Animals And Aromatherapy: How To Safely Use Essential Oils Around Pets

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 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.


These comments were contributed by customers without influence from Edens Garden. The opinions expressed in these comments are 100% the authors' own and do not reflect the views or opinions of Edens Garden.

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Andrea! We believe it’s safe to not diffuse when animals are in the room.

  • Andrea says...

    Per this article, are you suggesting that essential oils are not to be diffused in a house with a dog and a cat? I do not apply them topically or orally to our animals. I mainly diffuse Fighting Fives, Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Lemon essential oils.
    Thank you.

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Kelly! Yes, this is a very overlooked issue in the aromatherapy community. There are ways to still benefit from the use of essential oils with pets in the house, such as inhaling essential oils through a personal pocket inhaler, using them topically on yourself and diffusing in rooms your pets are not present.

  • Edens Garden says...

    Hi Michelle! We don’t recommend diffusing around these animals.

  • kelly walker says...

    hello, i have been seeing posts about not using essential oil in diffuser, around my pets. i have been doing so for awhile, is this truely an issue if so what good if i have pets to use oils?

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