Essential Oils For Animals

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Today, our Contributing Writer Kerri Zaluski talks about how essential oils can help your pets.

Animals in our care depend on us for everything: food, water, grooming and general health.  Animals sense your emotions, often through smell, and the best way to keep them calm is to be calm yourself; especially with an emergency.

Essential Oils are very effective in providing animals with immediate attention.  Keeping several essential oils around is perfect for assisting with animals.


Quick Tips

The key to using essential oils with animals is to always go slow.  Never rush or push an animal with essential oils.  Your pet will respond better to essential oils if they are comfortable with you and the smells.  You don’t want to create a negative experience.  Animals are very sensitive to smells and may find new ones too much.

Start with very small amounts of essential oils: therapeutic grade essential oils, one drop is often plenty when you are just beginning.  Until you are able to read your pet and see their reaction, make sure they are comfortable and do not exceed small amounts.  A dislike to essential oils usually occurs when the oil has been aggressively introduced.

For example, the face, nose and feet are very sensitive areas of an animal so new smells must be introduced carefully.  Dislikes can happen very quick and take a long time to overcome, the more you introduce the oils, the better.


Apply oils to yourself or diffuse to introduce animals to essential oils and help them get comfortable with new smells.

  • Before using essential oils on your animals, wear the oils while being around them.  Diffuse the oils in their space or apply them to you hands and let them smell them.
  • If the animal still appears nervous or resistant to the oils, apply the oil to yourself and stay close to them; spend several minutes with them so they can start to get used to the oils and the aroma.

Once your animal is used to essential oils, animals can respond very well to topical application.  

* paws are a great location for topical application, especially for dogs and cats.

*for hoofed animals, apply the oil to the spine or the flanks.

*rub the oils onto your own hands and then stroke the animals fur.

*for large or hard to reach areas, combine the oil with a carrier oil in a spray bottle for easier application


****Avoid using hot oils on animals.  If you won’t use the oil on you, don’t use it on your pet.****


Cats & Essential Oils

* let the cat decide whether they like the oil, if they leave, don’t use it

* always use a highly diluted ratio 80-90% on cats

* never lock a cat in a room being diffused, they need to leave if they want to

* never use oils directly on the cat’s body

*always dilute before using essential oils on and animal

*each animal will respond to the oils differently so carefully watch your pet

*eyes are especially sensitive and take extra caution to keep out of eyes

*avoid oregano and thyme and other oils that are high-phenol oils, especially with cats

*cats generally have a very big dislike citrus oils so use them with extreme caution


Dilution Chart for Dogs

*0-25 pounds = 1 drop essential oil to 4 drops carrier oil

*26-45 pounds = 1-2 drops essential oil to 2-4 drops carrier oil

*46-75 pounds = 2 drops essential oil to 2 drops carrier oil

*76-90 pounds = 2-4 drops essential oil to 1-2 drops carrier oil

*91-150 pounds = 4 drops essential oil to 1 drop carrier oil

*150+ pounds = 4 drops essential oil 0-1 drop carrier oil

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