Does your dog have a sore or wound that she won't leave alone? You can deter that chewing behavior with lavender essential oil.
Have you ever had a scab that you couldn't leave alone? You know it will heal faster if you stop messing with it, but you just...can't. Our dogs are the same, but you can't explain to your pup that if she'd just stop chewing at that sore on her paw, it would heal and stop bothering her. Lavender oil to the rescue!
Our dog had a sore on her paw. I'm pretty sure she got it on a recent walk when I noticed too late that there was broken glass on the sidewalk. We inspected her paw, and there wasn't any glass in there, but there was a really ugly sore that was making her limp. It wasn't infected, but it looked raw and painful. The real trouble was that whenever she had down time, she'd constantly lick the sore, which kept it from healing.
We took her to the vet who recommended one of those cone heads to keep her from being able to chew. Our dog is very high anxiety, and wearing the cone was so traumatic for her! She completely shut down - frozen in place and quivering. I had to move her to a laying down position, because she just froze sitting up. It was heartbreaking, but it felt like we were stuck until a dog-trainer friend suggested giving lavender oil a try.
Lavender oil tastes bad to dogs but won't harm them. In fact, it's a soothing scent for dogs just like it is for humans, so not only does it help stop chewing, but for a high-anxiety pup like Jenna is helped calm her after the trauma of wearing that horrible cone. You do need to frequently re-apply the lavender to the wound, because once it wears off the licking will start up again. The idea here is to break your dog of the behavior, so being diligent from the get-go should mean they'll stop licking on their own after a while.
Here's how you make the lavender mix:
- In a small spray bottle, combine 1 part water and 1 part lavender oil.
- Apply by giving the bottle a good shake and squirting directly on the wound.
Our trainer says this is even safe on an open wound, but with our pup we waited until her sore had scabbed before applying. You can also spray this on furniture where they chew, but spot-test first to make sure the water and oil won't damage the finish or the fabric.
If you have cats, don't use essential oils on surfaces where they like to hang - cats can't tolerate essential oils, and even soothing lavender can be toxic to cats if they are exposed to too much.
Image: Pink Sherbet Photography