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Using Essential Oils Around Your Pets

Posted on February 14, 2017 by Chad Pegura | 105 comments

Using Essential Oils Around Pets

As pet owners, we often worry about how the products we use in our homes impact the health and well-being of our pets. Essential oils are natural but we may be worried that the wrong essential oil can trigger a negative reaction in our pets. However, aromatherapy can be just as beneficial to our companion animals as it is for ourselves. So if you are worried about using essential oils around your pets or are curious about the benefits of essential oils for your pets, here is a simple guide that can help answer your questions.

Be Careful With These Essential Oils

Every pet is different and may have different reactions to different essential oils. However, there are some essential oils that you may want to be careful using around your pets. If you have cats, you also need to be wary about certain oils. Cats are particularly sensitive to essential oils that contain polyphenolic compounds because they interfere with their liver detoxification processes. So if you have cats use extra caution around essentials oils like cinnamon, tea tree, thyme, birch, wintergreen, clove, and oregano.

There are also certain essential oils that should not be used for or around dogs including anise, clove, garlic, horseradish, juniper, thyme, wintergreen, and yarrow. These essential oils can trigger a range of issues from allergies and skin sensitivities to interference in their natural body processes.

If you use any of these essential oils for your own health, make sure you also exercise caution around your pets. If you use a diffuser, keep them out of the room during the treatment period. If you wear these essential oils on pulse points throughout the day, be careful when petting your companion animals.

Essential Oils That Are Great For Pets

Though there are some essential oils that can cause your pets problems, there are plenty of essential oils that can be used to help them. The best part is all of these essential oils have great benefits for you as well.  Here are some essential oils you can safely use around and for your pets:

  • Cedarwood: Helps repel pests and promote healthy skin and coat
  • Myrrh: Can help fight allergies and promote health skin and coat
  • Clary Sage: Calms nervousness and excitability
  • Peppermint: Soothes the pain from arthritis and hip dysplasia and repels pests
  • Carrot Seed: Supports healthy skin as a topical treatment for dryness
  • Ginger: Relieves pain from arthritis and hip dysplasia and supports healthy digestion
  • Helichrysum: Used topically can help with pain relief and skin issues
  • Sweet Basil: Is a great air freshener and has antibacterial and anti-viral properties. 

These are just some of the great essential oils that can be used. If you are interested in learning more, you can always talk to a holistic veterinarian for suggestions for specific ailments. 

Safe Use Of Essential Oils

Whether you decide to use aromatherapy for your companion animal or just yourself, it’s important you exercise the safe use of essential oils. Pets have a stronger sense of smell than humans and smaller bodies, so the biggest mistake pet owners make is using too much essential oil.  One of the best ways to avoid this mistake is by using a high quality aromatherapy diffuser that you can control the amount of oil emitted. A high quality essential oil diffuser, like the beautiful nebulizers from Organic Aromas can diffuse the perfect amount of essential oil into the air so neither you nor your pets are overwhelmed.

Use High Quality Essential Oils

Another important aspect of using safe essential oils around pets is to use only high-quality therapeutic grade essential oils. Other, lesser-quality essential oils are made with additives or are stretched with carrier oils that may trigger pet sensitivities. They also may be a blend of oils that include other botanicals or absolutes that resemble the smell of the botanical but potentially contain solvents that could be unhealthy for you or your pets. So make sure that you do your due diligence and get the best quality oils like our selection of organic, therapeutic grade essential oils at Organic Aromas.

Many people worry about the impact of essential oils on their pets. However, as long as you use the correct essential oils and avoid any of the oils that may trigger issues for your pets, they are perfectly safe. Also make sure that you are exercising best practices when introducing essential oils into your home by using a quality diffuser and only therapeutic grade oils in a safe and prudent manner. Finally, go slow and monitor your pets to see how they react. Since every pet is different, an essential oil that can benefit one might trigger a different response in another.

Consult Your Veterinarian

1. When it comes to animals and essential oils, we always recommend that pet owners consult with their veterinarian to get advice on the proper way to use them, particularly based on the individual pet's species, age, size and health history.

2. Research does show essential oils can be safe for dogs and cats and even very effective, but only when diluted heavily and/or used in the appropriate way, time, place and on a specific subject in the correct amount.

3. Using undiluted essential oil on animals is always a mistake. Unless diluted correctly, it’s not recommended for cats, and while it might be effective for dogs, never apply it directly to the animal.

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25 Responses

Julia
Julia

January 05, 2019

Essential oils are not regulated to the point that the labels are required to show detailed ingredients. If it’s inexpensive, it could mean it has mineral oil or such to increase volume or artificial aromatics added to give a false impression of the contents. Unfortunately although aromatherapy has been used since recorded time, there are companies around that are in it for excess profit and like anything else, you need to do your own research. The word PURE on a label however would indicate to me that it is 100% essential oils. Don’t be concerned so much if it’s organic or not and definitely ignore the word natural because it is meaningless as far as labeling rules. And yes a dog can be allergic to anything just like humans, so start slow, dilute and monitor animals condition for any change. I actually am allergic to most candles but diffusers don’t bother me. Experiment for yourselves because essential oils have many benefits. One thing to keep in mind is if you are in a small space, you probably need to limit its use because air will become concentrated and this could cause a reaction itself just by creating less oxygen so it then becomes not So good for the lungs. Keep the room ventilated and you should be fine. If it worries you too much, don’t use them.

dlc
dlc

January 03, 2019

Please use caution with some of these oils. You’re NOT supposed to diffuse eos around cats at all! And please research your oils for use around dogs. Every website I’ve encountere has oils in them that are NOT to be used around dogs.

Denise
Denise

December 16, 2018

If you want bonified info, go here: https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/pet-safety-tips/essential-oils-dogs/

Donna
Donna

November 17, 2018

I don’t do EOs, but I’m wondering about the scented wax cubes. I would think they contain some EOs. Does it make a difference if EOs are diffused vs. just heated with melted wax?

Robbi Grace
Robbi Grace

November 09, 2018

Dear readers, please be careful with the advice given here on this website about EOs and pets. Do your own research on genuine veterinary or medical research websites, not a blogger/marketer who hasn’t checked his/her facts and does not reply to questions from readers.

And a note to the site owner/blogger: The pop-ups every second on your page that have claims about so-and-so having bought something from your website? That app is an annoying marketing gimmick that detracts from any credibility your site might have.

Penny
Penny

August 07, 2018

I would like to ask about the rose geranium burbon what is the truth? I have found references to oils that are very toxic to dogs, but I have found others who recommend it as protective against ticks! I have already purchased a healing oil and I have used it as a result of the dog getting some red spots in some places! The dilution I had made in 20 ml of coconut oil I put 3 drops of geranium and 3 drops of citronella! Probably I put more than I must to! I diluted it again and now at 100 ml I put those from 20ml! But I’m still not sure if I should use it in the dog! It’s a 7.5 kg jack russell. Thanks in advance!

Joe Wilson
Joe Wilson

July 20, 2018

If you have not figured it out yet, pets are just like humans to a certain extent. With that being said just like some humans, some animals react differently to Esential Oils (EO). A human might not have any problem with some medications and then others may have a lot of problems with the same medication for the same problem. That also goes with EO’s with pets.

Nicki
Nicki

June 28, 2018

Is it safe to diffuse blends that contain clove? Three of my favorites contain clove. I only wish to diffuse.

Nicki
Nicki

June 28, 2018

Is it safe to diffuse blends that contain clove? Three of my favorites contain clove. I only wish to diffuse.

Sarah
Sarah

June 27, 2018

So I keep reading about how clove, thyme, and cinnamon oil is bad for dogs but I just got a flea and tick formula for dogs that contain those oils??? I’m so confused

Victoria
Victoria

June 19, 2018

Hi! I have fish tanks and I really want to start using my oil diffusers in my room. I was wondering if these are safe for fish too?

ArOmis Ltd.
ArOmis Ltd.

May 30, 2018

Great website, nice products. Keep it up.

Justin
Justin

May 28, 2018

There is no such thing as “therapeutic grade”. BUT there is adulterated products. Do your research folks, but don’t let a created term lead you to products that are marketed as superior merely for sales. I would be willing to hear a different view if those who regulate the term “therapeutic grade” as well as parameters are clearly defined.

Cheryl Bell Wilson
Cheryl Bell Wilson

May 11, 2018

I rescued a pony from a Slaughter plant and when she arrived to my friend’s house she was dying my friend used a bunch of these oils on her and she had pulled through and she’s amazing looking now

Jenna
Jenna

April 08, 2018

It is really good to see people concerned and caring for their pets. I work in veterinary medicine. I understand why so many people have negative comments regarding veterinarians. For a long time the industry was far behind human medicine and yes many were crooked and some still are. Unfortunately it is difficult to get these doctors barred from medicine. As of right now, the research is still being done on what is toxic and what is not for pets for EO. They have very sensitive systems, more so in cats. For now be safe and avoid direct skin contact, dilute the EO well when diffusing and make sure your pets have a place to get away from it if it bothers them. Same goes for smoking anything especially marijuana. We have treated pets with inhalation toxicity and some do not survive. Do your research when finding the right doctor for your pets. Look for doctors that are AAHA accredited and believe in preventive medicine. Pets age much more quickly then people and many diseases come on very subtle with no warning, but some can be caught on biannual exams. Be patient, not every doctor has a good bed side manner, look for someone who is good with you and your pet. Sometimes the doctor is not the nicest to people but is a phenomenal doctor. Pets can’t tell us what is wrong so sometimes it takes diagnostics to know. If your pet has anything abnormal for him or her, take them in before it gets too advanced. Have grace for veterinary medicine, it is advancing well especially when integrating alternative medicine. Find someone you can trust so you can make sure you have a healthy pet for as long as possible.

Cady
Cady

March 25, 2018

Everything I’ve read says that peppermint and lavender are very toxic. Please don’t rely on this, do your research and be very careful.

Shawna
Shawna

March 17, 2018

Lavender keeps popping up as safe but aspca listed it as UNSAFE please fix this.

Stacey Nonya
Stacey Nonya

February 20, 2018

So I messed up on the grade,know your product and some oils are bad for your pets and humans but do your Research and its funny people say to trust your vet we must do our own research

Nike
Nike

February 18, 2018

There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet. Here is something I found that is helpful and has resources. It’s from Naha.org. If in doubt – refrain from using EO until you’ve researched enough. Your fur babies lives are in your hands.

https://naha.org/assets/uploads/Animal_Aromatherapy_Safety_NAHA.pdf

Lori
Lori

February 18, 2018

There are a LOT of emphatic statements in these comments, none of which site references. Vague statements such as feed your pets what nature provided….like what?? If ALL dry and wet dog food is garbage, what would you have me feed my dog?? “Lavender is HIGHLY toxic to both dogs and cats!!!!!”..yet everything I’ve read online says it’s not only safe for dogs, but beneficial. What suuports your “highly toxic” statement?? These comments haved served no purpose but to confuse readers. Site some references, state alternatives, link to your blog or website IF you site references there. Don’t just disagree and spout off…try to offer some reliable educational sources.

lisa moore
lisa moore

February 09, 2018

It makes me laugh that people keep on saying to contact vets. I am a hobby farmer and the toxic products used in veterinarian practices are endless – starting with the very food that people make their pets ingest all day every day. Every medication has toxic ingredients and that goes for flea application and vaccinations. X-rays and chemo extremely toxic (carcinogenic). The hypocrisy was when the vets checked into the CDS drops II was using and rather quietly said they were carcinogenic – hmmm! The chiropractic vet said to me, “The problem is that vets have ONE answer to every problem – antibiotics and that is why their treatment is not effective”. Antibiotics.wipe out the immune system and that halts the body’s ability to prevent diseases gaining a foothold. The problem is that people see vets as having a great handle on health – they learn about symptoms and are trained in what poison to throw at the symptoms. Medical training leaves out proper nutrition. I have many animals and have been very, very disgusted with the ability of vets in general. I spent $15,000.00 at the vets in one year and when I looked back I saw a lot of mal practice and pain and suffering. Had 2 cats with cancer and were treating them with natural anti-oxidants – one had lung cancer and after vet x-rayed her to diagnose she fell in a heap and had to be put down. The other one was diagnosed with eye cancer (Vega carcinoma) and has been doing very well for 2 years on natural treatment. Decided to check whether cancer was anywhere else and the vet kept exclaiming in amazement that it hadn’t gone anywhere but in the nasal passage in all that time. Unfortunately, she gave the cat x-rays and from that time on I have been fighting hard to regain ground. I RECOMMEND THAT PET OWNERS FEED THEIR PETS THE FOOD THAT GOD PROVIDED FOR PREVENTION OF DISEASE AND CURING DISEASES. HE CERTAINLY DIDN’T PROVIDE DRY FOOD FULL OF SALT, PRESERVATIVES, COLOURS AND FILLERS AND AS FOR CANNED GARBAGE – ANYTHING GOES IN THE MESS. Human or animal bodies – need to have an immune system built with excellent ingredients. Organic, free-range food, chemical free water, sunshine, fresh air, peaceful environment (no violent arguments amongst the humans), healthful exercise (preferably not around car exhausts) and very limited contact with vets.

Lori S
Lori S

February 08, 2018

Peppermint oil is actually very toxic to cats! You should edit/remove that from your “safe list” so ppl don’t read this and kill their cats ;(

Cheryl (Crain) Gentry
Cheryl (Crain) Gentry

February 06, 2018

TEA TREE OIL is not listed and is highly toxic to a dog when defused. My dog died last May. I’m a massage therapist and defuse oil regurally. I had no idea. BEWARE

Nicole Champagne
Nicole Champagne

February 05, 2018

Why is ylang ylang not good for my dog?

Tracy
Tracy

February 03, 2018

Note to author: I’m not sure about the information you have published.

We have been using essential oils on our 8 year-old dog since she was a puppy to repel ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and flies. We have used lavender, geranium and cedar oil, full strength, on her collar, and we have not had any issues. We also use a product called Natural Defense by Sentry, a well-known manufacturer of dog products. I doubt they would sell these products for so many years, at major pet retailers across the nation, if it were harmful to dogs.

Natural Defense contains: Peppermint Oil.1.00%, Cinnamon Oil.1.50%, Lemon Grass Oil.1.50%, Clove Oil.1.70%, Thyme Oil.1.70%, Other Ingredients (Vanillin, isopropyl myrisate, 2-propanol).92.60%.

Pet owners, don’t panic just yet. My Vet approved what we were doing and we have never had any issues.

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