Fireworks and Thunderstorms!  Oh My!

Happy 4th of July!

A re-print of a past Friday Fun Fact!

Although it should be a fun event with family get-together's, picnics, and fireworks...many of my clients start to fear Independence Day here in the United States!  It becomes a weekend of just "getting through" the fireworks, instead of anything enjoyable.  Firework and thunderstorm anxieties are certainly more of an issue in dogs than any other animal - so we will focus on dogs mainly.  However, horses can certainly be frightened by fireworks, and any of the calming essential oils can be helpful to any animal.  

Pack leadership is the most important thing that I see in creating well adjusted dogs.  So if you are having tremendous issues with fireworks, thunderstorms, separation anxiety or any sort of confidence issue...pack leadership is going to be the main answer.  However, we will not go into this subject right now.  It is often a very long "human training" event for me to teach humans how to be an effective pack leader to their dog.  

Other holistic things that are incredibly related to anxieties are mineral deficiencies, poor nutrition, and intestinal inflammation.  We won't go into all of these right now either, but if the gut is unhappy - so is the brain.  And if you do not have the minerals sufficient to have your neurotransmitters function correctly - you will have a harder time dealing with anxieties and the responses that your body physically creates to that stress (this is animal and human wide).  Anxiety in my clinic is always addressed by many modalities to completely address it:  nutrition, whole food supplements, mineral supplements, digestive enzymes, pack leadership, essential oils, animal communication....and more.

Essential oils have been a tremendous help to many of my clients.  Even those who are having success with modalities such as TTouch, Thunder Shirts, Body Wraps, Flower Essences (Rescue Remedy, Bach Flower Essences, etc..) - I always find that by complementing these techniques with essential oils - EVERYTHING works better.  It is such a synergistic effect for me to use essential oils.  Even when I use traditional medications in my practice - essential oils seem to make them work better, with less side effects!

Here is how we have used essential oils to help with various anxieties. 

  • Lavender has been used many times with much success.  You can start with diffusing it in one of my favorite essential oils diffusers - available at  Sometimes this will have an effect alone.  Lavender is a mild and well accepted essential oil - but also one of the most adulterated and synthetically produced essential oils also.  So my rule of having only medical grade oils - and Young Living specifically - holds especially true for this essential oil.  If you do not have a diffuser, you can also try it in these ways.  In a glass spray bottle - I buy mine at - you can put 4 ounces of distilled water and between 4-20 drops of Lavender essential oil.  Shake well and spray into the air.  You can mist your dog, the dog bed, the car, the air...  This has been very helpful to many of my clients as well.  I often will put a few drops of lavender essential oil into my hand, get a thin coating on my hands, and then pet my dog - coating them in a light amount of the essential oil.  This is also an easy and effective way to expose your animals to essential oils. 
  • Peace & Calming is an essential oil blend that has also been used successfully for anxieties in my patients.  I have even had dogs who wanted to lick the essential oil right out of our hands.  After licking up the drops out of our hands several times, these dogs curled up and went to sleep peacefully, right in our vet clinic!  You could use the Peace & Calming the same ways as described above for Lavender.  However, Peace & Calming does contain citrus oils, which can make skin more sensitive to the rays of the sun.  So please - "stick it where the sun don't shine" in the hot days of summer!  
  • Valerian, Valor, Believe, RutaVaLa, Tranquil - are all other essential oils and essential oil blends that we have used very successfully for anxiety.  In severe anxiety situations - remembering to apply these oils to the owner is important!  As often, the owner is "feeding" these nervous feelings in their animal.  A nervous owner, creates a nervous animal!  In severe situations, I have dripped several drops of RutaVaLa or Valerian into the mouth of a dog - for extra calming effects. 

Remember, I only recommend the use of Young Living Essential Oils for use in or around animals.  This brand of essential oils consistently shows the quality needed for use in animals - and the use of other brands may prove dangerous for your animals.  Through research, case studies, and retrospective studies - I am documenting the difference in qualities of essential oils in my veterinary hospital.  I do not make this recommendation lightly!  You can find Young Living Essential Oils on my website at

Visit my new website for links to past newsletters, books, educational courses, You Tube Videos, and more!

Until Next Time!
Melissa Shelton DVM

Disclaimer:  This information was provided for educational purposes only.  It is not intended to diagnose, prescribe or treat any illness.  If you or your animal have a health concern, you are encouraged to seek the council of a health care professional who is knowledgeable in your area of interest.



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