Are Essential Oils Safe For Dogs?

Essential oils are everywhere. They’re in soap, shampoo, house cleaning products, and massage oils. Plus, you can also diffuse them around your home as a form of aromatherapy.

Essential oils can be great for human health and overall wellbeing, but what about our dogs? Often, when new products are popular, we don’t always consider whether or not they’re safe for our dog to be around.

Before introducing essential oils to your routine (and by default, to your dog), make sure any oil you are using is safe for dogs. Doing a little research is incredibly important, especially if you’re just following a DIY recipe you found online. Make sure that you’re always getting information from a trusted source. 

So what’s the deal? Are all essential oils safe for dogs? Let’s talk about it!

Where Do Essential Oils Come From?

Before we explore the world of dog safe essential oils, let’s review what they actually are. There are 2 types of oils, natural and synthetic. 

essential oil dog safe

Natural essential oils are plant extracts. The oil can be retrieved from any part of the plant. They may be cold-pressed or steam-distilled so it takes a lot of plants to get a small amount of essential oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated because of the way they are harvested from the plant. Never use undiluted essential oils on yourself or on your dog. 

Synthetic oils are made with petroleum byproducts and artificial scents. They have the scent of essential oils, without any of the properties of the natural versions. Synthetic oils should not be used around pets. Only use natural oils on or around your dog. But, do be aware that just because they’re natural doesn’t make an essential oil dog safe! 

It’s important to remember that essential oils can be irritating to your dog even if they’re deemed safe. This is due to the extreme concentration. Essential oils need to be diluted for proper use. Coconut oil, almond oil, avocado oil, and olive oil are just a few of the dog safe carrier oils that may be used to dilute essential oils.

Dog Safe Essential Oils

If an essential oil is toxic to dogs, it should not be used on the skin, ingested, or inhaled. Essential oils can be absorbed and can cause a systemic reaction. Minor reactions include irritation and rashes, while more serious reactions could include nausea, vomiting, and even neurological symptoms like lethargy and wobbly limbs. 

Cats are much more prone to essential oil toxicity than dogs. There is a much longer list of oils that are dangerous for cats than dogs. So if you have a cat as well as a dog, make sure that any oils you use are safe for both animals. 

A few essential oils that are dog safe:

  • Lavender
  • Ginger 
  • Myrrh
  • Chamomile
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass
  • Jasmine
  • Neroli
  • Patchouli
  • Palmarosa
  • Petitgrain
  • Cyprus
  • Copaiba
  • Cedarwood
  • Fennel
  • Frankincense
  • Rose

With so many amazing essential oils deemed dog safe, let’s talk about why and how to use them to your dog’s benefit.

Why Use Essential Oils For Your Dog?

There are plenty of benefits that make exploring essential oil use for your dog worthwhile. Some oils have antibacterial properties, others can act as antifungals, antiinflammatories, and insecticides. This is what makes them helpful for a large number of uses. 

Essential oils can be used to:

  • Help relieve anxiety
  • Treat itchy skin
  • Repel insects
  • Improve skin health

Convinced? Before you run out to grab essential oils to use with your dog, let’s talk about how to safely add them to your dog’s routine.

How To Safely Use Essential Oils On Your Dog

Before using any essential oils, or products that contain them, make sure they are diluted properly. You should always make sure your dog doesn’t have any sensitivities by doing a patch test. Just because a specific oil is dog safe doesn’t mean it won’t be irritating to your individual dog. Avoid getting any oils in their ears, eyes, or noses as these areas are very sensitive. 

You can also use a diffuser to diffuse the oils into the air. Start running the diffuser for just a few minutes at a time in a well-ventilated room. The diffuser disperses droplets through the air that can land on your dog’s coat and be ingested. Make sure your dog isn’t showing irritation on their skin or in their mouth. If your dog has no ill effects, you can run it for as long as an hour a day. Be careful about how long you run the diffuser since even with dog safe essential oils it is possible to use too much. 

Another option, that is easier than measuring and diluting, is to use bath products that contain essential oils. Before you purchase products for your dog that contain essential oils, make sure that the company is trustworthy and transparent. They should use natural essential oils that are totally dog safe. The fewer synthesized ingredients the better as well. Look for all-natural products that are specifically designed for dogs. 

dog bath dog safe bath bomb dog safe essential oils

If you are using a product like a dog bath bomb that goes in the water, use a cup or a pitcher to pour the water all over your dog. If you are using essential oils to treat itchy skin or repel insects, it’s important the oils get everywhere they need to. This won’t happen if your dog is just standing in the water. 

If you are looking for safe essential oil products for your dog, then look to people who have done the research and who guarantee their products. At Fido Fizzies, we use only therapeutic grade essential oils and organic, food-grade botanicals.  We put a lot of effort into making sure we produce products that are dog safe and beneficial. 

If you would like to learn more about essential oils and home grooming, check out our blog. We’ve got tons of resources that can help you create an enjoyable bath time experience for both you and your dog.

And don’t forget! You can learn more about the motivation behind Fido Fizzies and why we love what we do on our About page!