Essential Oils Safe for Pets (+ 5 Essential Oil Recipes for Dogs)

Have you been curious about using essential oils safe for pets but not sure where to start? No need to fret. Essential oils can be used in many of the same ways they are used for humans. They can help ease physical issues such as joint pain, skin problems, respiratory issues, digestive problems, circulation, hormonal imbalances and parasites. Emotionally, oils can ease anxiety and tension that our furry friends might struggle with when we’re away from them or during high-stress times such as storms or the setting off of fireworks. Of course, oils are antiseptic, antimicrobial, detoxifying and rejuvenating and animals can benefit in all of those areas as well. 

However, it is important to exercise extreme caution when using any oil with an animal as their senses are more heightened and their systems can sometimes process them differently than humans.

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Here’s a breakdown of how to safely use oils with common household pets. A good rule of thumb is to use hydrosols instead of essential oils with animals. Hydrosols offer the same healing properties as oils but are much less concentrated and can be often be used without dilution. 


Our canine friends have a sense of smell 50 to 100 times greater than that of humans. They have 200 million scent receptors in their nose, making it important to never offer undiluted oils to them. Alternatively, you should give your dog the opportunity to express whether or not he likes an oil before you apply it or diffuse it. Letting your animal smell an oil while the top is still securely on is one way to determine interest. If your dog wags its tail, licks its lips or tries to lick the bottle, he may be interested in the oil. If your dog moves away or offers little response, this may not be the right oil to use.

It’s best to use a dilution rate of .5% to 1% when using oils on dogs and other animals. That would be approximately 3 to 6 drops per ounce of carrier oil. 


There is a great deal of controversy surrounding the use of essential oils with cats. Due to their liver’s inability to fully process oils, they should be used with caution. Some veterinarians like Dr. Melissa Shelton have done studies on the use of oils in cats and found them to be highly effective when used judiciously. Each owner should do her own research and decide whether essential oils are right for their feline friends. 


Birds are even more sensitive to essential oils than cats. Hydrosols can be used, but should be heavily diluted.Essential Oils Safe for Pets

Safe Oils for Dogs:

Bergamot, Carrot Seed, Cedarwood, German Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus Radiata, Geranium, Ginger, Helichrysum, Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Niaouli, Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Valerian

Popular Oils to Use Infrequently/Heavily Diluted:

Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Lime, Pine, Spruce, Fir

Oils to Avoid with All Animals:

Anise, Birch, Bitter Almond, Wormswood, Hyssop, Camphor, Cassia, Clove Leaf and Bud, Crested Lavender, Garlic, Horseradish, Mugwort, Juniper, Oregano, Pennyroyal, Thyme, Rue, Santalina, Savory, Tansy, Yarrow, Wintergreen 

If you’d like to do additional research on the use of essential oils with animals – particularly cats and birds, check out veterinarian Dr. Melissa Shelton’s

5 Essential Oil Recipes for Dogs

Download these 5 free recipes for use with your dogs! 

  • Doggie De-stressor Blend
  • Fresh Fur Blend
  • Itchy Dog Blend
  • Happy Pup Diffuser Blend
  • Tummy Tamer Blend


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