Essential Oils can help alleviate moderate behavior problems.
Many people are reluctant to use medications on their dogs for behavior problems because of the sedation that often accompanies treatment. Essential oils work very well with mild, low to moderate cases of fear and anxiety when paired with a sound and professional Behavior Modification Training plan that is reward based and uses counter conditioning and desensitization while the dog is under threshold.
If your dog is experiencing severe anxiety or fear, it is best to first have him assessed by a DVM behaviorist (dacvb.org) or certified applied animal behaviorist (animalbehaviorsociety.org). Your team should also include a professional dog trainer certified in behavior from an organization like CCPDT.org and IAABC.org.
According to Dr Joie Power – a retired board-certified neuropsychologist with experience in the olfactory and limbic systems of the brain, and a student of aromatherapy and herbal medicine – aromatherapy is a useful adjunctive intervention in cases of chronic stress and/or depression in humans. The bond between odor and memory can be useful in psychotherapeutic settings. Practitioners may be able to facilitate recall of an event by presenting aromas linked with the event.
Research also shows that different live botanical essential oils produce consistently different brain wave patterns on EEGs, even when subjects report little to no perceived change in their mood. Findings suggest aromas can have unconscious effects on human mental states.
Anecdotal evidence reported by professional dog trainers, using essential oils to change brain modality while incorporating exercises designed to help change the emotional state of mind, has proven to be successful.