Essential Oils and Pets: A Quick How-To

141 May 7, 2015 - At Home, Essential Oils, Essential Oils and Pets, How to Use Essential Oils

If you love using Young Living products in your home, you’ve probably wondered how you can share their amazing benefits with your animals. Which oils are safe to use? How much can I apply? Should I diffuse or apply topically?

 

If you’ve ever had questions like these, we’re here to help! Check out this quick-and-easy how-to guide for using essential oils with animals.* Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, here are a few things to keep in mind:

 

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.
  • Use special caution when using essential oils with cats. Cats are also generally averse to citrus essential oils.

Young Living Essential Oils for dogs

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 80–90 percent prior to application (for example, for every 1 drop of oil, use 4–5 drops of a diluting agent, such as V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex).
  • For larger animals, like large dogs, start with 3–5 drops. Unless otherwise indicated on the product label, dilution is unnecessary.
  • For very large animals, like horses and cattle, start with 10 drops. Unless otherwise indicated on the product label, dilution is unnecessary.

 

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.

essential oils for pets

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, we recommend application 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 V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex or water in a spray bottle for easier application.
  • Animal Scents Ointment can be used to seal and protect areas where essential oils have been applied topically.

 

Essential oils can be administered internally.

  • Some essential oils can be mixed with your animal’s food.
  • For large animals, you can pull out the bottom lip and drop oils directly into the mouth.

 

Young Living offers a full line of animal-specific products.

 

AnimalScents Oils - Young Living Essential Oils

*If your pet or animal has a known health issue, please consult your veterinarian before administering essential oils.

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  • Jenn

    HEllo,
    My friend has a small-medium dog that was just diagnosed with and allergy to dust mites and mold. I’m wondering if there is oils she can diffuse?

    • Hi Jenn, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue.

  • MSP

    Hello I want to diffuse thieves around 10 pound and 20 pound dogs. Is it ok? how many drops?

    • Hello, As every animal is different we would suggest diffusing small amounts for short periods of time (5 minutes every 1-3 times daily) and observing how the animal responds before increasing the amount and time. If you have further concerns, we recommend speaking to your veterinarian for targeted advice. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Lisa

    I just found a lump under my dogs eye, after a little google search, it seems it is most likely a abscess from a tooth. Any advise on treatment until we can get her to the vet?

    • Hi Lisa, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue.

  • Melissa Mace

    Hi. Can I put citronella or lemongrass on my dog (60 lbs) before a hike??
    Thank you
    Melissa

    • Hi Melissa, You will want to start small and in moderation. We recommend diluting essential oils and observing how your pet responds before decreasing dilution. For additional concerns, we recommend speaking to your veterinarian for targeted advice. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Jennifer Burdick

    Can Young living Lavender by used around around my cat?

    • Hi Jennifer! Special caution should be exercised when using essential oils with cats. Cats are also generally averse to citrus essential oils and high-phenol oils. We recommend starting with 1 drop oil to 4 parts carrier oil and apply to paws. You may also diffuse near your cat in small amounts and observe how they respond before increasing use. For additional concerns, we recommend speaking to your pet’s veterinarian for targeted advice. Thanks for stopping by!

  • yogipeanut

    If I diffuse oils that have citrus or wintergreen is that harmful to my dog?

    • Hello, As every animal is different we would suggest diffusing small amounts for short periods of time (5 minutes every 1-3 times daily) and observing how the animal responds before increasing the amount and time. If you have further concerns, we recommend that you seek the advice and recommendation of a competent, trained veterinarian with knowledge and experience with essential oils use on animals. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Sara Rizzo

    My small dog has respiratory problems and a bad cough. Which oils to give him and where to put it. Also, do I dilute it?

    • Hi Sara! Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue.

  • Sarah

    Won’t my cat lick her paws to clean? The oil would then get in my cats mouth.

    • Hi Sarah, Ingesting small diluted amounts (licking paws) should not be harmful to your pet. If you have further concerns, we recommend speaking to your pet’s veterinarian for targeted advice. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Hi Sarah, I have a pug dog who licks the oils off his paws all the time. My veterinarian uses Young Living in his office.

  • Amanda

    Hi, my 11 year husky has a hotspot (Deep acute moist dermatitis) on her face and the swab has come back with enterobacter cloacae complex and staphylococcus pseudintermedius, she is already taking an oral antibiotic for the staphylococcus pseudintermedius but I would like to use oregano oil to fight the enterobacter cloacae complex. I read on your site that you do not recommended giving oregano oil to dogs, please can you explain to me your reasons behind this, as I am eager to try this oil on her. Many thanks

    • Hi Amanda, Most animals are more sensitive than humans to essential oils which is why you should avoid using high-phenol oils such as Oregano and Thyme with any animals. That being said, if your pet has a disease or medical condition, or if they are using a prescription medication, it is recommended that you consult with a trained veterinarian who has experience with Essential Oils prior to using an essential oil for targeted advice. You will also want to seek advice about potential interactions between the medications and essential oils. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Lanae Caster

    If i mix peppermint and orange essential oils with water together and sprayed it on my rabbit carriers (to help deter spiders) do you think that would irritate the rabbits?

    • Hi Lanae, as small animals are more sensitive to high phenol oils including citrus oils, we do not recommend using this mixture unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian. Thanks for stopping by!

  • GrossMisunderstandings

    Hello, My friend who runs a rescue has a dog with antibiotic-resistant bacteria on her skin. Her skin is as thin as paper. Any oils suggested?

    • Hi there, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue. We apologize for any inconvenience.

      • GrossMisunderstandings

        Yes, of course she is getting vet care.

  • Darlene

    My cat has arthritis what essential oil can I use

    • Hi Darlene, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue. Thanks for stopping by!

    • American Male ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

      It’s not an essential oil but you can use DMSO on your cat.

      • Hello! Due to the sensitivities of cats, we recommend speaking to your veterinarian for targeted advice. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Connie

    My friends dog just gave birth and doesn’t relax enough to nurse puppies. Is there an oil I could use on Mother or around her to help her relax?
    Thanks

    • Hi Connie, Due to the sensitivities of young puppies, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian for targeted advice prior to using essential oils on or around the nursing mom and her pups. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Laura Orr

    What oils can i use/give my dog to help with shedding?

    • Hi Laura, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue.

  • Lea Furness

    my dog is constantly scratching him self…. we are torn between it being a food allergy or an anxiety issue.. he is a rescue dog.. so i’m leaning towards anxiety!… any ideas to use on him ?

    • Hi Lea, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue.

  • Aly Clawson Cooper

    HI!- I was wondering if diffusing oils such as Cedarwood, Cypress and Northern Lights Black Spruce in an open space was safe for both cats and dogs?

    • Hi Aly, As every animal is different we would suggest diffusing small amounts for short periods of time (5 minutes every 1-3 times daily) and observing how the animal responds before increasing the amount and time. Special caution should be exercised when using essential oils with cats. Cats are also generally averse to citrus essential oils and high-phenol oils. For a list of high-phenol oils, please contact productsupport@youngliving.com. If you have further concerns, we recommend that you seek the advice and recommendation of a competent, trained veterinarian with knowledge and experience with essential oils use on animals. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Heather

    I have a dog that is about 25lbs has bad breath now and then what would be a good oil to use and how

    • Hi Heather, Essential oils can be used internally with some pets, however, we do not recommend administering them internally with dogs unless otherwise directed by your pet’s veterinarian. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Josh J

    Are there particular oil’s that can be used to deter dogs from certain areas they are not welcome, like furniture or rugs?

    • Hi Josh, As every pet is different and has different preferences to oils, we do not have a recommendation for this specific purpose. However, you are welcome to experiment and let us know!

  • Kathi Hayden Gentle

    Hi! Is T-WAY OK to use with cats?

    • Hi Kathi, As long as label directions are followed, there should be no adverse effect from using T-Away with your cats, as this product was formulated for use with your pet. However, additional dilution may be required for smaller pets, such as cat. If you have further concerns, we recommend that you seek the advice and recommendation of a competent, trained veterinarian with knowledge and experience with essential oils use on animals. Thanks!

  • Trish Hope

    Any recipes for dogs from the starter kit? Am visiting an old school friend who has a ginormous dog!

    • Hi Trish, Essential oils can be safely and effectively shared with your animal friends. Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Remember that size does affect the amount of dilution. A large dog will require less dilution than a small dog. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Dominika

    Hi! my dog is a 2 year old maltese shih tzu mix. He recently has been getting bad allergies. Especially in his ear and waking up in the middle of the night scratching his whole body… I did some research and looks like lavender is the best oil to use ?? But what would be the best recipe ? Just wanted to see what everyone else is doing for their pets. Thanks!

    • Hi Dominika, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Dixie Johnson

    can I put lemon or any other essential oils in my dogs water bowls? they are stainless steel and the dogs are over 35 to 40 pounds.

    • Hi Dixie, While some essential oils are okay to use internally, we always recommend speaking to your veterinarian prior to use for targeted advice for your pet. Thanks for stopping by!

  • D B

    can i use diluted purification in a water spray bottle on a large dog to help with bug/fly prevention? the fleas aren’t an issue, he keeps those off well, somehow. but these dang flies got him hiding under the house most of the time, now. is this safe to use on him? and if so, what oil drop to water ratio?

    • Hello DB, You are welcome to use purification diluted with water in a spray bottle. You can also add V-6 Vegetable Oil Complex in addition to the water for extra dilution. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Kris

    Wow! Great to see pet line!! Any suggestion for sick dog in pain? What oil? Dilute in what? Where to rub?? she’s suffering with tumors on her spleen and other organs. Vet said give her pain meds to keep her comfortable. We are so sad :.(

    • Hi Kris, We are sorry to hear about your pet’s current medical challenges! Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue. We hope for a speedy recovery for your dog, Kris. Thanks for stopping by!

    • N8turegirl

      I wish you success and pray your little love one continues to heal.

  • April

    Can I use thieves on my dog?

    • Hi April, Essential oils can be safely and effectively shared with your animal friends. Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Thieves® essential oil should be appropriate for topical, aromatic and internal use. We advise caution as the safety of essential oils with animals will vary depending on size and health of the animal, amount used, etc. Oils should be applied in small amounts and heavily diluted at first. If you have further concerns, we recommend that you seek the advice and recommendation of a competent, trained veterinarian with knowledge and experience with essential oils use on animals. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Beverly McCarty

    what oils would yo suggest that I use to treat my cat for fleas?

    • Hi Beverly, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Teresa Wallace

    Is it safe to use the Animal Scents Ointment and Shampoo with an 11 week old puppy?

    • Hi Teresa! As long as label directions are followed, there should be no adverse effects from using these products on your young pet. If you have additional concerns, we recommend seeking the advice of your veterinarian. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Wanda

    I have a eight year old lab who has a injured leg. Limping and painful. What kind of oil can I use and what is the dilution

    • Young Living

      Hello Wanda, We are sorry to hear about your injured pet! Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of an animal’s body, including ailments or injuries for your animal. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. We advise that you consult with a veterinarian on your specific issue. We hope your lab has a speedy recovery. Thanks for stopping by!

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