Donkey Health Problems {Dealing With Stress}

Donkey health problems can arise from stress situations. How do you help a stressed donkey calm down naturally? One way is by using essential oils! It may be my favorite way and the donkeys (and horses) really seem to love them!

It also starts to happen fairly quickly once I offer them their choice of blends. There are many essential oils that provide a relaxing, calming fragrance.

But I’m going to focus in on a blend I recently used for some new donkeys and some of my horses that were stressed over the new donkeys moving in! First, if you are new to Essential oils I’ll explain a little about how they work for stress.

natural donkey health care

How do essential oils work for stress?

The donkey has a very acute sense of smell as we know. It can detect smells from miles away! A donkey can smell the presence of another donkey and a human approaching. So it should be no surprise when a horse responds to the powerful smells of essential oils.

Inhaling the aromas from essential oils can stimulate a part of the brain that plays a role in emotions, behaviors, sense of smell and long-term memory. 

The phytochemicals in the volatile oils of plants can number into the thousands. These chemicals all work together to provide health benefits that many times just cannot be replicated in a lab.

So apart from providing a pleasant smell, aromatherapy oils can provide respiratory disinfection, decongestant, and psychological benefits for us, our donkeys and other animals.

Molecules from the oils that enter the nose or mouth pass to the lungs, and from there, to other parts of the body.

The molecules reach the areas of the brain which are linked to the emotions, the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress and hormone balance. In this way, essential oils can have a subtle and holistic effect on the body.

If you are unfamiliar with essential oils all together I highly recommend you check out my Essential Oils for Donkeys ebook on Amazon.

essential oils for donkeys

Topical applications

Topical applications such as massage oils, and bath and skincare products are absorbed through the skin. Massaging the area where the oil is to be applied can boost circulation and increase absorption. Some argue that areas that are richer in sweat glands and hair follicles, such as the head or the palms of the hand, may absorb the oils more effectively.

Remember: Essential oils are never applied directly to the skin. They must always be diluted with a carrier oil.


What Essential Oils I have used to calm a stressed horse and donkey

My first attempt at using essential oils for stress on equine was on donkeys that weren’t used to being handled. I’ve rescued and rehabbed many donkeys. Some I took straight from the kill pen. They were scared and most had minimum handling if any.

I always gave them a few days to settle in. I wanted them to get several days of good food and used to things here. Then the work can begin. Once I could get my hands on them, then I would use a blend of Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils diluted in sweet almond oil. I would rub in on my wrist and offer it to them to smell. If they perked up with interest (they always did) I’d rub a few drops on their poll and then continue with some calming and trust exercises.

Recently I brought in some new miniature donkeys to my farm! They were super stressed and so was one of my horses. I used the following blend and it really calmed everyone down fairly quickly!

I held the bottle to their noses, they inhaled and most of them tried to eat it! A sign they wanted the oils and knew they could use them. The only one that refused the bottle was my horse gelding Stormy. He wasn’t acting stressed I just thought I’d offer it! He turned away, the message was clear and he didn’t need any help!

Why these essential oils?

Roman Chamomile: Calming, soothes nerves and anxiety. It can help soothe upset stomach brought on by these emotions.

Lavender: Most of us know the power of lovely lavender abilities to relax and destress! My horses all love lavender!

Recently I added Ylang, Ylang to the blend. It’s a calming oil that is said to gladden the heart. I certainly want their stress relieved and also have a sense of well being about their new home.

Calming Stress Relief Blend For Equine Recipe

This blend is very easy to make. I put my blends in rollers or in bottles with droppers. You can use whatever you like though. Now for the formula!

I used a 10 ml roller bottle for this formula. A little goes a long way. 

Ylang Ylang, 2 drops

Roman Chamomile, 5 drops

Lavender, 5 Drops

Then I filled the rest of the bottle with a carrier oil. I used Jojoba here but I have used sweet almond oil in the past and it’s great too!

natural donkey care


What to know More Formulas using Essential Oils for donkeys and other equine?

I have a few other DIY natural donkey care recipes available on my blog that work really nicely for my donkeys. I’d love for you to give them a try and share them with other equine owners too! 

Homemade Fly Spray for Donkeys 

Fly Repellent Ointment for Equine [Free Recipe]

 Rain Rot in Donkeys {FREE Home Remedy} 

Tack Care {Conditioning and Restoring Leather}

I also have another case study article about essential oils providing stress relief 

Donkey Care [Calming a Stressed Donkey]

And another article on why using essential oils for health support is a beneficial option

 Donkey Health Care {Using Essential Oils}

Interested in learning more about Donkeys?

You can sign up for my Donkey Lovers List! I send out training tips for donkeys, natural health care information, inspirational and more all about donkeys and how you can live a better life with yours. Donkeys have enhanced my life in many ways. I know that can yours too.