Essential Oils: For your Dog

General guidelines


  • Dogs tend to tolerate most essentials oils quite well.
  • Dogs will vary in how they respond to essential oils in general as well as to specific individual oils.
  • Make sure you are aware of your dog’s reaction to the use of the oils.
  • Start low and slow and dilute a lot. Their sense of smell is way more sensitive than ours.
  • “Strong scented” oils, such as citrus or minty types may be less tolerated by dogs as compared to “soft scented” oils such as lavender, cedarwood and vetiver.

Essential oil quality

  • Make sure you are using only pure, therapeutic grade essential oils.
  • Pure essential oils of therapeutic quality are expensive.
  • Low grade essential oils may contain residue of pesticides, herbicides, solvents or synthetic chemicals and may have little to no actual therapeutic value.

Application techniques and suggestions


  • External application techniques such as diffusing, petting and bathing are recommended for dogs.
  • Internal consumption is usually not recommended as the oils can cause irritation the gastrointestinal tract if not diluted properly.
  • Adding oils to the drinking water is usually not recommended as the oils can create a film across the top of the bowl and your pet’s intake of the oils cannot be regulated.
  • You can use yourself to diffuse the oils around your dog. By applying the oils to yourself you can measure your pet’s response to the scent by whether or not they want to be around you when using specific oils.
  • Your dog may also want to choose the oil of their choice. Simply place out a few open bottles around the house. Pay attention to which bottles your dog avoids and which ones they prefer.



Hogan, R. (2017, April 26). [Owner Beware] There’s A Dangerous Way To Give Essential Oils To Your Dog. Retrieved April 09, 2018, from

Essential Oils Animal Desk Reference. Life Science Pub., 2017.

Please note, this content is for informational purposes only, it contains general guidelines and is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical advice regarding your pet.