get rid of them before using the Curealia. If your pup has bites, the Curealia will aid in the relief of those bites, as will the shampoos and sprays above.
Dogs with skin allergies may emit some unpleasant odors and all the above lavender products will help minimize skin odors.
Love that lavender!