Essential oils have so many great uses for health and beauty and natural living in general, and so it is no surprise that many pet parents rely on them when it comes to caring for their dogs. It is important to remember that different pets react differently to certain essential oils. Knowing this, you always want to be sure to introduce these oils to your furry friends properly to avoid any surprises. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to using essential oils around your dogs.

A good way to start that introduction is through smell. Wearing essential oils around Spot or using a diffuser with your favourite oils is a good way to do this. You can even do this by offering the closed bottle to them to smell (make sure there is no oil on the outside of the bottle). This will allow you to observe how they react after coming in contact with the smell of the oil.

Once you’ve established that the smell doesn’t bother them, then move on to topical applications for short-term use. Remember: dogs are more sensitive than humans, so you always want to dilute your oils well and be sure that your dilution amounts are correct for the size of your furry family member. We adopt the ‘less is better’ approach, especially when it comes to topical treatments. Mix with a carrier oil – a rate of 1 drop of essential oil to 50 drops of carrier oil is usually a good measure. Also take special care to not get essential oils in your pet’s eyes. To avoid any adverse effects, avoid using essential oils orally with your pets or for extended periods of time.

Note: Cats have a different system in their liver to detoxify and are particularly sensitive to essential oils that contain polyphenolic compounds, so try to stay away from such oils as oregano and thyme, and citrus oils should also be avoided. To be safe, consult your veterinarian before using any essential oil with pets.

Lavender is a great essential oil to use on your pets. If your pet suffers from anxiety, lavender essential oil can be a great way to naturally soothe some of those feelings. A diluted mixture of lavender oil and water sprayed on your dog’s collar can help with nervousness or carsickness. Lavender oil is also great for flea control. Mix 20 drops in a small spray bottle filled with water. Spray this on your dog’s skin for flea control or skin healing, or even relaxation. Adding lavender oil to your dog’s bath water is another effective way to use it. It can also be sprayed on bedding or furniture for odour elimination.

Always remember, just as you’re careful about using essential oils on yourself or your human family members, be just as careful with pets. Improper use can result in:

  • Sensitivity
  • Allergic reaction or irritation. Mostly caused by low quality oil.
  • Burning and irritation if it gets directly in contact with the nose or eyes.
  • Toxicity, when used too frequently and/or improper dosing.

How do you use essential oils around your pets? Any tips? Share them with us on Twitter @thursplantation or Facebook @thursdayplantationcanada.

Want to introduce your pets to essential oils? Find high-quality, pure essential oils from Thursday Plantation at