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Essential Oils for Pets

Are essential oils safe for pets? Can I use my oils on or around my dog and my cat? horse? bees?

This is a trending topic lately and for good reason! We all love our pets as they are part of our family and we want to keep them safe and healthy.

So are they safe: yes and no.

Most oils available on the market are NOT safe to use with your pets (or yourself for that matter). Make sure that your essential oils are a high standard, third-party tested essential oil. I personally only trust doTERRA’s CPTG standard.

Yes, if you have the highest quality essential oil and you use those oils wisely.

Here I have a passage from one of doTERRA’s veterinary panel:

If there is one thing I have learned in my lifetime of working with animals and their owners, it is that people love their animals and would do anything within their means to keep them healthy and happy for as long as possible. Pets have become an integral part of our families, and our homes would not be the same without them.

It’s probably not a surprise that pets can greatly improve the lives of the humans around them. One study shows that owning a dog can promote cardiovascular health.1 There are obvious positive health benefits when it comes to taking your dog for a walk, including it being good exercise, but there are also lesser known benefits, such as the positive social interactions that naturally occur when others smile at how adorable your pet is or ask if they can pet him or her. Another study indicates that pets can improve immunity and respiratory health in children.2 Pets can also decrease stress at the end of a long day.3 With all these and other benefits, it’s no wonder we have incorporated pets into our lives so closely.

Pets and Essential Oils

It’s important to keep our pets in mind as we use essential oils in our homes. Dogs and cats in particular have 200–300 million olfactory receptors (humans have only 5–6 million). Their sense of smell is very sensitive, so when you are diffusing, be sure to use a water-based diffuser like the Lumo® diffuser, and only diffuse 4–5 drops at a time in an open area where your pet can leave the room if desired.

Due to this sensitivity, there are a few oils to avoid with pets. Of course, we can use other oils instead. Here are a few suggestions:

Instead of Tea Tree (Melaleuca), use Geranium, Arborvitae, Myrrh, or Cedarwood.

Instead of Wintergreen, use Copaiba, Frankincense, or doTERRA AromaTouch®.

Instead of Cassia, use doTERRA On Guard®, Oregano, or Thyme.

Many oils can support the various body systems of your animals. When using oils topically with pets, be sure to consult with your veterinarian first. Always dilute oils down to 1–2 percent prior to application (100 drops of a carrier oil for every one drop of essential oil). I prefer using Fractionated Coconut Oil as a carrier oil but there are many others. Dilute even more for animals that are less than 10 lbs/5 kg.

Cardiovascular Support: Helichrysum, Cypress, Marjoram, Copaiba

Digestive Support: doTERRA DigestZen®, Ginger, Cardamom, Fennel, Coriander

Endocrine Support: Myrrh, Lemongrass, Geranium

Immune Support: Rosemary, Copaiba, doTERRA On Guard®, Melissa

Integumentary Support: Lavender, Frankincense, Myrrh, Helichrysum, Cedarwood, Geranium, Spikenard, Roman Chamomile, Melissa

Musculoskeletal Support: Frankincense, Copaiba, doTERRA AromaTouch®, Marjoram

Nervous System Support: Copaiba, Helichrysum, Turmeric, Sandalwood, doTERRA Balance®

Respiratory Support: doTERRA Breathe®, doTERRA On Guard®, Cardamom, Rosemary, Arborvitae

Urinary Tract Support: Copaiba, Lemongrass, Juniper Berry, doTERRA Zendocrine®


I know you want to keep your animals healthy, and in return, they will keep you healthy too. These general guidelines may help you in the selection of which oils you use and diffuse around your home to help keep you and your pets healthy and happy.

Bibliography

Contributed by Dr. Janet Roark

I use doTERRA essential oils around my dog, my kids, me all day long. Just remember that when we apply topically to say a dog, we treat that dog as if it’s a human infant. Use gentle oils and use them sparingly. And use common sense! Feel open with your vet about what essential oils you are using. In fact, I bring Lavender Touch with me to the vet office and I rub it on my dog’s ears and back. It makes for happy visits <3

I do want to share my favorite article on the subject though. Check out THIS post about the Science behind Essential Oils and Cats.

doTERRA Essential Oils

I recommend only one brand of essential oils. Please do not use these tips if you are going to go out and buy the cheapest brands that you can find. When it comes to essential oils, you get what you pay for. There’s hardly any regulation on the essential oil market so you have to do your due diligence when purchasing oils. After research, I fell on doTERRA. DoTERRA holds themself to the highest purity and safety standards on the market -plus they hold themselves to fair trade and sustainability practices. 

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