If you are a lover of essential oils and a lover of animals, you might be wondering “Are essential oils safe for pets?”
This post will tell you which animals should and shouldn’t be exposed to essential oils and how to properly use them to benefit your pet!
Are Essential Oils Safe For Pets?
Lately I’ve been talking a lot about essential oils for use around the home.
I wrote about the 11 best essential oils to naturally clean your home with.
Then I wrote about the 15 essential oils to use in your laundry.
And I wrote about the 5 essential oils to purify the air in your home.
In these posts I talk about how the essential oils not only clean our homes, but the different ways that these oils can benefit us physically and emotionally as well!
But what about our pets?
Is using essential oils to clean our homes safe for our pets?
Will diffusing essential oils hurt my pet?
Essential Oils For Pets
Overall, essential oils are safe for pets.
However, there are some guidelines to follow and certain pets that should not use essential oils! Or, certain pets that should use essential oils sparingly.
The main rule to remember when using essential oils on or around pets is:
LESS IS MORE!
Animals in general are much more sensitive to oils than we as humans are.
Most pets have a much stronger sense of smell than we do.
Pets are 10,000 times more sensitive to essential oils than humans!
So, less is more!
If you use too much oil on an animal it is likely to go into a major detox.
I don’t say this to scare you, after all, I use essential oils with animals all the time!
But always keep in mind to start with a low dose. You can alway increase the amount of oil if you need more, but you can’t take it back!
Which essential oil brand should I use?
Something very important to consider when using essential oils for pets is purity.
There are many brands of essential oils to choose from, and sadly many brands contain substances that would be harmful to our pets.
You can read about the brand that I recommend here on my Essential Oil Recommendation Page.
And you can find out the 15 Best Essential Oils For Pets here!
Let’s talk about specific pets and essential oil safety.
Essential Oils For Dogs
Essential oils are safe for dogs.
However, as I mentioned above, they need to be diluted.
You can safely use 1 drop of oil for every 100 pounds of the animals weight. For example, for a 10 pound dog add 1 drop of oil to 10 drops of carrier oil, mix well, and then use 1 drop of that mixture on the dog.
If that seems too complicated, a general, safe, rule of thumb for dogs is to add 3-5 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil or pet product.
I wouldn’t use oils on your dogs every day. Use them for a few days and then take a few days off.
Now, what about diffusing around dogs?
Dogs will usually walk away from a scent once they have received enough.
However, after 10-15 minutes of being exposed to diffusing essential oils I would recommend either turning it off for 2-3 hours or moving the dog to a different room where it isn’t exposed to the smell.
Read about the best essential oils to use for your dog here!
Essential Oils For Cats
Cats are more tricky than dogs!
They are way more sensitive to oils than dogs due to the fact that they do not metabolize oils in the same way.
Their bodies can not metabolize or excrete oils as fast as other animals, which can lead to toxicity if exposed to too much essential oil.
Do Not diffuse for long periods of time around your cat or your cat’s litter box.
When applying essential oils to cats, be sure to dilute! Start with a couple drops per oz. of oil and judge your cats response.
Also, I would recommend waiting 72 hours between applications and avoid long-term use.
With cats, oils really should only be used when absolutely necessary.
I recommend running your diffuser in a room that the cat is not in and waiting until the smell dissipates before letting your cat enter the room.
Essential Oils For Birds & Fish
Birds and fish are also very sensitive to oils and caution needs to be taken to ensure their safety.
Before using essential oils in a room where birds or fish are be sure to cover cages and tanks to avoid essential oil exposure.
Now, while I wouldn’t recommend using oils with pet birds, there is a type of bird that I use oils for!
Essential Oil For Chickens
Chickens are the birds that I use essential oils for!
I use essential oils for my chickens to kill worms and parasites.
You can read in detail how to do that in my post How To Kill Parasites In Chickens Using Essential Oils.
Essential Oils For Livestock
Like chickens, I use essential oils for larger livestock as well.
I use essential oils to worm my goats (I will be posting about this soon as well:).
They can also be used for other common problems such as wounds, mastitis in dairy animals, fungal issues, colds etc.
Livestock have a similar sensitivity to oils as dogs. Due to the large size of most livestock you can use more than you would for most dogs however.
For horses, pigs, goats, sheep etc. follow the ratio for dogs.
Dilute oils for animals under 100 pounds, and still use with caution.
I hope this post gives you confidence to use essential oils for your home, your family and your pets!
If you use oils properly around your pets then you have nothing to worry about and both you and your pets will greatly benefit from the use of essential oils!
Do you use essential oils for your pets? Please share your experiences below!
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only. I do not prescribe, diagnose or treat any medical conditions. Please consult your health care provider before implementing any of the information provided on this site.
The information provided on this site is completely my own opinion and does not reflect the opinions or beliefs of any other entity.
Any statements or claims regarding health benefits of foods, supplements or essential oils listed on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.