Is Oil of Lavender Helpful for a Nervous Dog?

By Anne Rose

Lavender is an essential oil used in aromatherapy because of its calming properties. Oil of lavender is purported to relieve nervous tension in high-strung dogs. Lavender also is recommended for dogs with phobias, including stranger anxiety and car sickness.


Lavender is used in aromatherapy

Image by, courtesy of Fred

Aromatherapy is the practice of applying essential oils for therapeutic benefit. Essential oils, such as oil of lavender, are the volatile essences distilled from the steam produced by boiling specific parts of the plant.

Oil of Lavender

Oil of lavender is produced by distilling the flower spikes of the herb Lavandula latifolia. Lavender oil has a delicate fragrance, and it is used in aromatherapy for its anti-depressive, calming effect. Oil of lavender is also used as an insecticide, fungicide and germicide.


Oil of lavender is directly applied to a dog's fur or skin. It can be diluted in water and used as an air freshener or laundry rinse. It can also be added to dog shampoo or coat conditioner.

Calming Effects

Rub oil of lavender on the foot pads of a dog to ease anxieties, excitability and hyperactivity. A few drops of oil of lavender can also be sprinkled on a dog's bedding or in its crate for these benefits.

Antibiotic Effects

Lavender oil has a natural antibiotic effect, and can be used, when diluted six drops per one gallon of water, to wash a dog's cuts or wounds. A benefit of using lavender oil is that dogs will not be harmed by licking any area washed with lavender oil.

Expert Insight

A study conducted by the United Graduate School of Veterinary Science, Yamaguchi University, Japan, showed that oil of lavender has a positive effect on the heart rate of dogs. The study also suggested that further studies be undertaken.