Safe essential oils for pets

Safe essential oils for pets

Whether your fur family barks, purrs, or chirps, they could all benefit from essential oils, just like their human parents. Essential oils may be natural and organically sourced, but the wrong oil can trigger an unwanted reaction. Every animal is different and may have different reactions, but overall, essential oils are great for many issues, and are an alternative to harmful medications. If you are worried about using oils around your pets, or are curious about using oils FOR your pets, here are some suggestions on using safe essential oils for pets.

Let’s start with the basics

Dog and catAlways dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil or water. Animals are much more sensitive to smells than we are, and it is a good idea to start with small amounts and use in moderation. Each animal is different and will respond differently. Common sense tells us not to use the oils near the animal’s eyes, mouth, nose or other sensitive areas. “Hot” oils such as Wintergreen or Peppermint can be very irritating.

Safe use of high quality oils

A big mistake that pet owners make is using too much essential oil on their pets. Don’t forget that your pet has a much smaller body than you do, (we’re not talking about horses here…) so a great way to avoid making this mistake is to use a very high quality diffuser where you can control the amount of oil that is emitted. I highly recommend the Breeze Diffuser  which works on the principle of cold diffusion, transforming essential oils into fine vapor without heat or water. 

Another thing to consider is the use of high quality oils, that are therapeutic grade and not stretched with carrier oils that may trigger sensitivities in your pets. Be aware that some lower grade oils fabricate the botanical smells using solvents and other chemicals that are not only unhealthy for you, but most certainly for your pets. Do your research and choose good, high quality oils.  

As an affiliate with Rocky Mountain Oils, I earn a little bit of cash (to buy my next bottle of oil) when you place an order. Your price always remains the same, but they compensate me a stipend for being an affiliate and endorsing their products, which I most certainly do. Why? I’ve been using their oils for years, with my cat, for my cat, and because they offer oils that are 100% pure, natural and authentic. Their oils are sourced through vetted suppliers and they offer complete qualty control over the oils they purchase. Their oils don’t contain any contaminants, dilutants or synthetics, which is great for you and your pets! 

Here are some guidelines for specific animals


3 great oils for your dog

Essential oils are a simple and safe way to provide healthy support to your dog, and are an awesome solution for many issues, from itchy skin, to anxiety, and stomach upset. Oils are also a safe alternative to traditional, and sometimes harmful medications. Here’s a look at my favorite 3:

  • Cedarwood:  A protecting oil mostly used as a flea repellent. Cedarwood oil is an antiseptic for the lungs, stimulates circulation, helps arthritis issues, back pain, clears scruffy skin and dandruff, and also strengthens kidney function. It is very calming especially for nervous dogs, and helps balance extreme shyness or timidity. 
  • Lemon:  An immune stimulant, lemon clears confusion, is uplifting and clarifying. It stimulates pancreatic function, is an anti-coagulant, antiseptic and is good for arthritis and kidney stones. Lemon oil is great for dogs who have moved to different homes alot, as it clears mental confusion.
  • Lavender: This is the most soothing of all the oils, and soothing for both mind and body. It is a mild sedative, and great for burns, bruises, flea bites, and acts as an antiseptic and helps wounds to heal. Lavender also reduces anxiety, hotspots and fungal infections. 

Oils for cats

Not as simple as for dogs. Cats don’t process oils the same as dogs, horses or other animals, so they require a lot more caution and much more dilution.  Cats lack an enzyme responsible for liver metabolism, which makes them suseptible to all kinds of toxicity, including plants, chocolate, caffeine, lead, zinc and many types of pesticides. 

Let me stress that it is NOT a good idea to use oils topically on your cat every day. Only use sparingly, and as needed. There are lots of fake oils being used, and please don’t use them around your cats. 

Here is a list of oils to avoid with cats, which are high in phenols:

  • Basil
  • Birch
  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Fennel
  • Oregano
  • Peppermint
  • Tea Tree
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
  • All oils high in d-limonene which includes all citrus oils: lemon, wild orange, tangerine, mandarin, grapefruit and lime.

These oils are safe for cats:

  • Cardamom
  • Eucalyptus
  • Frankincense
  • Juniper Berry
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Marjoram
  • Sandlewood

Call the Vet

As with anyone in your family who needs medical advice or attention, the same is true for the furry members of your family, especially when it comes to essential oils. Some veterinarians are clued in to how to use them, particularly based on your pet’s age, size, species and health history.

Research continues to show that essential oils are very effective and safe for dogs and cats, but only when diluted heavily and used sparingly, and in the correct amounts.  

Safe essential oils for pets can support healthy skin, alleviate pain from arthritis, support healthy digestion, calm nervousness, fight odors, repel pests and promote healthy skin and coat. Aromatherapy is just as beneficial for your pets as it is for you. Just be cautious and make sure you are purchasing high-quality oils from Rocky Mountain. 








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14 thoughts on “Safe essential oils for pets”

  • I am so glad I found this information. Being in Florida with the huge flea problem they have, it is great there is an alternative to getting an expensive flea pill every month for each of my dogs! I am going to try the Cedarwood and see how that goes. Does this mean, I could avoid the flea pill all together? I sure hope so! It says Lavender is great for hot spots, does that mean that this would work for my one dog’s horrible allergies. He is continually licking, itching and biting. Another expense I would sure like to get rid of !

    • Hi Leahrae and thanks for writing! I have heard great things about the Cedarwood oil and have heard that it replaces the flea pills completely. That is a great thing! Lavender is very soothing and hopefully will alleviate some of the uncomfortable symptoms of allergies in your pooch. Let me know if this works for you!

  • Hi Amy,

    It’s interesting to see how pets can benefit from essential oils and they should, just as we do but more diluted. I try to avoid medication and go for natural methods and this is awesome for pets as well.

    Rocky Mountain Oils sounds great with how they offer 100% authentic quality. I like your list of oils with which to avoid and the safe ones to use, My daughter has an aging cat and I will mention this to her.

    Thanks for this informative post, it was an interesting read!


  • We have 2 dogs and need to lock them up in the basement when we’re out because one is a destructive chewer. This is causing the other dog to get all stressed out. I’m wondering if you think the lavender oil would be good for her or both dogs?

    Is there a risk that once it’s applied to their paws that they might lick it and ingest it? Or do you put it on their paws, supervise them till it dries, then you’re good?

    Thanks for this, as we’re really at a loss on what to do right now.

    • Hi Dave — I don’t think that you’ll be putting that much on their paws so as to make them very “wet” — plus the oils are very diluted. There is no danger to my knowledge that they would lick the oil off their paws — again, the oils are very diluted and harmless. I’m thinking that for a situation such as this, you may be better off with the diffuser so that the oils go into the air — thereby calming the air in the room. You may also want to check with your vet to see what they say. Let me know how you make out! Thanks for writing…!

  • Great article! I honestly had no idea you could use essential oils for pets! I love using lavender and lemon oils here and there, but now I’m going to buy a great diffuser to make sure my pups are safe. Thank you for posting this!

  • What an interesting article. I would never have thought you could use essential oils on your pets. Thanks for the information and tips.

  • Hi Amy, thanks for a great review! I didn’t know it was possible to use essential oils on pets, but now I have been educated! Do you have any recommendations for chickens and waterfowl for a mite repellent?

    Thanks again,
    Michelle 🙂

    • HI Michelle and thanks for writing! Unfortunately I cannot help you with chickens or waterfowl and the use of essential oils.
      You may want to contact the veterinarian to see what they say about what would be most helpful. Just not in my wheelhouse. thank you!

  • Hi, Amy,

    I have a cat, but I wasn’t aware I could use essential oils for pets! I will follow your advice and start carefully treating her, as cats lack that liver metabolism enzyme.

    Essential oil quality matters. Rocky Mountain seems to be a respectful brand, and I will test some of their products.
    Regarding this, I would appreciate if you could recommend what level of dilusion I should use for my cat. You mention I should not use essential oils every day. Is there a rule of thumb about a typical frequency of usage?

    Thank you!

    • Thanks for writing and as for your kitty cat, be careful to dilute a lot — It is not recommended to use essential oils for pets every day — but you can use them for yourself every day for sure.
      The dilution rates all vary depending on the kind of oil you are using. Let me know what you think of Rocky Mountain Oils…! Thanks.

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