Essential Oils: Helping De-stress Dogs and Humans

Dog anxiety is no joke.  Dogs can exhibit anxious behavior over what humans think are the “silliest” things.  When we first adopted Bayla, our Rhodesian Ridgeback / Shepherd/ Lab mix,  she would shake uncontrollably whenever she saw a white panel van.  Since, we didn’t  know any of her “back story”,  other than she was rescued as a stray, we could only imagine the reasons why she became so upset when she saw white trucks. Bayla also would be scared of certain noises, other dogs that approached her without warning and so on and so on.

Her fears soon abated with much expertise from various dog trainers and our beloved dog babysitter who takes her to be socialized with her other “charges” in what we refer to as Doggy Camp.  But, from time to time their remains residual anxiousness and stress.

Was there something else we could do to help her be calmer during stressful situations?

Not long ago, I had a series of guests to visit for a birthday celebration.  Our Bayla can be a bit “over the top” when fun humans arrive and in typical “lab” fashion, wants to be the life of the party. One of our guests was wearing a lavender scent that I later found out was via Young Living Essential Oils.  As Bayla cuddled with our friend, DL, who also rubbed this lavender scent on her, we observed that our  “party pup”became calmer and calmer.  What was happening!?!  

Kayla after being subjected to special scents for calming at her Vet appointment

I decided to do some investigation in to the connection between essential oils and pet behavior. Little did I know that there are volumes on the subject. Here are some of the more notable articles about the how scented oils can help calm a dog, alleviate pain or de-stress your furry family members.

Note: I saw several cautions about keeping these oils out of the hands of children for safety reasons!

Essential Oils for Canine Behavior by Dr. Anthony

Dog Aromatherapy 

Plus this post on Facebook:

Dr. Mary Hess and Essential Oils for Pets

A common theme among many of the articles was that chamomile, peppermint and lavender seemed to be the most talked about oils for dogs.  That didn’t surprise me, especially from what I saw with DL and the lavender effect on Bayla.  Even today during a veterinary visit at the Country Hills Animal Clinic, Bayla was subjected to aromatherapy via a program known as Fear Free.  Different scents were used to calm her down in a place that she typically would associate with a bit of poking and prodding.  Bravo to the vets and staff who used the Fear Free protocol that consisted of various pheromones and scents. Bayla was “pudding in their hands” and loved her visit!

What if the human in the family is anxious or stressed? Well, apparently oils are good for us, too! I started to really look around at the places that I frequent for any signs that the “scented oil” business was “trending”.

First and foremost, the Young Living Essential Oil and Aromatherapy company (YL) is selling  their bottles of precious therapeutic and fun oils like “hotcakes”.   Catchy names for their oils, like THIEVES – makes this writer want to learn more.  Ah… cloves, cinnamon, lemon, etc. comprise the chemistry behind Thieves.  For me  this concoction sounded like the makings of a great Bundt cake … until I read about the addition of eucalyptus.  Scratch the cake and chime the bubble bath! Ahhhhh

Also, I found out these interesting facts: YL has no synthetics, no fillers, no toxins it in.  The essential oils are 100% therapeutic grade.

Most of the EO on the Market, that can buy at Sprouts , Whole Foods and Others places, are diluted with the synthetics.

Sidetone:  In the world of social media this company is doing really well. For selling a niche product they are in the top 5K  for online presence in the US according to the ALEXA rankings. Their corporate TWITTER account has reached over 40K, which is very respectable.

Given the popularity of Young Living, I wasn’t surprised to see that their Animal Scents Care Collection was “out of stock” (Bummer!). But, I guarantee you that after seeing the positive impact it has made on our Bayla – I will be a customer!

If you are curious about turning your stressed out pup in to a “happy camper” – click here.  Note, I am not a distributor for Young Living Essential Oils – simply a very intrigued blogger who is willing to give them a shout-out!



Disclaimer – 
This information shared today is intended for education purposes.    It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is provided in order to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, illness or injured condition of the pet body.  Any Pet suffering from any disease, illness or injury consult with a Vet or medical professional.    We also highly encouraged as we have done, to become educated Consumers or research all products.








We adopted a teen mom – of eight puppies! #DogAdoption

Meet Bayla Scout Sattler
Meet Bayla Scout Sattler

Each year thousands and thousands of dogs are placed in shelters for a variety of reasons.  Some owners cite allergies while others indicate their dogs have behavioral problems – regardless the  number of canines that are “given up” is astounding.  Over the past few months I have visited a number of shelters in the Southern California region.  It had been years since I walked in to a shelter as we had stopped fostering and adopting dogs once we had welcomed Bingo and Tess in to our home.  Now that Tess is a senior and Bingo has passed, it seemed the right time to add to our family and save the life of a furry friend.  First stop the Devore Shelter in San Bernardino County.  I had heard about this shelter as having a “high kill rate”.  I have been following the Friends of Freddie Facebook group dedicated to broadcasting the shelter’s daily list of available dogs. They also posted those with sadder outcomes with captions reading “RIP”.

This pup was already amassing a lot of interest by the time we arrived.  Adopted out asap!
This pup was already amassing a lot of interest by the time we arrived. Adopted out asap!

One day I spotted on their Friends of Freddie Facebook wall a photo post of a little black and tan shepherd puppy.  The Facebook followers were certain that the puppy would be a “goner” so off I drove with hubby for nearly two hours to come upon one of the saddest shelters I have ever seen.  After walking up and down I decided the puppy wasn’t a good fit for a variety of reasons. It  obviously was a dog that had a lot of interest – and indeed was adopted out the very day it was able to be released from the shelter.  As for the other dogs sitting in the over two dozen kennels- many who were pit bulls or seniors of mixed breed – it would be hard to say if they all found homes or were at least had their care sponsored. Unable to handle a dog as strong as a pit bull, mastiff or doberman – we drove home sans a dog. But, we made sure that we left a donation – to help sponsor care for those who didn’t have a list of potential adopters – like the little shepherd we came to see.

Next stop was a much nicer, cleaner, and amiable shelter in San Pedro via the LA County system.  There I spotted an adorable dachshund mix.   But again- a lot of interest and it seemed he wanted to be an “only dog”.

Third time is the charm…

Cute little dachshund who preferred to be an only dog in the home.
Cute little dachshund mix who preferred to be an only dog in the home.

For many years I have seen comfort dogs that help children and adults post- disaster work magic! I have longed to adopt a dog that could become a comfort dog to those who need to feel safe and emotionally more stable when their world is topsy – turvy. Hence the reason I started to search direct my search for breeds that would be people friendly and could deal with a little “stress”.  Via PetFinder I spotted Sparky and the Gang / West Coast Animal Rescue from Long Beach, California. They had a dog that was purportedly a retriever mix, but had survived one of the worst cases of malnutrition I had ever seen.  Off I went (again) to visit this survivor only to spot in a nearby kennel a young rhodesian ridgeback- shepherd mix that had just weaned eight puppies. Yes, I said eight.

All the pups were quickly adopted and little “Annie” was left alone in a kennel that once housed nine.  When I passed her she rolled over – did a little wiggle and seemed to be quite the energetic little gal.  After a nice time playing and snuggling in the yard I was in love.

It was love at first sight!
It was love at first sight!

“Annie” was to become Bayla (Hebrew for beautiful) and with not much issue settled in to our home. Quiet as a mouse not a peep for five days.  She was fine in a crate, walked well on a leash and seemed to be getting along fairly well with Tess. Then all hell broke out on Day 6!  OMG – she became a teen-age dog overnight! Chewing shoes, bouncing like a kangaroo, barking like a crazy dog and gulping her food as if there was no tomorrow. Plus, she went from docile Bayla to a prize fighter in a blink! What on earth happened!?!

Quickly I searched “what to do with dog aggressive and food aggressive teen/ young adult dogs”. So much advice so I took a step back and decided to “see life her way”. First, she was a stray in Mexico and a young mom.  Then was an empty nester before she even was an adult! Finally she lands in a home where she has everything she would want except for a lot of limits. Unsure of herself – she is testing her boundaries and trying to be the one in charge.  Our mission – to make sure she understands that this home has a hierarchy and she is not the Queen! Secondly, she needed to feel safe, secure and that we weren’t going to “dump her” – as we suspect had been the case before.

Daily walks, quiet voices and lots of rewards at intermittent times (yes I used people psychology on her!) – she seems to be going in the right direction.

Always watchful and that toy in the photo didn't last the day this photo was taken!
Always watchful and that toy in the photo didn’t last the day this photo was taken!

So, while we are now in “Operation Bayla” in order to seek some peace in our home – I would like to open up this blog for any helpful hints, discussion or words of encouragement.

In the meantime – we are sure progress will continue to be made as she already has come so far in such a short amount of time.  Thanks to social media I have found some wonderful resources and even plan on taking her to a group doggie trot where guidance for dogs and their humans is given!

And please remember – adopt, don’t shop – there are too many shelters full of dogs (and other animals)  that need homes.

Here are some of the scores of dogs that are available for adoption via the West Coast Animal Rescue.  Please note that they are available the date of this post and you should check out this link for updates and to obtain information about adoption or fostering.

Thanks for reading!



The  Campaign continues – Imagining a Better World please check out this amazing story of human survival