Which Essential Oils Are Safe for Dogs?

by Bella Martinez March 24, 2021

Hand holding essential oil next to a dog

We at EG, are receiving more questions than ever about which essential oils are safe for pets. Keeping our families safe (pets included) while integrating healing essential oils into our lives is something we all strive for. So we decided to compile a list of some of the best essential oils for dogs, so you can know exactly which oils can help your pups live their best lives. 

To ensure your pet’s safety, be sure to check with your dog’s vet or a holistic veterinarian before using essential oils.

Essential Oils To Avoid With Dogs

Animals, including dogs, metabolize essential oils differently than humans. Certain essential oils are not safe for use around dogs, because they’ve been shown to produce negative side effects. These essential oils include, but are not limited to:

  • Birch Oil

  • Cajeput Oil

  • Camphor Oil

  • Cassia Oil

  • Celery Seed Oil

  • Cinnamon Oil (All)

  • Citronella Oil

  • Clove Bud Oil

  • Eucalyptus Oil (All)

  • Fir Needle Oil

  • Juniper Berry Oil

  • Nerolina Oil

  • Niaouli Oil

  • Oregano Oil

  • Peppermint Oil

  • Pine Oil

  • Rosalina Oil

  • Rosemary Oil (All)

  • Sage Oil

  • Spearmint Oil

  • Spike Lavender Oil

  • Spruce Oil

  • Tea Tree Oil

  • Thyme Oil (All)

  • Wintergreen Oil

Safety Considerations

From the outside, it’s clear that animals and humans have different exteriors. But as it turns out, our insides aren’t quite similar either. As previously mentioned, dogs have unique physiology, and cannot metabolize most essential oils like we can and it’s why we must be careful with how we use essential oils around dogs. 

And just as essential oil blends for humans aren’t always one-size-fits-all, essential oil blends for dogs should often be tailored to their individual needs and concerns. For example, if you find a blend for dogs online, does it specify what size dog the blend was made for? Or perhaps, offers adjustments to the blend based on your dog’s weight? If not, how are you to know if the blend will benefit both a Great Dane and a Chihuahua? 

Therefore, when choosing which oils to use with your pup, keep the following in mind.

Your dog’s:

  • Age

  • Size

  • Medical history

  • Allergies

  • Needs

Safe Essential Oils For Dogs

Fear not! There are still so many essential oils that can be enjoyed around your dog, including:

Essential Oils Your Dog Will Love

We all need a little more goodness in our lives–pups included. Here are some of our favorite essential oils we use to help soothe these common, doggone problems. 


If you could only own two dog-friendly oils, they should be Lavender and Copaiba. Highly regarded in Veterinary Aromatic Medicine for its ability to ease joint discomfort and reduce inflammation, Copaiba is a great topical oil for your pup. A 3-5% dilution is recommended for achy joints. 

Copaiba essential oil has a subtle, pleasant aroma for sensitive dogs. It’s also a skin-loving oil and can be used added to a salve of soy wax and a carrier oil for cuts and wounds, or diluted and added to their bath to help resolve dry or stinky skin. 


Clary Sage

Cooling and herbal, Clary Sage can be paired with Geranium and applied topically for relief on hot days. This oil is immensely calming and sedative, much like Lavender. It’s pleasant, herbal aroma is enjoyed by humans and pooches alike. Dilute Clary Sage to .5%, transfer to a spray bottle and apply to your dog’s fur. 



Floral and sweet, Geranium is antifungal and cooling. A good oil for topical application when the temperatures are skyrocketing. Anecdotally, it’s also said to deter ticks. Dilute Geranium to .5% in Neem oil, transfer to a spray bottle and apply to your dog’s coat. 



Just as Lavender essential oil has a gamut of purposes for humans, this all-purpose oil is great for dogs too. Calming, sedative, anti-itch and wound healing, diluted Lavender oil should be in everyone’s arsenal – dog owner or not. 



Have an anxious or skittish dog? Then choose Rose. Calming and skin-soothing, Rose is a treat to the senses (both yours and your dog’s). Try applying a diluted drop to your dog’s collar. 


Sweet Orange

Citrusy and uplifting, Sweet Orange is a good choice when your dog is in the care of others and possibly missing you. Sweet Orange is also emotionally supportive when your dog is down in the dumps or fearful.

How To Use Essential Oils With Dogs

After choosing oils to use around your four-legged friend, follow these safety tips to ensure the wellbeing of everyone in your home. 

The most important thing we want to stress is that your pets do not have a voice and cannot tell you when something is hurting them. 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.

With that said, here are some of our top dog-safe essential oil tips. 

  1. Don’t use essential oils on or around puppies under 6 months old.

  2. Don’t use essential oils on or around small dogs, such as Chihuahuas, Boston Terriers and Dachshunds, frequently.

  3. Don’t use essential oils on or around pregnant or nursing dogs.

  4. Start with low dilutions when topically applying oils that are new-to-your-dog, such as 1 drop in 30 ml of coconut oil should do the trick.

  5. Don’t apply essential oils to sensitive areas such as the nose, mouth, snout, ears, privates, etc. 

  6. Don’t use essential oils undiluted.

  7. Don’t administer essential oils via oral route.

And with a sense of smell 10,000 to 100,000 times more acute than human’s, animals are more affected by essential oil diffusion than one might think. What this means is that diffusing 10-15 drops of essential oil in your Ultrasonic Diffusers is like diffusing 100,000 drops of essential oil or more to your pets.

When diffusing around your dog, follow these guidelines:

  1. Keep your oil diffuser out of your dog’s reach.

  2. Diffuse in a well-ventilated area.

  3. Ensure your dog has the ability to remove itself from the area of diffusion (leave doors opened).

  4. If an adverse reaction occurs, discontinue use and seek medical attention from a veterinarian.

  5. Diffuse for 10-15 minutes intermittently.

  6. Opt for a passive diffuser, such as the Reed Diffuser.

When In Doubt

You can still enjoy aromatherapy to the fullest if you’re feeling iffy about using essential oils around your pup. Apply your essential oils topically, diffuse in an area your dog isn’t present, or reach for a personal pocket inhaler filled with your favorite blend. Use these aromatherapy techniques and you’ll soon find you can have the best of both worlds. 


  1. Holland Azzaro, Kelly Holland Azzaro. “Animal Aromatherapy Essential Oil Safety.” Essential Oil Safety, 2016, pp. 1–11, cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0380/8537/files/Animal_Aromatherapy_Safety_Update_2016.pdf?v=1613539044.

  2. Shelton, Melissa Dvm. “Copaiba — Essential Oil for Canine Joint Discomfort.” Animal Wellness Magazine, 7 Sept. 2018, animalwellnessmagazine.com/copaiba-essential-oil-canine-joint-discomfort.  

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Edens Garden

February 20, 2024 at 10:27 am

Hi Peggie! We would suggest Sniffles & Sneezes and Healthy Hero. Both blends are pet-safe and help with respiratory and immunity.

Peggie Cathie

February 20, 2024 at 10:25 am

Thank you for all the info. What I would like to know is what I could use 3 to 4 drops in my diffuser at my bed side that would help my immune system & respiratory relief? And I would use the diffuser in my bedroom and the door to the outside is always available to them and I always leave the people door cracked a few inches. I only diffuse than 30 minutes at night.
Thank you for your time

Kelly Fuselier Thompson

January 27, 2023 at 3:56 pm

This was helpful but so strange to see in other places that citrus oil is a No no around pets since they can lick there fur after it being diffused in the air.

Edens Garden

July 26, 2022 at 2:36 pm

Hi Bill! This article was inspired by research from the animal aromatherapists cited under “Sources.” We do not have any animal aromatherapists in-house at this time, though we hope to in the future! For further animal aromatherapy assistance, we recommend joining the Animal Aromatherapy (Safe Use) or animalEO Facebook groups. Both are run by respected animal aromatherapists.


July 26, 2022 at 2:25 pm

Hi I would be curious who the consulting veterinarian was on your staff that gave you this information? This will help me make a much better informed decision.

Edens Garden

July 21, 2022 at 8:45 am

Hi Noneen! For specific animal aromatherapy questions, please reach out to us! aaa@edensgarden.com

Noneen Stevens

July 21, 2022 at 8:19 am

What can I use on my greyhound for allergies. He lick he feet and they are a little red or pink.

Marilyn Smith

May 9, 2022 at 9:51 am

I have a 13 year old Rottweiler and she has problems coming back up my back porch stairs and I notice her leg on the rear right shakes a little do you and thing I can give her she’s about 120 pounds with no another medical history


January 26, 2022 at 8:45 am

Thank you for this list! I’ve been trying to figure out which oils are okay to diffuse around my dog.

I’ve heard that Ylang Ylang is NOT good for dogs— it’s usually on the “no” list. Peppermint is hit or miss too— sometimes it’s on the list of okay oils and sometimes it’s not….

Edens Garden

December 13, 2021 at 12:05 pm

Hi Stephanie! Try Jojoba or Argan oil.


December 13, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Are their carrier oils you suggest? Beside coconut. Im thinking if mixing for an elderly dog with dry skin, so probably copiaba and lavender.

Edens Garden

August 16, 2021 at 11:14 am

Hi Karen! We’d be happy to point you to some essential oil resources for your pup. Please contact our aromatherapist to learn more: aaa@edensgarden.com

Karen Schelhorn

August 16, 2021 at 7:43 am

Is there an essential oil I can use on furniture that will keep my 7 month old dog from chewing.

Edens Garden

May 3, 2021 at 2:54 pm

Hi Melanie! You can learn more about using essential oils safely with cats here: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0380/8537/files/Animal_Aromatherapy_Safety_Update_2016.pdf?v=1613539044

Melanie Mitchell

May 3, 2021 at 2:21 pm

What About Cats? Are there any differences between those that can be used for cats vs. dogs?

Edens Garden

April 21, 2021 at 4:27 pm

Hi Serena! I would check with your dog’s vet on this before trying it.

Serena Maughan

April 21, 2021 at 4:13 pm

Great article. I have a dog that has seizures. He is on 2 rx medications and still has 2 seizures a month. I have him take a quick smell of lavender
at night and when he is anxious. I’ve heard about Cbd oil for seizures. Would hemp be ok for him to take a quick sniff of before he sleeps? Most of his seizures happen during the night. Thanks in advance.

Stephanie Correnti

March 24, 2021 at 1:39 pm

I have heard that Copaiba is not safe for dogs. Do you have a reference you could share that says differently? Thanks kindly.

Candis J Lipe

March 24, 2021 at 11:25 am

Great article. Can you write one for cats too?


March 24, 2021 at 11:25 am

I’ve been looking for a comprehensive guide for EOs with dogs! Until now, it’s just been trial and error. For instance, I’ve discovered that diffusing Birch gives my dog severe hay fever/allergies. On the other hand, whenever I diffuse Rose, she comes running into the room, settles down in her favorite nap spot, points her nose at the diffuser, and just snoozes and snoozes.


March 24, 2021 at 8:03 am

I received a link to this article today in an email & the timing could not have been more perfect! We recently adopted an 11 mo GSD (& we have a 7 yo one as well). I’d been thinking about how EO’s could be benefiting or harming them. I printed this out for future reference! Thank you SO very much!


March 24, 2021 at 8:03 am



March 24, 2021 at 8:03 am

So the oils marked unsafe for pups, are they unsafe in all applications? I know topically would be a big no-no, but what about when diffusing? Or can they be diffused in very small amounts?

Amanda Alexander

March 24, 2021 at 8:03 am

That doggie in the photo looks just like my doggie 🥰

Annette Stallings

March 24, 2021 at 8:03 am

Thank you, thank you for compiling this information. So many users don’t realize the detrimental effects diffusing just any oil can have on their pets.