Are essential oils safe to use on your pets? Absolutely! But just like you want to be careful when using any product around your animals, you want to use caution and know what you are doing before just randomly applying essential oils. Here are my top tips and favorite oils to use for your pets.
Tip #1: Be sure you are using a Certified Pure Tested Grade of essential oil. Do not buy them from Amazon, your local grocery store or big box store. Many essential oils are adulterated with chemicals which are very toxic to animals (and people!) and should be completely avoided. I use and recommend doTERRA essential oils and trust the testing and transparency this company offers in testing their oils.
Tip #2: If you are diffusing, be sure the diffuser is in an open area where your pet can leave the room if they desire. Also, be sure the diffuser is not in a place where your pet may knock it over.
Tip #3: When diffusing, use a water based diffuser on the intermittent setting and use about 2-4 drops so you do not overwhelm your pet.
Tip #4: Relax! Your pets will love essential oils and you will love how it naturally supports their bodies. Follow common sense guidelines and be sure to keep an eye on your animals when using essential oils and discontinue use if you see any strange behavior.
Tip #5: Want to see if your pet likes an oil? Present the bottle to them, first unopened then open the bottle top and let them take a sniff. They will let you know if they like the oil or not. Do they run away? Then this may not be an oil that is a good fit and you will want to try another. Do they curiously sniff and try to get closer or wag their tail? You may have found a favorite oil for them!
Tip #6: If using essential oils topically, be sure to dilute with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil or olive oil). The smaller your pet, the more you want to dilute. Please contact me if you would like a dilution chart for pets emailed to you.
Here are my Top 5 Favorite Essential Oils for Pets with some common ways to use them:
1. Lavender: This is the most versatile oil for pets and not only is it safe for cats and dogs, it is beneficial in many ways. Is your pet nervous or stressed? Take a drop of lavender, rub it in your hands, then pet your pet behind their ears and under their chin. Does your pet scratch a lot of have irritated skin? Dilute lavender and apply right over the skin. Wounds or bee stings? Again, just apply a drop or two topically. For dog allergies, place a diluted drop on your pets food. Great to diffuse, especially if your pet struggles to relax in the evenings or when there are loud noises (like fireworks in the summer).
2. Cedarwood: Cedarwood is great to support the respiratory system, it is nice as an insect repellent and it is also good for calming. Taking your pet to the vet? This would be a good one to use to calm emotions and nervousness. Cedarwood is also great to promote a healthy urinary tract (apply topically) and is great to help with healthy hair growth. Excellent in the diffuser and blends well with Lavender!
3. Arborvitae: This oil is EXCELLENT to help repel both fleas and ticks. You can put a diluted drop or two (depending on animal's size) on a bandana and place around your pet's neck or just rub a drop on your hands then rub their fur before sending them outside or going for a walk.
4. Frankincense: This is an oil that promotes cellular health and immunity. Dilute and rub along the spine for cats or dogs. Dilute and mix with food for dogs. Diffuse to help with mood or emotions. Frankincense is a great emotional oil and excellent in rescue situations when you are trying to get an animal to trust or transition. This oil is also great for itchy skin, for wounds, and will help alleviate/relax sore muscles and joints in older animals. Blends well with Lavender and/or Copaiba
5. Copaiba: This is an extremely versatile oil and is good for supporting the cardiovascular, immune, urinary, musculoskeletal, nervous, digestive and respiratory systems. Good for a healthy inflammatory response and is nice when diluted to use on mild cuts or scrapes, to relax sore muscles and joints, and to calm the nervous system. Take 1-2 drops and pet along your pets spine or diffuse. Can also be used topically for targeted support and is safe diluted internally for dogs, but is not recommended internally for cats.
Does your pet have a favorite oil or oil combination? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.