Pet Safety: Using Essential Oils Safely with Dogs and Cats

With the renewed interest in essential oils over the last few years it is no surprise that pet owners are curious to see if the oils that have helped them so much can also help their furry friends. The short answer is yes they can. Some are rightly concerned that their beloved pets may become sick from contact with essential oils. I love animals and would have the same concerns if I was introducing an unfamiliar product to my dog. Safety is of course key. There are SAFE OILS and their are oils that can be toxic. Using Essential Oils with your pets can help them (and you) live happier and healthier lives. Knowledge is power, and this guide along with the sources should empower you to use essential oils safety with your pets. Please be sure to check with your vet prior to using Essential Oils with your pet if you are unsure of ANYTHING. I will keep this post short and simple, save it as a reference to check before your next Essential Oil order.

Using Essential Oils with Dogs and Cats

  • Dilute Dilute Dilute; This is VERY important for dogs and other small animals.
  • When introducing a new oil to your pet be sure to heavily dilute the oil with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil, almond oil or Olive Oil. Place a drop of the EO in your hand along with a carrier oil and let your pet smell it.
  • Each animal is different like us, they may be more or less sensitive to an oil. They may also prefer one oil over another, slowly test different oils to see what they like the best.
  • Know your pets health status
  • Do NOT use oils on or near eyes, ears, nose, or genitals of your pet.
  • When using a diffuser leave doors open to allow your pet to roam freely.
  • Use caution with Animals that are Pregnant, Nursing and on Certain Medications.
  • Do not apply oils topically if your pet is using a topical medication or dermal patch including flea treatments.
  • Only use Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils like doTERRA.
  • Observe your pets behavior after using Essential Oils.
  • “In the event of an adverse reaction, dilute with a carrier oil – skin irritation is the most common, and most reactions resolve within 24–48 hours after oil exposure. Discontinue use of an oil if your pet shows signs of distress, drooling, squinting, rubbing their face, vocalization, shaking, vomiting, or diarrhea.”, Essential Oil Vet.

Oils to Avoid with Dogs

Oils to avoid topically and internally with dogs: Birch, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Eucaluptus, Grapefruit, Lemongrass, Pine Oils, Peppermint, Penny Royal and Wintergreen.

Use caution with hot oils such as; Oregano, Cassia, Cinnamon, Clove, Rosemary, and Thyme.

Oils to Avoid with Cats

Oils to avoid topically and internally with cats: Basil, Bergamot, Grapefruit, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Orange, Tangerine, Birch, Cinnamon, Clove, Dill, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Geranium, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Oregano, Peppermint, Thyme, Rosemary, Spearmint, Lavender and Wintergreen.


It is always recommended to consult with a vet prior to using Essential Oils with your pets.


How to Use Essential Oils for Dogs and Other Small Pets

Essential Oil Vet Dr. Roark

Pet Poison Helpline

CBS Safety Recommendations