Aromatherapy and Thunderstorm Anxiety

Aromatherapy gets Cali from pacing to snoozing.

In the past couple of years, both Cali and Koala have decided that they dislike thunderstorms.

Cali becomes increasingly anxious as a storm approaches. It’s not the noise of the thunder that bothers her; she is anxious long before the storm starts. She’s totally fine with ordinary rainstorms, too. But large storms with air pressure changes ratchet up her anxiety. She paces and acts clingy. In really bad storms, she wants to sit on my lap where she shakes as I soothe her.

I’ve tried several things that help a little … melatonin, CBD treats, T-Away oil, a Thundershirt.


I’ve found a remedy that really works: Aromatherapy.

I got an aromatherapy kit for my birthday (thanks, Kurt & Casey!!). It came with several essential oils, including lavender and something called chill pill. I used it a few times … and Cali seemed to like it. Then I decided to try it during a storm. Knocks her right out.

In the last storm, a really windy one with hail and thunder and heavy rain, I used chill pill. Cali and Koala both stretched out under my desk and snored away. Totally unconcerned.

I like it too.

Note that some essential oils are harmful or toxic to dogs. Here’s a list:

  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Sweet birch
  • Tea tree (melaleuca)
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang ylang
  • Anise
  • Clove
  • Thyme
  • Juniper
  • Yarrow
  • Garlic

And an article with more information: 5 Steps to Make Essential Oils Safe for Dogs.

So, within safe parameters … experiment and see whether some oil or blend will relieve your dog’s anxiety!

2 thoughts on “Aromatherapy and Thunderstorm Anxiety

  1. I could not find an article that differentiated ingested, inhaled, and topical use of the oils so … I would just avoid using those around dogs.
    The chill pill mix is lavender, patchouli, sweet orange, sweet basil, Roman chamomile, and peppermint. I know that peppermint is on the “bad” list but I think there’s very, very little in the mix.


  2. Pam,
    Are the essential oils in the list toxic in the air? Or are they just toxic if ingested. It is not clear from your article. Curious minds want to know.

    Also, what is in the chill pill?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.