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Is It Safe to Diffuse Essential Oils Around Pets?

Is It Safe to Diffuse Essential Oils Around Pets?

As EO users, essential oil safety is incredibly important especially when it comes to pets.  We’ve discussedsafe essential oil use with pets in the past but want to address EO safety more specifically when it comes todiffusion.

With a sense of smell10,000 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 EO in your Ultrasonic Diffuser is like diffusing 100,000 drops of EO or more to your pets.

Does this mean you should stop diffusing around pets altogether? Some animals,such as cats, cannot metabolize essential oils the same way humans and other animals do, whereas animals such aslivestock anddogs can benefit from safe diffusion. To help guide you into a safer aromatherapy experience for your animals, we’ve listed some essential safety tips below:  

Do not diffuse essential oils around:

  • Cats
  • Fish/amphibians
  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Pregnant/nursing animals

Diffuse with caution around:

  • Small animals & dogs
  • Young animals
  • Rodents/small mammals

Safe diffusion tips for animals:

  • Keep your diffuser out of reach of animals
  • Diffuse in a well-ventilated area
  • Ensure your animals have the ability to remove themselves from the area of diffusion (leave doors opened)
  • If an adverse reaction occurs, discontinue use and seek medical attention from a veterinarian
  • Diffuse for 10-15 minutes intermittently

This article was inspired by Kelly Holland Azzaro’s years of research in the field of animal aromatherapy. To learn more about animal aromatherapy, please visit herwebsite or Facebook page,Animal Aromatherapy (Safe Use).


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14 Responses

Edens Garden

November 19, 2019

Hi Grace! There are two animal aromatherapists in the industry who offer great information on safely using essential oils with animals, and they have Facebook groups which offer a wealth of info. You can find them here below -

Melissa Shelton: https://www.facebook.com/groups/animalEO/
Kelly Holland Azzaro: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1595932084001505/

Grace Hyatt

November 19, 2019

please give me a list of oils that are safe to use around my two dogs.

Edens Garden

November 18, 2019

Hi Patricia! We do not recommend using essential oils on cats unless working with your cat’s vet and an animal aromatherapist.

Patricia Pettit

November 18, 2019

I know flees hate the smell of citris, con you use these oils directly on cats !!


March 14, 2019

Each pet owner should cross check any information like this that they read. There is an Essential Oils Vet whose initials are J.R., and she and others like her can be found on popular social media sites. She is a wealth of information on EOs and their use around pets, including diffusing around cats and other small animals. She is an actual DVM. Just an FYI for anyone who wants other info. I follow her and watch her weekly podcasts, but only buy from EG.

Edens Garden

February 01, 2019

Hi Nancy! This article linked to in our blog post contains information on oils that should generally be used with caution or should not be used at all with animals: https://www.animalaromatherapy.com/educate-empower/safety/diffusing/

However, there is no exhaustive, accepted list of essential oils that can/ can’t be used around different types of pets.

Edens Garden

February 01, 2019

Hi Judy & Audrey! Kelly Holland Azzaro states that if you own cats, “Aromatherapy jewelry, personal inhalers, scent strips and topical application are some of the ways to incorporate the use of scent into your life.”

Edens Garden

February 01, 2019

Hi Amy! Using essential oils in a highly diluted spray is less likely to negatively affect cats.

Audrey Friesen

February 01, 2019

I have cats. How can I safely use essential oils around them?


February 01, 2019

So if I use oils topically and can still smell the oils, does that mean my cat can’t come near me? What symptoms would I see my cat exhibit if my cat is being affected?


February 01, 2019

What about spraying in the house a solution of 7 drops of essential oil in a cup of water. Is that also problematic for cats?

Tracy Cardinale

February 01, 2019

My cat is the reason that I have started using pocket inhalers instead of diffusing most of the time.

Cindie McElwee

February 01, 2019

I’m so disappointed to find this out. I diffuse oil all the time but feel like I can’t now as I have multiple cats and a dog.


February 01, 2019

Is there a list anywhere of which oils are to be avoided around which animals? For example: Which oils to not use if you have pet rats?