Essential Oils: For your Pocket Pet

General guidelines


  • Most pocket pets tolerate most essentials oils quite well.
  • Chinchillas, gerbils, rabbits, hedgehogs etc are all very different physically and therefore will vary individually in how they respond to essential oils in general as well as to specific individual oils.
  • Make sure you are aware of your pet’s reaction to the use of the oils.
  • Hair coat must be considered when using essential oils with pocket pets. The denser the hair the quicker the applied oils will be absorbed. Therefore, those with thick dense hair, such as a chinchilla will require less oils or oils in a higher dilution compared to a gerbil.
  • Size also needs to be considered with pocket pets. A mouse will need a very small amount of essential oil compared to a large rabbit.

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, misting and petting are recommended for pocket pets.
  • Internal consumption is usually not recommended as the oils can cause irritation the gastrointestinal tract if not diluted properly.
  • Adding essential oils to the drinking water is usually not recommended as the oils can create a film across the top of the bowl and intake can’t be regulated. Essential oils can also react with and break down plastic and/or rubber elements of cage water bottles.
  • You can use yourself to diffuse or a diffuser to diffuse the oils around your pet. By applying the oils to yourself you can measure your pet’s response to the scent by whether or not they come to you or avoid you while using specific oils. If diffusing, don’t place the diffuser too close to the cage and if your pet seems to be uncomfortable when the diffuser is running (agitated or hiding) decrease the amount of oil in the diffuser or put it in a nearby room instead.
  • Misting is done by adding a few drops of essential oil to a spritzing bottle. Shake the bottle well before use and lightly mist the room/cage area with the diluted essential oils.
  • You can dilute a drop of essential oil with a carrier oil on the palm of your hands, rub your hands together and then hold your pet in your palm for a short time. This is an easy technique for using essential oils around the smaller pocket pets.



G, D. (n.d.). Essential Oil Safety & Usage Tips. Retrieved April 10, 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.