Using Essential Oils Around Your Pets

Using Essential Oils Around Your 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.

47 thoughts on “Using Essential Oils Around Your Pets

  1. nk says:

    Must be very careful w/ Tea Tree. Toxic to cats AND Dogs. Never take internally, including for humans, or allow pets to lick. However, it should not be used without expert advise, This not including blogs which often copy info from other blogs & may not have medical accuracy.. Search the topic of Tea Tree & Dogs, vital to the health & sometimes very life of your pet. Pets can die from this oil. Tea Tree, peppermint, clove, & others are in some commercially prepared pet products. The amounts in those products are supposed to be safe. As always exercise caution & don’t over-use the product. Home dilution is risky as it is difficult to get the proper safe low level dilution of some oils. (less than 1% for example). Do your own extensive research & check the sources of the information. Pets rely on us to keep them healthy & safe.

  2. Connie Benton says:

    I just started using EO Peace and Calming to help with sleep as tired of all the side effects that medication has. It is working great for me but now concerned with all the things I have read. I put it directly behind ear or on shoulder. Since my dogs sleeps with me I now have concern. Anywhere I can get answer on this if it is harmful to my pet.

  3. Julia says:

    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.

  4. dlc says:

    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.

  5. Donna says:

    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?

    • Amanda says:

      I’ve used wax melts of all sorts and have never had issues with my cats or dogs. But not saying it’s safe. Just haven’t shown any signs of slowing down or complications. Thanks

  6. Robbi Grace says:

    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.

  7. Penny says:

    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!

  8. Joe Wilson says:

    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.

  9. Sarah says:

    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

  10. Victoria says:

    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?

  11. Justin says:

    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.

  12. Cheryl Bell Wilson says:

    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

  13. Jenna says:

    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.

  14. Cady says:

    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.

  15. Stacey Nonya says:

    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

  16. Nike says:

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

  17. Lori says:

    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.

  18. Lori S says:

    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 ;(

  19. Cheryl (Crain) Gentry says:

    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

  20. Tracy says:

    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.

  21. onearomatherapy says:

    There is no such thing as ‘Therapeutic Quality’ it is marketing mumbo jumbo. High quality oils do exist, so please look for good suppliers that have a relationship with the growers, etc. Please do not purchase Essential Oils via Amazon. You don’t know what you are getting most likely and if it contains synthetics. Do take care using EO in diffusers with animals and yourself. Do not have diffusers on for a long time. i.e. all day. Only a few hours at a time and at a 2% dilution rate. Join FB groups where Aromatherapists (like me) are able to share advise usage for animals and people.. Always something to learn about EO. They are very strong and the do affect our furry friends as they do us. Very sad to read about a dog having seizures, Rosemary is not recommended for people that are epileptic because of the neuro toxins that are within the chemistry components of Rosemary. It may have triggered something. Before you purchase please educate yourself for that oil, understand how it is made, what value it will give you and the safety uses for this oil. It is not knowing, not educating ourselves about Essential Oils that give this industry neg vibe. EO oils have been around for thousands of years…. respect it.

  22. Bihenri says:

    This article is not correct!!! Please do some research on current articles before you kill your pets. It can build in their system and kill them two years later. Do your homework on current articles.

  23. Emily Johnson says:

    I just started using essential oil diffuser, l have only used lavender, and Sandlewood so far. I have a 17 year old chihuahua. Is these ok to use around him?

  24. Judy Lynn McCoy says:

    I finding I don’t trust any oils ! I have read to much horrible things from the 100%! Oil also hurting cats , dogs ! Am done! I will only use my veterinary! They are trained! My fur babies are family! Not worth gamble to me !

  25. Hannah MacLeod says:

    Lavender is highly toxic for cats… so many conflicting articles on the web…don’t use ANY essential oils around pets until you have called your vet and triple check all of the ingredients in the blends. Calling your vet is the only way to get accurate information on this. My already very sick cat became so much more ill due to EO’s and it probably contributed to his very early (3yo) death.

  26. Deanna Valdez says:

    Diane Vidmar I noticed you have replied to a few of these sites. Would you please comment with a list of EO’s that ARE safe for cats? Or can you refer me to a place that does have a list that is correct?

  27. Diane Vidmar says:

    This list is NOT accurate!!! Someone in charge of this website needs to do more thorough, because they could be held responsible should someone’s dog or cat become Ill, or worse, die due to misinformation!! Lavender is HIGHLY toxic to both dogs and cats!!!!!

  28. Tammy says:

    After purchasing 2 EO diffusers, my husband expressed concerns about using them in a room where my bird stays. I looked it up on the internet, but there was so much conflicting info, and most was concerning dogs and cats. I called a local veterinarian who specializes in birds. She said they advise against any EO around birds. Her office has seen several cases of respiratory problems in birds so far this year. I never knew…..

  29. Linda says:

    Lavender is listed as HIGHLY TOXIC TO CATS according to the ASPCA
    I have seen pictures of a cat suffering from lavender poisoning from being in a room with a diffuser emitting lavender.

  30. Caity says:

    please do not use EO around your pets. Our dog was in his cage with a diffuser right outside of my sister’s room. He ended up having a seizure. Mom used rosemary and lavender and until this happened we didn’t know that these oils are TOXIC. It can cause seizures in animals AND the vet advised us not to use them. BE AWARE.

  31. Cindy says:

    I just received a diffuser and I have 2 cats. So far i’ve only used Lemon and Patchouli in the diffuser and neither cat has had a problem. I’m scared to use anything with all this info. I only use the oils in a diffuser I will never put them topically on them nor will I give them any orally. But gosh I could really use some GOOD info.

  32. Michelle says:

    I’m questioning all of the oils mentioned in this article and honestly don’t trust it. You say peppermint is safe for cats and dogs when it’s not! Peppermint oil is one of the most toxic oils there are to cats and dogs. PLEASE PLEASE DON’T RELY ON THIS INFO!!! READ LOTS OF RELIABLE ARTICLES AND TALK WITH YOUR VET BEFORING TRUSTING A ARTICLE THAT COULD KILL YOUR PET!!!!

  33. Tarryn says:

    This article should be used with the utmost caution. Most of the info is false! Using lavender EO can cause seizures in dogs and cats!! So I question any others you’ve listed as “safe”…

  34. Brooklyn Rice says:

    So this site has not checked the oils with vets they have just researched it online which any of you could do ! I suggest no one listens to this site until it’s vetriany verified . Lavender could poison your cat .

  35. Claudia says:

    I would like to know what oils are bad for animals like my cat because y’all says that peppermint and lavender is OK but I saw on another website and it said it’s not OK for animals and I didn’t know if that meant just to digest it or just not good for them.

  36. Beth says:

    Many oils you listed “safe” for pets are NOT safe. The plants themselves may be safe but the essential oils extracted from said plants area NOT.

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