Are essential oils safe to use on our furry friends (i.e. pets)?

Absolutely! Here’s a Quick How-To:

Most animals are more sensitive than humans to essential oils.

  • Start by diluting heavily and use in moderation.
  • Every animal is different, so carefully observe how each animal responds to the oils. Use common sense and good judgment as you try different methods.
  • Take special care to not get essential oils in an animal’s eyes.
  • Avoid using high-phenol oils such as Oregano and Thyme with any animals, especially cats and dogs as well as Melaleuca or Tea Tree. Other oils to avoid would be Birch and Wintergreen (metabolises as salicylic acid).
  • Use special caution when using essential oils with cats. Cats are also generally averse to citrus essential oils.
  • Discontinue use immediately if animal becomes distressed, drools, pants or whines.

Your animal’s size affects the amount of oil you should use.

  • For smaller animals like cats and small dogs, use 3–5 drops. Be sure to dilute prior to application at a ratio of 1:1 (so 1 tablespoon of carrier oil for every 1 drop of oil)
  • For larger animals, like large dogs, start with 3–5 drops and dilution ratio of 2:1
  • For very large animals, like horses and cattle, start with 10 drops.

Apply oils to yourself or diffuse to introduce animals to essential oils and help them get comfortable. 

  • Wear oils around your animals, diffuse in their space, or apply to your hands and let the animal smell them.
  • If your animal is jittery or resistant to essential oils, try applying an oil to yourself and staying near the animal for several minutes so it can get used to the aroma.

Once they’re used to essential oils, animals can respond well to topical application.

  • For cats and dogs, paws are a great place to apply essential oils.
  • For hoofed animals, best place would be on the spine or flanks.
  • Try rubbing oils onto your own hands and then stroking the animal’s fur.
  • For large or hard-to-reach areas, combine essential oils with a carrier oil or water in a spray bottle for easier application.
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