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De Warrige Witte Kennel, Netherlands



Consider Aromatherapy for your PONS



September 15, 2006, Vol. 229, No. 6, Pages 964-967

doi: 10.2460/javma.229.6.964



Aromatherapy for travel-induced excitement in dogs


Deborah L. Wells, PhD
Canine Behaviour Centre, School of Psychology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, UK. (Wells)
The author thanks Professor Noel Sheehy for assistance with facilities.
Objective—To evaluate the efficacy of the ambient odor of lavender as a treatment for travel-induced excitement in dogs.

Design—Clinical trial.

Animals—32 dogs with a history of travel-induced excitement in owners' cars.

Procedures—Each dog was studied during travel in the owner's car to a familiar walking site during 2 conditions of olfactory stimulation. The first condition was a control condition, during which dogs were exposed to no odor other than that arising naturally from the environment. The second condition was an experimental condition during which dogs were exposed to the ambient odor of lavender. Dogs' behavior was recorded during the car journey for 3 consecutive days under the control condition and for 3 consecutive days under the experimental condition. The percentage of time spent moving, standing, sitting, resting, and vocalizing in each condition of olfactory stimulation was quantified for each dog.

Results—Dogs spent significantly more time resting and sitting and less time moving and vocalizing during the experimental condition. There was no significant relationship between dogs' behavior and sex, castration status, day, or the order of exposure to each olfactory condition.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Traditional treatments for travel-induced excitement in dogs may be time-consuming, expensive, or associated with adverse effects. Aromatherapy in the form of diffused lavender odor may offer a practical alternative treatment for travel-induced excitement in this species.


For those who are not familiar with Aromatherapy, I would like to explain a little more about it.

Aromatherapy is a holistic treatment, with the objective of enhancing  a physical,  and emotional sense of well-being through inhalation and massage of essential oils. Essential oils are derived from plants and are chosen for their individual therapeutic qualities that are stimulating, refreshing and sedative. Aromatherapy also blends perfectly with other natural healing modalities including herbal therapies.

Aromatherapy is also referred to as the fragrant art of using  selected aromatic oils for therapeutic purposes. It is one of the fastest growing complementary therapies in the world and is recognized as one of the most natural and holistic treatments available in modern times.

Aromatherapy does not aim to treat disease. Its aim is to release feelings of well-being, harmony and improved mental and physical health.


Does your PON experience motion sickness ? Consider the following formula under the supervision of your vet:

Roman Chamomile - 10 drops
Ginger - 10 drops
Peppermint - 10 drops

Blend all essential oils  in an amber bottle. Have your PON breath a few drops from a tissue or use a personal inhaler. Let your PON inhale 30-60 minutes before departure and also every few minutes while traveling. In contrast to other remedies, because this is inhaled instead of swallowed, you don't need to be concerned about digestive upsets !


PONS sometimes become depressed during false pregnancies , and under the supervision of your vet, you may wish to try a Lavender formula:

The balancing properties of  Lavender can correct emotional problems and feelings of instability. It has a calming effect.


Do NOT add any essential oils  directly to water, as they will not mix water and will rise and stay on the surface. On the other hand, you can use essential oils  diluted with base oils such as olive, safflower, jojoba, almond or any other vegetable oil.

Do NOT  use essential oils  internally and I advise owners to contact a holistic veterinarian when using aromatherapy. Please keep us updated on the success of trying aromatherapy with your PONS !