Essential Oils For Pets

Therapeutic essential oils can be beneficial to humans and their pets.   Essential oils offer a holistic approach to pet care

More and more vets are using Therapeutic, food grade essential oils  as part of holistic pet care.  

Animals are smaller than humans and more sensitive to chemicals simply due to their size so many pet lovers are cleaning up their home environments and opting for gentler options in well pet care.  

The result is a home that is a haven for you and your pet.  Owners want the best for their pets.  Many pets benefit from essential oils just like people do.   Here are some resources  for you and your friends with pets:

Animal Scent Newsletter        Sample newsletter from Nancy Weber RN  

Protocol-dog bone cancer    Sample protocol from Dr. Gerald Buchoff, DVM & Nancy Weber RN, CCA, CRTI

Animal Essential Oil Desk Reference written  by vet Dr. Melissa Shelton is packed with hundreds of pages of information on taking care of your pets in a holistic way with essential oils. This brand new resource was just published June 2012!

Many of the essential oils can be used safely with most pets, consult an Essential Oil Desk Reference for dilution ratios.  I’ve used oils on my parents miniature cocker spaniels.  “Nellie”  & “Cassie” had come down with a bug and the Vet prescribed anti-biotics to treat them for urinary tract infections.  After a day on meds, they showed no sign of improvement.  I took 1 drop of lavender oil in a teaspoon of olive oil and applied this to the pads of Nellie’s feet first.  She fell asleep on my lap for an hour and woke with more energy.  I reapplied the oils 2 more times and this seemed to be enough to get her body moving in the right direction.

Pet’s, like humans, are sensitive to toxins and chemicals – even more so because of their small size.  Read about identifying toxins in your home that might be causing harm to your little friends.  There are books and websites devoted to using essential oils just for pets, check the resources page for more information.

Essential oils offer many of the same benefits to pets as they do to people.  

  • Support the immune system 
  • Bring balance to the mind and body
  • Help heal  injuries 
  • Offer  natural cleaning options
  • Vita-Flex points are found on many animals, even dogs:

As with humans, it is imperative that only the purest essential oils are used on your pets.   I have listed just a few of the many uses for pets taken from oils in the Everyday Oils Collection.  These uses are recommendations from Dr. Mary Hess, DVM.  Dr. Melissa Shelton is also a DVM who has published the first Animal Desk Reference, an essential for any pet owner seeking alternative therapies.

Lemon essential oil:  Used to increase awareness in training or cognitive issues.  It is an anti-parasitic and can be combined with others safely, excellent for skin conditions.  Use topically, diffused or ingested.

Lavender essential oil:  Use for injuries while hiking or riding. Gentle but anti-infectious.  When combined with peppermint, healing is increased and infection and pain is decreased.  Repels parasites and calms nervous system.  May be helpful for masses and tumors.

Frankincense: Safer, gentle oil that is a favorite for smaller pets and birds.  Used in every aspect of pet care: wounds, tumors, behavior, infections, bacteria and fungal control. Dilution recommended with lavender.

Peppermint: Use with PanAway for any injury. Most used oil for overheated horses and dogs, provides cooling quickly. Used on long hikes, placing a drop in water for internal cooling. Peppermint must be diluted for cats, 1 part oil to 4 parts vegetable oil

Purifying Blend: Use for parasites such as fleas, ticks and mosquitos for dog and horse. Dilute 75% for cats. For birds, mist the cage with oil instead of applying directly to the bird.

Frankincense & Spruce Blend: Useful for all pets for fear, behavior and training. Especially useful for pet rescue. Use for skin masses, itching, allergies and infections. Diffuse or apply topically. Place around collar or leash.

Tangerine/Ylang Ylang & Tansy Blend: Main calming blend of this collection. Use for fear, anxiety, behavior problems, car rides, excitement. Builds confidence.

PainAway Blend: Best oil blend for injury. Can be used with cats if diluted. Used for urinary issues, osteo-arthritis pain, dental extraction or post surgery. Use topically in warm compresss, in raindrop technique or vita-flex points on feet.

Cinnamon/Clove/Rosemary/Lemon Blend:  Strongest anti-infectious blend in this collection. Can be used on all pets if diluted properly. Provides significant pain relief, particularly for dental problems. Has anti-parasitic properties, especially for ticks. Can be used topically to location of injury, vita-flex, raindrop, or internally.  Diffuse

Using essential oils on pets is similar to people as there are precautions you should take.  Because pets are much smaller, essential oils should be diluted more than for an adult person.

Dilution guidelines:  when in doubt contact your DVM.

Horses require minimum to no dilution ( 1 drop essential oil in 1 tsp carrier oil to help disperse)

Dogs:     0-25lbs – 75% dilution (1 drop essential oil to 4 drops carrier oil)

26-45lbs -50-75%

46-75lbs – 50%

76-90lbs – 25-50%


+150lbs – 0-25%

Cats, ferrets, rabbits, reptiles – 75-90%

Birds & Amphibians – 90-95% or hydrosols (1 drop essential oil mixed with water in 8 ounce spray bottle)

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28 Responses to Essential Oils For Pets

  1. Carol Bittner July 27, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Eight days before Christmas our hampster died. We found “Jiffy’s” body cold, his fur muddled, and he was so weak that he could barely raise his head. He had been a little lethargic the day before, and the following morning we found him in this sad condition. He died in my hand. After four months with our new hampster, “Hammy”, we noticed the same symptoms. He was cold, shivering, weak, and had muddled fur. My daughter cried anticipating the same outcome. This time we had our “special oils” that have worked so well for our family. Now it was time to try them on our pet. I diluted lavender oil by 90%. I rubbed the oil on my hands and held him close to my warm abdomen(skin to fur). I also diluted thieves oil; and using a q-tip, I swabbed his feet. Within minutes he was warmer and moving more. After an hour he was eating and scampering around. We were amazed.

  2. Chrissy January 25, 2015 at 12:46 pm #

    Your chart shows just the hind paws.. does it matter if it’s front or back? My spoiled one doesn’t like his back paws being fussed with.. Also what would you suggest for itchiness?

  3. Susan P January 28, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

    Lavender is helpful for itchiness, just make sure to dilute it well for pets. You may want to consider investing in an Animal Essential Oil Desk Reference for total care. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Misty March 11, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

    My friend’s dog “Toby” has an eight inch fatty tumor that keeps growing. Toby is a Shih Tzu. The vet said he will probably die with surgery, something to do with tests he had and he had been eating people food. He hasn’t had people food for three years now. She has had a second opinion and that vet said the same thing. Her husband is taking him in for surgery in two weeks if the tumor hasn’t shrunk any. She tried putting Frankincense on it and he has been drooling since she applied it, three different times. He doesn’t seem sick, just drools all the time. I am not sure how she diluted it. Should she dilute it differently or do you think she should just stop applying it altogether and try something else?

    Thanks for any information.

  5. Lejean June 4, 2015 at 4:52 pm #

    Is there an essential oil to use on dogs for flea control?

  6. Susan P June 13, 2015 at 8:55 am #

    There have been many essential oils researched and found effective against insects, fleas in particular:

    Cedarwood essential oil & Grapefruit extract

    Lemon essential oil which is high in Limonene is a gentle option for dogs (avoid citrus oils on cats, though)

    Citronella & Lemongrass essential oils are high in Citronellol which has been researched as an insect deterrent. Add a couple of drops of each of these to your dog’s shampoo and fleas will look for another more appealing host :). Another option would be to add 10-15 drops (total) of these oils to an 8 ounce spray bottle, fill the remainder with apple cider vinegar or witch hazel and spray dog’s coat with this, fluffing it into the fur if long-haired.

  7. Suzy W June 21, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    My 15 yr old dachshund has an aural hematoma on his ear flap. He had the same thing on his other ear and had surgery. I am now retired and cannot afford surgery and at his age I don’t think he would survive. So do you know of a natural treatment I could use? Thank you.

  8. Carolyn July 10, 2015 at 7:40 am #

    My dog keeps getting a bad bacterial infection and gets a bad red rash all over his body, and is worse in his arm pit areas. They keep giving him antibiotic and Benadryl, but it keeps coming back.
    And suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thank you

  9. Kippi Schank August 6, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    My dogs constantly lick their front paws and my Golden chews her toenails. What can I use to stop this and what ratios.

  10. Jane August 11, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

    I have a 5lb girl cat who keeps getting uti. Any suggestions?? Specific instructions please. Thank you!!

  11. Nati October 2, 2015 at 10:48 pm #

    To Carolyn (July 10, 2015) Last year my dog was very sick and was back and forth to the Vet and they still couldn’t figure out what the problem was. She had red patches all over her belly, was very uncomfortable, restless and didn’t want to eat either. After having her on different meds for almost 6 months, and losing much of her hair, after being on steroids, I decided to do some research and found several things that ended up helping. I gave her organic apple cider vinegar about a teaspoon, diluted with water, in her food morning and evening. Also gave her honey mixed with organic coconut oil, mixed together and then spoon fed it to her. She loved that!!’ Plus, I took the gel from a fresh aloe plant and rubbed it on her red patches. The red patches disappeared in almost a day or 2 plus her hair started to grow back and her personality and energy came back as well.. I also added 1 Krill Oil capsule to her food in the morning and this all helped. I still give her Krill and apple cider vinegar every day and she has not been sick since. Her coat is thick, shiny and very healthy looking as well.

  12. Susan P October 8, 2015 at 5:48 am #

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving the thoughtful comment. I’m glad you had success with these things, but had to remove the http back link in your comment that was not related to this post.

  13. Alix October 23, 2015 at 11:06 am #

    My 14 year old cat has been diagnosed with pancreatic carcinoma that can not be removed with surgery. I want to try to use frankinsense essential oil on her to try to help her. can you tell me how I should diffuse the oil (ratio) to ensure that I Don’t hurt her? She is 11 pounds.

  14. SP February 10, 2016 at 5:15 pm #


    My dog seems to deal with bacteria in her urine/UTI issues. Are there any oils that support bladder health or that help in preventing this from happening?

  15. Krystle February 20, 2016 at 9:55 am #

    Hey there!
    Is there any blend that I can use for UTI prevention for my two little Dachshunds? Thanks!

  16. Diane kirven March 6, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    Any recommendations for a recurring UTI in my five month old female lab? Antibiotics don’t seem to be working.

  17. michael March 19, 2016 at 8:38 pm #

    My 7 year old male pure breed German rottweiler keeps dripping pee all over we take him to the vet they give him medication it clears it up but it keeps coming back any suggestions on what to use to treat this

  18. Cyndi March 22, 2016 at 4:39 pm #

    My Minpin is suffering with an allergic reaction to flea bites. He’s got the big red blotches on his armpit area, belly and back by his tail. Gonna try. Thanks for your help.

  19. Nichole April 21, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

    Do you have suggestions for heart worms?

  20. Susan P May 10, 2016 at 11:08 am #

    No, this is a serious condition that should be managed by a vet

  21. Diana May 26, 2016 at 9:40 am #

    Hi, I’ve been trying to sift through information about essential oils. I took a few EO courses, but there are so many companies claiming to be the best and so many conflicting ideas about how to use the oils, as well as the safety of oils. Sometimes a little information is worse than a lot and sometimes too much is overwhelming. So, I never share information about EOs, which is kind of a shame. Everyone is an expert these days.

    I tried to subscribe to your newsletter, but the site won’t allow me do submit. I like your suggestions about finding good oils, and you’re right EVERY company says they’re the best. So, it’s been impossible for me to find an unbiased view. I have mainly had experience with 2 companies, but the only thing they seem interested in, is hiring an MLM sales person.

    I’m really interested in use of EOs for animals, but the information for animals is even more confusing for animals than for people.

    The book sounds like a great place to start, but I’d love to hear more about good sources for oils.

  22. RaLinda Stevens June 11, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    Need help ! I am familiar with the DT oils, I have several that I use daily for myself. My problem is my dog, seems like the same time every year she gets this yeast infection that causes her to constantly lick and chew her paws, scratch her ears, pulls out her fur, scoots her behind and everywhere she licks turns a brownish-orange stain and no! she did not get into a bag of Cheetos, but she smells similar, She is blonde so you can imagine what she looks like. I have used lavender, lemon,oregano,cinnamon,melaleuca, purity and such externally on her. I’m looking for a blend I can put into a gelcap and give it to her internally not sure of the ratio. Please if you could help I’m not wanting to take her back to the Vet and have them give her shots, and creams that don’t work.

  23. Susan P June 22, 2016 at 5:02 am #

    Hi RaLinda, sorry to hear this about your dog. First, you’ll want to make sure you are using the best quality oils for aromatherapy. If the oil has been diluted, altered or tampered in any way it will affect the performance of the product. I would not recommend giving oils internally to your dog and while it can be costly, the vet is probably the best option to preserve your dog’s safety. If you find a holistic vet who uses essential oils you can learn from the expert rather than experimenting on your “best friend”. Cheers!

  24. brenda townley September 3, 2016 at 9:49 am #

    hello my name is Brenda. I have 2 cats and a maltese shutzu mix. my cats are always peeing on my leather sofa. I have tried cleaning with EO but the cats still pee. what can I do to prevent them from peein there an other places. I clean there litter boxes every day.
    please help. this is disgusting.
    thank you

  25. Susan P September 23, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

    Cats don’t like citrus oils….You could spray around the sofa – but not on the leather. Citrus oils are gentle solvents and will dissolve or discolor the leather in the sofa.

  26. Sharon November 27, 2016 at 2:53 pm #

    I have a female jack Russell terrier about 12 years of age, took her to vet inJune she had a hard non dissolvable stone in her bladder plus a urinary tract infection.
    We treated it with a Chinese herb of San Ren Tang twice a day until finished which was at end of Sept.
    It is now end of Nov and it has returned and there is a growth on her side just underneath her rib.
    Could be stone grown in bladder or something else . Nini is booked in with vet for later this week, in the meantime I would like to calm her with essential oils. I have applied frankincense to lump and on a rear paw a couple of times yesterday.
    I have seen wonderful benefits with oils and would appreciate your help with using them.
    Thank you

  27. Elayne December 29, 2016 at 5:54 am #

    To Nicole…….please please get your pet to the vet immediately, which hopefully you have done since you posted your question. I know people do not like medications for their dogs, but monthly preventative is essential. If your pet already has HW, the treatment is extremely toxic and very painful. I worked with GSD rescue and HW are very common in this area for pets who were untreated monthly. I watched the suffering and it is absolutely horrific.

  28. Christie January 25, 2017 at 10:42 pm #

    How much of old would I use for my two teams cup chihuahuas they are over weight right now about 7lbs.

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