Animals and Aromatherapy

August 01, 2016

Animals and Aromatherapy - is it safe?

Our favorite friends to give gifts to are often times our furry friends! Whether it’s a treat, toy, or just walking through the front door, our pets are always generous receivers. And while we may love sharing the goodness of essential oils with all of those who cross our path, your four legged friends will thank you for resisting to share essential oils with them.

Here’s why

Essential oils have become a staple in natural remedies, and while we always want what’s best for our pets, essential oils may actually do more harm than good. For example, it’s not hard to tell from the outside that animals are different than humans. But just as all people have different medical histories, allergies, health needs, etc., animals do as well, and what works for one animal, may not work for another. They have a very unique physiology, and cannot metabolize most essential oils like we can. It is for this reason that the use of essential oils around pets can cause severe health damage if used incorrectly. If you have pets in your home, we suggest speaking with a holistic veterinarian before using essential oils on or around them.

We see so many blog posts and articles online ranging from cures for ticks to bladder problems for pets that have to do with essential oils and natural remedies, but we rarely see these articles being backed by scientific studies or animal aromatherapists. While they may not necessarily be wrong, they could be wrong for your animals. An example would be using the same EO recipe on a small Boston Terrier and a large Great Dane. Which is why, if you are considering using any oils on your pets we again, strongly suggest working with a holistic veterinarian.

The most important thing we want to stress is that your pets do not have a voice, and cannot tell you when something is not working. A major sign to watch out for would be behavioral differences, such as whining, scratching, or acting loopy. These types of signs are a red flag, and a prime reason to stop using EOs around them.

Exploring safety further

But not all hope is lost when it comes to using essential oils to help your beloved pals. With proper use, and under the supervision of a certified animal aromatherapist, essential oils can be beneficial to animals. For more information on animal aromatherapy, we recommend picking a copy of Kristen Leigh Bell’s book ‘Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals.’

Finally, here are some guidelines on using EOs on pets...

Do not use essential oils with the following:

Cats/Felines (due to their highly sensitive metabolic systems, cats and essential oils do not mix) Fish and reptiles (due to their pH levels and aquatic environments) Birds (due to their respiratory and metabolic systems)

Pet rodents and small mammals (gerbils, hamsters, rabbits, rats etc.) (There is not enough research on this topic, other than actual animal-testing and research results gained for knowledge use with humans). (1)

  1. Azzaro, Kelly Holland. Animal Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Safety. N.p.: Ashi Aromatics Inc, 2013. PDF.


  • Sherrill says...

    I had a very sick bird who was constantly picking and biting his feathers. We took him to a avian vet who did bloodwork and skin/feather biopsy. He couldn’t find the problem. In desperation I found a book called aromatherapy for birds. In it it explains how in the wild these birds would be naturally taking in essential oils through their feet when perching on branches or biting bark or leaves. When they are kept inside they don’t have access to them and can cause problems with there physical and mental health. She had a recipe for a no bite spray that I started using on him every week at his bath time. Honestly it saved him. He is now the happy little guy we once had, his skin and feathers are almost back to normal. She does stress in her book to use only 100% natural theripudic grade oils with no additives, and to delute with distilled water. She used Yl oils but I find your oils are the same grade and are much more affordable. Their is even a room spray you can make for your rooms with essential oils diluted with distilled water or in a defused that help your birds just be happier and content. I did a lot of research on using essential oils with birds, and their are some that are not recommended to use and can cause harm. I have two green cheek conures, two cockatiels, canaries, and a Senegal parrot who have been used to having their large room defused with essential oils two to three times a week, sometimes they will even stand or fly through the cool mist, so they must like it. I do agree that you need to research which oils are best to use around birds and never to use undiluted, also test a small area to see if you notice any negative effects and remove imiately. Only use the best theripudic grade oils with no additives, I use your single oils not the synergy ones, and mix them as called for with lots of distilled water. It has really helped my flock stay happy and healthy.

    On September 27, 2016

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Sally! You can search for animal aromatherapists here:

    Many aromatherapists will consult online, and sometimes for free, if you’re unable to find a local specialist.

    On September 06, 2016

  • Sally says...

    My cats sleep in my room with me and I use a diffuser in my room every night and there has never been a problem. I guess I am not sure why there are multiple sites that give recipes for making flea and tick treatments for cats if they can’t be used? Where would I find a veterinarian to contact about this? I live out in the country and can’t even find an aromatherapist less then 8 hour away let alone a veterinarian. Would love to be able to get more information about this.

    On September 05, 2016

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Jamie! We don’t recommend the use of essential oils on/ around cats. If you’re diffusing essential oils in the home, ensure cats are not in the same room.

    On August 15, 2016

  • Jamie says...

    Is it safe for me to use eo’s at all around cats? I never use them on the cats or diffuse, I’ve only applied the oils on myself, but does the smell linger long enough to be harmful to cats?

    On August 13, 2016

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