Do Essential Oils Affect Dogs?

Essential oils are everywhere! They’re no longer a specialty item that you have to go to a special store for. You can find them in most retailers. The bath and body aisles are filled with essential oil-infused products from shampoo and body wash… to lotions and deodorant. 

Since essential oils are so popular in human products, their use has begun to trickle down into pet products. At the same time, you have probably heard warnings about using essential oils on or around your dog. There are a surprising amount of things that are harmless to us, that can actually be toxic to our pets, and you might be wondering how essential oils can affect your dog. Are essential oils considered safe for your dog?

Let’s talk about essential oils. We’ll discuss how essential oils affect dogs, precautions you should take, and the importance of using quality products. Let’s get started!

All About Essential Oils

We’ve talked about essential oils and where they come from before. Want to learn more about how essential oils are produced? Make sure to read this blog. The brief version is that essential oils can be either plant extracts or lab synthesized versions of plant extracts.

Essential oils for dogs


Needless to say, synthetic oils should never be used on or around your pets. They are filled with artificial scents and petroleum byproducts. Plus, the benefits you can get from naturally produced essential oils are not present in synthetic versions. Synthetic oils are really meant to be used only to scent a room.

Essential oils come in different grades. Therapeutic, food-grade (these oils are rarely dog-safe), perfume grade, and floral water. It’s important to know that any oils being applied to the skin should always be therapeutic grade.


Do Essential Oils Affect Dogs?

There are positive and negative ways your dog can be affected by essential oils. The effects depend on the types of oils you use as well as your dog’s natural sensitivity. Some dogs may just be particularly sensitive to an oil that generally has no ill effects on other dogs.

Negative Effects Of Essential Oils

The negative effects of unsafe essential oils can be pretty scary. Even if only applied to the skin, the toxic effects can be systemic, which means they won’t just show up where they were applied. These reactions can include rashes and irritation, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, wobbly limbs, drooling, difficulty breathing, and pawing at the face.

Essential oils are easily absorbed. If an essential oil is being diffused, the particles can find their way into your pet’s body through their noses. Additionally, essential oils can be absorbed through the lining of the mouth if your dog licks them. And of course, they are easily absorbed through the skin.

Dog toxic oils can have wide-ranging consequences. They can cause liver damage, especially in puppies, seniors, and dogs already suffering from liver disease. 

For oils to avoid, take a look at our blog post here

Positive Effects of Essential Oils

Don’t be scared! There are definitely dog safe oils, and as long as you use them safely and follow directions, there are plenty of positive effects for your dog. For example, some oils are good for easing anxiety in stressed-out pups. There are oils with insect-repelling abilities. Some essential oils work as antibiotics and antifungals. Essential oils can be used to improve coat and skin conditions. Some can even reduce the pain from conditions like arthritis. The positive effects are almost endless!

Here are a few of our favorite essential oils that are safe for use on your dog:

  • Lavender
  • Ginger 
  • Myrrh
  • Chamomile
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass

For a bigger list of dog-safe essential oils, check out this handy blog post here

How To Safely Use Essential Oils On Your Dog

You can safely use essential oils, and oil-containing products, on your dog, as long as you do it carefully and follow safety rules. 

Essential oils should always be diluted before topical use. Since essential oils are so highly concentrated, even dog safe oils can cause bad irritation if not diluted. Use a dog-safe carrier oil like sweet almond oil or coconut oil. You only need a very tiny amount of essential oil for them to be effective. Carrier oils can be beneficial too, providing hydration to the skin and coat.

Essential oils diffuser safe for dogs


If you want to diffuse your oils, slowly introduce them to your dog. Dogs have very sensitive noses, and they may be overwhelmed at first. You also want to observe your dog for any negative reactions.

Run the diffuser briefly in a well-ventilated room. The diffuser will produce droplets into the air, so if you see your dog licking, make sure you check their mouth for signs of irritation. If you see any negative signs, discontinue use immediately, and get your pup to the vet.

When using essential oil products, be very careful to store them carefully. Bath products generally don’t have enough oil to cause any truly negative effects, but they can still cause tummy upset. Keep your diffuser out of your dog’s reach so they don’t accidentally ingest any oils. If you use pure oils, keep them in a high cabinet so you can be certain your pup can’t get into them.

Before you introduce a new oil to your dog, research very carefully to make sure it’s dog safe. You might find conflicting information, in which case, be cautious and do not use that product.

Fido Fizzies Dog Bath Bombs With Essential Oils

Fido Fizzies products are completely dog-safe. Our products contain only oils known to be safe, and we’re careful about following the research. If you want to see what essential oils can do for your dog, try a Fido Fizzies bath bomb! Your dog’s bath will feel like a spa, and you can rest assured knowing that all ingredients were carefully selected with your pup’s safety in mind.

Each dog bath bomb is carefully formulated with your pup’s needs in mind. Got an itchy pup? Try our Stop The Itch dog bath bomb. Got an anxious dog? Zen Puppy bath bomb to the rescue! To check out our full bath bomb selection, click here.