Diffusing essential oil needs to be experimented with dogs. Among us humans, some might love the smell of durian, but others might vomit at the slightest scent of it. The same applies for dogs. On top of that, dogs, after all, have a more sensitive nose than us, so a scent that we consider mild, might already be strong to your pooch. Overdosage might become too repulsive for them. So how do you know you how much is too much? Here is my guide on experimenting with diffusing essential oil around your dogs. But first, let me talk about the benefits of diffusing essential oils around your dog.
Not all dogs welcome the idea of intaking essential oils’ scent on a normal routine. There might even be a biological barrier for your dog breed. You should consult your veterinarian before trying essential oil with your dog. You do not want this same thing to happen to your dog.
Benefits Of Essential Oils
There are 2 main ways to use essential oils. First is aromatherapy. Second is using it as topical medication.
As aromatherapy, we can leverage on the various therapeutic properties of essential oils. For instance:
- Reduce anxiety and induce calmness
- Defend ourselves and our dogs from bacterial and viral infections
- Alleviate respiratory problems
- Relieve nasal congestion
- Improve sleep
- Remove odors
As topical medication, on top of the benefits of aromatherapy, we can also:
- Get rid of ticks and fleas in dogs’ fur
- Repel bugs
Step 1 – Venue
First of all, the effect of essential oil can only be of any significance if the level of concentration if above a certain level. This implies that the place where you are diffusing the essential oil need to be in an enclosed space. This will prevent the essential oil from radiating away, resulting in a low concentration around you and your dog and rendering itself useless to bring about any change in your dog’s behavior.
The best place to carry out the experiments or use the essential oils is in a closed room or in the car. These places are enclosed to effectively moderate the strength of the scent in their respective airspaces.
Step 2 – Activity
The point of experimenting how much essential oil is optimum for your dog. That requires what experiments scientifically term, a “dependent variable”, that is dependent on the difference in concentration of the essential oil. This would be the behavior of your dog.
So in order to start the experiment, your dog needs to exhibit an abnormal behaviour, like being overly excited or showing signs of anxiety. Find an activity that will cause your dog to alter its behavior. The best example I could give is traveling in a car. Some dogs experience car sickness and become really anxious when their owners ask them to enter the vehicle. A trip to the vet might be another trigger. Note these activities for your experiments.
Step 3 – Flavor
Not all dogs are made equal. Different dogs have different tastes. A particular scent will thus not always work on all the dogs. This is the reason for experimenting diffusing essential oils around dogs.
I would suggest starting off with lavender. Lavender is widely used in various essential oil brands out there in the market. It is used as the main ingredient as it is known to have a calming reaction on anxious or excited dogs.
But of course, don’t get lavender if you don’t like the scent of lavender. There are other dog calming scents that you may like and may work for your dog. I wrote about a list of alternatives. Feel free to check it out.
Step 4 – Dosage
Do you remember about the venue requirement?. I placed that as the first reason because that is one of the basic assumptions for this experiment.
I have seen people, being in a well-ventilated space, just increasing the number of drops of essential oil they add to the diffuser, thinking that it was not strong enough.
This, for one, hurts your pocket as you are going to use up your essential oils fast when it could have been better conserved. More importantly, the smell of the essential oil is going to be very strong at the point where it diffuses out from the diffuser. And for our furry friends, with their sharper sense of smell, will get irritated much more easily with a scent this potent.
Anyhow, start off with a low dosage. Yes, just 1 drop.
Step 5 – Duration
Question: how long should I test each iteration?
Well, you should be able to notice the change in the scent in your environment, even if it is really mild. As long as you notice the change, let it run until for 30 minutes or so, or until the scent is gone.
Step 6 – Observations
What you are looking out for is a change in the dog’s behavior. The assumption that the dog is already in an abnormal behavior needs to be hold.
If the essential oil is effective, it will be able to catalyze a calm and quiet behavior in your dogs. This change in behavior will be the indicator that you have gotten the essential oil that works for your dog AND the correct number of drops you added to the diffuser.
A note about experiment: results need to be reproducible. This means that each with the same drops of essential oil, the dogs’ behavior is the same. This applies for both positive and negative behavioral changes. They need to be able to be repeated in order for you to give the judgement on the concentration level or the flavor and move on to your next iteration.
Start off with 1 drop of essential oil as mentioned.
On each iteration, if there is no noticeable change in the dog’s behavior, increase the drop by 1 and reiterate the experiment.
If there is a positive change, don’t be too happy just yet. Remember the number of drops you used and try again with this same amount. If the same positive behavior is observed, congratulations, you got the optimum amount of dosage required for your dog.
If there is a negative change, ou may need to change the flavor or reduce the dosage and try again.
No matter what, make sure you uphold this 1 important safety pointer.
Do not let your dog ingest essential oils.
Ingesting essential oil is toxic to us humans and dogs alike. It is more critical to them due to their smaller body sizes. Be sure to keep the essential oils tucked away safely beyond the reach of your dog.
All i all, essential oils can really make a positive difference to your dogs’ lives if done correctly. I hope these tips on experimenting for the optimum amount of essential oil to diffuse around your dogs are helpful and working.