How To Use Essential Oils Safely Around Your Furry Friends

essential oils safe for pets

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If you’re anything like us, you treat your pet like a member of your family. You love them endlessly and appreciate the affection and laughter they bring into your life. You’re also super protective of their health and overall well-being. And in a world filled with chemicals, it seems like you can never been too careful.

There are chemicals in the food we eat, the products we use to clean ourselves and our homes and, sometimes, even in the air we breathe. This environment is why so many people are moving away from commercial products and turning to all-natural products like essential oils. Made of oils pressed from a plethora of helpful plants, essential oils can be incredibly powerful forces of nature. But can you use them safely around your favorite furry friend?

Our pets have very sensitive noses — they can smell 20 times better than humans — so the scents of essential oils may be overwhelming for them. However, they are generally safe for people and most of them are safe for animals. Here’s what you need to know about using essential oils safely around pets.

essential oils safe for pets
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Essential Oils Every Pet Owner Will Love

If your dog gets nervous or anxious when you take him to the vet, groomer or outside for a walk where there are children and other dogs at play, lavender essential oil can be a perfect solution. It quickly and naturally calms down both people and pets, and you can easily use it in a diffuser in your home. If you are going out, dilute it with a carrier oil like argan oil or jojoba oil and apply to your pup topically as needed.

Chamomile is another good choice for anxious, stressed out dogs. It works much the same as lavender except it has a mild sedative property. Chamomile will calm your pets, and it may even help them go to sleep. If your dog is afraid of thunderstorms, both chamomile and lavender will help them.

essential oils safe for pets
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Fleas And Ticks

Fleas and ticks pester our pets at every turn, and you definitely don’t want them coming into your home or making your fluffy friend suffer. The best way to control the problem is to prevent it, which you can do naturally with lavender oil or neem oil. Simply dilute the essential oil with coconut or olive oil, and rub it into their skin and on their fur. (Don’t saturate them with it — just rub it in as you brush them.) You can also mix a few drops of the essential oil into a small spray bottle with four ounces of water. Shake the bottle well and mist your pet’s sleeping area. Spray it around your doors to keep fleas from entering your home as well.

If your pet already has fleas, treat them according to your vet’s instructions. You can also add a few diluted drops of peppermint oil to a carrier oil or water and rub it over the areas your dog is scratching to help their skin heal quicker.

essential oils safe for pets
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Essential Oils To Avoid

There are a few essential oils that irritate dogs. Even the ones that are deemed safe should be tested on a small patch of fur, hair or skin before being used all over. And always dilute oils well before using them on your pet (just as you would for yourself).  

Cats are a different story. They have very sensitive respiratory systems, and they can’t break down the oils as efficiently as dogs can. Birds, rodents and reptiles are affected much like cats. So with these pets, you should:

  • Check with your vet before using a new oil around your pets.
  • Keep the oils in a place that your pet cannot access.
  • Watch them carefully for any signs of respiratory issues when you’re using essential oils in diffusers at home.

Some oils should not be used around your pets at all. Side effects can range from minor skin discomfort to respiratory failure. Because essential oils are absorbed through the nasal passages, even using oils in a diffuser could cause harm to your pets. Avoid using the following oils in your home or around your pets:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Wintergreen
  • Pine
  • Citrus
  • Cinnamon
  • Pennyroyal

Overall, essential oils make life more pleasant and allow us to use more natural remedies to eradicate health problems rather than rely on harmful chemicals. And even your pets can benefit if you follow this advice. So give it a try yourself! Just be sure to buy 100-percent pure oils when you get started, and store them in a cool, dark place in your home to help them last longer.


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