Essential Oils That Are Safe for Cats & Dogs

If you're a fan of our essential oil blends and like to use a diffuser, you may be concerned about using them around your furry friends. Many people want the best for their animals, and it's disconcerting when you don't know which essential oils that are safe for cats and dogs. We're going to look at the various types of essential oils and what essential oils are safe to diffuse around dogs and cats.

Which Essential Oils Are Safe to Diffuse Around Dogs and Cats?

essential oils that are safe for cats dogs happy dog grumpy cat sitting under blanket on couch close up

Naturalists across the world use essential oils. In fact, the global market is expected to double in size between 2019 and 2026 to over $14 billion. If you're one of the people enjoying the benefits of essential oils, you're probably concerned about using these oils near your pet.

Can certain essential oils harm your pet?


Many essential oils are okay in very low amounts or when highly diluted, but many can be deadly at higher concentration levels. Mixtures may also be a concern.

Since we can't cover every essential oil in great detail, we're going to mention the most common oils and whether they're safe to diffuse around your pet.

  • Chamomile: A good option for dogs and cats that have gastrointestinal issues. This essential oil is known to help relax any gastrointestinal problems. So if you diffuse this, they may reap the benefits as well!
  • Clary Sage: Considered generally safe for cats and dogs.
  • Lavender: Known to provide a calming effect in dogs and is especially helpful when animals are dealing with car sickness, anxiety, and allergies. So diffusing around your dogs whether you're at home or on the go is safe. Note: Toxicity does occur in cats.
  • Frankincense: Non-toxic in cats and dogs. Pet owners often apply this oil for wound care and for antibacterial healing, and it's also safe to diffuse around them.
  • Geranium: A common essential oil that is used to prevent ticks. People often apply the oil to their dogs to keep ticks away. Note: The ASPCA claims that this plant is known to cause GI issues, and cats are more sensitive. It's best to exercise caution when diffusing this oil because it can cause toxicity, and the research is mixed.
  • Ginger: A common oil that is a good option when trying to calm stomach issues and indigestion in both humans and our furry friends. Which means it is safe to diffuse in your home with pets. 
  • Helichrysum: A very effective essential oil, but it does have a pungent smell. This oil is often used when dogs have clotting issues and may help treat some cardiac problems. 
  • Lemon: Use with caution. Lemon may or may not be safe for dogs. There's no clear consensus, so if you use it or diffuse it around your pup, be cautious and monitor your pet to ensure that they don't suffer adverse side effects. Note: Lemon is not safe for cats.
  • Orange: The orange essential oil is safe to diffuse in moderation and is often used in dogs to help energize the dog and soothe skin irritations. You can also safely mask a dog's strong smell with orange essential oil. Note: This oil is not safe for cats.
  • Rosemary: A safe essential oil for dogs and cats and is often used as a flea repellent. Ingesting large amounts of this essential oil can cause nervous system issues and upset stomachs, so where it is safe to diffuse in moderation, make sure they don't eat it!

When diffusing any essential oils near your pet, you'll want to exercise the utmost caution. It's best to start off slowly, so you see how your pet reacts to the oils. Even when using oils that are considered safe, it's best to exercise caution when diffusing any essential oil around your pet.

Are There Essential Oils That Are Safe for Cats but Not Dogs?

essential oils that are safe for cats dogs dog sitting next to essential oils and flowers in bowls close up

Typically, most essential oils that are safe for cats are also safe for dogs. When you're concerned about pet safety, it's a good idea to know which essential oils are unsafe for your pets.

If you use any of the following essential oils, they can cause toxicity in your animals:

  • Blue Tansy
  • Camphor 
  • Cinnamon
  • Eucalyptus
  • Mustard
  • Oregano
  • Tea tree oil
  • Citrus
  • Peppermint
  • Pine
  • Wintergreen
  • Ylang Ylang

However, toxicity occurs at higher concentrations of these oils rather than lower levels. If they do experience any exposure, wash the oils off of them and monitor them for symptoms. 

The oils above cannot be applied topically to your animals, nor should they be used in a diffuser near your pet.

Why Are These Oils Toxic?

In small amounts, your pets shouldn't have much of an issue with the essential oils listed. However, when ingested, some of the oils can cause toxicity due to the compounds in the oil. For example, citrus contains d-limonene and linalool, both of which will metabolize in a dog's liver and can cause toxicity.

If you're concerned that your essential oils may have a negative effect on your animals, research the oil and use your best judgment or avoid using it near your pet.

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