The holidays are under way, and many dog lovers have concerns about keeping everyone healthy and calm. Travel, parties, unfamiliar house guests, overexcitement, cold weather, dry air, and too many treats can create a bundle of stress on the family dog…and on you.

Scented candles and melts or diffusing pure essential oils all seem like wonderful ways to create holiday ambiance. It’s important to keep some things in mind when using any of these scent-generators.

Many scented candles and melts use synthetic fragrance oils which can be irritating to the respiratory tract or cause headaches.  Look for candles and melts that use a base of soy and/or beeswax with pure essential oils as the scent.  In addition, keeping pets away from open flames or heated containers can be more difficult to manage during busy times like holiday gatherings.

essential_oil_diffuserEssential oil diffusers come in a variety of styles. Cool fan diffusers or ultrasonic diffusers are safer and more efficient than those using a heat source.Diffusing calming essential oils for 15 minutes before a party can help relax a nervous pup and may be all that is needed. If not, you can diffuse for 15 minutes again later. Another option is to alternate diffusing for an hour, then turning the diffuser off for an hour throughout the day – some diffusers come with a timer. Alternating diffused air with at least an equal amount of undiffused air keeps everyone from being exposed to essential oils in high concentrations that have been known to cause headaches, lethargy or vertigo. And be sure to diffuse in well-ventilated areas for short periods of time away from infants, toddlers, cats and birds. 

Classic holiday scents such as cinnamon bark and clove bud can be irritating for your pet’s respiratory tract.  Instead, try essential oils in the citrus family – a combination (equal parts) of bergamot, orange or tangerine, with grapefruit and lemon or lime can be uplifting while calming. You can also add some lavender and a drop of peppermint to your citrus blend.

Perhaps you’d like to use holiday scents to help boost your immune system. Try 3 parts of lemon and 1 part each of frankincense, myrrh, lemon and cedarwood to disinfect the area and create a winter spice ambiance.

Less is more when it comes to using aromatherapy safely, and this is especially true in a dog’s world. Your dog’s world revolves around scent, and that sensitive sense of smell can be easily overwhelmed.  Because your dog’s olfactory memory is remarkable, you can create memories of a calm holiday with prudent use of essential oil diffusing.


©2016 Vicki Rae Thorne, herbalist, aromatherapist, founder, owner of Earth Heart, Inc. | Facebook page

Vick Rae Thorne has been formulating essential oil remedies since 1992 and follows guidelines learned in her certification programs that are also endorsed by professional organizations including the Alliance for International Aromatherapy (AIA) and the National Holistic Aromatherapy Association (NAHA).  Her company, Earth Heart Inc., has built a reputation for designing safe, affordable and effective natural wellness remedies using plant-based ingredients to help create happier, healthier lives. Products are made in the USA, packaged in BPA free recyclable containers, and are easy to use in your home or business, and while traveling.

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