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are essential oils safe for animals?

Updated: Oct 29, 2022

While there is some controversy surrounding the essential oils on animals, when used properly, essential oils can be part of a well-rounded program to help your pets live happy, healthy lives. Just as it is of key importance to use pure essential oils on yourself and your family, you should use only high-quality, pure essential oils with your pets.

Essential oils have numerous benefits for your pets. They can help with calming emotions, soothing muscles, deodorizing unpleasant aromas, and maintaining overall wellness for your furry family members. As with any new product you introduce to your pet, begin slowly.

• Start small. Start with a small amount of a diffused or diluted essential oil, and then observe your pet’s behavior.

• Diffuse. Keep your diffusers in a safe place where your pet can’t knock them over. When you’re diffusing, be sure to use a water-based diffuser and only diffuse four to five drops at a time in an open area, where your pet can leave the room if desired.

• Dilute. Before using oils topically on your pets, first, consult with your veterinarian. Always dilute essential oils down to 1–2 percent (100 drops of carrier oil for every one drop of essential oil) before topical application. Dilute even more for animals under 10 pounds.

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.


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 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 AromaTouch.

* Instead of Cassia, use 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 before application (100 drops of carrier oil for every one drop of essential oil). 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®


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This information is not presented by a medical practitioner and is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualied healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read.

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