Essential Oils for Dogs

essential oils on dogs

Are essential oils safe to use with your pet? If you look through the internet you’ll find some heated debates and confusing information. 

In this post, I’ll talk about how we can use essential oils successfully with dogs. To use essential oils safely with pets you’ll need to:

  1. Choose an oil generally regarded as safe for dogs.
  2. Introduce that oil to your pet. 
  3. Take it slow when trying recipes with your dog. 

I’ll also be sharing some recipes you can use with your dog. 

1. Choose an oil generally considered safe for your pet.

Each pet is different and it can be hard to predict how a pet will react to an essential oil. Before using essential oils with your pet, talk to your veterinarian. They’ll be able to talk you through whether or not you should use essential oils with your pet, whether that means simply diffusing oils or applying them topically. 

Your veterinarian will have the best advice for you to follow. While we have experience using essential oils with pets, we are not vets and essential oils should not take the place of the advice, treatment, or medication given by your vet.

After you get the okay from your vet, start with an oil that’s generally safe for your dog. Here’s a list of oils generally considered safe for pets. I’ve added some uses to my favorite dog friendly oils as well. 

  • Amyris – Stress Relief, Skincare
  • Angelica Root
  • Balsam Fir 
  • Basil – calms, nausea
  • Bergamont
  • Black Pepper 
  • Blood Orange – soothes anxiety
  • Cajeput
  • Cardamom – helps digestion
  • Cedarwood
  • Chamomile
  • Citronella – insect repellant 
  • Clary Sage – pain relief
  • Coffee
  • Copaiba
  • Coriander
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit – soothes anxiety
  • Ho Wood
  • Helichrysum – skin healing
  • Jasmine
  • Juniper Berry – insect repellent, deodorizes
  • Lavender – calming, pain relief
  • Lemon – uplifting
  • Lemon Eucalyptus
  • Lemon Myrtle
  • Lemongrass – pain relief, soothes anxiety
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Marjoram
  • Melissa
  • Myrrh
  • Neroli
  • Orange
  • Palmarosa
  • Patchouli
  • Peru Balsam
  • Ravensara
  • Sandalwood
  • Tangerine
  • Vetiver – soothes anxiety, skin health, aides sleep

While these oils are generally safe to use, some oils can be dangerous for your pet. Some oils to be especially careful of include Tea Tree, Birch, and Wintergreen. With this in mind, make sure you store your oils out of reach from your pet. Doing so prevents your pet from ingesting any oils, which can cause serious reactions or death. Negative reactions include difficulty breathing, tremors, or vomiting. If this occurs, take your pet outside for some fresh air. If symptoms are serious or don’t subside immediately, take your pet to the vet.

2. Introduce The Oil to Your Pet

Once you’ve chosen an oil generally considered safe, introduce it to your pet. With the cap on, let your dog smell the oil. Do they seem interested or lick their nose? Those are good signs that your pet is okay with the oil. If they avoid the oil, avoid using it as it will likely cause your pet distress. 

3. Take It Slow Trying Recipes with Your Pet

Once the oil has been approved by your dog, take it slow. Start by trying the oil in the diffuser with 1-2 drops. Whenever you are using oils, make sure to leave the door open. This will allow your pet to escape the room if the oil bothers them. 

If your pet leaves the room when you’re using a particular oil, that’s another sign that the oil is not a good fit for them. 

Once your pet has shown they are comfortable with a particular oil. You can try it topically. Only use an oil topically if you are using it for a particular purpose, like soothing itchy skin or preventing insect bites.

Here are some tips for using essential oils topically with your pet. 

  • If your pet is over 20 pounds, you can use a 0.5% dilution rate or less.
  • If your pet is smaller than 20 pounds, use a 0.25% dilution rate or less. You can also choose to use a hydrosol (or create your own DIY Hydrosol) as a safer option for a smaller pet. 
  • Avoid applying an oil before your pet enters a confined space, such as a cage or kennel as the aroma could become overwhelming for your pet. 

Ways to Use Essential Oils with Your Pet

Here are a few recipes that you can use to care for and pamper your pet.

  • Mosquito & Tick CollarMake this color before an adventure in the woods to help protect your pet from ticks and mosquitoes. 
  • Pet Paw Balm: Help soothe irritated paws with this toxin-free balm. 
  • Pet Odor Eliminator Spray: Use this spray to help fight pet odors. 
  • Soothe Anxiety: Does your pup get anxious when you leave? Soothe anxiety with this diffuser blend. Just make sure your pet can leave the room if they don’t enjoy the aroma. 

How do you use essential oils with your furry friend?

Tell us in the comments below!