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Essential Oils

Safe Essential Oils for Pets

Your pets are an integral part of your family. If you're using essential oils for your own personal health, it's only natural to want to use them to help keep your pets healthy as well. However, it's also vital to understand that each individual pet is different. So you'll want to understand which essential oils are safe to use around which pets and how to protect your pet's health when you're using essential oils that may not be safe for your pet.


There are many essential oils that you should never use around cats. Cats have a very sensitive liver system that can't detoxify essential oils such as cinnamon, thyme, tea tree, birch, clove, wintergreen, and oregano essential oils. 1


Just as with cats, there are many essential oils that you should never use around your dogs, including clove, garlic, juniper, horseradish, wintergreen, thyme, and yarrow essential oils. There are a variety of reactions that dogs can have from these particular essential oils, including allergies, skin issues, and more. 2

Safe Essential Oils

There are many great essential oils for your pets, however. They offer up a variety of health benefits and you can use them for yourself or for your pets without fear of health issues. Below is a list of some essential oils that you can use for yourself or for your pets.

peppermint oil on wooden background Peppermint Essential Oil

Many people use peppermint oil for a variety of reasons. Peppermint oil works well on your pets—especially on dogs and cats—as a flea repellent. According to Dr. Janet Roark, owner and veterinarian at Hill Country Mobile Veterinary Service in Austin, Texas, peppermint oil will also work well to soothe sore muscles and cool them down. 3

Peppermint oil also freshens the pet's breath when used internally. It helps open and soothe the airways and promotes a healthier respiratory tract. According to Dr. Roark, peppermint oil works best when used topically on pets.

According to The American Kennel Club, peppermint oil works well in shampoos to help freshen the pet's coat and repel fleas. 4

Lavender Essential Oil

Humans and pets alike enjoy the aroma of lavender oil. It soothes a stressed pet and works well, and it has an uncanny ability to work well on anxiety for pets and humans alike.

If your pet is stressed about a vet visit, try some aromatherapy with lavender oil. It can calm a pet that doesn't like car rides and helps reduce over-excitement. Internal use of lavender essential oil for pets is discouraged, but topical or aromatic use has demonstrated benefits. 5

chamomile oil on wooden background Chamomile Essential Oil

Pets and humans alike enjoy chamomile. It works well on skin conditions when combined with a good carrier oil. It is soothing and calming for stress and can be diffused in a room to help relax a pet that has had surgery or is otherwise overly-excitable. 6

Frankincense Essential Oil

This essential oil has strong antimicrobial abilities, and it's ideal for germ-fighting. Frankincense also has excellent stress-relieving effects, so it has the potential to work well on a pet that may be suffering from separation anxiety. 7

cedarwood essential oil Cedarwood Essential Oil

According to the magazine Dogs Naturally, cedarwood oil is an ideal all-natural pest repellent. 8 It also works well as an expectorant for such conditions like kennel cough and relieves ease aches and pains.


When you're selecting an essential oil for your pet, make sure that you're selecting a high-grade essential oil. Also, make sure that you're using less than you would for yourself. Take as much care selecting essential oils for your pets as you do when you choose essential oils for yourself.

Photo credits: AmyLv/, kazmulka/,

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