Aromatherapy for travel-induced excitement in dogs

The smell of lavender can calm dogs travelling in cars

Source: Deborah Wells
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Sep 15 2006 Vol 229, No 6 pp 964-967

A study by Deborah Wells from Queens University, Belfast, Ireland, has found that dogs that tend to be excited on car journeys can be calmed by the smell of lavender. The dogs were tested while travelling in cars to a place where they usually walked, for three days without the lavender, and for three days with the smell of lavender. They were more likely to rest and be quiet, and less likely to be noisy and move around when there was a smell of lavender. This result was apparent for dogs whatever their sex, whether or not they had been spayed or castrated. The result also held whether they had experienced the first three days of journeys with the smell of lavender and the second without lavender, or whether there was no lavender for the first three days, and lavender for the second three days. It appears that aromatherapy may help some dogs who become overexcited in cars, and it is cheaper and less time-consuming than some alternatives, as well as being unlikely to have side-effects.