Aromatherapy calms dogs during car travel

Are you taking the dog to visit grandma this year? Diffused lavender odor may be a practical approach to manage travel-induced excitement in dogs that are prone to that sort of thing.

In the finest tradition of a cross over study design, 32 dogs were exposed to the natural environment or the odor of lavender in random order during 6 rides to familiar walking sites.

Compared to normal odors, dogs surrounded by lavender in the car spent…

  • Significantly more time resting and sitting
  • And less time moving and vocalizing
  • Dogs’ sex, castration status, and day of travel had no effect on the results
  • The order of odor exposure had no effect

There was no mention of the effect of lavender on the drivers.

Illustration: Laboratorio Scuola

10/20/06 21:4 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.