The pleasant scents of essential oils can be soothing, and using aroma oils at home can create a warm and inviting ambiance.
But when it comes to essential oils and pets, not all essential oils are friendly to our furry friends.
Protect your pets with these pet-safe essential oils—and learn which to avoid.
Safe Oils for Dogs and Cats
Essential oils are often loved for their natural, invigorating, and relaxing scents.
Pets can also enjoy the benefits of oils, as long as you choose oils that are known to be safe. If you have a dog or cat in your home, consider one of these essential oils:
- lavender oil
- chamomile oil
- rose oil
- bergamot oil
- frankincense oil
Essential Oils That Are Dangerous to Dogs and Cats
While there are a few essential oils that are generally considered safe for dogs and cats, there are others pet owners should watch out for.
If you own a dog or cat, avoid using these oils:
- pennyroyal oil
- pine oil
- tea tree oil
- wintergreen oil
- cinnamon oil
- citrus oil
- peppermint oil
- sweet birch oil
- ylang ylang oil
- thyme oil
Dogs should also not be near anise oil, clove oil, or juniper oil. In addition, cats should avoid sweet birch oil and oregano oil.
For any essential oils that aren’t in these lists, or listed above as a pet-safe oil, be sure to consult with your veterinarian before using.
What About Other Animals?
If you have a pet other than a dog or cat, you should be cautious about using essential oils.
Many animals, and especially small pets, shouldn’t be exposed to essential oils. For example, birds are particularly sensitive to airborne toxins and typically can’t tolerate diffused essential oils.
When in doubt, ask your veterinarian in order to protect your pet.
Pet Safety Tips
Even when using pet-safe essential oils, you should always watch for any unusual side effects or symptoms.
It’s better to avoid applying oils on pets topically without asking your vet first. You should also never give essential oils in your pet’s water or by mouth. This can be extremely dangerous.
When using an oil diffuser, like an ultrasonic diffuser, make sure it’s out of your pet’s reach.
Only diffuse aroma oils that are safe for pets, and watch out for any hidden ingredients. Even when using pet-safe essential oils, consider diluting them first before adding them to diffusers. This can be gentler on pets’ respiratory systems.
Make sure you’re also aware of the signs of essential oil poisoning in pets, including a runny nose, drooling, lethargy, trouble breathing, vomiting, weakness, or trouble walking.
If you notice any of these signs, contact an emergency vet clinic immediately.
Essential Oils and Pets: Keeping Fido and Fluffy Safe
Essential oils and pets can go together, but you should be cautious when choosing oils.
Opt for pet-safe oils, and be sure to use them safely around your pet. And when you’re not sure about pet safety, contact your veterinarian for advice.
Essential oils can make your home feel cozy, but it should feel cozy for your furry friends too.
Check out our other interior articles for more home and lifestyle advice!