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Are Essential Oils For Pets Safe? The Answer May Surprise You

essential oils for pets

You know all those great things you love about essential oils? You’re not the only one that can benefit from them—believe it or not, so can your pets!

Well, some of them anyway. Certain kinds of essential oils are great for dogs, but in general essential oils should not be used for cats. This is because unlike dogs and people, cats don’t have the liver enzyme glucuronyl transferase, which allows us to metabolize essential oils. There are stories you may find that claim certain kinds of essential oils are fine around cats, but the overwhelming majority of reports indicate that essential oils and cats do not mix. Why take the risk with Mr. Meowington?

Therefore, today we’re primarily going to be talking about essential oils for dogs. Many of the same essential oils you love using for yourself can be used to help a dog, with proper dilution and care. You’ll learn:

  • How to properly dilute essential oils for use with dogs
  • A shampoo recipe for sensitive dogs
  • How to make a cheap yet effective organic flea collar

Before administering essential oils to your pet it’s best to check with your veterinarian first, especially if they have any specific health issues. Once again do keep in mind that dog and cat physiology is definitely different, so even if it seems fine, the recipes we share here aren’t interchangeable between them. If you have other kinds of pets (e.g., a bird or a ferret), it’s once again best to check with your veterinarian first. It’s up to you to use essential oils for your pets responsibly.

Now that the obligatory disclaimer is out of the way, let’s check out some awesome recipes!

Proper Essential Oil Dilution for Dogs

As you know, essential oils are strong. On occasion, we can use them for ourselves in their undiluted form, but this is almost never the case for dogs (or likely any other pet your veterinarian gave you the OK on). Dogs are far more sensitive than we are, so anytime you’re providing them with essential oils—whether it’s for inhalation or a topical recipe—they must be diluted.

“Less is more” generally applies. On average, topically applied essential oil recipes for dogs should be diluted down to 2%, 3% at most. This means that for every 2 or 3 parts essential oil, there should be 99 parts of a dilution agent, e.g., a carrier oil. For inhalation, a 1% dilution is necessary.

Essential Oil Shampoo for Sensitive Dogs

Giving your dog a proper bath can be difficult enough as it is, but when they don’t like the shampoo you’re using it can be nearly impossible. This is especially true for dogs with an extra-sensitive sense of smell since if you’ve ever used it you know that off-the-shelf shampoo can be pretty pungent.

This gentle recipe will give your pooch a better time (and you too):

  • 5 cups water
  • 4 tablespoons unscented organic castile soap
  • 4 tablespoons jojoba oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 2 drops grapefruit essential oil
  • 2 drops citronella essential oil
  • 1 drop cedarwood essential oil

Mix all of these components together well in a bowl, then transfer to a bottle. It won’t be as thick as most shampoos you’re probably used to, but the castile soap will produce suds.

All-Natural Flea/Tick Collar for Just a Few Cents

all natural flea & tick collarTired of expensive flea collars that don’t really work and that your dog seems to hate?

This all-natural, dirt-cheap alternative works so well and can look pretty cute on Fido too. Here’s all you need for it:

  • A cotton bandanna of your choosing
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 2 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 1 drop cedarwood essential oil

Put the water in a large cup or bowl and then drip your essential oils in. Stir together (a wire whisk makes it much easier). Toss the bandanna in, and be sure that it’s specifically a cotton one because this will make it much more absorbent. If you want to prepare another “flea bandanna” for later or if you have more than one pooch, that’s completely fine.

Let the bandanna dry out completely—setting it out in the sun works well. After it dries, it’s ready to go around your dog’s neck. Presto, one organic flea and tick collar!

Final Considerations When Using Essential Oils with Pets

Using essential oils for your pets can have positive benefits as long as you always know what you’re doing—and that means checking with your veterinarian, using proper dilution, and letting your animal tell you what they prefer.

If your dog doesn’t seem to respond well to a certain recipe, don’t use it! There may be another blend that’s safe and that they seem to prefer. Just like us, not all animals have the same preferences.

Have you ever successfully used essential oils with your pet? What was your experience like? We’d love to know in the comments below!

About the Author

Charity

Charity is a mom, wife and avid essential oil user. She teaches classes on essential oil usage and describes herself as a “forever student” of the oils. Charity resides in Colorado and is active in volunteering in her community.  

Comments 2

  1. I had a fur baby who was very sick and in the hospital for a week. During that visit she was diagnosed with Diabetes!
    About 6 months she went completely blind😭 I used Serienty Blend a couple drops in my air-conditioner vents ,
    She would shake terribly to get in the car and not know where I was taking her! I would also use it on myself so while holding her she could smell it better , it would calm her at times with in 2 or.3 minutes sometimes a little longer but I was amazed at how it would calm her

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