Pets and Essential Oils: Are They Safe?


Your home and garden can hold a lot of unrecognized dangers that may be toxic for your pet. Some are obvious, others not so much. Just like a parent protecting their child, a pet owner must protect their pet. Discover how essential oils can help to detoxify your surroundings and enrich you and your pets life. When used correctly, essential oils can be beneficial without negative side effects or unnatural additives.


In the last century there has been a tremendous change to move away from synthetic chemicals and go back to a more natural way of life. Before using any product around your pet, it’s important to know that not all essential oils are created equal. First, you’ll want to be sure your essential oils are of Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) and then, you’ll want to make sure you are using them correctly. Make sure you are purchasing your oils from a supplier whose priority is ensuring they are pure and of high quality. There are certain oils that should never be used on or near a pet. We’ll include a list of those oils below for you.

Diffusing:  Essential oils are a highly concentrated, aromatic compound distilled from a plant and are often quite potent. Since pets have more olfactory receptors than we humans do, it makes them more sensitive to strong smells but that doesn’t mean they are toxic. Diffusing around pets is one of the best ways to benefit your pet. Use a water-based diffuser on an intermittent setting. Diffuse in a room with an open door and allow the pet to roam freely about the space, coming and going as he desires. Use only 3-4 drops of oil at a time. Lavender is an excellent oil for providing calming effects for pets and is often used in shelters.

Topically:  This is an excellent way to apply oils to your pet. Wash your hands before and after applying. At first, dilute the essential oil heavily with a carrier oil before applying. Over time, you can increase the amount of essential oil and observe your pet. Apply the oil to the palms of your hands, rub your hands together and then pet your pet along the most common application areas - the spine or on the tips of the ears. Some oils, like peppermint, can linger on your hands and you wouldn’t want to rub your eyes after applying. The same is true for your pet so be careful on which oils you use. Essential oils are volatile, meaning they dissipate into the air rapidly but absorb into the skin quickly.

Health Concerns:  Unfortunately, liver and kidney failure is common in pets. Some people have made claim their pet passed from using an essential oil. There are several types of oils available in the marketplace, many which are synthetic. We recommend the use of a CPTG for it’s purity and avoid from using a synthetic brand. CPTG essential oils have actually been used to support the kidneys and liver.

Skin irritation can be another concern. If your pet’s skin is showing signs of irritation from using an essential oil full strength, apply a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil. If a pet is showing signs of distress, drooling, squinting, rubbing their face, vocalization, shaking, vomiting or diarrhea, do seek veterinary attention.

Always keep your diffuser in a safe place where your pet cannot knock it over and ensure the lids are secure on your bottles. Store essential oils in a cool, dark safe place, such as a closed box, to prevent your pets from getting into your oils.

Cats Have a Different Metabolism:  We often hear that oils are harmful to cats. There is no sound science or basis for these claims. Cats do lack a liver enzyme that is important in metabolizing certain things. Should you use more caution around a kitty? Absolutely. You can still enjoy the benefits of essential oils for diffusing and in your DIY cleaning products, just use more caution with the following oils: Birch, Melaleuca, Oregano, Peppermint, Spearmint, Thyme and Wintergreen.

All Pets:  Essential oils can offer many benefits to your pet: calming emotions, soothing muscles, aiding with digestion, and overall health. Begin with a small amount of oil in a water diffuser or a diluted essential oil applied topically and observe your pet’s behavior.


AVOID: Birch, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Wintergreen

Use with CAUTION: Cassia, Cinnamon, Clove, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme.


AVOID topically and internally: Basil, Bergamot, Birch, Cinnamon, Clove, Dill, Fennel, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Orange, Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme, Rosemary, Spearmint, Tangerine, Wintergreen.


AVOID: Arborvitae, Basil, Birch, Cassia, Cinnamon, Rosemary, Thyme, Wintergreen.


If you are not familiar with the term carrier oil you definitely want to get acquainted with it. A carrier oil is used to dilute an essential oil and helps to carry the oil onto your skin, spreading it over a larger part and slowing down the absorption rate. It does not dilute the potency of the essential oil. The best carrier oil to use on your pet is coconut oil. It provides benefits for improving general health and digestion as well as prevention and treatment of yeast and fungal infections, disinfecting wounds, clarifying and calming skin allergies and dryness, reduces arthritis pain and ligament problems, and helps to hydrate skin. You can also add ¼ Tablespoon per every 10 lbs of body weight twice daily to their food.

If you would like to learn more or purchase pet friendly essential oils, click here.

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