Essential Oils for Dogs


Lately, I have been getting some questions about the safety of essential oils for dogs…

So rather than answering each person one by one I decided to write it down and share! Note:  This is regarding dogs, not cats.  Cats have different guidelines.

My three little doggies see a holistic vet.  They are all healthy so we usually only see her one time a year.  We also work with Dr. Ruth Roberts virtually.  Our doggies love Dr. Roberts’ CrockPet Diet and she has shared specific essential oil blends to help with anxiety, insects, and arthritis.

First things first, a little housekeeping…

I highly recommend Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG) essential oils from dōTERRA.  If you watch my video on doTERRA’s Top Ten Oils you will learn why I love these oils so much!   dōTERRA prides itself on transparency – we know what is in each bottle that comes from dōTERRA. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for oils we pick up at a big box store.  Read more by clicking the links below.

  • CPTG Quality Testing
    • The purity of essential oil is its most important characteristic. An essential oil that isn’t pure means you run the risk of putting germs, heavy metals, or adulterants onto or into your body, which can provoke irritation, adverse effects, or even sickness. The CPTG process certifies that there are no added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their essential oils that would reduce their efficacy. dōTERRA even goes a step further, putting all their products and the packaging through a battery of tests to ensure a long and effective shelf-life. This protocol ensures potency, purity, and consistency from batch to batch.
  • Source to You   
    • dōTERRA has complete transparency. Click the link to see what is inside your bottle.  Click Quality Reports, enter the number off the bottom of your single oil, and see the test results from an independent, verified third-party lab.

Learn more about getting dōTERRA Essential Oils at wholesale and prices HERE

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The first essential oil I used for my little chihuahua Charlie was lavender.  Charlie had a couple of seizures, this is why I reached out to Dr. Ruth Roberts.  She had many great suggestions, we ran some labs and started some supplements… she also suggested a lavender blend.  I use this –  mix 1 drop of lavender with 2 tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil and apply one drop of the mixture behind each ear.  If you feel the back of your dog’s ear, you’ll find a spot where your finger seems to fit, like a little indent.  This indent is where you should apply the oil.  If your dog is larger than our little Charlie (5lbs), say 15-30 pounds, you can use more than a drop behind the ear. You could even use 1 tablespoon of fractionated coconut oil to 1 drop of lavender.  We use this blend when Charlie seems anxious.

Lavender is also great in the diffuser for dogs and people. It has a calming effect on the central nervous system and might benefit dogs that have separation anxiety.  Just take a few precautions.

  • Do not use a diffuser in a room that a dog cannot leave.  Your dog should be able to leave the area if it has had enough.
  • Use a diffuser that has a timer and set it for the lowest time if you are leaving the house for a while.
  • Make sure the diffuser is in a safe place so your dog cannot knock it over and drink the liquid.

Some essential oils should not be used with dogs but others benefit them greatly!

Use These Essential Oils with Dogs

  • Lavender – calming for skin and anxiety, deodorizer (can be used neat on skin irritations)
  • Ginger – digestion, arthritis
  • Basil – fights odors, antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterial, anti-anxiety
  • Cedarwood – repels pest, promotes a healthy coat
  • Peppermint – repels pest, arthritis
  • Clary Sage – calms nervousness and excitability
  • Roman Chamomile – calming for skin and body, wound care
  • plus many more…

Avoid These Essential Oils with Dogs

  • Anise
  • Garlic
  • Clove
  • Horseradish
  • Juniper
  • Thyme
  • Wintergreen
  • Yarrow
  • Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

Use this mix for insect repellent – mix in a glass spray bottle and then mist over your dog before it goes outside to play.  Avoid the eyes.

  • 1 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of carrier oil
  • 5 drops of lavender
  • 5 drops of peppermint
  • 5 drops of cedarwood

Use this mix for arthritis and/or hot spots – mix in a glass dropper bottle – if you don’t have one of these oils you can substitute with other skin-soothing oils like lavender or chamomile.

  • 4 tablespoons of carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil)
  • 1 drop of frankincense
  • 1 drop of myrrh
  • 1 drop of peppermint
  • 1 drop of copaiba

Use this mix as a calming mist – mix in a glass spray bottle

  • 2 drops of rosemary
  • 2 drops of Roman chamomile
  • 4 drops of lavender
  • 8 oz of water
  • 2 tablespoons of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol

Dogs are very sensitive to smells, some might shy away from the essential oils and some may want to smell more.  Charlie is very happy to get his dose of lavender behind his ears and bug repellent on his body but Lilly, our Manchester Terrier, hates everything to do with oils and will run across the room to avoid them! However, the diffuser doesn’t seem to bother Lilly at all – maybe because it’s highly diluted.

My point is, let your dog guide you when it comes to essential oils!  If they shy away and hate the smell, back off and try a diffuser instead.  Remember to always give them the freedom to leave the space where a diffuser is being used and be very careful that they cannot knock it over and lick up the spill.

Speaking of ingesting, I don’t know enough about this to suggest it or not.  I know that ingesting essential oils for people can be extremely beneficial but I don’t feel comfortable suggesting this for a dog.  I would suggest reaching out to a holistic vet that has experience with essential oils and as always, reach out to your vet if you notice any signs of muscle tremors, weakness, difficulty walking, excessive salivation, or vomiting.

Love your pets!  They love you so much!!

Pictured below are Lewis the Boxer, Lilly the Toy Manchester Terrier, River the Jack Russell, and Charlie the Chihuahua.  All of these dogs chose us one way or another and we are so thankful!!


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