dogs and essential oils

Essential oils are widely used by a range of people and they can have very beneficial effects, so you may be interested to know if you can use essential oils to benefit your dog. Well the good news is that there are quite a number of essential oils for dogs that can be used to great effect

Lavender Oil For Dogs

Lavender is reputed to be a wonderfully calming essential oil for humans and the same is true for dogs. Placing a few drops on a blanket or pillow can help to calm your dog, which can help to lessen the anxiety caused by fireworks, or by traveling in the car. You can use lavender oil as part of aromatherapy for dogs, and in doing so help them to associate an area of your home with feelings of calm and safety.

Peppermint Oil For Dogs

Peppermint oil has been reported to be a natural deterrent for fleas. If you are looking for a natural remedy to prevent your dog from getting fleas then peppermint oil is something you could try. Some veterinarians also believe that peppermint oil stimulate circulation in older dogs, so can give them a boost to their overall health as well as helping to deter fleas.

Thyme Oil For Dogs

Thyme oil can offer pain relief for dogs suffering from arthritis and rheumatism. It is also a known antibacterial agent, as well as being effective in combating fungal infections and skin infections.

Spearmint Oil For Dogs

Spearmint oil is a great choice for dogs that have digestive issues, whether this is colic, diarrhea or nausea. It has also been reported to work well for helping dogs to maintain a healthy weight as it can stimulate their bodies to develop a well-balanced metabolism. A word of warning though you should avoid using spearmint oil if you have cats in the house.

Eucalyptus Oil For Dogs

Eucalyptus oil is one of the most popular oils for use with dogs, not least because it is effective at covering up natural dog odors in your home. It also has benefits for dogs with respiratory problems and can provide relief for the symptoms of sinus infections and bronchitis.

Tips On Aromatherapy For Dogs

  • You should always dilute essential oils for dogs.
  • You should avoid using essential oils for puppies under 10 weeks of age.
  • Don’t add essential oils to your dog’s food or water
  • If you have cats in your home be especially careful as they are more sensitive to essential oils than dogs.
  • If your dog is pregnant or prone to seizures you should consult your vet before using essential oils for aromatherapy.

Key points to remember:

  • Never apply neat essential oils to animals
  • Don’t add essential oils to drinking water or give them orally
  • Always purchase 100%, therapeutic grade essential oil – not a fragrance oil
  • Only use essential oils topically on dogs, as they can be extremely toxic on cats
  • Don’t apply oils to a pet’s muzzle area, inside ears, nostrils, mouth or eyes
  • Any topical application should be used very sparingly on animals
  • Always monitor your pet both during and after essential oil use
  • If your furry friend has been exposed to toxic essential oils, they may display signs of poisoning. Symptoms include lack of appetite, difficulty breathing, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, twitching and seizures. If you suspect this, consult your vet immediately.
  • Avoid diffusing oils for long periods of time. Give your pet regular breaks.
  • Keep essential oils far away from animals – they can be toxic if ingested


Before topical application to a pet’s skin, Essential Oils should always be diluted. A safe ratio is 1 drop of Essential Oil for 1.5 tablespoon (approx. 445 drops) of Carrier Oil. This equates to a dilution of approximately 0.25%, which is considered to be be mild and likely agreeable for pets.

A patch test can be done by applying a dime-size amount of the diluted Essential Oil to an insensitive part of the pet’s body, which depends on the pet. Likewise, if diffusing an Essential Oil, ensure that a test-run is conducted by diffusing 1-2 drops of an oil that is vet-approved to be pet-friendly for only 10-15 minutes.

Both types of safety tests should be performed in a large, open space or a large, airy room. During both tests, watch your pet for any irritation, discomfort, or reactions, which may take up to 24 hours to occur and could potentially appear in the form of skin irritation, pawing at the face, coughing, sneezing, drooling, difficulty walking/staggering, slowed breathing, low body temperature, weakness, slow reflexes, gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, liver damage, muscle tremors, aspiration pneumonia, and self-mutilation. In the absence of a reaction, it is said to be safe to proceed with normal application of the diluted Essential Oil.

When diluting, keep in mind that the pet’s size is a significant factor to take into consideration; a safe dilution for a large dog will not necessarily be safe for a smaller dog, and the same applies to other species. Furthermore, the amount of oil that is recommended to be given to animals that are feeble, old, pregnant, or unwell will not be same as the amount recommended for healthy animals of the same size.


Essential Oils should be handled in the same manner as other products that can pose potential dangers if mistreated. They should be stored in in an area that is cool, dark, and out of the reach of pets, and they should be used in accordance with their instructions and expiry dates.

  • Use a water-based vaporizer
  • Use 1-2 drops of Essential Oil and diffuse intermittently – diffusing for 10 minutes then turning it off for 30 minutes
  • Place the diffuser out of reach of the pet, such as on a high shelf or in the corner of a room
  • Diffuse on the side of the room that is opposite the pet or in another room altogether
  • Does not require skin contact with or long-term exposure to Essential Oils
  • Depending on oil used, can help to eliminate harmful airborne bacteria and offensive odors
  • Never use adult human doses for pets
  • Avoid using Essential Oils with strong, cooling, hot, or spicy aromas (e.g. Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Oregano, etc.) around pets
  • Ensure that the room remains well-ventilated and that there is an easy way out for a pet that does not enjoy the smell or does not feel comfortable with the diffused oil
  • Avoid diffusing Essential Oils inside a pet’s enclosed room and ensure that diffused oils are properly diluted
  • Do not allow the diffuser to run for extended periods, overnight, or non-stop
  • If using Essential Oils near a pet with or at risk of developing breathing difficulties, take extra precaution in the manner of application
  • When introducing an Essential Oil to a pet through diffusion, begin by testing a small amount of one oil at a time for a short amount of time to check for potential reactions; be aware that this trial period also poses potential harm for pets with respiratory difficulties/ailments
  • If Essential Oils are applied to any part of a pet’s body that can end up in its mouth (e.g. foot, hand), ensure that this body part remains covered after application
  • Immediately turn off a diffuser and seek medical attention at the first sign of a stronger side effect, such as breathing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, seizures, or unconsciousness
  • Avoid diffusing in areas where pets eat, sleep, or play
  • Spray only diluted Essential Oils
  • Spray only around an open, well-ventilated room
  • Helps to create a calming environment scent before rest period (depending on oil)
  • Helps to keep pet alert and energized after a rest period (depending on oil)
  • Avoids prolonged exposure to oils
  • Avoid spraying on pillows, other fabrics, or on toys and objects that the pet can put in the mouth and inadvertently ingest
  • Avoid spraying in areas where pets eat, sleep, or play
  • Always dilute with a Carrier Oil
  • If creating a body mist for the pet, spritz no more than 3 light sprays
  • If applying oils to a bird, apply them to a body part without any feathers, such as the feet, in order to prevent their feathers from becoming greasy, which in turn affects their ability to regulate body temperature (if birds cannot be handled, a small amount of the oil can be dabbed onto the pet’s perch)
BENEFITS May provide extended period of comfort
  • Use only Essential Oils and Carrier Oils that are approved by your veterinarian for the particular pet on which you want to apply it
  • Avoid stroking your pet near areas of fur/skin to which you’ve applied an oil
  • Avoid applying oils to areas that can go in the pet’s mouth (e.g. hands, feet)
  • Do not allow pets to walk across household surfaces that have been cleaned with Essential Oils, as they will clean themselves by licking and can thereby ingest the oils
  • Neither Essential Oils nor Hydrosols are water-soluble and thus should never be added to an aquarium, as they will irritate or potentially cause the death of the fish. Furthermore, Hydrosols can potentially disturb the water’s pH level.

Skin Irritation
Skin Allergy
Skin Infection/Hot Spots
Fur/Coat Health
Chamomile (German)
Marjoram (Sweet)
Aloe Vera
Apricot Kernel
Sweet Almond
Kukui Nut
Emotional Distress
Marjoram (Sweet)
Joint Discomfort Chamomile (Roman)
Marjoram (Sweet)
Chamomile (Roman)
Hyperactivity Apricot Kernel
Sweet Almond
Kukui Nut
Chamomile (Roman)
Clary Sage
Marjoram (Sweet)

Caution: It is strongly recommended consulting with a veterinarian before considering applying any Essential Oil or Carrier Oil listed in the chart above. What is safe for one pet might not be safe for another pet; ensure that any Essential Oil or Carrier Oil used will not be unsafe for the other pets or family members.