Which Essential Oils Are Safe or Toxic for Pets?


Essential oils are extremely popular right now — for people and for pets. But did you know that some are dangerous to animals? That’s right: Your favorite holistic remedies might be toxic for your dog or cat. We’ve put together this guide on essential oils and animals so you can keep your four-legged friends happy and healthy! Let’s take a closer look at which essential oils are safe or toxic for your pets.

Aromatherapy works really well for dogs, just like humans. If your pup is stressed, diffuse some lavender in the air. There are so many benefits to aromatherapy and it can be used for a multitude of reasons. You can either get a diffuser or just have your dog smell the essential oil straight from the bottle or place on your hands and have your dog smell your hands.  

What Essential Oils are best for your dog? 

Lavender: Diffusing lavender has a calming effect on the central nervous system, and dogs experiencing separation anxiety may benefit from it. May help allergies, burns, ulcers, insomnia, car ride anxiety and car sickness, to name a few.

Peppermint: Use of peppermint as an anti-inflammatory, anti-septic, and analgesic.

Sweet Orange: Sweet Orange is deodorizing and deters bugs.

Vetiver: The Whole Dog Journal suggests that Vetiver may reduce stress by calming dogs afraid of loud noises.


Ask your veterinarian about using essential oils if your furry friend is under 10 weeks old or has a pre-existing medical condition. If you also own a bird, fish, or cat, be aware that these animals may have adverse reactions to oils (either immediately or over time).

Stop the use of essential oils if you notice your dog has an adverse reaction. 

If you can’t reach your vet or their office is closed, bring your cat or dog to an animal emergency medical center. The sooner the better. Acting fast will improve your pet’s prognosis!

Be sure to also follow these tips for essential oils and animals:

  1. If the oil is on your pet’s fur or skin, wash it off immediately.
  2. Don’t give your pet any treatments without a vet’s approval.
  3. Take the oil with you to the vet so they know what they’re dealing with.

For further information on using oils correctly and safely, read Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals by Kristen Leigh Bell.



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